The Internet has delivered a revolutionary impact on society. Prior to its inception, consumers had to physically visit stores to buy products, organizations relied on paper-based methods of operations, and social relationships were based on face-to-face or telephone interactions. By enabling a “network society,” the Internet has changed all of that, including the way businesses attract new talent.
According to an article published in the International Journal of Selection and Assessment, “Organizations’ websites have become a major recruitment tool and source of information for potential applicants.” Through the organization’s website, candidates can get a feel for the company culture—those who believe that the culture fits their own cultural preferences are more likely to apply. Therefore, the organization’s website is essential to attracting the right people.
Job Seeker Internet Trends
Over half of the nearly 20 percent of people worldwide who change jobs every year use the Internet to seek employment, according to the Society for Human Resource Management. Further, a study by The Boston Consulting Group and Recruit Works Institute revealed that 55 percent of those surveyed searched for new jobs online—as opposed to 36 percent who searched via paper mediums such as newspaper ads, 33 percent who depended on referrals, and 24 percent who went directly to the prospective employer to inquire about a position.
Studies also show the following for American job seekers:
–45 percent have applied for employment online;
–79 percent use social media to look for work; and
–28 percent, including 53 percent of 18- to 29-year olds, have used a smartphone as part of a job search—such as to research job listings, call or email a potential employer, fill out an online job application, or create a resume or cover letter.
Attracting Job Seekers Online
Website Design: An organization’s website is usually the first point of exposure that potential employees have with the organization. The site should give job seekers a solid idea of the organization’s values and culture so they can form favorable or unfavorable first impressions about the company. Research shows that a good website design inspires people to thoughtfully process and recall the information being presented.
Information processing isn’t just about the amount of information presented to applicants; it’s also about how the information is offered and communicated. For example, the website design should be aesthetic and up to date while making clear why the organization is a great place to work.
Visibility: There’s no use having a great looking website if applicants cannot find it on the web or if it’s difficult for them to find what they are looking for on the site. Organizations should create an SEO strategy for increasing their website’s search engine visibility; this will enable job seekers in and out of the business’ region to easily find you on the web.
Additionally, with job seekers today being tech savvy, they expect to effortlessly locate what they are looking for on your website. For example, applicants should be able to quickly browse through available jobs and apply through the site. Consider a portal that allows applicants to create job profiles and establish customized search filters. Also, insert call to action buttons—such as “Apply” or “Search”—strategically on the site to prompt immediate action.
Mobility: With so many job seekers using their smartphones to look for jobs, it’s important to have a mobile responsive website. Although the mobile version of your website may differ in some ways to the desktop design, it should be no less attractive or easy to navigate. You may need to shorten job descriptions, nix steps that aren’t absolutely necessary, and reduce the number of pages. Candidates will apply, so long as they can access essential information and quickly upload their resume.
Note that leveraging mobile technology is virtually a requirement when appealing to Millennials, who are always on-the-go and are attached to their mobile devices.
Social Media: Job search has become one of the primary reasons people join and use social networking websites—especially professional networking sites, such as LinkedIn. An article published in the International Journal of Selection and Assessment included the following quote, which perfectly sums up the benefit of social networking sites from a recruiting standpoint:
“Social networking sites provide a readily available public forum to research candidates while incurring minimal cost, allowing even small businesses to engage in such practices.”
Often, the best candidates are already taken. Social networking sites can be an effective way of reaching these passive job seekers. Although they are not actively looking for work, passive job seekers may consider your offer if they view it as an opportunity.
June 27, 2017
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