Is your careers site user friendly?

Is your careers site user friendly?

To target the right talent, first you have to understand what your candidates are looking for.

People look for ease and convenience in every aspect of their lives and finding a new job opportunity is no different. When candidates are applying for positions it is crucial that the process is clear, efficient and easy to use. If not, it can have a substantial impact on the amount of applications received, as candidates can drop off at different stages of the process.

To ensure your candidate journey is a positive one, here are the 4 main points of a careers site you need to get right:

Simple Navigation

Your careers website is a key area for prospective candidates to find out more about your company. To ensure you capture job seekers’ attentions you should ensure that key information is readily available and easy to find.

We recommend using a one-click application button where candidates can upload their CV easily on either a desktop or mobile device. As well as this if you have an online chat facility on your web page already it’s a great idea for a pop up message to appear after a short period of time that encourages candidates to apply. Furthermore, having predictive search on your job search bar will help candidates to find what they’re looking for quickly and efficiently.

Red Bull Careers website – Predictive Search Bar

Optimised for mobile

Studies show that 89% of job seekers think mobile devices play a critical role in the job hunting process It is critical that if a candidate visits your website on their mobile they need to have the same positive experience they would do if they were on a desktop. To ensure this happens we recommend making sure your website is optimised for mobile or building a mobile design.

People spend less time viewing web pages when on a mobile device so we suggest using limited but attractive visual content, readable text, user friendly forms and concise language to keep candidates engaged.

Pinterest mobile careers page – focuses on visual content


Candidates want answers to their questions quickly and with the availability of live chat, they have a direct line at their fingertips. More and more companies are adding a chat facility to their careers page which adds a personal feel and can be monitored 24/7.

As well as using live chat we recommend putting all available contact channels on the website. Many large organisations have a Twitter account dedicated to careers so candidates can follow the dedicated page for the latest vacancy updates.

Spotify have a dedicated Twitter account to promote their vacancies

Keep it clear

The main objective for a careers site is to convert visitors to applicants. Making the application process as simple as possible is the key to success.

We recommend making the application as short as possible as studies show, 60% of potential candidates have quit a job application process because it was too lengthy. Single page applications may not work for every organisation but research has shown that the lowest number of applicant drop offs occur from the shortest application processes.

Spending time to look at how user friendly your careers site is will help greatly reduce the frustrations users may face and, in turn, reduce drop offs.

Interested in making your careers site more user friendly? Take a look at a site we made for Sage for inspiration.

A guide to blind recruitment

What is Blind Recruitment?

Blind recruitment refers to the removal of personal and identifiable information from a job application or CV. It is used to overcome unconscious bias and promote diversity in the workplace. By utilising blind recruitment, details of the candidate’s gender, ethnic background, age and quality of education can be removed, depending on how far the CV is anonymised.

Is discrimination still a problem?

We all like to think that as a society we have progressed substantially in the last 50 years and in fairness we have. Unfortunately though, research reveals that there are still biases in the workplace – be it conscious or unconscious.

Studies show that applicants with Chinese and Middle Eastern names must submit more applications to gain an interview than their Anglo-Saxon counterparts. This type of discrimination transcends down to generations who were born and brought up in the UK.

But it’s not just racial discrimination which can be an issue. Clifford Chance, a leading UK law firm, decided to adopt blind recruitment when a study revealed that an Eton or Oxbridge education was still a must for high flyers in a range of professions, including judiciary and acting. In their first year of using this unique recruitment method the scheme has seen its annual intake of 100 graduate trainees come from 41 different educational institutions – a rise of 30% on the previous year.

“The overall object is to make sure we never lose out on talent, wherever it comes from,” said Ms Yeates, graduate recruitment and development manager at the firm. “We need to make sure we have the very best people spread out across the whole of the UK in terms of institutions.”

Advantages of Blind Recruitment

A more diverse workforce means more money

A study conducted by McKinsey consultants identified that large public companies in the top quartile for gender diversity were 15% more likely to produce better returns than their local peers. Just a coincidence? The same applied at the bottom end of the scale – less diverse companies were less likely to do well.

“For every 10 per cent improvement in gender diversity, you’d see a 2-4% increase in profits.” says Vivian Hunt, McKinsey’s UK Managing Partner.


