Top tips to keep candidates on your recruitment website

As competition mounts for candidates in an increasingly tough market, you need to be utilising every tool you have to attract candidates, keep them engaged and encourage them to apply for your jobs.

Your recruitment website can be a huge asset in your fight for talent. Putting in the hard work to increase traffic to your recruitment website is just the first step. How do you keep candidates on your website, lower your bounce rate and convert those leads into registered candidates and – the ultimate goal – hires? 

First impressions are made in under 5 seconds – that’s all we’ve got to lure visitors in, engage them, and send a clear message about what we want them to do. We look at actionable tips to keep candidates on your website, increase page duration and minimise that bounce rate.  

Clean formatting and navigation

Have you ever landed on a homepage only to find a confusing array of information without clear messaging, making it difficult to find what you’re looking for? It’s likely you quickly gave up and left the page.

Make it easy for visitors with clean, uncluttered formatting and clear navigation, making an obvious distinction from the homepage between the user path for candidates and clients. Ensure your navigation bar includes the main pages of your website and that it is easy to find your jobs page. 

Consider visual hierarchy – the order in which the human eye views each element of your website. Visual hierarchy can be used to delineate the importance of the content of your website so that visitors see want you want them to see first.

From F-shaped and Z-shaped scanning patterns, to clever use of colour, size and space, to the typography you choose, there are a multitude of ways to capture attention and highlight the most important elements of each page. 

User-friendly jobs page

If you have designed and optimised your jobs page well, candidates searching for jobs will be in browsing mode, taking their time to find the right job and reading the job ad carefully.

A high volume of page visits is one thing but if they are quick visits with a high bounce rate, it means those visitors aren’t engaging and they’re certainly not applying. It is vital to offer a range of job search functions to make searching for the right job easier.

The ability to refine a job search is key. Include extra fields such as job categories, salary ranges and locations to help candidates fine-tune their results. Giving users as many options as possible when searching means they can filter the results depending on their requirements. Make it too difficult and you run the risk of candidates giving up and clicking away onto a competitor’s jobs page. 

Targeted content

Your content needs to be highly targeted and relevant to your candidates. Do that and not only will you entice them to stay on your website for longer but they will be more likely to return or input their details to subscribe to regular content from you.

Reading a helpful advice article or interesting news piece will keep a candidate’s attention and increase the likelihood that they will continue to explore your website. You may want to investigate other mediums, such as podcasts, webinars or quizzes – just be sure that the content is valuable to candidates. 

What you don’t want is a blog that publishes content purely for the sake of updating the page. 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.

Engaging video

RecWebs analysis shows that the bounce rate is lower and session duration longer for recruitment websites with video as compared to those without. This is also true for pages with video compared to pages without it within the same website.

This suggests that video engages users far more than other forms of content, something that the Content Marketing Institute also found. As well as increased engagement, video can make you seem more approachable. Connections can be forged through a personable video before you’ve even met a candidate.

However, caution must be exercised when it comes to video – not everyone is a fan, there can be accessibility issues and it can slow down page load speed times. Provide text-based alternatives such as transcription or even a standalone written accompaniment so that those accessing your website via a mobile device can do so without using sound. This will also make the video more accessible for those with visual impairment.

Ensure your videos aren’t too long or you risk visitors clicking away – you need to engage them immediately and hold their attention. There’s a huge variety of video that can be included on recruitment websites, from brand videos, to event videos, how-tos, to testimonials, news to background videos. Keep it clear, concise and combined with words for the greatest engagement.

Fast page load times

What’s the quickest way to lose visitors? A slow page load time. It doesn’t matter how great your website looks or how interesting your content is, if it takes too long to load visitors will leave before they’ve even properly landed.

Google’s current recommended page load time is 2 seconds – any longer and your ranking will be affected. This is because the longer a page takes to load, the higher the probability that the visitor will bounce – and this is even more likely with mobile visitors. 

Google found that as page load time rises from one to ten seconds, the probability of a mobile website visitor bouncing increases by 123%. For all visitors, the likelihood of bounce increases by 32% as page load time goes from one to three seconds. Clearly, speed matters.

Page speed load times can depend on a number of different factors, from image and video sizes, to too many plugins and/or widgets, to inefficient code. You can use a free tool such as GTmetrix to test and monitor your page load speed, as well as simply trying it out yourself on different devices.   

In a candidate-short market, ensuring that you keep candidates on your website, engaging with your content, travelling through your website, and ultimately performing one of your goals (registering their CV, applying for a job, contacting you) is vital. Anything that you can do to reduce your bounce rate and increase visitor page duration will help to boost conversions.  

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