Your career site is your company’s most important recruitment channel and the top resource candidates use during their research process. A report from LinkedIn says that your company website is the first destination for research (53% of candidates), followed by LinkedIn (38%) and job search engines (35%). Candidates are looking for company values, what current employees have to say about working for your company, transparency (especially in job descriptions), and what makes your company stand out in your industry.
The Difference Between A Company Career Site and Recruitment Landing Pages
However, it’s also important to understand that there is a difference between your career site and your recruitment landing pages. Landing pages are a tool for marketers, in this case, recruitment marketers. While the purpose of your career site is to appeal to job seekers by highlighting your employment brand and defining what makes your company stand out from your competitors, landing pages are intentional platforms used for building and nurturing talent funnels with a specific conversion goal (for example, applications from qualified candidates). A recruitment landing page is designed with one very intentional conversion goal: to find the right talent for your business and increase job applicants.
Landing pages are optimized, meaning that they follow good content and SEO practices for organic traffic, as well as targeted for paid campaign traffic. They can be extremely powerful for a one-off position, as well as for ongoing or evergreen positions and in your diversity recruiting and hiring efforts.
How to Optimize Your Recruitment Landing Pages
Now that we’ve established the difference between your (very important) career site and landing pages, here are five best practices to boost engagement and conversions on your recruitment landing pages.
- Social engagement. Your landing pages should be easy to share on social media. Many people searching online for jobs know people who are doing the same, or are in Facebook or LinkedIn groups for your industry. Even if the person visiting your page isn’t interested in the position, it’s likely they know people who are. Making these pages easy to share through social media or email with click-to-share buttons can help broaden the reach for the job listing. You can even include the embed codes for career description videos so they can be used on blog posts and other sites.
- Clear call to action. Visitors need to be compelled to stay on your landing page and take a specific action. Too many CTAs could confuse your visitors, resulting in fewer conversations. When faced with too many choices or too much information at once, people tend to freeze up and decide to do nothing. Stick with one or two significant calls to action. As you’re developing your pages, it’s good practice to test your CTAs by adding one at a time and monitoring the results as you go, or if you’re using marketing automation software, set up an A/B page conversion test.
You should also consider the button text, or the text on your CTA. While “next” might prompt an action, it isn’t clear to the user where “next” will take them. “Apply Now” is always a solid CTA. “Learn More” seems to be an intuitive next step, and it would be fine on your career site, but your landing page should have all of the information a candidate needs about the position. “Learn More” buttons or links are fine at the bottom of the page to make the page “sticky” and keep a candidate on your site to see other open positions, more details about your perks and benefits, or a specific benefit like a training and development program. Learn More should not be a primary CTA.
- Responsive. According to a report from Snagajob, 82% of job seekers are now searching for jobs from their smartphones. Your landing pages should be responsive, or mobile friendly. Visit your own pages from your phone. Is the experience and application process as good on mobile as it is on desktop? It’s worth taking the time to create an exceptional mobile experience. An Aberdeen Group study found that responsive design on landing pages resulted in a 10.9% increase in conversions per year, compared to non-responsive design that only had 2.7% yearly growth.
- Optimized. You don’t have to be a SEO expert to make your landing pages rank in search. Search engines love fresh content; a static site won’t rank as high in search. Make yours dynamic and you’ll stand out. Consider what job seekers will search for in order to find your pages and use that content (sparingly – stuffing posts with keywords doesn’t do the trick) on your landing pages. You can use your Google Adwords planner tool or a Chrome plugin like Keywords Everywhere to identify high volume search keywords and strings (long tail phrases) that can help your landing pages rank higher in search.
- Media. Consider mixing different types of content to engage a diverse audience – including photos, video, and written content. If your company is active on social (and you should be), choose your most active channel and create a widget that streams content from Instagram, for example, where you show off what it looks like to work for or with your company. Create a short video touting the benefits the specific job on a landing page. Not only does it give visitors a reason to stick around, you’re giving them more memorable information and an inside look at the position for which you’re hiring. Bonus: Search engines love video content.
Bonus Tip. Don’t forget to upload your videos on other video sharing sites to help drive passive traffic to your career site. Sites like Vimeo, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Pinterest help increase the likelihood that qualified job seekers will view your video and complete the ultimate candidate conversion act of applying for your job.
Career Page Content Improves Candidate Application Rates
Finally, your landing pages are crucial to engaging next-generation candidates, improving your candidate nurturing in a tight talent marketplace, and are no longer a “nice to have” part of your recruitment marketing strategy. If you want to be competitive in this marketplace, recruiting like a marketer is one of the most important things you can do to keep up with your competitors. Strategic landing pages are used by 68% of businesses to acquire leads. (Marketo, 2018) If your company is competing with any of those in that 68%, you’re going to get benched before the game starts. Without them, your talent funnel could shrink considerably once you get past the awareness and consideration stage.