Recruitment and selection have experienced a significant evolution over the years. As technology evolves and websites become more intuitive, the face of recruitment will continue to shift in order to better serve job seekers and employers alike.
In this age where competition for top talent is at an all-time high, employers are pulling out all the stops to attract the best possible candidates to their company. In an effort to do so, they often turn to recruitment websites. These websites need to tick a lot of boxes when it comes to intuitive website design, driving traffic to the website and using SEO to rank highly in Google. Below, we’ll cover exactly what makes for an incredible recruitment website, what to keep in mind and how a digital marketing agency can help you surpass your own expectations.
Keep it simple, clean and straightforward
The look of your website goes a long way to attracting and retaining job seekers and employers. If it looks old-fashioned, busy or clunky, visitors will quickly navigate away. In order to keep visitors on your site, you need to come across as trustworthy and authoritative. Putting together such a website isn’t an easy feat — it requires a significant amount of planning, research and execution.
When putting your recruitment website together, consider millennials. By 2020, Generation Y will constitute 50% of the global workforce. By 2025, they’ll account for 75%. This generation is a tech-savvy crowd, and many of them can throw together a decent website themselves. In order to make an impression, you need to design one that is even better.
According to one source, it takes roughly 50 milliseconds for users to appraise your site and to decide whether or not they’ll stick around. This instinctive reaction will be based on a number of factors, including colour, spacing, structure and font choice. A study carried out by Google concluded that sites with low visual complexity and high prototypicality were perceived as more appealing.
Put simply, this means users want clean, simple websites, and they want websites to be representative of a certain category. So although you might be tempted to make big changes to make your site stand out from the crowd, science would suggest you’d be better served following convention — at least to an extent. Once you are more established, you might be able to begin incorporating small, unique changes.
One study explored what aspects affected the trustability of a website. 94% of the comments collected related to web design elements. The most mistrusted factors were slow load times, a lack of colour, small or difficult-to-read text, pop-up ads and busy layouts. This is a lot to consider, which is why many companies choose to hire bespoke web development services.
Consider colour and its psychological impact
Interestingly, when you look at colour choices among the most popular job and recruitment websites, you begin to see a pattern. As an example, we can look to Indeed, CV-Library, Direct Gov, Guardian Jobs, Jobs.ac.uk, NHS Jobs and Reed, the UK’s number 1 job site. They all make use of the colours blue, white and black and most of them include a small splash of yellow or orange.
It is well-known that colours can have a significant impact on our brains and our perceptions. It is known as colour psychology, and it isn’t something that should be overlooked when creating a website. The reason blue is so regularly used is because it is associated with trust, dependability and honesty. It has also been shown to be humanity’s favourite colour, so use it to your advantage!
The colour blue has a calming effect, with the power of slowing down pulse rates. It also has strong corporate associations, which is why it is a favourite for many businesses. To complement blue, white is often used, which is perceived as clean, safe and simple, while black is commonly associated with power and authority. Adding a splash of orange or yellow brings energy and happiness to a website that may otherwise be drab and overly formal.
Keep it simple with clear navigation
As a recruitment website, you’ll have to cater to both employers and employees. You need to make sure everyone is able to find their way around your site and get to the pages they require without any confusion or frustration. If this happens, they will likely give up and head to a competitor’s website. Most great recruitment websites have two separate pages for each audience, to avoid confusion and to allow for a more streamlined experience.
Use an advanced job search tool
The job search tool is the most important part of any recruitment website. It needs to be easily visible and simple to use. It also needs to be advanced enough to filter the hundreds of job opportunities, to present the job searcher with the most relevant positions. Applicants need to be able to search by location, contract type, salary, job title and even how recently the job post was added to the site. By allowing the individual to painlessly find exactly what they’re searching for, you’re greatly enhancing their job hunting experience.
Have a clear call-to-action and a fuss-free job application process
Once an applicant has used your job search tool to find an appropriate job, they need to know what to do. Make your call-to-action clear and make the job application process as straightforward as possible.
Most recruitment websites require candidates to sign up for an account. This account stores all basic and pertinent information, as well as a CV. Once this information is gathered and stored, applying for further jobs in the future becomes simple, and applicants don’t have to go through the tiresome process of re-entering their information. Some websites, such as Robert Walters, include an “Apply with LinkedIn” option, which seamlessly transforms the whole system into a painless, one-click process.
Ensure you can deliver job alerts
Job alerts are a critical element of recruitment websites. Applicants demand them as it gives them the first mover advantage, which is a real leg up on the competition. Moreover, applicants expect alerts in this digital age; they have become accustomed to real-time feedback and instant communication at all times. Important information pertaining to their careers should be no different.
