By Katelyn Hunter, Digital Manager – Career Website & CRM

A best-in-class consumer-grade career website is a must. It’s a company’s shop window – allowing candidates to see what work-life might be like, the opportunities your company offers, and the people they may work with.

Your career website is the most important recruiting channel and main conversion point for all recruiting activities. According to Clinch research, a gold-class career site converts 37% of visitors to complete job applications, which is three times more than the industry average. Career websites are also the main place candidates go to research companies – 59% will visit a company website after finding a job they like. Returning visitors are even more important: they’re four times more likely to be hired, according to Clinch research.

So, what makes a best-in-class career website? The first and most essential piece is to know what your candidates want. LinkedIn's 2022 Global Talent Trends Report found:

  • 63% look for work-life balance
  • 60% look for compensation & benefits
  • 40% look for colleagues & culture

Knowing what candidates are looking for should tell you that your career site is not just a place to list open jobs and include a paragraph about what makes you great. A best-in-class career website should do the following:

Highlight the company culture and employee value proposition
What promises are you making to employees? This is a chance for you to outline things like flexibility, work-life balance, employee well-being, professional development opportunities, diversity and inclusion, and authentic employee testimonials.

Make candidates feel like it was made for them
With technology ever-changing and items becoming quicker to find and personalized to the user, the same is now expected of the job search. Elements such as keyword search, chatbot technology, talent communities, mobile optimization, recommended jobs based on browsing history and more are becoming table stakes.

Drive conversions
Remember, your career website is the main conversion point for all talent acquisition activities. Make sure jobs are easy to find, the application experience is simple and straightforward, to optimize for SEO, and all paths lead toward a conversion. A good career site can lead to a 30%-50% cost reduction in sourcing spend year on year, according to Clinch research.

Now to put that into practice. Here are the key elements that every successful career website has:

The right technology
Design a website that makes it easy for job seekers to find relevant information and jobs. Place a keyword search at the top of the page, use a chatbot to help candidates find the right jobs and answer commonly asked questions, and include buttons to join a talent community throughout your career website. To measure success, be sure to also use technology that provides useful metrics.

An employee value proposition
What makes your company stand out? Why should someone choose to work for you versus a competitor? Think beyond overused statements about growth, opportunity and being part of a team that cares. Emphasize those true differentiators. Also, it’s good to include the company description, company values, awards, benefits, team, and locations.

Authentic employee content
Your career site should highlight real employee stories and testimonials. Before deciding where to apply, 83% of job seekers look at reviews and ratings of companies. Applicants also prefer to hear from employees versus a CEO, as they consider them to be more trustworthy and credible.

A career blog
Similar to employee stories, a career blog allows a company to provide candidates with authentic content. It offers an inside look at a company without overcrowding existing pages and making the user experience feel overly complicated.

Transparency of the hiring process
Amid the global talent crunch, being transparent in the hiring process is extremely important and can make or break a candidate’s decision to apply. Tell the candidate exactly what to expect in your hiring process. Bonus – give them a roadmap!

Job descriptions
Job descriptions are key to conversion. Gone are the days of bulleted lists of the role and responsibilities. Great job descriptions creatively deliver the information essential in the decision-making process. They provide candidates with immediate insight into the job and company culture.

Short application forms
Due to length and complexity, 60% of job seekers will quit a job application in the middle of filling it out. Make sure your application is concise. Gather only the essential information – you can always get more later in the hiring process.

In today’s digital world and with attention spans shorter than ever, having a best-in-class career website is essential and the number one way your company can drive the right conversions. Not sure where to get started? Working with a strategic talent partner can help you create a high-performing career website and other innovative employer branding solutions.

Thank you to our partners Clinch, a PageUp Company, for their contributions to this article, as well as access to their data and technology.

Katelyn Hunter

Connect with Katelyn on LinkedIn.