How 2020 became the year of the recruitment website

When the world went home, the online world exploded. Covid-19 has accelerated a move to a far more digital planet, in both a personal and a professional capacity. Just as we shopped online, streamed live theatre online and socialised online, business activities too were all moved online. Overnight, websites took on a whole new level of importance. With neither clients nor candidates able to visit your office and meet you and your team in person, recruitment websites had to perform many roles. As well as advertising your jobs, recruitment websites became invaluable as a platform to communicate your brand values and important policies such as your stance on D&I, to update clients and candidates on important changes to the company (whether Covid-Related or not), to ‘talk’ to visitors and share industry insights via your blog. 

In short, recruitment websites allowed recruiters to connect with clients and candidates and became central to talent attraction strategies. It was your recruitment website’s time to shine. We have known for a long time how important a well-designed website complete with in-built recruitment features is. The pandemic has been a catalyst that has propelled society into a digital-first world where a website simply cannot be a static entity that is built and then forgotten about. Here’s how recruitment websites helped recruiters through the murky waters of 2020 and how they will continue to be at the very centre of your recruitment strategy:

A platform to share key information and updates

During the first lockdown, a business website became the fastest, easiest way to update visitors on how it was operating – what was changing, what was staying the same. We advised adding a page dedicated to Coronavirus-related news and updates, with a highly visible, easy to click button at the top of your homepage. Across the UK, recruitment websites explained how working from home would affect (or not affect) clients and candidates. Interviewing via video conferencing tools or other digital platforms would have been totally alien to many candidates so websites became a way to explain what this meant and to communicate to them by what means you would send instructions. We have all now become used to looking at a website first for the information we need and that will not change so ensure you continue to regularly update your recruitment website.   

Reassuring clients and candidates

2020 has been an incredibly challenging time for recruitment businesses but also for candidates and clients. What everyone craved was reassurance. When nothing was certain, clients and candidates alike appreciated knowing that you are continuing to operate business as usual, just in a different capacity. When the pandemic hit, businesses across the world utilised their websites to send out clear messages of support to their customers. It was the perfect place to display not only a company’s measures and procedures in response to government guidelines but also to reach out to clients in incredibly worrying and challenging times. Without the ability to meet anyone in person, business websites truly became the face of the company. Many communicated their company’s individual response to the crisis and their pledge to help their customers via their websites. Using your website to keep everybody informed of any changes made and to reach out to clients and candidates, sending a message of support, had and continues to have a huge impact – these are the things people will remember and appreciate when the business starts to return to normal.

Allowing clients and candidates to ‘meet’ you

Your ‘meet the team’ page has never been as important as it has this year. People want to see the human side of companies so inviting them to meet the team and your office in a virtual capacity has real value. Photos, backgrounds, individual stories, their likes and dislikes, interesting facts – all of this helps visitors get a feel for your team. After all, recruitment is very much a people-focused industry so let visitors get to know you. Make the copy light-hearted, make it personal, make your recruitment company and its people seem personable and approachable. Perhaps include videos to really bring your team to life. Showing a human side to your company is even more important at a time when we are all confined to our homes and unable to meet anyone face to face or visit an office. 2020 has shown us the incredible need for human connection that we all have and, with the world becoming increasingly digital, displaying this through websites will be essential.

Sharing advice and insights through helpful content

2020 was the year we all found ourselves at sea. With new measures continuing to come into force with speed and daily advice given, it is hard for any of us to know where we stand as a business and as an industry. This is where recruitment websites were – and continue to be – a huge help. A well-utilised website became a portal for news and advice on how the latest information affects both candidates and clients. Whether you have a page dedicated to blogs, articles and insights or you simply have a space on your homepage, take the time to post interesting and helpful content. Link to relevant government advice and industry articles or, if you can, write your own content. Not only will this boost your ranking on search engines, it will also help to drive traffic to your website and hopefully keep it coming back. Be the recruitment company to offer help and advice and you will build trust and brand enhancement.

Communicating company values

Your website is your online ID and should therefore also be your mouthpiece, reflecting and communicating your brand values. What you stand for is vitally important in a world that is undergoing an intense change in the midst of a global pandemic and an international fight for diversity and inclusivity. Using your recruitment website to communicate key messaging will simultaneously convey important information and cement your branding. On your blog page, write about the industry topics that matter to you. Display important policies on issues such as D&I somewhere highly visible. Tell visitors about any charity work you are involved with. Communicate how you are dedicated to helping clients and candidates. Show your company’s personality through everything from the tone of the copy to the design choices. Your website should be a true reflection of who you are as a business and what you stand for.      

Whilst people are the lifeblood of a recruitment company, your recruitment website should be the digitally beating heart of it, communicating and showcasing each part of who you are and what you can offer. Now more than ever you need your website to work hard for you so maximise its potential to help your recruitment company stand out for all the right reasons. In a world without events and physical meetings, it’s your stand at the recruitment exhibition, it’s your voice, it’s your virtual office. With the accelerated digitalisation that Covid-19 has brought about, your website needs to wear all hats for you to stand out and compete in 2021 and beyond.

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