Business White Paper

Design for Job Seekers Conversion

How to convert job seekers into qualified candidates

and most effectively connect candidates and jobs that are best suited for each other.500 more efficient recruitment tool. delivers fast and accurate matching for many of the largest staffing firms and public employment services worldwide. It’s flagship product. 1. By planning.Design for job seeker conversion Introduction Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) is the art of persuading your candidates to take actions that lead to their viewing more vacancies. designing and optimizing your website to Job seekers visiting your website Job seekers looking at vacancies persuade job seekers. qualifying candidates. CRO also uses search engine optimization.” you can expect highquality optimization to boost conversion rates by 50% to 200%. Although “your mileage may vary. Job seekers invited to an interview Job seekers offered a contract 15 5 Increase the number of job applications The importance of CRO becomes clear in light of the poor performance of unoptimized recruitment sites. ELISE. 365 days a year. which in turn increases the number of visitors whom you are ultimately able to convert to applicants. including writing persuasive vacancy texts. and reducing the number of clicks it takes a visitor to apply. staffing agencies and government departments of labor can easily. By developing solutions around WCC’s ELISE smart search and match software. WCC provides a solution for challenges such as: dealing with increased traffic and job applications improving the number of qualified candidates reducing acquisition costs lowering fall-out rates engaging more candidates Conversion Rate Optimisation CRO uses a wide variety of techniques to meet these challenges. Conversion rate optimization is the art of persuading your job seekers. or even more: some recruitment sites have reported increases of over 600% in only six months. recruiters.500 Job seekers applying for a job 150 WCC is a global leader in search and match technology. quickly. converting casual visitors into applicants with the help of a conversion-oriented usability design. Figure 1: optimizing the conversion funnel 3 . A conversion-optimized job recruitment site is a successful (but free!) digital recruiter who works for you 24/7. increasing the number of online applications and getting more job interviews. This white paper focuses on WCC’s capabilities for optimizing recruitment websites. you ensure that it becomes a 3. building rapport and getting people to work. with average conversion rates between 1% and 2%. which leads to more vacancies being found. job boards.

With this information. Site searching may also be used to cross-sell related vacancies to job seekers. Current site search solutions are often too basic: they lack the capability to handle spelling correction. 4 5 . will allow you to systematically improve conversions to the most important pages of your website. from natural search traffic: 2-3% and from direct traffic: 3-5%. but if ten times as many candidates apply when the background is green. and perhaps a call-to-action button. you can figure out what makes your candidates apply or leave your site. and accurate testing of several elements on a single page. you remove the element of subjectivity from your website’s design. a highperforming recruitment website has become essential for online success. Large organizations that choose a single search platform to address all of these requirements gain economy of scale and enjoy true return on investment. no matches found” for vacancies that are actually available. instead of guessing and hoping for the best. Next. Its goal is to make every site visit count. By testing methodically.Design for job seeker conversion Design for job seeker conversion With margins falling and advertising costs rising. You or I might like a bright orange background. Site search optimization If your recruitment site has hundreds of vacancies. The term multivariate testing is used to describe tests with multiple variables. the more difficult it is for candidates to find the right products. courtesy Google The key is testing various combinations to see which version works best for your visitors. easy. fuzzy matching or data analytics. What is multivariate testing? The goal of CRO is to make every site visit count. CRO helps you meet the following business goals: getting more job applications and more candidate interviews addressing the shortcoming(s) of your website Most website owners focus on getting more traffic to boost online sales. enables you to construct conversion funnels. But for recruitment sites with over a hundred postings. A 2010 study by IBM showed that 30% of visitors use site search. resulting in a conversion rate ranging between 6-8%. Using interpreted data from your analytics environment and search & match engine. Website analytics Designing for conversion is one thing. The key is that we learn what works by testing various combinations. which allows for quick. CRO makes your website work harder for you by producing more qualified candidates from your existing website traffic. These are significant numbers compared to the conversion rates from navigational traffic: 1-2%. you determine which of these actions leads to success. increasing the likelihood they will apply for a job. That is why many existing recruitment sites yield “Sorry. an advanced site search solution will be beneficial in many ways. mobile search and call-center search. These companies have a variety of search needs. but testing it is another. which is another way of increasing the number of job applications. backoffice and applicant tracking system (ATS). Figure 2: example goal conversion funnel. But paying to advertise an underperforming website is throwing good money after bad. you will know exactly which combination is the “winner”. The changes are tested live on your website and the results are tracked automatically. Large staffing firms and employment agencies in particular can benefit from deploying a single search and information access platform across their extended organization. The more vacancies a recruitment site has. you may want to consider implementing a more sophisticated site search to help your candidates find what they need quickly. would you not start to prefer that color? Several factors determine which features of a search solution your site should use. Usually. some vacancy content. Recommendations can then be made for changes that will increase traffic to your site. In contrast. It helps job seekers narrow down their selection quickly. Organizations running a hundred or fewer vacancies generally only need to make sure that their site’s navigation has been designed effectively. Implementing an advanced and finely tuned site search solution gives organizations the benefit of increased conversion rates. Determining the changes with the most positive impact can be done with the help of advanced multivariate testing software A common tool of choice is Google Website Optimizer. A multivariate test could consist of changing your website’s heading. including for increasing conversion rates. Advanced site searching with dynamic navigation helps job seekers quickly sift through thousands of vacancies in just a few clicks. The main factor is the size of your vacancy database. within a month or two. including in-store search. Using empirical data from your website’s analytics environment and your search log.

