An active career site is a must for any organisation regardless of size. It provides a space to advertise vacancies and gives prospective employees a real sense of what it is like to work for you – and whether they would want to. While the Amazons, Apples and Googles of this world might not have to work too hard to attract job hunters, there is no reason that your careers site can’t engage prospective candidates, so they click the ‘Apply now’ link and fill those vacancies.


1. Create an amazing onboarding experience

When you consider that 20% of new hires leave a job within 45 days of starting, giving potential employees a seamless journey from the moment they land on your career site contributes to the onboarding experience. According to Monster’s Future of Work Survey 2021, candidates are struggling to assess company culture and job fit through virtual hiring, meaning that your careers site is more important than ever in giving the big picture to potential new hires. That said, it’s about fine tuning your offering, selecting the elements you want to highlight and being clear about what is important to your business: is it the product, the team, the ethics? Use this as the building block for your brand ‘story’ and it will help prospective employees to understand what you are trying to achieve.


2. Represent your company brand

Marketer Seth Godin describes branding as: “…the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another,” and never was this truer than for your company career site. Now is not the time to reinvent the wheel and the last thing you want is job hunters thinking that they’ve gone to the wrong website. Instead maintain the look and feel of your brand by using your logo, imagery and corporate colours across the site. Ensure that the voice and tone of your organisation is cohesive – this can include using preferred phrases, consistent spelling and grammar and reinforcing your key messages. Doing this through every touchpoint will certainly help employees get the essence of your brand.


3. Be more than a ‘just a job’ list

Your career site is not only the place to tell applicants about the vacancies that are available, but it presents the perfect opportunity to show them all the other great things you stand for. Research from Gallup into what Gen Z and Millennials expect from their workplace reveals that wellbeing, transparent leadership, a strong CSR policy and a robust D&I strategy top the list. The pull of ESG (environmental, social and governance) criteria is nothing new but the way you present the information to prospective candidates is. Consider using employee quotes or blogs, digital content highlighting any wellbeing initiatives, career development schemes, company away-days, charities you support etc., and word from the CEO is always an effective way for candidates to see the face behind the business. Adding links to your company’s social media channels will also help to provide a deeper insight into your organisation but remember, authenticity is key so make sure your messaging is accurate and honest. Leave candidates with the impression that they will be gaining more than simply a job when they join your team.


4. Optimise accessibility and web best practice

It might sound obvious but there are certain boxes that need to be ticked when creating your careers site. Being General Data Protection Regulation (GPDR) compliant is a legal requirement, and your web designer should have put the essential pop-up permissions in place, if not, then you could risk a fine.

Accessibility is a very complicated area, but the basics involve the P.O.U.R principles. Perceivable − would a blind, deaf, low vision or colour-blind user find anything difficult to perceive? Operable − are the interactive elements of the website easy to control and can all functions be performed with a keyboard? Understandable − is the text clear, the font readable and interactions simple to understand? Robust − does your website only support the newest browsers or operating systems? And of course, it should most definitely be mobile-friendly. Get these basics in place and you can rest easy.


5. Keep search and application functions simple

Creating a straightforward and intuitive job search that is easy to apply can really make or break a careers site. Can users search by keyword or location? Is there a skills filter? This might be a good opportunity to rethink your job descriptions and titles as well as according to recruitment giant, Monster, two in five respondents regularly see confusing job titles, and 64% said they would not apply for a position that they did not understand. Avoid the jargon and keep the application process simple. Too many hoops for candidates to jump through will discourage applications and leave a poor impression of your entire recruitment process.


Spending time refreshing and optimising your recruitment site will help you to hone your brand message, create a strong employee value proposition, and build confidence and interest in your brand.

About the author

Tristan Potter

Tristan has a decade's worth of experience writing content and copy for organisations across Bristol and the Southwest of England. He has written on a diverse range of topics, including technology, philosophy, politics, and recruitment. His writing has appeared in The Drum, HR Grapevine, and The Guardian, among other publications. He joined Hireserve in March 2022.