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What does a non-optimised careers site mean for the candidate journey?

Written by Sophie Down | May 15, 2015 | 0 Comments
Global-Mobile-Advertising-Service-Webrecruit-Frame-300x272The recruitment market is changing, and is driven by the candidate once again.
Consequently, recruiters and HR professionals are having to hone their candidate attraction strategy, in an attempt to draw the attention of the right applicants. Many turn to recruitment software, such as Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) and careers sites, to give them the edge.

So, where does mobile optimisation come into things?

Let’s start with mobilegeddon.
If you haven’t heard of mobilegeddon, then now is the time to get an understanding, as it’s is a crucial need-to-know for businesses.
From April, Google’s new mobile-friendly algorithm will significantly affect all searches and search results. In essence, if your site isn’t fully optimised for mobile searching, you will more than likely see a knock-on effect in your rankings.
This is where your candidate attraction strategy is affected. If your site isn’t optimised for mobile, you could see a decrease in traffic to your site (and subsequently, your applications).
On top of this, 43% of candidates are regularly using a mobile device in their job search, according to the 2014 Jobsite Social Recruiting survey.
What’s surprising is that a huge 59% of recruiters and HR professionals currently invest nothing in mobile optimised career sites.
With this information in mind, you might start to consider the implications that a non mobile optimised careers site can have on your recruitment process.
Let’s look at the two candidate journeys, and the difference a site can make.
Candidate A’s journey: The non mobile optimised careers site
Candidate A wants to apply for a role – they’re pressed for time, so they use their iPhone to submit an application whilst commuting to their current job.
Once the candidate has landed on the the careers site, they’re presented with a bulky chunk of text about the role that requires them to scroll across to read. Next, they face an extensive application form requesting a lot of information about themselves which is already on their CV.
After the length application, they finally reach the CV upload page. However, they’re unable to upload using their mobile device. Frustrated, they try and phone the business directly to apply. But guess what? They can’t find the Contact Us page due to poor navigation.
At this point, the candidate will probably give up, and look elsewhere.
Candidate B’s journey: The mobile optimised careers site
Candidate B is also looking to apply for a new job. Like Candidate A, they’re pretty busy in their current role so decide to use their mobile device.
They visit the company’s careers site, and with clear navigation they search for the vacancy and find a short summary of the position. From the moment Candidate A visited the site, they’re able to access the CV Upload page in just three clicks, where they can upload their CV from Dropbox and answer a few basic application questions.
In only a few minutes, Candidate B has completed the application process.

With a poor candidate journey, what does this mean for your application and fill rates?

A non mobile optimised careers site can have huge implications for hiring managers and HR professionals.
A tiresome candidate experience will unavoidably lead to a drop-off in applications, which of course is bad news for your recruitment process. Imagine if Candidate A happened to be the perfect applicant for a vacancy that you’d been working on for weeks.
What is concerning is that large numbers of applicants dropping out, can be costly for your company. No hiring manager looks forward to re-advertising a vacancy.
If your careers site is laid out poorly, it gives off the impression that your business doesn’t care about the candidate experience. Designing the site with user in mind can be much more attractive to applicants visiting your site.
A non mobile optimised careers site can also imply that your business isn’t tech-savvy and up-to-date with advancements in technology.
Your careers site represents your company, and should do so in the best possible way. Therefore, make sure that it’s mobile optimised and easy to navigate around.

What makes a great careers site?

Candidate should be able to apply as easily as possible; this is what makes a career site effective. The application process should be simple and straightforward and should (ideally) take no more than three clicks to get to the CV upload page.
It’s important to understand which devices are being used by candidates, and make your careers site responsive to these. Cut out any unnecessary questions from the form for mobile applications, such as free text boxes.
Website 1 – Non Mobile Optimised
The screenshots below may resonate with the first candidate (A). As you can see, with this non mobile optimised site, users have to scroll across to read all the text. The Login/Register page also contains text boxes that aren’t aligned and overlap with each other, making for a confusing and cluttered candidate experience.


Website 2 – Mobile Optimised
In contrast, the below careers site is fully mobile optimised. It’s fully responsive and the navigation bar turns into a drop down menu when viewed on a mobile device, making for a straightforward and cleaner user experience.
Job searching should be made easier by a number of criteria, such as location, salary and industry sector. A Register Your CV button can be helpful, just in case candidates are unable to find a vacancy they would like to apply for, but are still interested in working for your company. They will then be added to your talent pool.
The appearance of your careers site is a vital part of your recruitment process, where a complicated or cluttered site can be problematic. However, avoid being over simplistic with too much white space, as this won’t look like you have a lot to say.
There are around 36.9 million active mobile internet users in the UK, we are a nation who are continuously on the go which is why it’s important to embrace the changes that come with optimised sites. The candidate experience, therefore, should be a reflection of a quick and easy application process, suitable for those on their mobile device.
Alongside this, with aspects such as mobilegeddon affecting the search for jobs, there is the risk that talent may not even be found in the first place. (You can check if your website is mobile-friendly using Google’s Test).
So, what is clear in this ever-changing market is that a mobile optimised careers site is vital for the candidate experience. And, if you are looking for top talent, remember that the candidate really is king.

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