In the August Workforce Management (I'm behind in my reading) there was an article titled Corporate Career Sites Could Do Better Job that discussed a study from CareerXroads finding that most corporate career sites are unsuccessful in attracting candidates.
According to Gerry Crispin, co-founder of CareerXroads:
"Only 10 percent of the Fortune magazine list offer an experience that truly enhances their staffing goals. On average these firms are offering a significantly better experience—attracting top candidates and extending the gap between themselves and their competitors."
According to the research, most companies do not do a good job with their job sites, partly because sites are caught in a tug of war between the IT department’s tech requirements and the marketing department’s focus on brand consistency.
How can companies improve their career sites?
CareerXroads offers these suggestions:
Engage visitors with case studies, contests and pictures of employees. Include current employee perspectives. (BTW, a great example of this is the Inside Zappos blog).
Smart targeting tactics. For example, include a specific section for ex-military personnel such as a link for "transitioning military" like defense contractor Lockheed Martin does.
Communicate: Communicating with applicants is another way companies show respect to job seekers—or fail to do so. CareerXroads research indicates corporate America has a lot of room for improvement when it comes to communication with online applicants. In fact, very few organizations sent notices that the job had been filled. (I would also suggest incorporating social networking technologies into your career site to facilitate communication).
User friendly. The best career sites areeasy to navigate and are search-optimized to be more easily found on Google or other search engines.
All this got me thinking about employment branding. When companies come to us to assist with their employment branding, we advise them to initiate both a B2B and B2C strategy (in addition to, of course, their Career Website).
Employment branding initiatives are typically targeted at two audiences. The first is prospective employees and the second is HR professionals and business executives. Marketing to prospective employees is a B2C play and once your messaging is developed (what makes your company so great?) this is primarily an "ad spend" decision - e.g., where do we promote the message? Online advertising, print, TV, radio, etc. A great example is the current McDonalds ads running on TV that aim to change the image of its counter jobs as low-paying and dead end by featuring Olympian Carl Lewis and others whose first jobs were at the Golden Arches. And of course, don't forget to use social media in your recruiting and employment branding efforts.
A second often overlooked component of employment branding is to target the business media and HR professionals. This is a B2B play where you are getting your message about why your company is a "great place to work" to the major business periodicals and HR trades, placing company representatives as speakers at HR events, applying for Best Places to Work awards, submitting byline articles to HR trades (on behalf of HR professionals and executives from your company), etc., etc.
The B2B component is too often ignored in employment branding campaigns but can have a dramatic impact on positioning your company to HR and C-Suite executives as a company that "gets it" when it comes to talent management. One obvious benefit to this type of a strategy is recruiting the very people who will be responsible for attracting and managing the talented employees your B2C efforts attract.