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10 tips to elevate your career site and enhance the candidate experience

December 20, 2023
7 min read
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When a candidate clicks on your career site, what will they experience? What will they feel? And what will they do next?

A career site has the power to convert a curious job seeker into a star employee. To do so, your career site needs to offer detailed information about open positions, give viewers an idea of your employer brand, and show what your organization has to offer – from your great dental plan to your quirky company traditions.

When a career site lacks these elements, it doesn’t just leave curious candidates wanting more. Instead, it may be pushing job seekers toward your competition and increasing your sourcing costs.

Attract candidates and drive applicant rates with a career site that jumpstarts the candidate experience. You’ll stand out from the competition when you offer a site that shows candidates why they want to work for your company, what roles they can apply for and how to get started — right now.

Below are 10 best practices you can implement to elevate your career site, paired with real-life examples of employers that are nailing it.


1. Showcase your employer brand

Your employer brand encompasses your mission, values, culture and personality, according to The Society for Human Resource Management. Employer brand is an important part of any organization’s employee value proposition, as it shows job seekers why a company stands apart from its competition. A career site isn’t complete without it.

To establish your employer brand, start by stating your mission, and tell job seekers how open roles  connect to your organization’s overarching purpose. Teach applicants about your company’s history. And give them an idea of what you value, whether that’s passion, innovation and excellence, or collaboration, curiosity and dedication.

Most importantly, be clear about what candidates will gain by working at your company. In addition to things like compensation and benefits, what’s in it for them?

See it in action: Caleres educates job seekers on company history and invites them to reach their full potential while collaborating with fellow creatives.


2. Follow your branding guidelines

Your company’s branding will give you a lot of direction for your career site. Take its cues: Your career site should feel very similar to your main site.

Your company brand will impact your career site and your candidate experience. Remember that the opposite is true, too. According to iCIMS’ 2023 Talent Experience Report, 56% of people would be less likely to be a consumer of a brand if they had a subpar candidate experience. In other words, a poor candidate experience could turn a brand loyalist into your competition’s next best customer.

See it in action: On the careers page of The Cheesecake Factory website, visitors are met with the colors and fonts they know and love from the restaurant.


3. Jumpstart onboarding via video

Videos are everywhere these days. Why shouldn’t they be on your career site, too? Add short, informal videos of your employees telling candidates what it’s like to work at your company. When job seekers see the footage, they’ll feel more connected to your organization and envision themselves working there.

These videos will help you attract the right candidates to your company, provide additional information about open roles and jumpstart the onboarding process. See best practices for videos here.

See it in action: On the CommonSpirit Health career page, job seekers hear from an executive, a recruiter and a nurse about what their employee experience might be like.


4. Carve out a page for each department

When companies carve out career pages for specific departments, they help job seekers see where they’d fit in and how their future department operates. Departmental career pages give the company a chance to speak specifically about a department’s mission, the expectations of roles within that team and the culture new employees will find there.

See it in action: PSA Airlines organizes its career site role by role, from first officers to flight attendants.


5. Explain your DEIB strategy

A sense of belonging is fundamental to a workplace where all employees feel accepted and valued. But only 43% of respondents in the iCIMS 2023 Workforce Report say they feel a sense of belonging at work. Show candidates how your organization makes sure everyone feels welcome by explaining your approach to diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging.

See it in action: Encompass Health includes a full report on its DEI page that discusses the company’s goals and progress.


6. Align with HR to feature benefits and total rewards

Benefits are a big deal to job seekers. More than half of employees say they would accept a job offer with lower pay to get a better benefits package, according to a recent study from Aflac. Companies should capitalize on the attention benefits receive by spelling out what they offer, from health plans to training opportunities. Work with HR to make sure the information you feature is accurate and as detailed as possible.

Depending on your location, you may be legally required to feature information about salary ranges wherever you post your open roles, including on your career site. HR will help you determine what those pay ranges look like and the language you should use to introduce them. This step may require a lot of effort — especially on HR’s part — but in addition to keeping you compliant with the law, it may also help you attract candidates, many of whom expect to see a salary range on job posts. In fact, 43% of entry-level applicants would not apply for a job if the salary range wasn’t posted, according to iCIMS’ Class of 2023 Report.

See it in action: Global Medical Response gives job seekers a sneak preview of its benefits on the main page of its career site, which links to a fuller explanation that details more offerings.


7. Be clear about work arrangements

Remote and hybrid work is so widespread these days that it’s important to be clear about where, when and how you expect employees to work. If you can offer flexible work options, promote that heavily on your career site. Eighty-one percent of global desk-based workers want flexibility in where they work, and 93% say they want flexibility in when they work, according to a poll from the FutureForum.

See it in action: Kingfisher showcases its hybrid work policy, emphasizing employees’ freedom to choose how they split their week between the office and home.


8. Get specific about how you hire

Candidates are done with being in the dark during the application process. In iCIMS’ 2023 Talent Experience Report, respondents said that a lack of communication and updates from employers was the most frustrating part of the application process. Eighty percent said that receiving updates during the process would improve their experience and perception of the employer.

Employers can ease these frustrations by providing information about their hiring process on their career site. A simple breakdown of the timeline the application process generally follows will help candidates visualize the journey ahead of them. It may even prompt them to take the first step and submit their application.

See it in action: SoftwareOne explains its application process with a clever graphic titled: “Six steps to your dream job.”


9. Include an invite to your talent community

What about the job seekers who like your company but don’t see the right opportunity? Nurture their interest by inviting them to a talent community. They’ll sign up for a newsletter that updates them on the latest opportunities, career events and company news. And you’ll have a way to stay in touch when the perfect role for them opens up.

See it in action: ICON’s invite to job seekers is obvious — but it’s not intrusive. Candidates will see it no matter where they are on the career page.


10. Show off your external awards and ratings

Don’t be shy about your five-star rating on Glassdoor. If you’ve won awards for your employee experience or have been publicly celebrated as a great place to work, tell candidates. External reviews and third-party accolades go a long way in verifying what you’ve been saying all along: that you offer a top-notch employee experience.

See it in action: The iCIMS career site is loud and proud about the awards and accolades we’ve collected as an employer. We don’t want to brag, but we’ve earned quite a few.


Update your career site

Ready to revamp your career site? Follow these steps to create a winning business case for your career site redesign. 


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About the author

Anna Ruby

Anna is passionate about empowering businesses to grow profits through purpose. She enjoys using her creative and marketing backgrounds to tell compelling stories and hopes to inspire business leaders to choose solutions that deliver tangible results.

Bitten by the creative bug at a young age, Anna graduated from Stephen F. Austin State University with a BA in theatre. In addition to acting and directing, she enjoys DIY projects, gardening and obstacle course racing.

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