However. vacancy content tends to remain published for too short a time to add any lasting value to your website’s ranking. The good news is that for lower volume.” To vie for really competitive keywords. Visitors do not have the time or patience to try different variations of search keywords and phrases and ultimately abandon the site altogether. Note that oddly enough. ad campaigns or affiliate networks. Figure 3: elements of SEO 2.2 million pages indexed in Google. meta descriptions. This increases both the number of visitors and of incoming links to your site. you don’t need much link juice or link equity to rank for the terms because they face less competition in the search results. leaving visitors frustrated. And this is exactly why there needs to be an interplay between a site’s navigational structure and its content. this strategy could yield a number 1 position in Google fast. If you have ever wondered why your competitor has better search engine visibility than you do. While you keep 3. but it does not have to be. Usually. Since your home page is where people generally link to when they talk about your business or product. adding to your positioning in the search engines. Those with a strong social strategy get a growing amount of editorially-earned links daily. The more you offer. This To do this. URL structure. Website elements such as titles. A recruitment site built using SEO best practices will generate organic traffic. and the website structure in general. When optimizing your site for search engines. the importance of Natural Search Engine Optimization or Organic SEO should not be underestimated. the one most favored by search engines is to build links naturally. Many recruitment sites still feature homegrown search engines that are not scalable or customizable. If your organization is not publishing web content and involving itself in building a thriving community of subscribers. Content A good portion of your SEO campaign’s success revolves around the content of your recruitment site. highly specific topics. In addition to having content on a company’s culture. help search engines ascertain what a page is about. there are some content strategies your competition may be ignoring: acquire websites and redirect them to yours. the “link juice” gets diluted: your pages become a bit less powerful in terms of link equity. Here’s an illustration of why a site needs to be structured as a hierarchical pyramid of keywords. three elements need to be orchestrated: 1. Technology infrastructure This is the bread and butter of SEO. Good written vacancies drive traffic and add to conversion. Acquire a list of organizations in the recruitment arena that have gone bankrupt. higher traffic keywords appear more prominently in your site structure. this is the page that contains most of the “link juice. benefits and first interview advice. site maps. may sound like a very expensive strategy. quality content is king. Poor search results equals lost opportunities – it’s that simple. it pays to think strategically about the type of site structure the search engine is going to reward. As you build your site’s content or set about optimizing what content you already have. It makes strategic sense to concentrate on these highly competitive terms for your home page . This creates a hierarchical pyramid of keyword targeting that will be very helpful for your site’s SEO. this authority is transferred from the acquired site to yours. 6 7 . however. In the eyes of search engines. Career Builder has over 1. the better. Link building There are many techniques that can be used to garner inbound links to your recruitment site. making your organization less dependent on job boards. Each time you move down your site’s structure and away from your home page. you will need all of this link juice. trying to build links arithmetically to static content. Make sure your website’s Content Management System offers a structure that enables search engines’ crawlers to determine the relevance of your pages. as their community is conditioned to anticipate quality and ready to share. Natural Search Engine Optimization It is no big secret that a having a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy in place helps organizations tap into the pool of candidates that start their job search on search engines. After redirecting. your competition earns those ultra-valuable organic links daily. For instance. If your organization works through branches. most job boards will prevent search engines from indexing your pages. by offering unique content of the kind that people naturally want to link to. Jobrapido and Trovit. their websites will have built up some authority. find out how many pages of content they have. add your recruitment website to free job boards or meta-crawler job sites like Indeed. it will forever be positioned behind competitors agile enough to do so. In this respect.Design for job seeker conversion Design for job seeker conversion Poor search results equal lost opportunities — it is that simple. identify a portfolio of keywords to target and make the most competitive. This means that these deeper pages should target slightly to significantly less competitive keywords. Optimize your Google Places account.

