Talent Circles

Monday, March 30, 2015

How to Increase Candidate Conversation on Your Career Site

By Jessica Miller-Merrell 

Your career site is one of the best tools you have to engage candidates but you could be missing the mark. It’s an unfortunate fact that most HR and recruiting teams don’t have a careers site that fosters and encourages conversations, interaction and engagement – even those with seemingly stellar websites. The truth is, you can have a beautifully designed and branded site that is comprehensive and easy to use, but you still might be forgetting a few keys that could unlock candidate conversations.

The vast majority of potential candidates who visit a career site will not apply for one of your job openings. As a recruiter or talent acquisition leader, you might pride yourself on the fact that your career site leads to higher quality candidates, but statistically speaking, you’re still probably missing out on a lot of great candidates that visit your site but never take the plunge. You might point to candidates who visit the site and see they’re under-qualified, or say that there wasn’t a position that matched their needs as reasons for low conversion and no engagement, but I believe a lot of candidates are leaving your website for reasons within your control.

You most likely post job listings on your career site in a standardized format for 14 to 30 days, and that’s about as far as your careers page goes. By relying just on these postings, you limit your qualified candidate pool. Stretch your career site’s reach and influence with these four tactics:

Create landing pages
Landing pages give your careers site much more visibility in searches and allow you to attract candidates who may not know to search for your company but are looking for a job in your industry or a position in a specific area, such as IT. From your landing page you can link to current openings and encourage interaction even when there isn’t an open position, such as joining your talent network, giving you the ability to build a candidate pipeline.

Build a talent network
A talent network truly is the best way to encourage engagement through your careers page. This kind of environment makes talking to a recruiter easy and takes the awkwardness out of starting conversations. Technologies like TalentCircles have made it easy to create this space within your careers page and I would argue that it’s an essential piece for any organization that prioritizes candidate conversations as part of their strategy.

Optimize your site for long tail keywords
Long tail keywords are phrases made up of three to four words that are typically very specific, and they are perfect for employers looking to recruit. You can optimize your career site for long tail keywords and take advantage of SEO by finding out what searches are leading candidates to your website already. These are especially useful because candidates using these phrases obviously know what they’re looking for. By optimizing, job-ready candidates looking for the exact positions you’re hiring for are being delivered to your website. Creating a conversation with them is a natural next step.

Provide downloadable candidate resources
There’s an essential question that every corner of the Internet, including recruiting, must ask. What value do I provide? Think beyond the job opening itself and consider what you have that makes a candidate want to visit, re-visit and hang out on your careers page. Give them a reason to by providing downloadable candidate resources that help them in their job search. This could be resume or interview tips, FAQs or industry-specific topics. You could make these available by entering an email address, or better yet, by joining your talent network.

All these tactics make your careers site more visible and give candidates a reason to engage.

Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology strategist specializing in social media. She's the Chief Blogger and Founder of Blogging4Jobs. You can follow her on Twitter at @jmillermerell.


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