Successfully attracting candidates involves telling your story, sharing your values, giving your people a voice and building trust. Perhaps then, and only then, will your future talent want to develop their career with you. And right at the heart of this is your careers website. Your careers site has a high-profile place in attracting the talent you need to grow. So, we think it’s a pretty important part of your overall growth strategy. And best of all, we love building them.

In this article we share some of the processes and features we build into our sites. If you are planning a new careers website, you’ll definitely find some useful pointers. And yes, we’ve won a few awards – and you’ll see some examples along the way. Well, we would, wouldn’t we?

What’s in an award anyway?

For talent, resourcing and increasingly, marketing teams, awards represent recognition of what is a big commitment in terms of budget and risk. For example, our recent award for our client Miele X as ‘Best Recruitment Website’ at the Recruitment Marketing Awards 2023 was in the over £50,000 category.

Awards are also important for client recognition and that’s lovely to see. Winning ‘Best Recruitment Website’ at the 2021 Recruitment Marketing Awards for our client NFU Mutual, meant a lot to Head of Resourcing Heather Kitto. “It’s a symbol of recognition, for the individuals, the team involved and for the company. As an employer it helps broaden the understanding of your organisation the work you do and your strategy.”

We also think that awards raise standards in our industry, and we are constantly seeing innovative new work entered each year. That’s good for increasing the effectiveness of clients’ attraction strategies. Ultimately, everyone benefits from a good careers site – not the least the candidates themselves.

This is all well and good – so what do you need to consider for yours?

Your guiding principles

Take a look at our work and many client case studies. In each one we start by explaining what the client’s objectives were – we call them the guiding principles behind the site. We aren’t down in the detail just yet; these are the big picture deliverables of what each client wants.

Before you create a brief or seek out a budget, it’s worth noting down your overriding objectives. These could be to:

  • Bring the employer proposition to life
  • Reflect the culture of your organisation
  • Raise the profile of key departments and the people within them
  • Get the right people straight to the right jobs
  • Act as a platform for advocates to share employer stories
  • Integrate seamlessly with your ATS
  • Be accessible across all devices
  • Be ready to be indexed by Google, Google for Jobs and Indeed

And while you are thinking this through, keep in mind the most important question that you MUST be able to answer – as it’s the big question that all candidates ask themselves, “Why would I want to work for this organisation – instead of somewhere else?”

An excellent candidate experience

Be in no doubt that your careers website is the focal point of what is a marketing campaign to attract candidates. Candidates are customers of your employer brand and, just like any customer, they can leave the process at any time if they don’t like what they see.

Behind an excellent candidate experience is a well thought out candidate journey. For this you need to understand your candidates and the journey they may take on your site. This means thinking about individual employment groups, their interests and the content that will educate and help them. This is where your ATS can be so helpful. It can match jobs with content and the career profiles that candidates will want to read about.

For example, for our award-winning site for Miele X, we identified nine unique candidate journeys, each designed to talk to, engage and convert specifically skilled individuals into applicants.

For more insight on the candidate experience read: Candidate experience: How to meet and exceed their expectations

Story-driven content

No one tells the story of what it’s like to work for you better than your own people. And it’s this group that your candidates want to hear from and will trust the most. So, the more you can feature your own people, the more credible your site will be.

The Miele X site is a good example of how you’d want to achieve this. Their people feature on every page, blog or job and, of course, in every piece of video. Each major section of the website has a hero film. Where people share their thoughts on the Miele X story, their purpose, work, teams and benefits.

As it does for any careers site, the careers blog plays an important role. It’s a platform for the team to showcase their digital expertise, knowledge leadership, culture and their colleague’s personal experiences of working there.

Why not take a look at the Miele X careers blog to see how we do this.

The NFU Mutual careers website has a good example of building content around a specific candidate journey, in this case for pricing professionals. By featuring their own people talking about roles in pricing, they are answering the question “Why should someone want to work in pricing for NFU Mutual as opposed to somewhere else?”

Read the full case study here: Developing an EVP and creative campaign for pricing professionals.

For more tips on careers website content read:

The careers website blog. Your employer branding secret weapon
Content marketing for recruiters. Engaging candidates with your employer brand

A mobile first experience

Various stats on mobile usage suggest that between 70% and 85% of candidates have used their mobile devices in career searches and job applications. With usage this big, your careers site has to offer a standout mobile search and application experience. This means making the experience as easy and seamless as possible. No documents to upload, no clunky PDFs to download. If your candidates have data stored on Google Docs or Dropbox – or want to use their LinkedIn profile, the mobile experience should enable this.

What’s more, the application process itself should be able be saved on one device and picked up on another if required. All of this functionality has been built into the Miele X site – and perhaps that’s one reason why the new site has seen a 237% increase in applications since launch.

More than the sum of its parts

We’ve covered some of the components of what makes award-winning careers sites, as built by TLA. There’s a lot more to it of course, and we’ll share a link to our free guide to launching a careers site at the end. In summary, the thing that sets an award-winning site apart is how they deliver more than their component parts. A site can have all the bells and whistles, but if it doesn’t communicate the essence of what your organisation and people stand for, it won’t convince candidates to join you, no matter how slick it performs.

As we’ve covered our work with Miele X throughout this article, it seems only fair to let their HR Director, Tanja Antonijevic have the final word, and one that perfectly sums up what we mean. “The biggest success of the new Miele X website is its ability to articulate the personality of our business. The culture, the expertise, the diversity and the excitement that I experience every day in this organisation. That’s no mean feat.”

Are you planning your next careers site?

At That Little Agency it’s what we do – and do pretty well. We’ve brought together many of the tips, stages and sound advice needed to deliver a careers website from start to finish. It’s all in our free guide. We can’t guarantee your next site will win an award, but it’ll be off to a flying start.

Get the guide here:

Need a little help?

If you feel that you’d like some help, support or even a little chat around your careers website or aspect of your employer brand and talent attraction strategy just drop us a line. After all, much of our best work has started with a cup of tea and a Zoom call.