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Why your recruitment website must be more than just a pretty face

What is the purpose of a recruitment website? It’s an important question to ask yourself when considering a new website, whether you’re starting from scratch or updating an existing one. Yes, a recruitment website should look great but it should never be a vanity project that exists merely as a shop window in stasis and left until it needs to be re-built further down the line. Your recruitment website should play a central role in your candidate attraction strategy and as such should be constantly updated and continually evolving.

This is also part of the reason a great ongoing support and maintenance service is so important – ensuring your website continues to work as it should, making updates easy, and making sure the user experience is positive each and every time someone lands on one of your pages.

Make the most of your website by using it as your very own job board, a platform to project your brand values and culture, a vehicle for clients and candidates to connect through first-class content, and you will be rewarded with in an increase of quality applications, greater interest from clients, the ability to create an internal talent pool, and a positioning as a leader in your field.

A key candidate attraction tool

Once you start considering your website as a candidate attraction tool and not merely a fancy showpiece – built, left and re-built in four years time – you can start to realise its full potential. Candidates have the choice of literally thousands of agencies and they will look at your website to decide whether they will put their trust in you – and place their future in your hands. That means, admittedly, it does need to look polished and professional, designed to attract the demographic you are recruiting and to reflect the industry you recruit for. But it also needs to inform, to engage, to excite, to reassure.

It needs to be constantly updated, regularly worked on in order to continue to attract talented candidates. Your blog page should be frequently updated with fresh content, any company news should be uploaded, new members of staff should be added to the Meet the Team page, and it should go without saying that your jobs page needs constant attention – adding new jobs and removing those vacancies that have already been filled. A website that doesn’t contain the information that candidates need is at best frustrating and at worst an active deterrent. What you don’t want is for candidates to be deterred by a website that clearly hasn’t been updated in months or even years – that can scream inaction and unprofessionalism.    

Tell people who you are and what you stand for

If candidates are going to choose you over the competition, they need to trust you and be aligned with your ethos. Your recruitment website is the perfect vehicle through which to communicate your brand, culture and values. They will want to know who the consultants are (ensure you have a Meet the Team page so that candidates can literally see who you are and who they may be working with), what the company stands for, and how they will be treated (especially as a huge amount of discretion is required for some roles and circumstances). They will be asking whether the agency has contacts with the type of companies they want to work for.

The answers to all of those questions should be readily and easily accessible and yet it is amazing how much of that kind of key information isn’t on the average recruitment website. Often they can be full of buzzwords that are simply page fillers and add no value to your website. In fact, it could be actively detrimental as candidates will see through it. It is vital that you communicate who you are rather than what you think you should say. Be honest and authentic and you will connect with far more candidates and clients.

Differentiation is key

In a crowded marketplace, communicating your USP is critical. What makes you stand out? What can you offer that puts you ahead of the competition, that will ensure both candidates and clients choose you? Weave that USP throughout your website’s content, constantly using it to differentiate your agency from your competitors. This is where your recruitment website can really work hard for you, enabling you to position yourself as a market leader, establishing industry niche expertise, and building a community. These are all vital to help you to stand out from the crowd but will need to be worked on with regular website updates.

A pipeline for the future

Keep your website up to date and it will build a pipeline for the future. Do it right and candidates will return, even if they’re not currently actively looking, or if they were unsuccessful in their application for a job, or simply didn’t find the right job at the time they visited your website. You can do that by creating a website that connects with candidates, instilling in them trust that you are the right recruiters for their needs. A regularly updated blog which provides useful content and positions your agency as a market leader and your team as experts in their field will further encourage candidates to return.

You could also invite candidates to subscribe to your newsletter which contains links to those blogs, a constant reminder that you are here, on the ball and abreast of industry news. The ability to register for a job alert if anything suitable becomes available and the provision of a CV registration function will also allow you to curate a candidate pool. As candidate availability remains relatively low and jobs are plentiful, the value of creating a pipeline is higher than ever but will be incredibly useful far into the future in an industry where speed is always of the essence.      

Your recruitment website should be an integral part of your candidate attraction strategy rather than simply a merchandising marketing function that sits alongside letterheads or printed pens. Leaving it as a static entity that looks great but offers no real value will not bring in the candidates and clients that you need. A great recruitment website is therefore about far more than how it looks, but rather how it is utilised to bring in talented candidates and new clients.

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