The Confederation of British Industry has described blind recruitment as one way to remove “criteria that could unintentionally bias managers, and give under-represented groups confidence that their application will be fairly considered”.

Widening the search for unicorns

By using the blind recruitment method people who wouldn’t have previously considered applying due to fear of rejection based on their age, race, gender or background now have the ability to show what they can do.

“If you haven’t got the best talent you’re not going to be the best, if you’re not representing the available pool of talent properly then you’re missing an opportunity,” says Alex Wilmot-Sitwell, Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s EMEA president.

Disadvantages of blind recruitment

Talent turn off

Depending on how far you wish to take blind recruitment it can lengthen the recruitment process. Some organisations adopting this method have opted to include psychometric testing or work samples prior to the interview stage, which

No interests on CVs

Some organisations have taken blind recruitment to the extreme and removed ‘general interests’ on CVs in fear that they may identify the candidate’s gender. CVs are more than just a detail of a candidate’s education and work experience. It is their preliminary outlet to highlight what they are like as a person, and without these sections CV’s can start to sound very similar – making the selection process even harder.

Extra costs

To implement this recruitment method firms will need to invest in the training and technology required to ensure that the process is implemented effectively and consistently.

Although blind recruitment cannot eliminate all incidences of bias or discrimination within an organisation it is definitely a step in the right direction. Research suggests that the potential for discrimination is significantly higher at the initial application stages than at the later stages.

While there are some convincing points for adopting the blind recruitment method we recommend that businesses should thoroughly research a range of diversity strategies before deciding which is right for them.

Have you ever received anonymised CVs or taken part in a blind application? How did you find it? Tweet us @mytalentworks and let us know. For more on diversity in the workplace check out our blog on multi-generational workplaces.

Onboarding – what’s it all about?

Onboarding. It’s what everyone’s talking about, and it’s certainly on a lot of employers’ minds. But, what makes a successful programme?

The five best practice trends are:

From event to process. Onboarding should start during the recruitment phase and last until up to six months after commencement of employment.

A multidimensional programme. Onboarding should provide an understanding of three core areas – the business, the situational and the cultural context.

Active involvement of senior management. Senior leadership input into and part own the onboarding programme.

Deployment of digital media. Technology. Whether it’s creating ‘new joiner portals’ to house all the paperwork, or using an intranet to help new starters find everything they need.

Data driven programme improvement. What success looks like is defined and key onboarding metrics are identified.

It’s never been more important to ensure employees receive the right onboarding process. Realisation is hitting that a successful onboarding programme is just as vital to attracting and retaining quality candidates as the employee value proposition, culture and candidate experience. It’s also fundamental to length of service. Without a good onboarding programme employers can expect to lose one in three new hires within a year, 22% within six months.

“We’ve seen a lot of exciting growth in onboarding during the last few years,”
Eleanor Nickerson, director of UK operations, Top Employers Institute.

But beyond onboarding is segmented onboarding, which isn’t being taken up in the same way. By segmentation here I am referring to tailoring the onboarding programmes to suit different diversity groups – gender, age, ethnicity and socio-economic status.

As it stands by not segmenting their onboarding programmes, employers are overlooking an important and effective strategy for retaining the minorities they aspire to recruit. Going from a segmented EVP to a one-size-fits-all onboarding programme misses the point. These points of employee difference need to embraced and considered within the onboarding process.

But some companies have cottoned on to this…

Some companies have acknowledged a need for onboarding innovation, but this tends to be more generally centred around interesting and novel experiences.

Some companies that are garnering attention for their creative approach to onboarding are Veson Nautical, Adobe and ZAPPOS.

Veson Nautical employ a programme called “FastStart” to encourage a close relationship between the new starter and their line manager.

Adobe do it differently via an entirely virtual onboarding experience. Providing opportunities to chat in an online “chat pod”. It also is a tool for collaboration and the sharing of ideas.

ZAPPOS is famous for its onboarding tactic, “The Offer”. This is where new hires are offered a five-week course that teaches them everything they need to know about the company and their roles.

But there is still a need for something more tailored. A more specific structure for different employees. This is where segmentation of onboarding comes in, as it represents innovation at a strategic level. Adapting to suit each individual’s circumstances.

