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 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