If you truly take an interest in your subject matter. Those with a strong social strategy get a growing amount of editoriallyearned links daily. they need each other. web traffic and links. end all of SEO – getting that digital ink and endorsement from influential members of the community is another pivotal part of building up your digital reputation. virtuous cycle that grows more powerful each day. Search engines already know how to treat different kinds of links and will only get smarter Figure 4: optimizing for Google Places Communities offer so much inspiration that if you build yours properly. 4. you cannot win against competitors who have this element on their side. and are becoming increasingly intertwined. Visitors who cannot find what they are looking for will bail out of your site and look elsewhere. or on areas that look like ads. a social strategy is highly sustainable. and content from your site should get indexed in just a few hours after publishing. the more you will cover the long tail in your niche and snag traffic from search engines. you have nothing. From the standpoint of staying relevant and at the cutting edge. unless you want to be ignored. Linkedin or Twitter or those that use social media buttons is more likely to end up in the higher regions of Google ranking. This goes beyond a merely passive connection: the two create an active. you will never run out of fresh content and ideas to build your community. organic. Longer link text has been shown to convert better than shorter link text. Avoid using internal jargon which visitors may not understand. The right side of the screen works well for testimonials. Well-written vacancies drive traffic to the website and increase conversion rates. The position of content on your web pages also makes a significant difference in your website conversion and flow-through. Truly deserved. Social is sustainable Nurture your community and function as an honest. 8 9 . the more content you have on your site. benefit-oriented link texts to encourage candidates to click to your vacancies. navigation options are best put here.. its search and social aspects have already reached the convergence point. Social SEO The social web and search results support each other. editorial links will only continue to increase in value. 3.. The social web will link to the best content naturally.Design for job seeker conversion Design for job seeker conversion Why social is a future proof SEO strategy 1. calls to action and application forms. an F-shaped pattern. The web itself has always been social. Vacancy content that is seeded through social networks like Facebook. Fresh content = more hooks in the water for search Simply put. A site’s design should allow candidates to get where they want to go quickly and easily. with a minimum number of clicks. Write compelling. Vacancy content is best placed in the center of the page. but site owners can benefit too by creating a strategy that embraces the connection. A good example of this is tight integration is Google+. Compelling vacancy content wins Notice how the cycle starts with compelling content – without it. 5. Not only earn links. The future will see an even closer. symbiotic relationship between them. but digital PR 2. The evolution takes place right before our eyes: their algorithms advance side-by-side with how we use the web. On recruitment sites. The engines are continuously getting smarter Search engines are getting smarter at interpreting links and user data. so there is no reason to be boring. Feature a consistent integrated navigation design using popular conventions. But most of all. They focus less on the right side of web pages. Persevere. People are too used to sites being social to want to visit static sites. They work together for the benefit of users. and no other parts of the cycle will matter. The engines like frequently updated sites Feed those indexes with fresh content and get rewarded with frequent visits by search spiders. ensure that the vacancy text encourages conversion. valuable contributor. Usability Job seekers have frequently criticized difficult navigation in recruitment site usability surveys. which gives visitors a reason to come back. ideas will emerge naturally. Visitors scan pages from the right and then to the left in at it. Both search and social aspects will only keep getting better at filtering. vacancy content is the most important content to offer visitors. Fresh content also keeps your site updated. The link between search and social media will only tighten as the engines and the social web innovate and integrate together in ways which make both more valuable. Links are not the be all. Because most people first focus on the left side of the screen.

