Why An Engaging Careers Site Matters

by John Calderon on January 11, 2022

The job market is hot right now, with many people not only job searching in the wake of the pandemic, but also being more selective about which jobs they apply to. This is likely to increase even further in the new year, when job applications are traditionally at their highest anyway. That’s why it’s so important that your organization has a careers site that stands out and is engaging to job seekers. You might have some of the best perks and opportunities for professional growth out there, but if your careers page doesn’t catch someone’s attention, they would never know it. 

You shouldn’t rest on your laurels and assume the best talent will come to you. Instead, do everything in your power to actively recruit qualified candidates. That includes refining job listings, defining your organization’s employer brand, and revitalizing careers sites. Below, we’ll explore several reasons why an engaging careers site matters if you want to attract the best talent possible.

People have short attention spans

A recent study by Microsoft found that the average human attention span dropped to eight seconds, down from 12 in the year 2000. Add to that the fact that there are more jobs available now than in a very long time, you’ll be competing with many other factors when trying to get quality applicants. If your careers site isn’t visually appealing or is difficult to navigate, the higher the chance of losing job seekers’ attention. Incorporating high quality visuals such as pictures of your office site and employees, or short videos explaining the organization’s goals and values are a good way to capture short attention spans. 

You should certainly also include copy that addresses things like your organization’s culture and employer brand, but keep them concise and easy to read (no tiny fonts or hard-to-read colors). Apply the newspaper rule, putting the most important information “above the fold,” or in the area a person views first on a page before scrolling down. If you have subcategories or menus on your careers site, make sure they are easily navigable.

People want to know how your organization stands out

Job seeking can feel like a job itself. In fact, your job seeker is probably applying to dozens of jobs just like the ones you are trying to fill. While they may have an idea of what their day-to-day responsibilities will be, helping your organization stand out from the sea of other listings out there can improve application chances. Focus on what makes your agency unique in terms of what you do for the community, the culture among employees, and any specific perks that may set you apart from other jobs. If you need help figuring out what these things are, think about what made you and other current colleagues decide to apply to the agency and what is keeping them there today. Take some of the better quotes from your current employees and transform them into testimonials for your careers site, or, better yet, film a short video with the employee. This will help you speak to your ideal candidate.

People are applying to jobs on the go

While there are certainly still a lot of people who set aside hours in the day to spend on their laptop job searching, increasingly, job seekers are perusing job listings while on the go. In 2020, 61% of all job applications came from a mobile device, according to Appcast. This demonstrates a critical need for your careers page (and website at large) to be mobile device-friendly, and also as compelling visually as it would be on a desktop browser. 

People get tripped up by overly complicated applications

Let’s say you’ve done a good job of attracting page views to your careers page, and they’re intrigued enough by the content on the page to consider applying to an opening. If the process for applying to the job is overly convoluted, you can bet a significant portion of them will abandon the process. Leveraging an applicant tracking system that simplifies the process for both you and your candidates will ensure that you aren’t leaving great applicants on the table.

People are looking for a change for the better

The pandemic made a lot of people reevaluate what they’re willing to tolerate at work. Similarly, any job seeker is likely looking for a change for the better or a way to elevate their career. You should take these things into consideration when viewing your current careers site. Does the page look old school or like it hasn’t been updated in a long time? Are you highlighting the specific job benefits people might be looking for? Anything that reminds a job seeker of their current role or the status quo is likely to turn them off. So, consider a refresh to your careers page if you haven’t done one in quite awhile. Making it look nicer and hitting job seekers right off the bat with what makes your agency awesome (perks, opportunity for growth, etc.) will help promote the idea that your jobs will provide job seekers with just the change they are looking for.

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Now that we’ve discussed why an engaging careers site matters, think about what you can change in your job postings to make them more attractive to applicants with our 29 Hot Tips for Improving Job Descriptions.

John Calderon

John Calderon is the Content Strategist at NEOGOV. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from University of California, Los Angeles and has spent over a decade creating content as a marketing professional and journalist. Contact John: jcalderon@neogov.net