That Little Agency https://www.thatlittleagency.co.uk Thu, 18 Jun 2020 18:36:03 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.1 What makes compelling content for your careers website? https://www.thatlittleagency.co.uk/what-makes-compelling-content-for-your-careers-website/ Thu, 18 Jun 2020 17:15:41 +0000 https://www.thatlittleagency.co.uk/?p=6094 Our previous blog covered what makes a good careers website. It was well packed too – so much so that we had to leave the topic of content out. We...

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Our previous blog covered what makes a good careers website. It was well packed too – so much so that we had to leave the topic of content out. We felt it deserved a whole blog all to itself. A careers website is all about attracting and converting your candidates – or at least inviting them in to get to know you a little better. So, your content matters – from the opening strong headline to the information about the organisation, your culture and what your existing employees think. And don’t forget that your visitors are probably job seekers – so a well written job advert helps too.

If you are planning your next careers website or want to re-fresh the content on your existing one – this is for you. We are going to walk you through the things that make great and compelling content. We’ll stop by some of our own sites along the way. So, let’s get into it.

A strong employer brand

OK, this isn’t exactly ‘content’ – but it influences all the content on your careers site. Which means a poor one won’t exactly help keep a candidate on your site – if they’ve even been there.

Having an employer brand isn’t optional. You have one whether you like it or not. As long as there’s employees with an opinion, there’s an employer brand. It’s based on their thoughts, feelings, perceptions of you as an employer – good and bad. So, to build your brand (and then be able to create credible content) you have to get beneath the surface and find out what people really think – and preferably like.

Find the good bits, manage the negatives. Create a brand that your ideal candidates want to buy into and your existing people love. They are a big part of your content – they can’t rave about working for you if your brand sucks.

A strong headline

So, your employer brand is working well. Candidates have heard good things. Your site has good visibility and has been setup with good SEO. It’s all come together and your ideal candidate has arrived at your site. They’ll be curious, wanting to find out more. That’s where a strong opening headline really helps.

Why? Because you’ve only have a few seconds to engage them once they’ve got there. The first thing they’ll see is almost certainly going to be your headline. But what does a good one read like?

Here are a number of headlines from sites we’ve produced. Some are quite succinct and dynamic single lines, others are a short statement that gives an insight into the culture and what it’s like to work there.

Telegraph Media Group: You make the story
Derbyshire Constabulary: Shaping the future. Making a difference. Doing the right thing
Pinsent Masons: Take the law into your own hands
Toolstation: Together, we’ll get the job done
Hastings Direct: Clearly Hastings Direct

Often the headline emerges from the creative process as the employer brand develops. However, if you want your candidate to be motivated to move beyond the headline – that headline has work to do.

Your mission, values and cause

Your headline has piqued their curiosity – they want to know more. High on the list will be the reasons why they would want to work for you – instead of somewhere else. You’ll answer this through your Employer Proposition. This defines the key attributes that you would like people to associate with you as a potential employer. A big part of this (and really important to candidates) are your values and what you set out to achieve as an organisation. Will they want to be a part of that?

Again, like your employer brand, your proposition will influence your content. You can’t be passionate about your values and how everyone is behind your purpose if you don’t know what it is. You can’t ask employees to write a blog or show their enthusiasm in a video if what you do (and the values that drive your organisation) aren’t clear. Video? Did we just mention video?

Video

Video is now a major part of most careers sites and we rarely launch a site without one. The goal of a good recruitment video is to show potential candidates what it’s like to work for your company. It’s where an organisation, their people and their employer brand are brought to life. You need a recruitment video as part of your content strategy. What’s more, research by CareerBuilder in 2018 found that employers received a 34% greater application rate when they added a video to the job postings on their sites.

Our video for Telegraph Media Group is just 1 minute 11 seconds but manages to both show their purpose in today’s constantly changing landscape as well as reinforcing the ‘you make the story’ recruitment message. Our film for Manchester Metropolitan University is over 5 minutes long and offers a deeper dive into their organisation and the roles they offer.

If you are thinking of producing a video, you’ll find plenty of tips in our article ‘A little guide to producing a compelling employer branding film‘. And the good news is that you don’t need complex editing equipment and expensive software. Thanks to smartphones which have increasingly high quality video cameras, video should not beyond any organisation with even the smallest budgets.

Add a blog

The case for video is strong, but there are still many people who like to read a blog to written by those actually working for you. In every organisation there will be a talented writer. Find them and use them – their voice will be authentic and is likely to resonate with similar people with the same values. Given that you’ve done a good job in recruiting people who engage with your values and purpose, a blog about what it’s like to work for you should attract more of the same.

