Career websites and your brand

Wanting your employees to feel proud of working for your brand is one key part of retention, there are many others but today I am only talking about brand. You also need the best candidates to want to join your organisation, not just anyone who needs a job. The term “best candidate” does not only refer to the best skill fit it is also the best cultural fit between the candidate and your organisation. This is why employment branding is such a hot topic in attracting and retaining staff, even in tough economic times. Let’s not forget the employee value proposition and the organisation culture are important drivers of employee engagement. Which we know without organisations struggle to deliver customer value due to the strong relationship between employee engagement and customer satisfaction. 

Best in class practice indicates that during the recruitment process organisations should target, engage, inform and respect candidates (borrowed from CareerXRoads). In addition it is very unusual for a candidate not to spend a bit of time reviewing a company before attending an interview. 

It is through the career’s website, and it’s links, that candidates answer the above questions and gain an insight into how an organisation will treat them if they were employed.

So what should be included in a best in class career website?

  • Does the site match the overall brand of the organisation? Most marketing executives would never let a print media be in non-compliance with the corporate brand so why should the career’s website be any different?
  • Can candidates determine if you have the right type of roles for them?
  • Do you explain the recruitment process so they know what to expect?
  • Do you promote the benefits of working for your organisation?
  • Do real employees provide testimonials of what it is like to work for the organisation?
  • Does it match the culture of your workforce? No point having a hip web site to appeal to Generation Y, only for them to start work and find a old school organisation focused more on command and control than free expression.
  • Is the site easy to find from the main corporate web page?

I want to pick on AMP for a minute. For my international readers AMP is a funds management company employing just over 4,000 people looking after around A$117 billion of assets under management. While the content about careers on their main web site is nicely integrated into the overall brand, the same cannot be said for the job search and application process on http://careers.amp.com.au/

By clicking the links below you will see what I mean.

Main Careers Site

Main AMP Careers Site

Jobs Site

Jobs Site

This is worse than just a bad or few missing images and a bad stylesheet. Most of the links back to the main corporate site do not work following a recent re-launch of the main site! If someone’s first entry point to AMP is via this site they are going to have a VERY poor experience. Does it show AMP is engaging, informing or respecting candidates, not at all.

So what message does this send to a candidate, maybe something like “Our marketing machine is really good, but our administrative processes are badly designed and maintained”? What about internal employees? Even more so what about the marketing team, are they aware of such a bad image?

Some potential costs to AMP of this poor integration:

  • What the abandonment rate is from the front page careers.amp.com.au site? How many people get to the site and go “Oh my what a mess” or “Am I in the right spot”? 
  • I’m not a legal eagle but are there not regulatory issues some of those broken links?
  • Some of the images on http://careers.amp.com.au/ seem to be referencing previous corporate branding approaches, does that not de-value the new approach?
  • Does the lack of integration reflect on AMP care with their investors money, I doubt it but you never know.
  • Missing out on the great candidate who abandons the application process part way through due to the branding mistake.
Any others?

5 thoughts on “Career websites and your brand

  1. I think you make some great points, and I would also add the organizations need to consider how their brand is conveyed in the external web world. Google ‘Company Name Jobs’ or ‘Company Name Careers’ and see what comes up. Do similar on YouTube, Flickr, LinkedIn, and Facebook etc. You can’t always be sure that prospects are mining your own corporate site for information on your company.

    Really enjoy the blog, cheers.

  2. It’s the classic case where the company shows, via its web presence, that it values clients over staff.

    If you think the careers site is a disaster, then you can only imagine what the intranet looks like!

    Tom

  3. @Steve Oh you are so on the money there, I have some research in the works that will shock the pants off the average marketing exec, not to mention HR Director.

    @Tom Yep I am surprised how often this is the case. But what is even more interesting is I was discussing online brand with an account exec from a large ad firm who had never thought about brand and recruitment! What scares me is so many of the BRW top 200 are getting bad advice.

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