THE TECHNACIOUS RECRUITER NEWSLETTER

June 15, 2004   view past issues

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Feature: Corporate Career Sites Continue to Disappoint

We at WEDDLE’s have just completed our semiannual look at the opinions and insights of online job seekers. Our most recent analysis is based on information collected from over 1,000 individuals who participated in an Online Poll we conducted between November, 2003 and April, 2004. As noted in my last column, the respondents demonstrated considerable savvy in their selection of job boards and career portals and had very high expectations for the career management and job search services and support found there.

One of the other areas we probed was their satisfaction with corporate career sites. Historically, job seekers have voted these destinations their single most helpful resource in finding a new or better job. Every year from 1996 through 2001, corporate career sites earned the top spot in our poll, among all of the places job seekers went and methods they used online. In 2002, however, that trend came to an abrupt halt, as corporate career sites plunged to #4 on the list. Instead of being job seekers’ preferred resource online, they languished behind:

  • #1: searching the job database at a commercial job board,
  • #2: posting a resume in the resume database of a commercial job board, and
  • #3: conducting corporate research online.
  • Unfortunately, our latest survey continues that trend. We changed the list of alternative destinations, but, once again, corporate career sites end up at #4 on the list. They follow:

  • #1: niche sites, in general,
  • #2: niche sites that focus on a specific career field or industry, and
  • #3: general purpose job boards.
  • According to our respondents, they don’t like the static nature of corporate career sites, their failure to provide interaction with or feedback from company representatives, the “one size fits all” kind of information offered on the sites, or the nature of their experience at the site (which makes them feel more like a commodity than a valued prospective employee). Obviously, not all corporate career sites produce this kind of reaction, but apparently enough do to give them a bad name among many job seekers.

    I realize that these findings fly in the face of recent reports that employers are now hiring more new employees through their corporate career sites than ever before. However, this happy development is not caused by an improvement in the sites, but by an adjustment in the way they are used. In other words, more hires are being made through these sites because more and more employers are now requiring candidates to submit their applications through them. For the most part, the sites are not drawing new talent in and selling them on the value proposition of employers, but instead, simply function as electronic application collectors. To be sure, that’s one way to justify the investment in corporate career sites, but it hardly comes close to capturing their full potential value for employers.

    How can you do that-realize more fully the potential value of your corporate career site? The following are my tips for creating and managing a site that will attract and sell the best and brightest, whether they are looking for another job or not:

  • Don’t design your site to attract active job seekers. They’ll come anyway. Design the site so that it provides a compelling reason for passive job seekers-those who aren’t looking for a new job-to visit. For example, offer a job agent so that passive prospects can be shown your postings privately and without having to look for them (in your job database). Also, write postings that do not require the submission of a resume-most passive job seekers don’t have one and won’t be bothered to create one. Instead, use language and functionality that encourages them to apply by filling out a short form with no more than seven questions.
  • While functionality is important, it’s the experience that counts. And, ironically, the best experience for passive job seekers is similar to that of a print newspaper. Its classified ads get noticed because they are embedded in a range of content that appeals to the readers. Whether they like sports or news or recipes, they’ll find what they want in the newspaper, side-by-side with jobs. That doesn’t mean, however, that your site should try to outdo The New York Times. Instead, ask some of your “A level” employees what kind of work/life content most interests them, and then provide that content on your site.
  • A site’s experience is also shaped by interactions, so create a dialogue, not a lecture. Give your site’s visitors a way to ask questions and then, make sure you answer them in a timely fashion. (One poll, several years ago, found that 40% of the sites that provided the functionality for submitting questions, never bothered to answer them-that’s certainly an experience, but not the kind that will sell the best and brightest on an employer.) In addition, set up one or more listservs or discussion forums on your site that deal with topics of interest to your key recruiting demographics. Have them administered by your best employees so that these conversation areas become a place where other top workers can hang out and share their views with their peers.
  • Provide a way for your visitors to create their own experience on your site. Establish separate entranceways and areas on the site for key demographics and then tailor the content to their interests and needs. For example, you might offer separate doorways and areas for soon-to-be college graduates, diversity candidates, veterans, mid-career professionals, your organization’s alumni and other cohorts important to your recruiting success. Such areas offer a more personal and appropriate introduction to your employer and, as a consequence, are better able to sell its value proposition.
  • There’s obviously much more to creating and operating an effective corporate career site. The practices above, however, will help you establish a site that is the exception to the rule. They will produce an online experience that is so helpful and interesting, so different and compelling that it will attract and sell even the most passive of job seekers.