We built a blog into our careers website for Telegraph Media Group. To see how much a blog article brings the organisation and its opportunities to life, read this by Jade Clapham who is doing an Events Apprenticeship at The Telegraph. A blog is also a good way to show Google that you are adding fresh content that it can find and index. It’s good for your SEO and that will boost your career site in search rankings which will attract more potential candidates. You see, all of this clever content stuff works together.

Diversity and inclusion content

“We’re committed to our people”. Every organisation should be, most will say they are but how many actually demonstrate it? One of our own clients wanted to show that they did – which why we’ve built a comprehensive diversity and inclusion page into the recently relaunched careers site for Derbyshire Constabulary.

Using original photography, it creates an authentic view of a diverse organisation, covering their plans for cultural change and how they plan to build a positive and supportive workforce. A particularly strong feature of their diversity and inclusion page is a carousel of the support networks available to their staff.

Well written job ads

If you’ve done all of the above, you’ve got an engaged candidate on your careers website. They’ve watched your video, read your blog, got a good idea of your values and feel you are an organisation they’d feel comfortable working for. This should be the moment of glory when they become an applicant. It should be, but it often isn’t.

The problem often lies in the job advert itself. A poorly written effort consisting of cut and paste from the job description, bullet points and absolutely nothing about why they might want to apply. You almost had them too. So, we’ll finish with one of the most obvious ‘need to get right’ parts of a careers site – the jobs themselves. That’s why we’ve written this helpful little piece on the topic. ‘A little guide to writing a successful job advert’.

How does your content shape up?

We’ve covered what makes compelling content in a good careers website. We hope that’s been helpful – but what about yours? To help you gauge whether your content matches up to the expectations of the modern job seeker we have developed the Careers Website Audit. The audit will benchmark your careers website against best practice in site content – and a whole lot more. We also look at design, structure, functionality, and candidate experience.

To get a free copy of your Careers Website Audit, simply click on the link below and complete the request form. We’ll review your website against our key criteria and within 24-48 hours we’ll pass you back our findings. We think that you’ll find the results of the audit really very interesting.

Request your free-of-charge careers website audit

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What does being ‘a great place to work’ actually mean? https://www.thatlittleagency.co.uk/what-does-being-a-great-place-to-work-really-mean/ Sat, 02 May 2020 12:02:12 +0000 https://www.thatlittleagency.co.uk/?p=6055 … and, even more, is it still relevant? Everyone has had to manage their work in different ways these past few weeks – and new opinions are forming by the...

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… and, even more, is it still relevant?

Everyone has had to manage their work in different ways these past few weeks – and new opinions are forming by the day. Just as organisations are noticing how their people have responded, employees have an opportunity to re-assess their relationship with their employers. Did it feel like a great place to work beforehand? How do they feel now?

The longer we remain away from work in the physical sense, is the concept of ‘a great place to work’ really going to be relevant? Instead, should we really be talking about a great way to work? Should we have been all along? After all, its actions that really count, regardless of where we are based.

While ‘work’ as we know it has fundamentally changed due to COVID-19, all the key ingredients that make up a great place to work haven’t gone away. What will differ is how employers deliver them – and that’s already starting to happen.

So, what makes an organisation a great place to work?

Every organisation likes to think it’s a great place to come and work, or they should at least aspire to being one. But the experience is a very individual thing and will vary person to person. However, there are some core characteristics that really have to be there.

Trust and transparency

The Great Place to Work website – who run the awards of the same name – base them on a combination of auditing trust and culture. Certainly without trust – which goes both ways – you can’t have a great workplace.

Employees must trust the people they work for while leadership and line managers need to trust their people. And, there’s nothing like a crisis to test levels of trust. Leaders need to be upfront and transparent about the challenges ahead. People need to feel they can be trusted to work on their own initiative to resolve problems and do the right thing. Like any relationship, without trust there’s very little to hold it together.

The organisations that can offer a workstyle that’s built on trust – which is even harder when teams aren’t physically present, will be delivering the most important aspect of a great place (or way) to work. And it needs to be felt at all levels. The more transparent you are, the more trust your employees will have in you.

A supportive culture

Mass remote working isn’t easy to manage. Being away from the usual place of work and colleagues can cause isolation, anxiety, mistrust and a loss of a feeling of purpose. It’s during difficult times that the true nature of an organisation’s culture is seen for what it is. We aren’t talking about free beers on a Friday, a funky sleeping pod and a pool table. None of that will matter if the culture of an organisation falls flat.

