Attracting and holding the right talent is an area of perennial concern, no matter what the nature and extent of a business.
Whether you’re a newly-hatched garage start-up or a legacy organization sprawled over several continents, recruitment and staffing represent a large chunk of your budget.
Recruitment websites have gained enormous popularity in recent times, and getting the right recruitment web design can make all the difference to your performance and revenues.
Recruitment: A Brief Overview
If you thought recruitment is a modern invention, you’re off by at least a couple of thousand years!
In Imperial China, circa 1500 BC, the Han dynasty recruited civil servants through a series of gruelling examinations that were widely promoted throughout the country.
Centuries later, British and American forces consumed a huge amount of the workforce-aged population in these countries during World War II, leaving few capable hands behind to sustain normal activities.
At this point, recruitment agencies began mushrooming, enabling women to enter the workplace. Returning vets in the postwar era were placed in suitable employment by these agencies that had begun collaborating with industries to provide specialized recruitment services.
The creation of resumes goes back to this era, as companies began connecting job requirements to applicant skills.
In the 1980s, companies began leveraging the power of online storage and databases that allowed them to access large pools of suitable candidates.
The first ever public job-site, Monster started in 1994, initially cut-pasting job ads from newspaper Wanted columns. It changed forever how people looked for jobs and how employers staffed their organizations.
Towards the end of the 1990s, the Application Tracking System (ATS) became a byword in most e-recruitment agencies.
Today, a candidate doesn’t have to do the rounds of companies, distributing copies of her/his CV. Instead, they can log on to a recruitment website, regardless of geography or time-zone, and submit their resumes at scores of different places.
Within hours, they can receive a response, that includes a background check and document verification.
Must-Haves For A Recruitment Agency Website
With more than 20,000 staffing companies operating across 39,000 offices across the US, the $174 billion industry is one of the quickest-growing B2B service industries in the country.
With huge changes in the way we work, flexi-time hours, on-demand and freelance work preferences, contingent work, etc, the requirement for more and more specialized recruitment agencies has burgeoned. Americans are a long way away from the days of 9 to 5, recruitment-to-retirement, salaried, full-time jobs.
Currently the staffing industry places 9% people in health-care, 13% each in engineering/IT/scientific jobs and managerial positions, 28% in clerical/administrative, and more than 30% in industrial jobs.
Some agencies specialize in certain industries, while others prefer to remain broad-based.
Recruitment websites essentials:
Needs To Be Found: Unless your website incorporates a sturdy SEO component, it won’t be ranked high on search pages, and would get lost in the crowd. This means you have to cover all bases such as H1 headers, Title page, meta descriptions, etc. and also conduct a rigorous keyword evaluation.
Easy Navigation: When visitors are referred to your recruitment website, 50% of them find their way around by using the navigation menu. If it’s complex, or if the menu is difficult to find, you can be sure that candidates and companies won’t stick around too long.
Make it easy for candidates to find what they came there for. Navigation bars should be clear, simple and neat, while keeping the areas for candidates and companies as differentiated as possible.
Professional Design: Ensure that the site design is professional-looking, yet attractive and interesting. Fresh, stimulating images, good quality content, authoritative whitepapers/webinars/videos, credible opinion pieces etc help to create a buzz.
The job-board should be optimized to diversify the candidate pool, increase your credibility and boost traffic. Include a genuine testimonial page with facts and figures and not just bouquets. Add a user update/RSS feed, hassle-free application and registration process, and alert feature that candidates can use.
Social Media: With 93% of employers using LinkedIn, 66% using Facebook, and several others using Twitter and Google search, you can leverage this power to promote your website. Provide plenty of social media buttons across your site for best results.
How To Find A Recruitment Website Designer
Keep the website must-haves in focus when you talk to potential designers.
1. Know What You Want: As a recruiter, you have a clear idea of your requirements, preferences and budget. Your website is a 24x7x365 resource that candidates and companies can access. Evaluate the kind of website you want, based on the nature and unique requirements of your business. If you specialize in a particular type of staffing, ensure that the design parameters blend with this concept. Make sure that the design is more candidate-focused rather than company-focused.
2. Freelancer or Design Firm: Approaching a design firm could mean that some of their work is outsourced to freelancers. Check whether their deliverables are entirely in-house or they get work done by talented outsiders. This helps you to know whom to contact in case you need to.
3. Firm up on your budget: It’s wise to allocate a certain amount firmly to website design and development. Do some comparison shopping, talk to a large spectrum of design professionals before you make a final decision. You can afford to be a bit flexible if you feel you’re getting value-adds and add-ons, post-deployment support, etc.
4. Check credentials and portfolio: The truest test of a designer is their work. Take a look at their previous work, ensure that they have worked on recruitment websites before and examine their websites in detail. Don’t get sidelined by screen-shots and brochures. Talk to some of their clients and get feedback on working methods, deadlines, financials, etc.
5. Your Commitment: While talking to designers, it’s important to know what your own commitment as a company is to the design and development. Involve your marketing department, key personnel and decision-makers. Ensure that you provide inputs, meet deadlines for sign-offs on test designs, mock-ups, etc.
6. Tech Savvy: Studies have shown that more than 80% of job seekers use their smartphones for job searches and of these, more than 70% prefer to complete the application process using the same device. Your website has to be optimized for the complete range of devices from which candidates may access it – laptops, desktops, tablets and mobile phones. This will certainly boost your SEO rankings.
An author of Namaste UI, published several articles focused on blogging, business, web design & development, e-commerce, finance, health, lifestyle, marketing, social media, SEO, travel.
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