The candidate journey is rarely linear. Occasionally they may find your recruitment website (whether by organic or paid search, word of mouth, via a job board, through social media, or by some other means), travel to your jobs page and find a job for which they immediately apply. More frequently, however, they will take a route that is decidedly less straightforward.
Candidates act in much the same way as buyers when viewing a recruitment website. They might go through a number of stages before they commit – awareness, consideration, decision. It can be days, weeks, months, even years in between their first point of contact with you and an application being made by them. What’s important isn’t that they apply right away (they may not be ready) but that they return. So how do you encourage candidates to keep coming back to your website?
First impressions are crucial
The first time a candidate visits your website is make or break. You need to be memorable for all the right reasons. They need to remember – and be impressed by – your logo, brand name, design, multimedia, anything that stands out at first glance. On a candidate’s first visit they might take a look around, view the pages that are relevant to them but perhaps leave to check out a competitor’s website for comparison. Your website therefore needs to stand out so that they return to you and not your competitors. When they next return they’ll be in consideration mode and it’s after that point that they might convert.
A bad user experience (UX) is likely to mean a candidate won’t return to your website. In fact, it’s probably the reason they left in the first place. Negative UX will result in lost opportunities and a potential tarnishing of your brand. UX should never be an afterthought but should be at the forefront of the minds of all involved in a website project, at every stage.
Your website must be easy to use and visually appealing, compelling users to digest its content and move around its various pages, performing CTAs and eventually converting, even if that is not on the first visit. It must be easy to navigate, with clear user journeys, a clean layout, easy to click buttons, have fast page load times and offer a well-designed jobs page. Great UX is vital for recruitment websites as it doesn’t just affect candidate experience whilst they’re on your website, it can sour their entire journey – and may mean that they don’t end it with you.
Insightful blog content (published regularly!)
Be known for your outstanding content and you will have no trouble encouraging visitors to return to your website again and again. A regularly updated blog page will entice return visits but only if that content is relevant, newsworthy, thought-provoking, and/or helpful. A blog that doesn’t publish content purely for the sake of updating the page is vital. Offer valuable content, copy that will position you as an authority and a thought leader in your field, and you will stand out from many other recruitment websites. Think industry insights and trends, career advice, hot topics and important news.
Engage through email
Regular mailers remind candidates you’re always there to help and that you care about their careers. They could be in the form of advice emails (tips on CV writing or interview techniques, for example) or you could send a round-up of the hottest jobs just landed.
A newsletter that provides updates on relevant agency and industry news, plus links to recently published blog articles works really well as it provides clickable links back to your website. Repurposing content to create an engaging newsletter is a great way of fully utilising your resources and providing value to candidates. Emails ensure regular contact with candidates and help to increase trust.
Fish where the fishes are. In a recent study, 86% of candidates use social media in their job search to search for relevant jobs and engage with job-related content. Having a strong presence on social media so that candidates regularly see you will increase your presence and further your reach. Not only does a social presence boost your brand, it allows candidates to re-enter your website through relevant links.
Sometimes all candidates need is a little nudge and social media is great for that. Post as an agency but also encourage your recruiters to post – putting a face, thoughts and opinions to a name, seeing an actual person, can be so much more powerful than a company post.
An easy to use, optimised jobs page
One way to ensure candidates won’t return to your website is a poorly designed jobs page. Make it easy for candidates to search for jobs and they will return to your website to do just that. Advanced job listing features including optimised job listings, advanced search and filtering, and a job map will make searching and finding the right jobs easy. It’s important that your jobs are optimised, with the job description, job metadata and company information in a clean format. This makes your jobs easy for candidates to read and understand but it also makes it easier for them to be found by Google for Jobs – another re-entry point.
Candidate not found the right job the first time they visit your website? Giving them the option to sign up for job alerts means that you haven’t lost them. With a job alert function on your website, candidates can arrange for job alerts that match their search criteria to be automatically sent straight to their inbox. Contact is maintained and they are likely to return to your website if a job comes up that matches their requirements.
Rarely will a visitor to your website immediately convert. They may come to your website for a browse just to check you out, they may not find a job that matches their needs, or they may not even be looking for a job straight away. However, if they have already visited your website that’s a cracking start. If you can keep those visitors coming back to your website, nudging them into the consideration and then the decision stage, you’ll stand a far greater chance of conversion when they are ready to apply for a job.