A new ‘new normal’ will emerge, there will be less physical presence in the traditional workplace but the culture still needs to offer mutual support, promote trust, recognise and reward effort and give meaning to work. In particular, some employees will have mental health issues arising from enforced changes, furloughing and possibly bereavement. A supportive culture will reassure them that it’s OK not to be OK.

A great culture needs to be adaptable when the going gets tough but stay true to the values people expect. Getting there requires a long-term view that puts people over short-term business results, delivered with a style of communication that is frequent and authentic.

Recognising a life outside of work

If there’s one thing that organisations surely appreciate more in the current climate – it’s that we all have lives outside of work and, due to home working, the lines are increasingly blurred. If organisations weren’t flexible before, and haven’t adapted, they are going to find creating a culture that’s considered ‘great’ an uphill task.

Today’s great place to work offers flexibility and benefits that help employees focus on family when it matters. Extended parental leave programmes for both mothers and fathers, unlimited holidays and flexible home working all recognise that in order to work productively and be engaged, life outside of work has to be respected.

We think that the past few weeks will give many more people a taste for home working and organisations should expect conversations about keeping that going to start soon. After all, if employees can demonstrate they they’ve been able to work just as effectively at home, it makes the argument to be present in the office hard to defend. Which brings us to…

A farewell to presenteeism?

It’s been a tough few weeks for micro-managers who thrive on seeing their people hard at work in their offices. The longer we are absent from the physical ‘place’ of work and maintain productivity – the less we actually need to be present. And that spells the end for presenteeism – which can’t come soon enough.

Organisations that want to be a great place to work will embrace the notion that it’s not where you work, it’s what you produce. So, farewell to long commutes that serve no purpose than satisfying outdated working practices and hello to flexibility, giving away control and really demonstrating trust.

In conclusion

Our last post, Protecting your employer brand, argued that how organisations treat their colleagues during this challenging time will define their employer brand for decades. It stands to reason that, in order to create an attractive employer brand, the organisation needs to be considered a great place to work. The two are inter-linked.

What it means to be a great place to work, measured by trust, transparency, a supportive culture and greater flexibility hasn’t changed – but the focus is now more about the way that’s delivered, more than where it tales place.

For some organisations, the foundation blocks have been in place from the beginning and they’ve adapted well. For others, recent events have accelerated the need to engage and develop their people in ways they might not have thought of even a few weeks ago. For them, creating a great place (or way) to work is also a great opportunity.

Need a little extra help?

We are That Little Agency, we help employers tell their story and we do this by developing award-winning employer brands and careers websites. All designed to help you deliver measurable results. If you feel that you’d like some help, support or even a little chat around selecting your ATS, defining your employer value proposition, developing your employer brand or any aspect of your talent attraction strategy just drop us a line. After all, much of our best work has started with a cup of tea and a biscuit.

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Protecting your employer brand. It’s in your hands https://www.thatlittleagency.co.uk/protecting-your-employer-brand-is-in-your-hands/ Wed, 01 Apr 2020 19:15:01 +0000 https://www.thatlittleagency.co.uk/?p=5962 Yesterday I posted a simple and stark message. How you treat your colleagues during this challenging time will define your brand for decades. Value your people. Keep them safe. Help...

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Yesterday I posted a simple and stark message. How you treat your colleagues during this challenging time will define your brand for decades. Value your people. Keep them safe. Help them help you. Now, more than ever, your employer brand is your brand. That’s because the way employers are treating their staff is generating huge coverage – both good and bad. All the more reason why protecting your employer brand should be high on your agenda.

So, this blog is about how you can look after your employer brand while all this craziness is going on. How you can ensure your brand sits positively in the eyes of employees and candidates and how, with a little adjustment, you can still recruit and engage new hires and work remotely.

But it all starts with recognising that … where there’s an employer brand, there’s an opinion.

What are your employees saying about you?

Over the years people have asked me for a definition for the employer brand. There are many but I always go back to the simplest. It’s what your employees say about you when you’re not in the room. Which means, in the current climate, there are some interesting conversations going on.

The good – and the walk of shame

Now, I won’t mention any names but there have been some high profile examples shared on social media. Some employers can hold their heads high, doing all they can to support their staff, calling in daily, recognising that many colleagues have their kids at home, looking out for mental health and wellbeing.

