Let’s set one thing straight: it doesn’t matter who you are, what you sell, or what you make, at some point and time you’re going to need to hire new employees. The best way to do this is to provide your applicants with the right tools they need: open positions, an easy to navigate job site with relatable content, and an intuitive application process.

Over the last few years working in recruitment marketing, I’ve seen just about everything that could be wrong with a company’s application process. From not having a careers page to making applicants fill out an hour long application for a job that is going to pay them £7.20/hour. Sadly, these examples are far too common and just a small slice of what I've seen. Finding ways to bring in quality applicants has been one of the last areas companies tend to think about, but as the famous entrepreneur Ray Kroc once said: “You’re only as good as the people you hire.”

Take a moment to think about your applicants’ journey, from the first time they get to your website to the final application submission. Would it be intuitive for them to find your careers page? Do you have a careers page? Do you have content pages written about what it’s like to work at your company? I don’t mean those generic pages about your benefits package or Free Pizza Fridays, I mean legitimate pages on what it’s like to work at your company. We know that not all applicants are right for your company, and that you’re not right for all applicants, so these article and video stories provide your applicants with the information they need to decide to proceed with an application or self select themselves out.

So, do you feel like your company needs a change? Content that shows off your work culture. An easier, more seamless user experience. It might be time to explore building a new, integrated careers and job site.

Sometimes it can be tough to self-critique your own career site. You know that there’s some good content on the site and you’re getting applications for your open jobs, but you might also notice it’s simply not 1999 anymore and maybe your career site needs to realise this as well.

Challenge yourself

Since I’ve got you thinking about your career site, I’m going to give you a challenge. It’s up to you if you accept the challenge — don’t worry, it won’t hurt my feelings and I won’t think you’re a bad person if you think it’s a waste of time. The only thing you will lose is an opportunity to improve your employer brand and provide your future applicants with the tools they need to turn into the employees you want. Yes, that was a bit of a guilt trip.

My challenge for you is this: take notes on your career site every time you visit it over the next two weeks. Easy as that. By taking a few moments out of each day to click around your career site, potentially read a few articles you have posted, or even fill out a full application, you will have a better understanding of your future employee’s application process and an opportunity to change how future employees view your brand.

As we’re all aboard the bandwagon now, I’ve got another challenge. Call the first one a teaser. This one is probably the most important thing you can do for your employer brand in 2016. Here we go. Take what you just learned about your site, compile your notes, and do some research about ways to improve it. I would recommend looking at recruitment blogs for content ideas or even an SEO-driven job and content platform, such as TalentBrew. Once you have your ideas clearly mapped out, request a meeting with your HR and executive team to discuss how 2016 can become the year you revolutionised your employer brand.

Digital Strategist, Metrics & Campaign Management

With more beans than a quadruple espresso, Patrick is constantly driven to explore and learn. After a sporadic journey working in video and digital healthcare marketing, he finally found his way and passion helping others to analyse and interpret their own data. As a Digital Strategist at AIA, Patrick works with clients to help them better understand how their recruitment strategies are performing, from basic website analytics to full-fledged cookie based campaign management efforts. 

Say hi to him on Twitter, where he's happy to chat data, tech, branding and where to find the best coffee in London.