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Thursday, August 15, 2013

Use the KISS Model When Building Your Company Career Page

By Jessica Miller-Merrell

If ten potential candidates walked into your office interested in applying for a job, would you speak to just one and send the other nine away? Well chances are, that’s exactly what your company career page is doing to your applicant pool. In fact, an average of 90 percent of company career page traffic leaves without ever applying for a job. Your intentions may be good, but you may be missing the mark on reigning in those job seekers.

We tend to not think like potential candidates when creating our career pages. Emphasis is put on what makes sense to our business when organizing job openings, conveying need-to-know information and attracting candidates. But in order to catch the other 90 percent, we need to take a step back and keep it simple.

If You Think it’s Obvious, it Might Not Be
We live in a time of skimmers. What I mean by that is the majority of people don’t read every word top to bottom and left to right. This often causes us to miss important details. It’s the online equivalent of calling the cable company and complaining that it’s not working, only to look at the back of the TV and find the cable box unplugged. Even you - yes you - are guilty of overlooking. And those words “click here to apply” may not register when a potential candidate is skimming, even though they jump out at you. Your page doesn’t need to look like Vegas with flashing words and neon colors, but instructions should be incredibly obvious to your visitors.

Don’t Make Your Visitors Pull Out Google Maps
One of the most important aspects of a successful career page is simple and easy navigation. If anyone ever needs to look at a site map to work their way through your career page, it’s too complicated. To ensure that your visitors ease, not stumble, through your site, think like them. You already know the ins and outs of your company, the positions, how to apply and what’s involved in the application and interview process but they don’t. So proactively answer their questions, and think logically about where in the process these questions may come up. These details will help to determine the navigation of your site.

Make a Picture Book, Not a Novel
Aim to create something more like a grade-school picture book than a 400-page novel. People like graphics and are accustomed to being drawn to images over words, as evidenced by the enormous growth of graphic-heavy social sites like Instagram and Pinterest. Graphics are more likely to draw our attention and are understood quicker. Rather than writing 500 words about your company culture, show it with images. The saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” rings true here.

No secret decoder ring required
When you do use words, don’t make people wish that a visit to your career page included a secret decoder ring so they can figure out what you’re saying. Tell your story, tell why you’re great and tell potential candidates why they would want to work for you. Don’t make them read between the lines or use a dictionary. This is your opportunity to sell your company as the candidate’s next employer so take advantage, but keep it simple.

What can you add to this list of simple ways to catch the other 90 percent of candidates visiting your company’s career page? A button that will take them to your private network!

Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology strategist specializing in social media. She’s an author who writes at Blogging4Jobs. You can follow her on Twitter @blogging4jobs

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