Research by Malcolm Gladwell shows that first impressions—whether professional or personal—happen in a matter of seconds. Individuals connect with other people and companies based on their initial perception. And once that impression has been made, it is nearly impossible to change it.
Your career page is often the gatekeeper of this first impression.
Seventy-three percent of all US jobseekers start their search on Google, which means they may very well stumble upon your site through the search engine if your SEO is up to speed. Others may still visit your page once they see your job posting on a board or get referred there from a friend or former colleague. After all, a whopping 85 percent of jobseekers report visiting a company’s career page when applying for an open position.
And because impressions—first or last—count, companies that fail to place a premium priority on building a great career page risk losing talent early on. Some candidates simply never apply for the job. Others apply but opt for a career opportunity with another company.
And lest we forget, your career page is also the most important advocate of your employer brand and a key platform to leverage in your search for candidates. (Did I mention that seventy-two percent of candidates reveal that employer brand—the way candidates and workers think, feel, and share about your company—has a significant impact on their decision to apply for and accept a position!)
So if you want to make the most of this invaluable platform, make sure your platform follows in the footsteps of Marketo’s career page, an excellent example of a near perfect career page. (Related Read: Download our eBook to get your free career page checklist)
8 Elements in the Anatomy of a Great Career Page
Before you focus on perfecting the core elements, you must get some fundamental, behind-the-scenes building blocks in place first. These include making sure your career page is responsive (viz., is mobile friendly), is SEO enabled (viz., can be found by the search engines), and delivers a great user experience (e.g., few clicks as possible, etc.).
- Above the Fold. Users spend 80 percent of their time looking at information above the fold. Make sure you choose your content wisely and include at least one call to action, such as “Search for Job Openings,” in this critical space. You also need to include your employer brand value proposition as told through a video or engaging visuals.
Marketo includes a call to action at the very top of their career page that invites jobseekers to become part of something special by searching for open positions. The company also enables jobseekers to search based on keyword or view a comprehensive list broken across different functions. Additionally, Marketo has a screen capture of a clickable video featuring various employees speaking about what it is like to work at the company.
- Video and Visuals. Ninety percent of what the brain processes is visual. Not to mention, this kind of processing occurs as much as 60,000 times faster than that of words. No wonder career pages with video see a 34 percent higher application rate than those without video. There are a couple of different types of video to consider. One would be a video that highlights what your company does, its culture, workspace, and what employees like about working there. Another option is to showcase your employees in video or to simply include a photo or photos of them in a work setting.
The Marketo career page includes a visually appealing screen shot featuring employees and various shots of office workspace. Further down the fold of the page are five more videos, all with visually engaging screen shots, on different topics related to what’s it like to work at Marketo. At the bottom of the fold is a video of Phil Fernandez, the chairman and CEO of Marketo, as well as a final word visual on Marketo’s core values.
- Storytelling—Company and Employees. Employer brand is all about your company and employees. This can be told through video, visuals, and words. Just remember the age-old saying, “a picture is worth a thousand words,” when crafting these stories.
Marketo does a great job of using its employees to tell the employer brand story. In addition to the video at the top of the page that paints an overarching picture, Marketo includes five videos that cover different topics, each told from the perspective of employees: 1) what it is like to work with the Marketo team, 2) why Marketo offers customers unique and powerful marketing solutions, 3) how Marketo can help grow your career, 4) ways Marketo is involved with the community and socially responsible, and 5) how the Dublin, Ireland office gives back to its local community.
- Social Media. This should be a no-brainer, yet even a shocking 55 percent of Fortune 500 companies fail to include links to their social channels on their career pages. Why is this important? You want jobseekers to follow you and stay abreast of new job opportunities in the future. Of course, this assumes that you broadcast job openings on your social networks!
Social media is an anatomy element where Marketo can do better. Social media links do not appear on the career page, though they are prevalent on the individual job posting pages.
- Smart Job Listings. Make it easy for jobseekers to find a role that matches their background. Your job listing must be more than a chronology of when they were posted. Rather, categorize them by role and include a short synopsis of each to provide jobseekers with a quick snapshot on what the role entails.
Marketo includes the job search bar at the very top of its career page as well as on its job listing page and even individual job description pages, allowing jobseekers to search for an opening with keywords or to view a full list of openings broken across job function.
- Application Process. Require as few clicks as necessary. Forcing candidates to click through multiple pages to get to the application form creates attrition. Remove as many barriers as possible and make it as easy as possible for candidates to learn about the job and your company and to apply. In addition, candidates sometimes have questions about your company, and it is important to provide them with means of contacting you. An astounding 81 percent of applicants want to know the contact information of the person who posted the job. The preference is to give them an email and perhaps a phone number to contact, though there are other ways to do so.
Jobseekers can apply for a job opening in three clicks on the Marketo career page. Marketo also makes it very easy for applicants, allowing them to apply with their Resume or LinkedIn profile and requiring a minimal number of personal information fields.
- Benefit Details. You don’t need to go into great detail, but you should list some of the most important benefits that your company offers—both quantitative (healthcare, paid time off, bonuses, etc.) and qualitative (flexible schedules, company events, community involvement, etc.). You might even think about wowing the jobseeker by including a salary range; 74 percent want to see salary above any other feature in a job posting.
While Marketo doesn’t include salary information with its job postings, it does include a brief overview of its benefits—qualitative and quantitative: 1) health and wellness, 2) time for yourself (viz., paid time off), 3) learning and development, and 4) giving back (community involvement and social responsibility opportunities).
- Talent Community. When an interested jobseeker visits your career page, they may not find a position that interests them. But they might be impressed with your company and willing to share their information with you. Make it easy by enabling them to upload their resume without actually applying for a job. This creates higher levels of engagement while allowing you to build your talent community.
Once again, Marketo is at the top of the game here. For jobseekers who don’t find an opening that is the right fit, they can submit an application for future reference. This allows Marketo to build its private talent network that its recruiters can tap for future job openings, while also keeping jobseekers engaged.
If your career page is feeling neglected, now may be the time to take a look at it. It may be “leaking oil” (viz., talent), and you simply don’t realize it.