What makes an onboarding programme stand out, and what kind of programme encourages new employees to stay in a role?

Ultimately it’s programmes that engage new starters from the offset, provide contact with managers and make objectives clear from the outset. Amongst this, a successfully onboarded employee will have all the resources to consult during their employment and be comfortable asking any questions as they arise.

Now we’ve got you thinking about onboarding, we’ll be revealing more in this series. In future posts we will explore onboarding obstacles and ways that employers work to actively get around these obstacles.

Beyond the Purple Unicorn

The Purple Unicorn used to be how Talent Acquisition leaders described the unique challenges they faced in finding talent. It’s no longer simply the case that talent is rare. More and more companies know how to find those purple unicorns – and many of them are deploying incredibly sophisticated search, tracking and selection systems to get to them first!

So, if it feels harder to hire good people today, that’s because it is! Organizations globally need to adjust their hiring strategy to sustain their advantage. Many are already doing so. As Talent Acquisition becomes a more complex picture, the most forward-thinking employers are looking beyond traditional talent pools. The Rainbow Unicorn? Trust me, there’s Diversity teams out there already searching hard every day.

Building a proactive talent strategy

The secret is having a realistic understanding around your organization and the positions you need to fill. Competitive insight allows you to understand how you can differentiate your business to the right candidate. By looking at direct competitors and those companies in your zip code, you know how your proposition competes. If you are not paying the best salary, but the culture is amazing, message that first so you can be honest and informed as to what a candidate will gain when they join.

You can’t control the job market, but you can put some effort and resource behind a few key strategies including:

1. Role validation

Whether you have a newly created position or not, the right job title is key. An initial overview of the role, competencies and attributes required helps to determine the right level, the right title and the potential pool in the local market

2. Target the competition

‘Post and pray’ isn’t working anymore. The number of roles is overwhelming.  Candidates can apply with a quick click on their phone, so they don’t read the job description or location carefully. Busy Talent Acquisition teams don’t have the time to sift through the clutter or respond to the best candidates quickly enough.

Sourcing depends on identifying those companies you admire, as well as those you compete with. Once again, it is time well spent. Think beyond your industry, beyond your traditional talent communities, beyond conventional job descriptions and challenge your own idea of what good looks like. If you can avoid limiting yourself, the appeal for top talent to make a move is even greater if a candidate has the chance to transition into another industry and broaden their own knowledge.

3. Tell your story authentically

Developing an EVP (Employer Value Proposition) showcasing what it is really like to work for your company is a key step in finding the right people to join your organization. It also helps the right people who just wouldn’t fit into your company culture to de-select themselves out of the process at an earlier stage.

Understanding ‘What’s In It For Me?’ also means thinking about how best to bring it to life. Words, imagery, video, animation, online presence? These elements work together to elevate the job description to another level. Providing a clear destination to see the message is important and to do that effectively you need a campaign.

4. Campaign Solutions

Once a segmented attraction message has been created, it is important to create a destination where individuals can be directed to – where you can share the compelling reasons as to why individuals should want to work for your company.

Campaigns can be built on job boards, but  programmatic advertising can be more effective. Programmatic offers the opportunity to deliver a deeper story which will result in more brand engagement and appropriate applicants. It will open up opportunities outside of the limited markets accessed through job boards. All channels will work in combination to ensure the audience is reached, captured and engaged, wherever they are, on whatever device they are using.

Regardless of the budget, role or timelines it pays to be prepared and informed.  Whether you insource or outsource, knowing what you need and where you think you can find the right talent is key:

  • Research and review with free tools to understand the competitive landscape.
  • Understanding your reputation in the market and that of your competitors will allow for you to be prepared to connect with passive and active candidates.
  • Sourcing and building talent pipelines saves time and money in the future as your business grows.

You start building relationships before you need them and ultimately position your organization as an employer of choice for the right talent.

The market is competitive and the outlook can be overwhelming, but knowing the attributes of your business and the places to look will help you find the best talent first.

Jody Robie is the Senior Vice President North America for Talent Works International (TWI). Talent Works International is a global talent communications firm that helps organizations around the world build effective and efficient talent strategies through our research, sourcing and creative teams. Please contact  for more information.