products or services that best fit their requirements in sub-second response time. Get your mobile apps to match the right search criteria on the Android marketplace or on iTunes. Prior to WCC. Companies can perform a mismatch analysis to investigate what is missing in its job offer. Depending on the quality and relevance of the vacancy. where he was responsible for Innovation and Online Developments. the analysis may show that a candidate is looking for a company car. This repeated brand exposure will increase the number of return visits to your website and the number of conversions from casual visitor to job seeker ready to apply. van Hurne was General Manager at a leading staffing agency in Europe. By designing your recruitment site for conversion. WCC’s technology is used by many of the largest staffing Optimize your content so it can be easily found through the search engines of social sites like Facebook and LinkedIn. Its flagship product ELISE is also utilized in the security and identity management industries. Optimization beyond your website Core to many marketing strategies is to “fish where the fish are”. marketing and business development. they also put themselves at a real disadvantage when it comes to search engine marketing.com Figure 4: optimizing for Google Places 10 11 . it is important to diversify online marketing in a way that also benefits overall search marketing. job boards and Public Employment Services in the world. He has held a number of leadership positions with different high tech companies. About the author Marco van Hurne is product marketing manager at WCC. the jobseeker decides to apply. The candidates ask for a company car while the company is not offering one. van Hurne’s career spans over 15 years in Internet. firms. you are turning your website into a powerful persuasion machine. finds a relevant vacancy on your website and navigates to that page Step 2. Mr. please email: marketing@wccgroup. Mr. Use remarketing technology to identify and tag your website’s lost visitors and then display your banner ad to them on a different site they are browsing at a later stage. Companies can perform a mismatch analysis to investigate where to focus their attention when optimizing for conversion. More information About WCC WCC is a market leader in developing and licensing high-performance search & match software that helps For more information about Conversion Rate Optimization and the CRO service. He also served as commercial and strategy director at one of Europe’s leading online marketing agencies. Mismatching data can also be used to determine whether candidates are underqualified or whether they require too much of a job. A job seeker looks for a particular job.Design for job seeker conversion Design for job seeker conversion Matching The funnel pictured earlier in this paper shows three basic steps that job seekers progress through: Step 1. Summary The knowledge gained from mismatch analyses can be used to create landing pages for (Social) SEO purposes or to set goals for conversions in your analytics environment. CRO uses persuasive vacancy copywriting and credibility-based web design to encourage job seekers to apply. These factors combined will result in converting a significantly higher number of visitors into applicants. But companies that hyper-focus on any singular online channel are not only putting all their eggs in one basket. but the vacancy text makes no mention of one. Consider the following suggestions: businesses and governments and their customers to find people. Step 3 deals with the completeness and attractiveness of the resume text and with matching skill sets. you need to know if there is a discrepancy between what candidates are looking for on your site and what your vacancies are offering. Step 2 has to do with the completeness and attractiveness of the vacancy text. A mismatch analysis explains why there is no 100% match between the candidate’s requirements and the job offerings. the employer decides to invite the job seeker to an interview. Recruitment sites that are conversion-optimized yield more applications and interviews. While search engines present a tremendous opportunity to attract new employees. For instance. This gap information is highly valuable to job marketeers and recruiters. This is called a mismatch analysis. Depending on the quality and relevance of the job seeker’s resume. Before you start optimizing your website for conversion. Step 1 is mostly a matter of findability and usability as described in the previous paragraphs. Step 3.

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