23 Career Page Best Practices to Improve Conversions
By Ameya Deshmukh on the Mya Blog
Hundreds of thousands of candidates come to your career site every single month. But how many of them are actually filling out a job application? According to 2016 research from SHRM, strong career sites were converting about 8.6% of visitors into applicants. However, the last 3 years of their data had shown that the conversion rates of career sites were dropping about 11% each year.
Your Career Site is Costing You 60% More Per Applicant
Than It Was In January
Because of the unique circumstances of the pandemic candidates are not interested in returning to work and the ones who are have more questions than ever. This means if you’re measuring your career site performance, your conversions are likely down across the board.
In 2020, the cost per applicant in June was 60% higher than it was in January. In response, recruiting leaders are taking another look at their careers pages to improve their performance, drive conversions, and lower their recruiting costs.
The career page best practices in this article will help you lower your cost per applicant, improve your offer acceptance rate, and lower your cost per hire. If you’re in a budget crunch, know this – working on your career page is an easy, quick, and low-cost strategy that can save you millions.
Candidates are researching your company
Candidates are researching your company. 85% of candidates say they check a company’s career page every time before applying to a role. Which means your career page needs to give candidates the information they need about your company. If it’s not easy for that information to be found, then your career site needs be redesigned or use conversational AI to share that info through a chat window.
In 2018 a study found that career pages that followed best practices account for 94% more hires than they did in 2014.
1. Career page basics
If you want to have a career page that’s so good that an awards gala materializes out of thin air the instant you publish it, you need to start with mastering the basics. The basics of career page success are these: Your career page must be persona-driven (but not your job descriptions), it must be personalized (but not your job descriptions), it must be reconfigurable to support diversity initiatives, and it must be made in partnership with recruitment marketing.
In best practices 2 through 7 below, we’ll follow the example of an imaginary airline company and their diversity initiative to improve “Latino/Chicano” representation in their workforce.
2. Consider your candidate persona
Your candidate persona is to your career page as Hollywood is to moneygrubbing reboots … good movies. It’s where good ones come from. Ahem.
To create a great career page you must consider your candidate persona. How?
Take, an airline company for example. They could have 3 personas: on the air, on the ground, and in the office.
Each persona is going to need a different approach. Design, copy & user experience are all going to need to account for the way each persona looks for work. Using a persona is one of our 5 best practices for hiring millennials.
3. Personalize your design
The overall layout of the page is clearly an important design element. But it’s not what we need to personalize. The overall layout can stay the same.
Let’s take the “on the ground” persona from Delta above. Hypothetically, let’s assume you’ve looked at your employee data. You’ve found that you have a great representation of every race in your on-the-ground roles except one – let’s say Latinos. How can you personalize your career page design elements to make them more relevant to a Latino candidate?
You can change the pictures you use. You can add statistics about Latino/Chicano employee numbers. You can feature a story of an existing Latino employee. Creating more personalized design elements will help your career page have more impact.
4. Personalize your copy
The words you use and the information you share on the page have just as much if not more impact as the imagery you use. Continuing with the diversity initiative page from above, it’ll be critical that you use language to tell the story of how your company is supporting inclusivity. The better and more human you make your writing – the more you’ll connect with the candidate who’s on your page.
If you didn’t know, candidates make massive unconscious judgments about your company culture, sometimes just based on a few words in the job description. I haven’t found data on career pages yet – but I can tell you that if a job description can make such an impact – I’m all in on career pages making an even bigger impact on both the conscious and subconscious perspectives that candidates form about your company.
Now creating more personalization in copy and design is well and good. But you can’t just change the design on the main career page constantly.
5. Use career “landing” pages
When you make personalizations to your career page design that are extremely specific to a subset of one of your personas – just create a separate page. This is called a “landing page.” Don’t link to this page in your main site navigation like you do your career page.
Using a landing page for extreme personalization frees you from having to constantly overhaul your main career page. Create as many custom career landing pages as you need! The best part is that you don’t even need to know how to code. Editor’s like WordPress are available today. They make managing your recruiting content and website a cinch.
You can create new pages with a click of a single button and in a few more steps swap imagery and copy. Remember this – more personalization = more impact and landing pages will get you there.
6. Piggyback on your main career page traffic
When you start making a few landing pages, an issue quickly becomes clear. They aren’t getting any traffic. They won’t work if no one sees them.
The solution long term is to have links from your main career page, which does get lots of traffic, to your specific landing pages. Take the Latino/Chicano Diversity initiative focused page from above.
Placing a link to that page from your main career page in a noticeable way would get candidates with whom that message resonated with to click and visit (and apply)!
Also after you do this enough times you may find you’ve evolved beyond a career page into a career website.
7. Partner with recruitment marketing
When it comes to building traffic to your career page and career landing pages, you don’t have to do the heavy lifting alone. Work with your recruitment marketing team. They’ll help you craft social media images, videos, and posts to promote your diversity-focused career page initiative.
It’s essential for you to work closely with recruitment marketing teams to promote your career page. If you can’t get the word out to talent – you can’t make an impact. Marketing will help you get the word out. It’s the entire reason they exist.
Now you know the basics
In Part II of this article, we’re going to look at career pages through a microscope. It’s going to get granular.
So, wait a week and then put a pod in your Keurig … and look for Make Your Career Site a Diversity Powerhouse Part II in next week’s edition of RECprose!