Others are proving that even in a crisis, profit comes before people. Staff are ‘let go’, unpaid or encouraged to look for work elsewhere. Some employers are still insisting their people commute, putting their health and those of others at risk. These short term actions will have long term impact, and not in a positive way.

So, here’s what we would do to help both you, and your employer brand, emerge from this in the best possible shape.

Protecting your employer brand – our tips

Remain positive. We will get through this. This is a testing time but people are often more resilient than we might think. As a manager or recruiter, you may have concerns about remote working but employees and candidates may be far more comfortable than you think. Your organisation might be new to this, but most people know others who already successfully work from home. Many examples are already emerging showing organisations not only adapting, but thriving on it.

Remain true to your values. Many of the negative stories emerging about the way some organisations are treating staff focus on saying one thing – but doing another. You can’t say how much you value your people if you then decide to not pay them or ask them to find jobs elsewhere – but expect them to re-apply when it suits. At all times values have to be lived and breathed by the organisation and its management to really make that connection with employees. They need to be authentic and experienced beyond joining – it’s probably the most significant contributor to the employer brand having lasting credibility.

Keep a sense of team and purpose. Your organisation isn’t just a place to work, for many it’s a social hub where colleagues are friends – and do important work together. The feeling of team is a key part of the employer brand and needs to be supported the longer working from home is a part of our lives. You have team socials at work – so do the same online. Who says Zoom calls have to be all about projects? Get to know each other a little more. Anything verbal and visual that builds morale will help.

Create engaging and authentic content. With your offices closed and no opportunity to visit your workplace as part of the recruitment process, what you put on your careers website and social media will be more important than ever. Does it reflect your culture and values, would it help your candidate learn a little more about you?

So, make the content authentic so that it gives the best and honest view of what it’s like to work for you. And update it to include some of your working from home experiences. You can record and then edit Zoom calls into a video – you can’t get more authentic than that. You’ll be starting new hires as remote workers – at least for the short term. Show what it feels like to experience that with you.

Manage your remote candidate experience. It’s very likely you’ve already started to interview more by video. How is that going? In reality many of the processes are the same, it’s the just the technology that adds in a few additional steps. So it pays to plan for these as the interview has to work doubly hard. Your candidate will have checked you out beforehand for sure, so this is the part where they are judging you as much as you are them.

Making sure the tech works is a must and, just as you’d want to put them at ease in person, do the same with a video interview. Get on the call first so they are not staring at a blank screen, be mindful of your background, try to find a quiet place and, as you’ll be starting them as remote workers – develop some questions that will test their remote working skills. Finally, make sure your post interview communications are prompt and clear. This will help manage expectations and keep the candidate engaged in the process.

Recognise effort. Finally, recognition is always welcome at the best of times. So, it can go a long way in helping to cope with working from home where it’s easy to feel like effort is not being seen. Take the time to acknowledge and call – people will be giving 110% in very challenging conditions. This will help reinforce your values and the engagement and motivation coming from it will be well worth it.

In conclusion

As the organisations that found themselves trending on social media for all the wrong reasons will know – it doesn’t take long to damage an employer brand. When the dust settles, it will be those employers who did the most for their people who will have the best reputations, the strongest employer brand. It will be those that, despite the huge challenge, found a way to look after their people and do the right thing.

For further information

If you feel that you’d like some help, support or even a little chat around protecting your employer proposition or any aspect of your talent attraction strategy just drop me a line. After all, much of our best work has started with a cup of tea and a biscuit.

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Understanding your employer proposition. A practical approach https://www.thatlittleagency.co.uk/employer-proposition-a-practical-approach/ Tue, 03 Mar 2020 09:43:07 +0000 https://www.thatlittleagency.co.uk/?p=5911 On Thursday, 27th February a gathering of Bristol’s HR community met in the shadow of the world’s fastest ever passenger jet, Concorde. Buckled up, we went through a supersonic session...

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On Thursday, 27th February a gathering of Bristol’s HR community met in the shadow of the world’s fastest ever passenger jet, Concorde. Buckled up, we went through a supersonic session around employer proposition and employer branding. I was in the pilot’s seat for this one, as the guest of H2R Selection … OK, that’s enough, I’ve run out of Concorde references. But I will share the main points we covered on the day. Please put your seats into the upright position and prepare for take-off. Sorry.

Employer brand – you already have one

I’ve said this many times before and this talk was the prefect place to make the point again. As an employer, whether you know it or not – and whether you like it or not – you already have an employer brand. In essence this is what your employees and possibly your candidates already think about you. It’s what they might say if you weren’t in the room. And in most instances, they’ll have different views.

