July 08, 2014 – Colleen Niese -

Are You Telling or Selling?

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 Is a question I often ask executives when they want to discuss the quality of their recruitment program.  Specifically, does their employer branding sell career opportunities to attract talent or does it tell job seekers there’s a position opening?  The first step to gauge the answer to this question is a review of the company website through the lens of the applicant.  Like customers, potential employees gain their first impression of what it would be like to work for the employer through their home page.  Ensure there’s at least one section of this page that speaks specifically to this particular audience in terms of the company’s vision, mission, values and corporate culture.  If you need inspiration, check out any of the top employers to work for websites.

Often times employers share they want to attract a diverse group of candidates yet, when we review the company’s web pages, they display photos of white males on the executive team and all sorts of other cultural and gender profiles serving customers at the location.  I’m not sure how to best describe the optics, but it is safe to say it doesn’t quite sell diversity.  If a company wants to cast a wide net to capture all sorts of profiles, then it needs to speak to all sorts of profiles throughout the website.  This may sound like a site renovation, but in reality a few incremental changes on key pages will yield a more diverse applicant pool for any given position opening.

Next we take a deep dive into the online application process by comparing the number of clicks required on their site to recruitment industry statistics:

  • From the home page to the actual application is three;
  • From home page to career page is one;
  • From career page log in to application is two; and
  • To complete the application is four.

This quick review, along with stats provided by either the webmaster or applicant tracking system, usually reveals a few easy fixes that improve the employer’s applicant drop off to completion ratio.  Lastly we scrutinize the content of the career page and each job posting to ensure it entices applicants with compelling statements regarding the value of working for the employer and benefits to be gained from the employee’s perspective specific to the position opening.

Of course all of the above effort will pay off in terms of capturing quality applicants and getting them through the door.  To actually evaluate and hire them, make sure your interviewing program aligns with your company’s cultural norms, the position requirements and the ideal behavioral profile description.

Are you interested in more information about recruitment strategies?  uDrive subscribers have access to tools and templates that can help.  These can be found in the Recruitment and HR Tools sections of the site.