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Optimizing Your Career Portal for Response: Start with Your Website (Part 1 of 5)

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“Actually, I have someone available to start immediately!”

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could say this more often – heck, ever – to clients?

We all know how tough recruiting has become; qualified candidates are worth their weight in gold right now. But even though talented people may seem scarce, they are out there – you just have to find them…and convince them to apply!

In this series of posts, we’ll explore 5 ways to attract, engage, and convert site visitors to eager job applicants. So, where should you start?

Consider your career site.

By building a better portal – one that efficiently attracts, engages and converts talent, you can:

  • Enhance job discovery – so your jobs are viewed by the right people.
  • Improve the candidate experience.
  • Increase application completion rates.
  • Fill more job orders – and build a healthier bottom line.

Here’s how to optimize your career site – and convert more job seekers to applicants:

Know your metrics.

What’s working well with your site? What needs improvement? You can’t know unless you have the right data. Here are four metrics you should track to dramatically improve conversions:

  • Bounce rate. This measures the percentage of people who land on your site and don’t visit any other pages. Start by tracking the overall bounce rate for all pages on your career site (anything above 50% is cause for concern). Then drill down to individual page bounce rates to determine which pages on your career site could use improvement (e.g., by strengthening CTAs).
  • Application drop-off. Arguably the most important career portal metric, this is the percentage of people who start, but do not complete, your application. To capture this data, make sure you have trackable pages throughout your application flow – and assign a unique URL to each page in the application process.
  • Mobile vs. desktop. You should track the percentage of traffic to your site on each type of device, as well as the performance on both mobile and desktop.
  • Page load speed. This measures how quickly pages fully render content, images and video. A site that takes more than two seconds to load doesn’t just irritate visitors (and cause them to navigate away), it’s also penalized by search engines (which makes it tougher for your jobs to get found).

Use a site-monitoring tool like Google Analytics to check your career site’s performance at least once per quarter.

Then, apply what you learn to identify the areas where you should focus your optimization efforts.

For example, if you identify a page on your site with an unusually high bounce rate, scrutinize the content to make sure it provides the information visitors would expect to find. Then, look at the way the page is structured: Is it attractive? Is content skimmable? Finally, review and strengthen the calls to action (yes, every page on your career site should have a conversion opportunity). Is it clear to people what their next step should be? Does it drive them to your job board, lead them to complete a form, or compel them to take some other desired action…or does it lead nowhere?

How can you get the performance insights you need?

Haley Marketing’s ROI dashboard shows the performance of your career portal at a glance:

  • See where your talent is coming from and how they are applying.
  • Set job performance alerts to let you know when jobs are not getting the results you want.
  • See the source and application method for every application received.

Our career portal sends weekly performance emails right to your inbox with actionable data to help you: understand how well your site is working; identify potential areas for improvement; and measure the ROI of your marketing investment.

Does your job board do all that?

Up Next: Optimizing Your Career Portal for Response: Get Your Jobs Discovered

In my next post, I’ll share ideas to help get your career site—and your jobs—found. If you’d like to read ahead, you can access the full content of our Big Ideas Newsletter article “Optimizing Your Career Portal for Response” here.

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