So where does employer proposition fit in?

This is the answer to the question ‘why would somebody work here as opposed to somewhere else?’ But, and I am going to prick an industry taboo here, there’s no such thing as a single employer proposition! Mainly because:

  • It will differ from one role to another
  • It will differ from one department to another
  • It will differ from one location to another
  • It will differ from one generation to another
  • It is certainly different to what your leadership teams thinks it is.
  • You can’t create or destroy it.

The good news is that, despite all of this – you can influence it.

And why should you care?

Because more and more of your candidates will be doing their research before making the decision to apply. They’ll be looking on sites like Glassdoor and Indeed – keen to read what others (not you!) are saying about what it’s like to work for you.

They’ll want to know about your culture and values. They’ll look for insight on you and they’ll make their own decisions whether or not you are a good cultural fit.

What’s more, research from LinkedIn found that a strong employer brand could result in a 43% decrease in cost per hire, a 28% decrease in employee turnover – and a 50% decrease in the time to hire. That sounds pretty compelling to me.

So, what are the building blocks of a strong employer proposition?

I’m glad you asked. There are three characteristics at the heart of this:

  • It’s authentic – what you are saying is believable and credible
  • It’s attractive – what you are offering is what your target audience wants and needs
  • It’s distinctive – you message is different from your competition for talent.

But, where do you start?

That Little Agency helps clients understand their employer value proposition (EVP) with a six step process, these are the questions you’ll need to ask yourself. Here is a very brief summary:

Step 1 – Benchmark: Where are we right now? What are our competitors up to? How do we stack up?
Step 2 – Preparation: What do we want to get out of this exercise? What does success look like? Who are we talking to? Your target audiences may well be very different employee categories.
Step 3 – Ask … and listen: What do people want? Do they think we can offer it? Can we really offer what they are looking for? This stage is all about gaining insight.
Step 4 – Distill this insight: You are looking for a set of universal truths, these will be – your employer personality, your employer proposition pillars and, maybe, you’ll get this into a single statement.
Step 5 – Map these against your key employment groups: What messages resonate with which audiences? What should we be saying?
Step 6 – Develop your employer identity: Ask yourself whether you align with you corporate identity or not, launch it internally first, embrace your people, make a statement.

Practical examples

Throughout the presentation I shared examples of two very different EVPs – for retailer Toolstation and the Telegraph Media Group. I am happy to share the slides if you would like to email me directly. mark@thatlittleagency.co.uk

We thought we’d share a few comments from the room

Some of the points made in the wrap up included:

“Salary is becoming far less important to candidates, they are increasingly asking about our values as a company and what we are doing to give something back.”

“You can get a lot right internally with your hiring process – but it all gets let down with a poorly written recruitment advert. There should be less ‘you will do this’ in copy, and more emphasis on ‘what you could achieve’ in the advert.”

“LinkedIn is making a great push into the recruitment market. It’s always been good for sourcing candidates, now it wants to be the job board of choice.”

“It’s well worth getting all the information a candidate might need on the careers website before they find you. You only get one chance to make a good impression so make sure all the content is there.”

“Understanding your employer proposition is continuous project. Build into any work milestones for re-evaluating, re-validating and re-launchin as your business evolves.”

“Understand your target audience and don’t expect all job types to fit into your culture. For example, if you want to recruit developers, don’t expect them to wear suits – you need to compromise or they just won’t join you.”

“The whole recruitment process starts internally with your culture. Get this wrong and successful recruitment will always be a challenge.”

“It’s a good idea to keep in touch with people who have left you at the six month point. Such ‘Boomerang employees’ won’t yet be fully engaged with their new employer, that’s your ideal point to try and re-hire.”

Big thanks to

Richard Freke and Bryonie Madine from H2R Selection for inviting me to speak and to our fantastic audience for their interest and many great contributions.

For further information

If you feel that you’d like some help, support or even a little chat around developing your employer proposition or any aspect of your talent attraction strategy just drop me a line. After all, much of our best work has started with a cup of tea and a biscuit.

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What makes a good careers website? https://www.thatlittleagency.co.uk/what-makes-a-good-careers-website/ Sun, 01 Mar 2020 10:24:26 +0000 https://www.thatlittleagency.co.uk/?p=6075 I am doing a few webinars over the next few weeks and one that I’ve been asked to do a number of times is around the subject of careers websites....

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I am doing a few webinars over the next few weeks and one that I’ve been asked to do a number of times is around the subject of careers websites. But what makes a good careers website? There has also been a few interesting discussion threads on some of the groups and forums around what a careers website’s primary function should be – information, conversion or just looking cool.