Consider adding an RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed that will allow your visitors to be regularly updated (whether instantly, daily or weekly) with the latest relevant jobs. In order to best engage with your site’s visitors, your digital marketing approach should include contacting candidates early and often. Job alerts such as these are usually indexed by location and/or job type.
Be social media savvy
Another way to keep your website’s visitors constantly informed and updated while gaining exposure for your recruitment company is to make full use of social media. Get your candidates to start following you there — Twitter is a particular favourite among most of the big recruitment websites. Other important platforms are Facebook and LinkedIn. Include social media icons on the top of your page, or anywhere where they are clearly visible. This is a great way to ensure candidates don’t miss out on their ideal job opportunities.
On top of sharing information about current jobs, you can use social media as a means of sharing your blog posts. People who follow you will likely be interested in articles relating to improving CVs, interview tips and career progression. Once you gain a following on social media, your blog posts will be more readily shared and you will increasingly be regarded as an authority in the field. These efforts will also help increase your ranking on Google.
Create an informative blog
As mentioned above, regular, fresh content in the form of a blog is a useful element for your recruitment website. Create content on useful subject matter such as technology or apps that facilitate the job application process, expert advice on how to sail through an interview, what to wear for an interview or how to structure a CV.
Make full use of target keywords in your blogs and utilise them as anchor text to link to other relevant pages on your site. This is great for your website’s SEO and your Google ranking. Google is aware that recruitment websites, by necessity, have a large number of job postings that are put up and taken down on a regular basis, but to give your recruitment website an edge, ensure that the remainder of your site is unique and of a high standard. This will go a long way to establishing your website as a leader in the field of recruitment while ensuring people see your brand in a positive light.
Videos play an important role
A lot of websites are moving away from only hosting long-form text. Many text-based sites aren’t performing as they used to, and the behaviour of website visitors appears to be changing to favour a more visual experience. For this reason, using videos on your website is an excellent SEO decision.
As the years go by, Google introduces new rules and metrics which determine how well your website will do in its rankings. Since the Panda and Penguin updates, it has become clear that in order to rank in the long-term, SEO can’t rely solely on gaining high-quality backlinks. Websites also need to be concerned with the creation of awesome, varied content that will naturally attract links over a period of time. Although videos are still relatively underutilised from an SEO perspective, when they are used correctly they can be extremely powerful. It can also give you edge on the competition; as it stands now, 75% of recruiting websites don’t make use of video.
As an example of a recruitment website that utilises video, we can look at Sales Executives. The video on their homepage is short, informative and contains a clear call-to-action. Use videos to give your viewers step-by-step instructions on what to do next and where to sign up to receive instant updates.
Don’t forget about the power of SEO
SEO has been mentioned a number of times so far, but it is such a critical consideration that it deserves its own section. After all, a perfectly designed website and remarkable content are worthless if nobody is able to find it.
It can be difficult to keep up-to-date with Google’s various algorithmic changes, but a site with strong SEO is worth the effort. It ensures the right traffic finds your site and that your site is well ranked in the search results. Remember, nobody wants to click through to the fourth page of Google to find what they’re looking for. Your chances of being found greatly diminish as your search position increases. Pay special attention to custom page titles, broken links, keyword-rich job descriptions, image tags and custom URLs.
At Exposure Ninja, we offer a free SEO review to help you understand how your website is faring and how it can perform better with a few alterations. We also run an informative and regular SEO podcast, to keep you updated on the best digital marketing advice.
Make sure your site is mobile responsive
According to a study by Kelton Research, 86% of candidates use their smartphone to conduct a job search and 70% want to apply for jobs using their phones. It isn’t enough to have a great website anymore — it needs to be mobile responsive and optimised for mobile viewing. Remember, there is a difference between a mobile-friendly website and a mobile responsive website. The latter adjusts font size, images and buttons to match the device’s screen, while the former simply scales down the website. Scaling a website can cause trouble for your visitors, who have to zoom and squint in order to navigate your website. This may ultimately cost you quality candidates. It should also be noted that mobile responsive websites are preferred by Google and will earn you a higher SEO ranking. A web development company will be able to help you in this area, as well as every other step mentioned above.
Exposure Ninja is a digital marketing agency in Nottingham that serves companies all over the world. We help websites rise up through the Google rankings to give them the exposure they deserve. To find out how you can benefit from our affordable web hosting and bespoke web development, get in touch today.
About the Author: Samantha is a writer and Digital PR team leader with a focus on HR, business and recruitment. When she isn’t working, you can find her painting, watching childish films and posting photos of her four cats on Instagram.