I have just started building a new career website, and as I trawled the web in search of inspiration, I was left disappointed. Why is it that companies spend so much time and money on marketing to customers but fail to give the same attention to candidates? After all, it’s our people who will design and create our products, construct and execute our strategies, and build a loyal customer base.
Now, don’t get me wrong, there are some fantastic career websites out there, but they are few and far between. As I scoured the internet, I found countless career sites that had nothing more than a hyper-linked list of jobs. By contrasting these (rather uninspiring) websites with the best, I believe there are a couple of key takeaways:
There has been a lot of talk recently about HR needing to move from being a tactical, operational and reactive function to a more strategic partner to the business. However, beyond this, there’s an opportunity for HR to think about employee attraction and retention in the same way our marketing teams think about customer acquisition and loyalty.
If we think of talent as customers, then choosing an employer is one of the biggest purchasing decisions we ever have to make. For the Millennial generation, who will make up 42% of the U.S. workforce next year, work is more than a job – it is part of who they are. Best in class marketers, like Apple, focus on emotional aspirations rather than product features to attract customers. What if career websites embodied this approach? We should focus on the culture, values and employee experience rather than let the role features take center stage.
As we talk about our culture, values and employee experience on our career website, we need to reflect the internal reality.
Universum’s “Communicating with Talent” survey this year found that students in the U.S. use an average of eight channels to find information about employers. If our career website tells a different story to the seven other channels a candidate reviews, we risk losing the trust of our candidates and our employees. Even if candidates don’t consult other methods, bringing them in under false pretenses will likely just come back to haunt us in the form of a retention challenge.
By thinking more like marketing and sharing real stories and experiences in our career websites, we’ll maximize our chances of attracting candidates who are aligned with our culture and have the right expectations for the job. And if you don’t think your internal reality is attractive enough or you can’t be transparent about your true culture… that’s probably something to prioritize!
About the author
Global HR Director at Universum