“Career Opportunities” is a must section for virtually all websites. Indeed, surveys circa 2001 showed that career opportunities pages were often the most viewed pages of websites.
Potential Applicants from Your Audience, in Your Industry
One of the reasons it makes so much sense to include career opportunities on your site is that many (for some sites, most) of the visitors to your site will be people in your industry. These visitors are working people, who are not reading the Sunday classifieds. While these visitors are not reading the help-wanted section of the paper, they will often take thirty seconds to take a peek at what your company has to offer. Again, surveys show prime traffic on career opportunities pages.
Showing career opportunities on your site is the single most cost-effective way to recruit from a broad pool of talent. For a couple of hundred dollars you can make career opportunities a permanent feature of your site. That’s a fraction of the cost of running a small classified display ad in a Sunday metropolitan newspaper. And what percentage of the readers of the local Sunday paper are potential candidates to fill a particular position at your firm? Websites are simply super-cost-effective recruiting tools. Your classified ads, should you continue to run them, can be shortened up somewhat by referring to the more detailed information available on your website.
Internet Savvy Talent
For some positions it may be preferable to advertise career opportunities only on the web. If you’re interested in a websavvy candidate for a position, look for them to find you on the web by using that savvy. Watch for the way they position themselves via email. Do they offer their resume in simple text as well as in a formatted Word document (plain-text is often preferred because Word documents carry harmful virus potential)? Do they simply label their attached resume, “Resume”, or do they think about the ease of the recipient in locating their attach- ment, labeling it “Smith, John, Resume for Acme Co., August 005”?
Keep Your Antennae Up
Even if you’re not currently in the market for new personnel, consider listing the opportunities you need most often. It pays to keep the antennae up for good salespeople, for example. Many astute firms will do whatever they can to create a position for the right individual. Collecting resumes ahead of time gives your company a jump in the recruiting cycle when you do need to add personnel.
Be careful that you give applicants the courtesy of a response. Recent articles have documented a pathetically poor percentage of simple acknowledgements of receipt of employment candidates’ materials. Bad manners are bad business. Go out of your way to treat applicants the way they’d like to be treated.
Write for All Viewers, not just Potential Applicants
Give a lot of thought to the writing of your online personnel ads, no matter what position you are trying to fill. It may not be only job applicants looking at your career opportunities. The way you portray yourself to online applicants, whatever the position, says a lot about the kind of company you are.
Take the opportunity to detail your benefits and culture, highlighting every positive aspect of your work environment. Make it easy for potential employment candidates to get detailed information about working at your company.
Even if you almost never require new employees, consider a Career Opportunities page for your web presence. The reason is simple. You can say on your site, “We are fortunate to have extraordinarily low turnover among staff. Our people are well-tenured, experienced and dedicated. Though we have no immediate openings, we’re always interested in speaking with bright, hard-working individuals with experience in our industry.” Imagine the impact this kind of information has for the prospective customer, supplier or partner viewing your site.
Self-Updateable Career Opportunities
It isn’t difficult to have your career opportunities pages be made self-updateable by anyone who can type. Install a password-protected area that allows the person responsible for recruiting to update your site within minutes. That Human Resources function is easily accomplished by copying and pasting traditional printed job descriptions and classified ad listings. Enhance the listings on your site – you pay no premium for space or color usage on your web presence.
Career pages may be scaled to your business. Large concerns might first separate careers into categories. Medical Associates Health Centers, MA-HC.com, categorizes opportunities as Clerical, Nursing Professional, Professional/Technical and Business professional. This way, potential nursing applicants, for example, do not have to scroll through pages and pages of non-clinical job listings to find the positions they may be interested in. This site offers a particularly good example of what a career opportunities section should look like.
Provide an Online Application
Make it possible, indeed easy, for candidates to initiate contact with you right from your employment pages as soon as their interests are piqued. It makes good plain sense to make it easy for applicants to apply. Today’s job market rewards the employer that removes barriers to doing business. Much like my fundamental philosophy that the best way to sell is to make it easy for buyers to buy from you, a great way to recruit is to make it easy for people to join you.
Provide both an online application form for submission on your website and a PDF application form – and overall application instructions – for candidates to print. Give detailed information on how you prefer to receive information. Customize your online and PDF applications to generate preliminary answers to information that helps you qualify candidates. Our online applications for programmers, for example, ask for a list of programming languages the applicant knows.
A candidate’s ability to follow your instructions, in itself, becomes another means of judging their suitability for the position.
Human Resources Events
Human Resources should have access to the company’s web events calendar. Cross-link from your career opportunities pages and list events such as job fairs, company appearances at high school and college campuses, community service events and the like. Take the opportunity to show your firm’s involvement in civic and public service activities. Human Resources, like Marketing, should be in the habit of viewing every document that gets printed for public consumption as a candidate for publishing on the web as well. From company picnics to community service sponsorships, shine a light on the positive things your company does for your people and your community.
Showcase public speaking engagements given by your com- pany leaders and community involvement by any and all personnel. Other Human Resources Postings
Look around your office. Consider putting the Little League sponsorships, blood drives and United Way campaigns, student scholarships and other positive contributions your company and your people make to the community on your site. At least make some reference to these services. These observations say something about the intangibles of your company and the people working there. Simply making the observations says something about you, via the things you find worthy of recognition.
If you ask for personal information in your online applications, we strongly recommend using encryption technology to keep that information private. Since applications require everything from complete contact information, including home phone numbers and addresses, to employment histories and social security numbers, be sure to take the extra measure of securing the data via encryption.