Whatever it is your careers website has to deliver a lot. It’s often a candidate’s first contact with your employer brand and acts as a portal into your live vacancies. But candidates aren’t only interested finding a job, they want an insight into what it is actually like to work for you. If they can’t get that from your careers website, they’ll go elsewhere.

No pressure then. You need a careers website that delivers an engaging candidate experience and gets them over the line with an application, so what makes a really good one? As I mentioned above opinion doies vary. But really it’s a mixture of everything – a great process, compelling content and making an emotional connection. So I thought I’d walk you through some of the features we’ve built into some of our recent sites. We’ll even offer a critique of your current site – more of that later.

Make sure it can be found

You want your careers website to be found and 85% of job searches start from a search engine. How the site is built and structured behind-the-scenes can have a big impact on your position in the search engine results. Google like sites that offer a good user experience. The better (and faster) that is, the higher the search result rankings. Cumbersome coding or too many large images that make it slow to load may drive visitors away and negatively impact site ranking. Your site should be designed to be highly visible to the search engines with all pages developed to be successfully indexed. And that includes the jobs pages which should be programmed specifically to be indexed by ‘Google for Jobs’.

To index your careers site, your site map needs to be submitted via Google Search Console. We’ve gone in to a lot more detail about indexing and SEO in our article ‘Making sure Google can find your careers website and vacancies.’

While on the topic of visibility, it’s always a bugbear of ours when we see a careers site that’s hard to find on an organisation’s main site. Many candidates will first arrive at your corporate site so don’t make it hard to find the careers pages by hiding the link at the bottom of the page. Clear navigation to your careers page from the main corporate site helps attract candidates. Obvious really.

Make it uniquely yours

Your people are often your very best advocates, and they’ll be who your candidates will want to hear from and believe. They can help deliver key content and offer a real insight into the culture. That’s why they should be placed at the centre of every aspect of your careers site and feature on every page, blog or job and in every piece of video.

To deliver an authentic look and feel, an investment in bespoke photography can really bring a site to life. All our sites feature real employees – the days of stock photography ‘people shots’ are long gone. Our careers website for Derbyshire Constabulary features the work of photographer Peter Corcoran (www.petercorcoran.com) and we think they perfectly show their people taking pride in their work. We’ve used the same approach for Toolstation where using their own people not only adds warmth and humour to the site, it was really popular internally and ensured a lot of buy-in for the site.

Make sure users can find what they’re looking for

On average, 80% of visitors come to a careers website to search for jobs. So, why not make it easy for them with the search function front and centre? That’s what we did for Derbyshire Constabulary and Phoenix Group. This ensures that the right people quickly find the right jobs.

For The Telegraph we introduced a search bar to the homepage that not only searches the live jobs on the website, but also directs the user towards pages and blog articles that it thinks will also be of interest to them. Since adding this feature we have seen a significant increase in traffic towards content pages and blog articles from the homepage.

Capture candidates at the point where they’re ready to apply

Google gives preference in searches to sites that are mobile compatible. It’s also a lot easier for your candidates to engage with and find what they want. If your careers site isn’t mobile friendly, you’ll be losing candidates full stop. If you have an existing site that isn’t mobile friendly, a new careers site is the time to change things. Here’s something we wrote on mobile applications – it’ll give you some pointers.

Here’s a practical example. We know that 49% of visits to the Phoenix Group careers website are on a mobile device, so we worked closely with their ATS supplier, Sage People, to offer visitors the opportunity to apply via their smartphone. And for those who don’t want to, they can bookmark the vacancy that interests them and apply later via a desktop.

Embrace new technology (where appropriate)

For the Manchester Metropolitan University we worked with eArcu who developed a chatbot to help potential candidates with their questions around the University, the roles available, Manchester itself and any hints, tips or advice on making an application. It offers job seekers another way of interacting with the Manchester Metropolitan University recruitment team and has been phenomenally popular.

Understand what accessibility really means

It isn’t all about devices and screen readers. Accessibility is about ensuring that everyone can understand your website. The Telegraph careers website makes use of ReciteMe, a Cloud-based web accessibility solution which allows the website user to customise their website in a way that works best for them. This innovative tool makes the website not only accessible but useable by all. The Telegraph believe that everyone should have the opportunity to be able to access their jobs and the ‘Accessibility toolbar’ supports job seekers who are neurodiverse, visually impaired or speak English as a second language.

