While working on a research project with the NEW Manufacturing Alliance, I talked to several manufacturing owners and human resources professionals about their challenges recruiting top talent. As our conversations developed, we discovered a common hurdle for these companies: They weren’t reaching the right applicants for the roles they needed to fill.
We dove deeper and discovered valuable insights into what makes manufacturers stand out in the eyes of potential employees and how manufacturing employers can make simple changes to their website to boost credibility and brand authority.
As you analyze your recruitment efforts leading into the fourth quarter, evaluate your website for areas that can be improved to attract top talent, rise above competitors and create impactful brand awareness.
Audit your website
Auditing your website is an opportunity for you to step back and analyze the performance and authenticity of your company’s brand through its webpages. Although it can be difficult, you need to be candid about whether your website is truly meeting the needs of a potential recruit. Try to look at your website through their eyes. Does it make you want to work there?
The following questions can help give you a window into your audience’s perspective. As you audit your website, give yourself an honest grade on these standards for recruit-friendly websites:
• Does my company’s websitehave a dedicated careers section (at least one page)?
• Is the culture of my workplace infused across all pages?
• Is the website design modern, easy to use and mobile-friendly?
• How well does our companystand up to our competition?
After completing your audit, make a list of all areas of improvement within your site. Remember — not all of these improvements have to take place at once. Take little steps each month to optimize and organize your pages to better suit your target audience.
Get organized, get optimized
Once you’ve completed your list of improvements, get to work organizing your content and optimizing your website. Prioritize the following areas to maximize the impact of your efforts.
1. Your careers page
Go beyond just a job postings page and have a place dedicated to sharing your company’s workplace culture. When a potential candidate is reviewing your site, you want them to know not just what your company does, but who your company is. What kind of people work there? Why should they want to be a part of your culture? Use aspirational language that speaks to their interests and future opportunities to help potential employees better picture themselves working for your company.
2. A recruiting position statement
Take some time to write a 50- to 75-word “elevator pitch” for candidates that you can share on your careers page. This statement should define your company’s ideal candidate, identify a unique benefit you offer and back your claim with metrics.
3. The user experience
Think of the potential candidates visiting your careers page going down a sales funnel. Don’t lead with job postings — effective online recruitment is more than just an application transaction. Rather, have users scroll through your company’s culture and benefits. Make them feel invested in the experience so when they eventually get to the job postings, they feel knowledgeable about the employer to whom they are sending an application. On the back end, embed a human resource information system into your careers page. If you are not able to embed, skin the portal to match the careers page. This helps give a seamless and easy experience for your audience. You can also offer a short-form application — or ditch the traditional application entirely and offer a tour in its place.
4. Employee testimonials
Identify three to four candidates who can represent your company through testimonials. Make sure the candidates’ interviews are conducted in a confidential manner through a third party. This way, you can ensure an accurate testimonial for your recruits to consider. How you want to share these testimonials on your careers page is up to you. It can range from showcasing candid and prompted video interviews to employee photo graphics with pull-quote overlays.
5. Photography and imagery
Getting professional shots of your workplace is an easy way to up your website’s overall impression on visitors. Focus on showcasing your people in organic, candid settings. Having a human element within your photos helps show your culture in a way that words cannot. When photographing the workplace, make sure the images portray an accurate sense of the environment your potential hires would be placed in.
Start now, even if small
Even small improvements to your website can have a big impact on your target recruit, so start today by making the changes you can manage internally. If you need to partner with outside support, consider leveraging budgets traditionally reserved for talent acquisition firms. Spending
these dollars on your own website will likely return the investment even quicker.
Mike Dockum is an account strategist at Element with more than 15 years of B2B marketing experience. He specializes in working with clients to define their challenges and develop marketing solutions that are timely, creative and effective.