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Five rules for better stock photos on staffing websites

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Your website is no longer confined to an 800 pixel wide by 600 pixels, and the fold is nowhere near as big of a concern as it once was. Your new website is going to be taller and wider than it has ever been before thanks to bigger screens and users becoming much more comfortable with the idea of scrolling down the page. As a result, imagery on the web is getting bigger. Large banners, full-screen photos, and background videos have become very common, and these trends won’t go away any time soon.

It’s true that the human brain processes visual content much faster (about 60,000 times faster) than it does text, and this makes the use of photography, illustration, and video very important. With at least one image (either a photo or an illustration) on every page, it becomes clear this is a very important part of the website design process. After all, the imagery used on your site should be an extension of your brand. It should be cohesive and consistent while amplifying your message, but what it should not be is the focal point.

Stock photography can feel very, well, stock. Many stock photos try to be all things to all people, and this can lead to a very generic look that may turn visitors away. Staffing websites need to connect with clients and candidates on a personal level, and if the choice of imagery, which is likely the first thing a visitor will see, fails to appeal to them on that level, then it becomes likely that said visitor will not visiting for long.

Unless your company is going out of its way to bring in a professional photographer or to commission custom illustrations for your website, odds are you will be using stock imagery, and that’s not a bad thing if done right. Here’s how:

  1. Let your copy be the star.

    Stock Photos-Marquee
    Yes, we’re talking about imagery in this post, but what will ultimately bring in new clients and candidates is the copy on your website. Frankly, decisions aren’t being made on how great your website’s photography is, but your website’s photography can draw visitors in and keep them moving to a point where they ultimately take action. That is why your copy has to be strong and why the imagery choices have to support it.
    Check out Marquee Staffing’s website

  2. Don’t be afraid of color.

    Stock Photos-CulverCareers
    Color is very much in. Ever since Instagram made oversaturated colors and muted tones popular for the general public, it seems that there’s no escaping the look. Its popularity has been pretty consistent over the last few years and it doesn’t seem like the look is going away any time soon. The use of extra color can give already strong photos an extra pop and while giving otherwise boring subjects a lay of intrigue.
    Check out Culver Careers

  3. Don’t be afraid to get rid of color.

    Stock Photos-PBSearch
    What better way for your brand to stand out than by getting rid of the competition? Colors in a photo may clash with the colors defined by your logo and/or brand guidelines, and this may lead to a distracting and disjointed experience. Black and white photography can really make your brand colors pop and have the ability to make any calls to action be that much clearer. However, getting rid of color in a photo doesn’t necessarily mean sticking with straight black and white but rather going with a more monochrome route. Using a semitransparent solid color (be it a brand color, black, white, or something else that compliments the rest of the design) or subtle gradient will increase the contrast between the image and the text or the brand to ensure that what’s important will be no doubt be seen.
    Check out Pelham Berkeley Search

  4. Use wide open spaces.

    Stock Photos-365Healthcare
    Showcase something other than people or a boring old office. Is your company based in a cool place? Make your city the star. Do you offer travel opportunities? Give people an idea of where they can go. Wide open spaces can be used to show people something they don’t typically expect, be it a modern workplace, the great outdoors, or more.
    Check out 365 Healthcare Staffing Services

  5. Don’t be afraid to be different.

    Stock Photos-BerksandBayond
    We use the example of Berks and Beyond’s website a lot when talking about doing the right things with a web design. Berks and Beyond told us they’re not like other staffing firms and they don’t want to look that way with their new site. They wanted images that were pretty far outside the norm which gave us the freedom to get very creative and get very creative we did. Your website is one of the best chances you’ll get to make a strong first impression, and if the imagery used isn’t what visitors will see on a number of other websites, yours is that much more likely to stand out.
    Check out Berks & Beyond
    Stock Photos-QueenCG
    Another client let us go with a child’s medieval fantasy theme for their site. This allowed the imagery to really fit their brand while being consistent and instantly recognizable.
    Check out Queen Consulting Group

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