Make the candidate experience as seamless as possible

We know and have worked with many of the popular Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) suppliers – such as Oleeo, Workable, Sage, ePloy, SAP, Lumesse and Workday – and we’ve even helped clients choose the right one for their needs. Most organisations have them so, we think it’s a good idea to integrate them into careers sites.

Integration often means you can control the formatting of the job details, pull relevant jobs into relevant sections of your website and ensure that the jobs can be better indexed by Google, Indeed and the other search engines. It helps towards a better response and it improves the candidate experience. Often candidates don’t even know they’ve left your site and gone to your ATS, integration can be that smooth.

If you are thinking about revising your ATS system, you’ll find this a good read … ‘How to plan and spec your Applicant Tracking System.’

Make your content as compelling as possible

If you’ve got the far and are thinking ‘why hasn’t he mentioned content?’ then the follow-up blog to this will reveal all. Yes, of course content matters – from the opening strong headline to the information about the organisation, culture and, increasingly, the use of video. And a well written job advert helps too. There’s a lot to cover – that’s why we thought we’d give it the attention it needs in an article all of its own.

How do you think you shape up?

We’ve covered all the main points that make up a good careers website. We hope that’s been helpful – but what about yours? To help you gauge whether your careers website matches up to the expectations of the modern job seeker we have developed the Careers Website Audit. The audit will benchmark your careers website against best practice in site design, structure, functionality, content and candidate experience.

To get a free copy of your Careers Website Audit, simply click on the link below and complete the request form. We’ll review your website against our key criteria and within 24-48 hours we’ll pass you back our findings. We think that you’ll find the results of the audit really very interesting.

Request your free-of-charge careers website audit

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Employer branding. What all those terms really mean … and how to get them right https://www.thatlittleagency.co.uk/employer-branding-what-all-those-terms-really-mean-and-how-to-get-them-right/ Tue, 18 Feb 2020 10:51:27 +0000 https://www.thatlittleagency.co.uk/?p=5786 You may have noticed a lot terms being used in the business of ‘talent attraction’. There’s one right there. Terms can mean different things to different people – and there’s...

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You may have noticed a lot terms being used in the business of ‘talent attraction’. There’s one right there. Terms can mean different things to different people – and there’s often more than one interpretation for each. Confused? You are certainly not alone. That’s why we thought it would make a helpful blog to shine our That Little Agency lens on the whole gamut – from the bigger picture surrounding brand, culture and values to those more often used at the business end of recruitment.

We don’t just cover what they are, we give our take on what it takes to get them right. And there are connections between many of these too. Ready? Let’s begin …

The bigger picture

We’ll kick off with the big daddy of terms, employer branding. It’s the one we all hear about the most, the one that organisations ‘do’ to attract and hire the best talent. But hang on, if there’s employer branding then there has to be an employer brand – see how tricky this can get?  Let’s start with how they differ.

Employer brand

In simple terms the employer brand is what you have, whether you like it or not. It’s the baseline of where you are now, the thoughts, feelings, perceptions of you as an employer – good and bad. It’s usually based on the current and past experiences of employees which may not always tally with how the employer sees things. As long as there’s employees, there’s an employer brand.

So, how do you as an employer create an employer brand that your ideal candidates aspire to? How do you become that sought after ‘employer of choice’? That’s where ‘employer branding’ comes in.

Employer branding

Employer branding, through a carefully researched plan and creative execution, is the process that will change how you are perceived. Note the words ‘carefully researched’. You can’t build a successful employer brand on a whim, a bunch of hunches or what the MD or HRD thinks it should be. You have to get beneath the surface and find out what people really think for it to be credible and bought into. Which takes us to …

Employer Value Proposition

Often shortened to your ‘EVP’, but we actually prefer ‘Employer Proposition’. This defines the key attributes that you would like people to associate with you as a potential employer. It’s effectively the reasons why someone would choose to work for you, as opposed to an alternative employer. When it’s been determined, your EVP should provide a consistent platform for your employer branding communication and candidate experience.

To give this a little more substance, it’s worth covering how you’d reach your EVP. You might identify a target group of potential recruits and ask them what they think you are like as an employer. You’d ask group of actual employees to find out what they think of working for you and what they see as your values. You’d also want to ask your management team – to get a view of their vision for what the organisation is and would like to be.

To be effective, the end result needs to be attractive to potential hires but also credible to your internal audience. If they fall about the place when they see your employer branding efforts, you’ve missed the mark.

