By Kahl Orr, founder of Rise, a digital marketing agency that builds high-performing websites for some of the fastest-growing brands.
With current talent shortages, making the careers section of your website more compelling and competitive is an achievable strategy that will engage and draw in the best candidates. Rather than trying to recruit potentially uninterested parties, building out your company’s website to feature an open job funnel will bring the candidate into your world, exposing them to who you are, what you do, your culture and what you value. In turn, your applicants will have more agency, be more in control of the process and feel like they’ve chosen you, just as much as you’ve chosen them.
Before the pandemic, many industries suffered from a lack of candidates to fill jobs. Now, the number of unanswered positions has climbed to over 11 million. What are job seekers looking for in today’s marketplace? In this new working environment where employees are either remote or partly remote, what are companies doing to build a solid corporate culture that employees live and breathe every day? How are they communicating that in their talent acquisition efforts?
How can you stand out to job seekers?
For starters, a competitive wage is an enticing benefit for job seekers. Big-box retailer Target is considering starting pay at $24 an hour in the most aggressive markets. In an interview with The Associated Press, Target CEO Brian Cornell said, “The market has changed. We want to continue to have an industry-leading position.”
The demand for a reliable workforce has pushed many organizations to raise wages; however, not every business owner has the resources of Target. In such fierce conditions, there are other things you can do to distinguish your company among candidates. Corporate culture is another example of how you can stand out.
Highlight the outstanding culture and values that your company offers.
People want to feel a sense of purpose in their duties. As of 2018, most workers in the U.S. would voluntarily exchange less pay for more intentional employment.
Simply changing the way you approach recruiting is one way to show potential candidates that you are an innovative and dynamic place to work. By leaving the door open for someone to come and find you, you are illustrating that culture is essential to you by focusing hiring efforts on candidates with enough initiative to reach out rather than trying to recruit simply to fill a position.
The careers section of your website is the perfect place to emphasize your corporate culture for prospects once they find you. Snappy job descriptions will draw them in, but more importantly, this is an area where you can share what your company is all about.
You can use the space to show how your employees are valued, what the benefits of working for you are, that there is room for growth, how you give back and that you offer a safe and inclusive environment. Being transparent with your values will get job seekers to envision a place for themselves at your organization before they ever even apply. This will go a long way in distinguishing you from a hundred other companies.
Pivot your approach to recruiting.
Building out your career funnel is a more effective strategy in the long run. If there is a short-term need to hire, recruiting is your best bet because leaving the job funnel open will take time. Put up some job descriptions that you can leave up year-round. Often, the most remarkable candidates come when you’re not actively trying to hire. Leaving these channels open allows opportunities to come knocking without requiring you to invest in resources to go out and find individuals.
Ranking power through SEO and SEM is a proven strategy for generating great sales leads; why not think about the job funnel in that regard as well? If you are a large company that has to fill 300-400 new positions every month, you’ll likely spend around $20-$25K posting on job boards. Theoretically, by repurposing those recruiting dollars, you’ll spend less to perform SEO or SEM on your website job listings than you will to get them featured on sites like Indeed and LinkedIn.
Distinguish your company from all the others.
It also separates you from the rest. If you come up with specific search terms, you’re not just in some directory. When people are looking for these jobs, they see you stand out. Anyone who fills out the application will already have familiarized themselves with your company. The quality of candidates should be higher than someone applying everywhere.
Another benefit to revitalizing the careers section of your website is that it helps to centralize the recruiting efforts. When you post to a job board, it might not integrate directly with your HR platform. You’ll get bombarded with email replies that you need to put in your system manually. With your website, you can streamline and own more of the process. The whole experience, every touchpoint, can be branded and provide a better interaction with candidates from start to finish.
Staffing shortage woes aren’t likely to wane any time soon. Modernizing talent acquisition practices through the careers page on your website is one thing you can do right now to ease those burdens. Creating a job funnel will allow you and applicants to own more of the process, make you stand out, give you more seamless integration and a branded experience, and save recruiting dollars.