We are, first and foremost, visual beings. We are drawn to imagery before anything else and its ability to provoke an immediate reaction and evoke a wide range of emotions in us bestows it with great power. This is why the imagery you choose for your recruitment website is so important. Your website’s imagery is the visual representation of your business and should be aligned with your values, your ethos, and your culture. It immediately tells users who you are so it is vital that the imagery you choose tells the right story with the right message.
First impressions count
Studies have shown that it takes about 50 milliseconds for users to decide whether they like a website or not – and whether they’ll stay or leave. In fact, Google research has since found that it takes some users just 17 milliseconds to form a judgement. Another study analysing eye-tracking data found that 94% of all first impressions are design-related, with the hero image being one of the main areas on which the eye lingers. The takeaway? Your imagery needs to be eye-catching, visually interesting and engaging to avoid a high bounce rate.
But your imagery must also play into your messaging
Chosen wisely, your website’s imagery will boost your branding and visually depict your values. From the colours in the image to the photographic technique to the people shown, to the choice of multimedia, to the locations the images were shot in – all these elements give the user an immediate understanding of who you are, what you do and what your business’ values are. Think of your imagery as a vessel for storytelling, conveying your brand story in an immediate and striking way. What story do you want to tell?
The factors you need to consider are:
- The industry you recruit in
- The persona of your brand (corporate/laid-back, etc.)
- The colours and shapes in your logo
- Even the wording of your business name
For example, a company called Thunderbolt Recruitment might incorporate thunderbolt motifs within their imagery. If they are a more relaxed type of agency they might choose something more freeform, incorporating illustrations or cartoon speech bubbles, and they might choose images of casual workplace set-ups. If they’re an Education sector recruiter images of school settings would be appropriate, whereas a recruitment agency specialising in the Renewable Energy sector might choose images of wind turbines or nature-related scenes.
Your homepage’s hero image is arguably the most important on your website
Most visitors will land on your homepage first and the first thing they will see is your hero image – the large image above the fold, sometimes covering the entire page. It should instantly grab the user’s attention to keep them on the page whilst simultaneously making an emotive and informative connection with them. Its job is to impress, impart information in a visual way, bring attention to a call-to-action, evoke emotion and grant aesthetic satisfaction. What you use as your hero image depends on the industry you recruit for, the location you recruit in, and/or your business values, although it could also just be a choice of style. For example, if you recruit internationally you may want an image or dynamic animation of the Earth from space. You may simply want a stylised image of an office setting. The important thing to remember is that your hero image sets the tone for your website.
Don’t forget to consider Meet the Team photos
Allowing users to see your team and put faces to names helps to build trust, increase your approachability and make you memorable. Again, the imagery you use will depend on how you want to convey your business. Some get creative and use avatars or cartoons of their team members, others use animated photos or videos. If you opt for photos, be yourselves – don’t insist on suits if your team usually wears jeans and if you’re a corporate company don’t get everyone to pull out their hoodies when they are usually dressed more formally. Your Meet the Team page is another way to demonstrate how you work and who you are.
Choosing the right size is also of paramount importance
A small image won’t work as a hero or it will look pixelated, stretched and out of focus. Large images can affect page load speed, which can then lead to a higher bounce rate. Website speed is hugely important as not only will users give up and click away if it takes too long for a page to load, Google will also penalise you by ranking your website lower on the results pages (its current recommended load time is 2 seconds). Either scenario will reflect badly on your business as your website will look unprofessional. Images should be of high quality and the right size for each area of your website.
Ultimately, the imagery you use on your recruitment website will speak directly to your users. It will tell them immediately who you are before they have read any of your copy. Consistency of style across your website is important or it will feel disjointed and send mixed and confusing messages. Preview the images on your website first before publishing live to ensure they are right. Just remember their function – to attract attention, engage, inform, boost branding and impress. If they do all that, you’ve chosen the right imagery for your recruitment website.