Vision

A vision statement describes where the company aspires to be – and increasingly where it wants the world to be. For example, Oxfam – ‘A just world without poverty’. Organisations often produce statements of their vision and this can be hugely important to the employer brand. That’s because employees are increasingly motivated by more than reward alone. In fact, it’s often way down the list. What comes first is just how well they identify with the vision of the organisation they are considering joining.

In essence, is the vision inspirational and aspirational enough? What is the organisation there to do? Is important to them, will it challenge them?

Values

The values of an organisation are the core principles that guide and direct it and its culture. Values create a moral compass for the organisation and its employees and, just like the vision, they have to be values they feel aligned to. And, most important of all – these values have to be lived and breathed by the organisation and its management to really make that connection with employees. They need to be authentic and experienced on joining – it’s probably the most significant contributor to the employer brand having credibility.

After all, the reason we stay loyal to consumer brands is often because we feel we share their values. Why should it be any different for the employer brand?

Desired behaviours

Our earliest behaviours are formed through childhood experiences, and there are certainly some in children more desirable than others! However, in the workplace, desired behaviours are acquired and developed while performing roles. In a recruitment context, they make some people more desirable candidates than others. They also contribute towards high levels of employee engagement and a positive company culture.

For example, do they have good communication skills, are they team orientated, demonstrating enthusiasm, will they go the extra mile? Are they confident in their performance and ability to learn new skills? Do they demonstrate integrity, having made decisions in the best interests of their organisation, ahead of personal advantage?

Company culture

We’ve covered a number of terms that relate to aspects of an organisation and how they impact the employer brand. The company culture is the glue that binds them all. That’s because, amongst others, a culture comprises the purpose, values, leadership style and levels of engagement found in a business. And, like values, people are increasingly looking for evidence of a positive culture, one that benefits their lives and community.

A company culture that positively resonates with employees and customers is core to retaining talent and delivering business growth. It’s something that Simon Sinek has described as a ‘sense of cause’. A company culture, he says, can be something so powerful that people would rather turn down higher paying roles to be a part of it.

Some recruitment terms

Let’s take it that ‘Talent attraction’ as a term speaks for itself. We think so. However, there are a couple of terms that apply to the recruitment stage that are worthy of a closer look. One has changed hugely in recent years and the other, if it’s seen in a negative way, could make or break your employer brand before your candidates have even joined.

Recruitment marketing

Anyone who’s role has involved attracting candidates to employers (via the direct route, rather than through employment agencies), will have heard the term ‘Recruitment marketing’. In fact, if they’ve been around the block a few years, they probably used to call it ‘Recruitment advertising’. Yes, long before the web, organisations would print an advert in a newspaper, hope the right candidates would see it, read it and then send their CV in the post. How very 20th century.

Recruitment marketing is a term we like. It recognises that today’s employer treats the business of attracting talent as a marketing campaign with a strategic approach, a better understanding of the target audience and a whole different playing field in terms of how to reach them. So, recruitment marketing is how you tell your story through content and messaging to reach top talent. It can include your career site, job postings, video messages, social media, images – any public-facing content that builds your brand among candidates. It is the process by which your employer branding gets seen and put to the test.

Candidate experience

The candidate experience is one of the most crucial stages in how you successfully attract candidates. And it’s also equally important to those that you don’t hire. A candidate experience definition might be “how candidates feel about your company once they experience your hiring process.” It’s the time when they first experience your employer brand first hand.

Whether it’s good or bad, their experience influences candidates in their decision to apply to your company or accept your job offer. The danger comes when the actual experience doesn’t measure favourably to the promises made in the employer branding and candidates vote with their feet and go elsewhere. It can get really serious when they share any negative news with their social networks – all of whom will trust what they say.

In conclusion

We didn’t start this article expecting it to run quite as long as it has. That only goes to show the complexity of the employer brand and the employer branding process. There are many facets involved from the strategic issues surrounding vision and values to the technical. These are all inter-connected and reliant on each other in many instances. Just as a poor candidate experience can have a negative effect on the employer brand, a friendly chatbot could just save the day.

We hope clarity on some of these terms will help you appreciate all that goes into the employer branding process from development to delivery.

Need a little extra help?

We are That Little Agency, we help employers tell their story and we do this by developing award-winning employer brands and careers websites. All designed to help you deliver measurable results. If you feel that you’d like some help, support or even a little chat around selecting your ATS, defining your employer value proposition, developing your employer brand or any aspect of your talent attraction strategy just drop us a line. After all, much of our best work has started with a cup of tea and a biscuit.

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