Improve the Candidate Experience by Fixing the Message, Not the Website

Improve the Candidate Experience by Fixing the Message, Not the Website

What is good employer branding online? For most companies, these two don’t go together well: employer branding, and online. When we test companies’ career websites with candidates, maybe one out of ten websites provokes a reaction like “now I know why I should work for this company, where I fit in and what my career path could look like”. And at the age of social media, information that is not as personalized and tangible as that, making the visitor feel like they just saw their very own future career in it, will sadly not hit home.

It’s the moment of truth when the target group is invited to the company’s “virtual home”, their career website, and exposed to their promises and offers. This is the place where the company has full control over the content, and which should represent their best shot at showing and proving what makes them the better place to work and why. Yet, most career websites inform, but don’t stand out, get under the skin and stick. They say what the company has to say, not what the audience needs to know to make a decision about their future. And if companies fail to leave a mark on their home turf, the career website, which more than 90% of job seekers rely on as a source of information, how can they win them over on LinkedIn, Facebook or other online channels?

What are the trends and solutions we can see? Over the past years, authenticity, transparency and quick responses were some of the new cornerstones of online talent communication. More recently, social and mobile channels offered a new potential to employers who dared to tap into it. And for 2014, we see matching, self-identification, insight into roles and career paths as well as online assessment as important coordinates appearing on the map of communication behavior that is natural to today’s job seekers and that employers need to learn to keep up with them.

A convincing, unique and true message is only the start because the question still remains and is asked by every individual candidate: “what will my career at your company look like”? Just as you would answer this question at a career fair by asking back “what have you done, what are you good at and where do you want to go” – that is what corporate career websites, social and mobile career sites are learning to do, too. The start page, the sections for different entry levels, the job ads, the presentation of the roles, functions and departments all constitute decision points, with the chance to either win or lose the candidate, and they are more convincing when they show different answers depending on who is asking.

After a few years of experimenting on both sides of the dialog, the roles and purposes of the different channels are becoming more and more distinct. Job seekers know where to go for what reason. They appreciate it when a career website is stable and reliable, when blogs use some space and time to tell personal stories, when Facebook is quick and unpredictable, when mobile sites are simplified, and that a serious application is not something you submit from a bus stop. Which employers manage to use the full potential of each channel while consistently aligning them with their employer brand and EVP? That is where tomorrow’s online talent communication winners will be decided.

How does your coompany improve the candidate experience by fixing the message and creating good content? 

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Björn Wigeman

Björn Wigeman is a Senior Advisor and Employer Branding and HR Communication Expert with Potentialpark, joining the firm in 2008. Wigeman is also running the important US market for Potentialpark, where he is heading a lot of global projects. Prior to joining Potentialpark, Wigeman worked with viral marketing at Rebtel.


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