Avoid These Five Common Talent Acquisition Mistakes

Focusing on candidate experience has been a growing trend in the HR community, and with many candidates applying directly to the company they wish to work for, a career site with the end-user in mind is more important than ever. To ensure that candidates aren’t lost in the midst of an inefficient process, managers should strive to optimize the application experience.

Here are the top five mistakes companies make with their career sites and ways to fix them.

No search function on main site. The first action a candidate typically takes on career site is to conduct a job search. However, most companies lead with an “About Us” page. While this information is important throughout the decision making process, chances are if a candidate came in through the main page, he or she already knows what the company does.

Instead, branding should be embedded within the apply and search process. A career site should have a readily available search process (keyword, job or location) on the main page to increase the immediate capture of candidates. The informational content about the employer should live within those individual job pages.

Unclear apply path. If it takes several clicks to see any job postings, candidates will likely be lost along the way. Not all candidates are versed in navigating a website, so it’s important to make it easy.

Keep the apply path clear by nixing ambiguous or misleading terms such as “opportunities,” “open positions” or “careers” in the call to action. Is “opportunities” where a candidate searches for jobs, or where a candidate learns about the growth path? Call “job search” by its name and provide an intuitive experience to ensure that the applicant pool isn’t compromised by processes that lead to drop-off.

Lack of landing page segmentation. Many career sites are a one-stop shop for all hiring needs, filled with content to reach applicants for everything from an IT to marketing position. However, if a company were hiring a lot of software engineers, it probably makes sense to have career site content relevant to that specific audience.

Building versioned landing pages for each job type allows an employer to market those pages individually with content such as a blog post from the hiring manager or a video of a recent project. This helps the candidate see himself or herself in the role and ensures that the employer is attracting talent with the specific skills needed for the job.

No social capture or quick capture. According to CareerBuilder internal research, 34 percent of candidates who try to apply for a job don’t complete it due to a frustrating application process. And elsewhere this number has been reported at upwards of 50 percent. However, the majority of applicants will use Facebook or LinkedIn to log in, or they tend to complete a basic form if prompted early in the process.

Capturing even those passive candidates who do not complete an application is an important tactic. It allows a recruiter to reach out to those passive candidates at a later date and invite them back. Most major applicant tracking system companies now offer technology for candidates to leave this information, and by failing to capture it employers are failing to capture potential candidates.

Apply or goodbye: No opt-in capability. A career site’s top goal is to get candidates to apply, but what happens if they don’t? What if the type of candidate the company normally hires completes the application process, but that position has no current vacancies? There’s no reason the company should lose that candidate forever.

If jobs aren’t available at the time of application, companies should provide candidates the opportunity to opt in to a social media community or email communications, or drop off their contact information for the remarketing of future job openings. This helps maintain a deep pool of future applicants and allows these candidates to proactively return to the career site and apply if re-engaged effectively.

Adam Wiedmer is the strategic sourcing manager at Seven Step Recruiting, a professional services corporation. He can be reached at editor@talentmgt.com.