These days, everybody is talking about search engine optimization (SEO) which, as the online traffic coordinator for iCIMS, I know a bit about. Is my website optimized? Is my blog optimized? Are my tweets and social networking profiles optimized? These are some of the more common SEO questions people are asking themselves. The internet is a busy place and it can be hard to get noticed, but HR professionals should be asking themselves one important question: Are my job postings optimized?
Companies spend a fortune listing their open jobs on job boards, but recruiters are starting to realize that getting access to the best candidates may not be as simple as signing that fat check. More and more candidates are starting their job searches with a visit to a search engine, not a job board. If the first point of debarkation for candidates is no longer the job board, the portion of the talent pool which can see certain job postings may be significantly reduced. This shift in candidate behavior has led me to come up with the following suggestions for HR pros to maximize their jobs’ exposure.
- Use appropriate keywords in your posting - A lot of job descriptions boil down to being acronym soup. Make sure that you actually spell out what you’re looking for in the description so that you capture people who search for “Human Resources Manager,” rather than “HR Manager.”
- Keep your postings where they are – The more sites they are posted on, including your friendly neighborhood job boards, the better. This is especially true if they link to the posting on your company’s career portal.
- Avoid using flash-based interfaces and portals – Flash-based sites are indexed by search engines as blank and, in many cases, forego the benefits of search engine optimization. You need to make sure that you use appropriate keywords and that the search engine can read them.
- Make sure your talent acquisition software enables SEO – Did you know that you can turn off search engine indexing for security purposes? What I find strange is that some providers of talent acquisition and talent management software do just that on their career portals, robbing their clients of valuable traffic.
- Employ adequate candidate-screening capabilities – You will be tapping into a new source of traffic for your job postings and thus have more candidates to screen through. Your time is valuable, so make sure that your talent acquisition software can handle the load for you by auto-responding to candidates who do not qualify.
As companies start hiring through this recovery, the best talent will be the first to go. HR professionals owe it to their organizations to do what they can to get in front of the best candidates. While that may not mean an immediate investment in new technology, it’s certainly something to keep an eye on.