Does your Company Website Attract or Repel Potential New Hires?
By: Catherine Conlan
Your company’s website plays many roles: storefront, customer service portal, billboard. It’s also where many job seekers go to learn more about your organization. They want to understand your company’s values, purpose and culture – i.e., your employer brand.
“Employers first need to know what their purpose is, then be able to clearly articulate it throughout their website and all other communications,” says Martha Bartlett Piland, president and CEO of MB Piland, a branding and marketing agency in Topeka, Kansas.
“If the employer can talk about those things as though they are a cause -- and they should be -- it is much more attractive to potential employees who seek meaning in their work.”
Here are some things that seekers look for when visiting your company website and what is likely to attract or repel new hires.
Demonstrate Who You Are
Job seekers will want to know all about your company, starting with the basics of your organization. They’ll come to your website looking for information about your organization’s history, founders, location, markets served, current employees and so on.
“We find that future employees check out our website to review our ‘About me’ section and read our blog,” says Danica Kombol, founder of Everywhere Agency, a social media and marketing firm based in Atlanta.
Team member biographies can help tell your company’s story, especially when presented in a visually engaging and friendly way. These synopses give job seekers insight into the experiences and skills that help people succeed at your organization while providing a sense of your company culture.
Show What You Stand For
Job-seekers, especially Millennials, are looking for employers that have a clear mission statement and strong values. Your website is a great way to let potential candidates know what’s important to your company and how you empower employees to live those values through their work.
Your mission, values and other motivations should permeate the website, Piland says, not just the HR-related sections. Are they mentioned repeatedly in your blog? Has your organization won awards related to your company values? Include your purpose throughout the website, Piland says, and applicants will better understand your organization.
Share What It’s Like to Work There
Visitors who are researching your company as a potential employer will want to know what a typical work day is like. Provide a clear picture to help prospective employees see themselves in the position.
Photos and videos of “a day in the life” can show applicants what it’s like to work there; employee testimonials or blog posts can provide first-person descriptions of your company culture and the sort of traits that could make candidates a good fit.
“To attract great people, a company must offer a chance to join a group of people committed to something that truly matters,” Piland says.
Clarify What You’re Looking For
If a candidate can’t find a listing on your site it’s unlikely they’ll follow through with an application. Good design matters more than ever.
“The career section of your company website should quickly get visitors to that coveted list of job openings,” says Gina Williams, senior systems analyst for talent management at Oldcastle, a manufacturer of building products and materials in Rochester, New York.
“So many corporate sites bury the link in layers and layers of scrolling pictures and text that candidates are frustrated by the time they finally get to the application.”
Simplify the Apply Process
Potential job candidates will see your website as an extension of your company. A hard-to-use or onerous application process can color how they see you as an employer. Mobile users who can’t find a mobile application option will also feel discouraged.
“The days of lengthy, time-consuming employment application portals that require a resume attachment and then repetitively request that you outline everything included in said resume is embarrassingly outdated and will reflect negatively on your company culture,” says Gina Hooks, founder of Salient Social, a social media and PR firm in New York City. A poorly designed portal, adds Hooks, can give the impression that a company is behind the times.