Andy Curlewis headshot

By Andy Curlewis
Senior Vice President – Brand, Digital & Communications

In last week’s article, I reflected on what employer brands need to do right now to adapt their communication strategies across social media, websites and advertising. This week, let’s look at how you can best leverage your careers websites and candidate relationship management (CRM) platforms to engage candidates the right way.

With the abundance of time at home and online and concerns for the future, careers sites are likely seeing traffic soar. Interestingly, so is the percentage of website visitors from computers rather than mobile devices. Now is very much the time to be looking at these core infrastructure assets – after all, if the careers site is the shop window to the jobs available at your organization, then the CRM and application process is the cash till to your effective TA outcomes.

Content in the coming weeks will continue to be widely focused on COVID-19 coverage. Consumers and Job Seekers alike are looking for information on how companies are reacting to the ever-changing landscape, whilst job seekers and candidates are looking for information most relevant to them.

Communication Strategy

Your careers website is going to be one of the first places a job seeker or candidate looks to find information on how your company is responding to COVID-19 – and how this might impact their application or interview process. We’ve consolidated the table stakes for what and how you should communicate there (and created another infographic to go with it).

Take for example the careers site for our client Health First. Above their logo and navigation menu, they provide a notification bar with a COVID-19 update message. It quickly highlights that they’ve made changes to their job postings and hiring process, with a link for job seekers to learn more. The website’s chatbot has also been updated to provide information related to the impact of COVID-19 and answers to FAQs.
For our outreach and CRM tactics, the more progressive companies are really thinking about nature and frequency. The need to communicate core responses would include company updates and changes being made to keep employees and candidates safe as well as what hiring looks like for your company and how this is changing in a remote and/or digital context.

Health First careers website

An additional focus is to make sure that not only is the tone appropriate, but also that we do continue to differentiate whom we are and what we stand for. See a great example from Waste Management on their careers home page. They do a great job to touch on what’s important to them during this time, and if you continue down the page you can see how this directly relates to their established employer brand. The messaging still conveys who they are – but in the best way for right now. They also do a great job of supplementing the softer, brand-focused messaging with real, helpful information related to the pandemic and how their hiring processes have adjusted.

Organizations in highly competitive industries struggle to get the balance right between positive hiring messages and/or targeting competitors or industries that are adversely impacted by the situation. We are also seeing examples of companies trying to enable transitions for their furloughed or laid off workforces through referrals, network activation and collaboration for key workers or skills – take Hilton for example. Showing real care and support for these impacted workers will not only earn Hilton some good will as an employer brand, but it will make these workers far more likely to want to return and stay at the company when things turn around.

The careers website and CRM platform have long been considered core assets to enable an agile and sustainable talent acquisition solution – one that not only drives greater quality but also mitigates risk and most importantly cost. If ROI can be proven on these tools and methodology, which it largely has been, then often times it has been bandwidth that has been the biggest blocker. For many, they are looking to use this period to focus on some of these items that they could not get to previously.

Some say that the pandemic is accelerating what we have identified as some of the core components of the ‘Future of Work’ - such as automation and augmentation, gig economy and total talent, remote working and digitization. If so, we best get our core platforms set up as best we can.