    Thanks for reading,

    Peter


    This Issue’s Sponsor: Dice

    This issue of WEDDLE’s newsletter is brought to you through the generous support of Dice.

    Give Dice a try with our FREE job posting offer!

    Dice is where you will find the best tech candidates available.

    But don’t just take our word for it …. Try Dice for yourself – at no risk. Click here today!

    The Free Job Posting offer is available to first time customers only, posting jobs by June 30, 2004.


    Section Two: Site News You Can Use

    CareerWomen.com reported the results of a survey of working women that asked how many were “opting out” of corporate careers and why. It found that the glass ceiling has become a glass floor … with a whole bunch of footprints on it. An astonishing 70% of the poll’s respondents reported leaving their corporate careers behind. They cited family responsibilities and the desire to work in the nonprofit sector or in government as their primary reasons for making the switch. What should recruiters do in response? Set up a special alumni portal on your corporate career site and provide the content and communications that will encourage your departing employees, but especially those who are women, to stay in touch with your organization and their fellow co-workers. Not every switch will be a happy one, and alumni programs help smooth the way for those who decide they’d like to come back.

    DBM, the human resource consulting and outplacement firm, announced the results of its annual U.S. Career Transition Study, a report on those who went through an employment transition in 2003. Among the factors it identified was an increased flexibility on the part of job seekers. According to the survey, 77% of respondents were willing to take a job in a different industry, and 49% were willing to do so in another function. Now, obviously, not everyone has the right background, temperament and skills to make such a switch, but those who do represent a potentially untapped population of quality candidates. To identify these prospects, look for individuals who have demonstrated an eagerness to learn (via a record of continuing education) and a willingness to take on new responsibilities and challenges (via their experience on-the-job).

    Elance Online (EOL), an online services marketplace, introduced its EOL Web & IT Outsourcing Center. The area is designed to provide a gateway to professional resources for businesses that require Web and technical services. It provides free access to both U.S. and international providers in more than 2,000 areas of specialty, including Web design and development, e-commerce development, backend database development, application development, and programming. Although open to all organizations, the Center is targeted at small businesses, only one-third of which have a Web presence, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration.

    Hay Group released the latest issue of its Hay Benefits Advisor, a quarterly publication that addresses regulatory and legal trends and issues in employee benefits. The report is available at no charge on the company’s site. Among the topics in this issue: why the new tax-favored Health Savings Accounts are not the answer to rising healthcare insurance premiums, what the Pension Funding Equity Act of 2004 means for your pension premiums, and how to comply with the new Internal Revenue Service rules on benefit elections and distributions. It’s hardly the stuff of bedtime reading, but obviously important to building a strong benefits program that will, in turn, enhance your organization’s value proposition as an employer.

    IFSjobs.com launched as a new job board for the insurance and financial services industry. Based in Allen, Texas, it offers a posting service for mortgage, bank, risk management, compliance, insurance, securities, claims adjuster, stockbroker, financial advisor and other jobs as well as a resume database search service for candidates in the industry.


    Section Three: Site Profiles

    Site Insite … how well do you know the Web’s 40,000+ job boards?

    1. If your budget precluded on-campus recruiting this year, but you need to hire a couple of top notch college graduates, which of the following sites would give you an “A” for your efforts?

  • CollegeGrad.com
  • GoldenKey.com
  • CollegeRecruiter.com
  • OnwardWeGo.com
  • 2. Looking for a mortician for your funeral services company? Which of the following sites would put you six feet under … a pile of resumes?

  • DrkLoss.com
  • Funerals.org
  • Taphophilia.com
  • HireTouch.com
  • 3. It’s June, your wedding services business is booming, and your wedding planner just quit to elope with her boyfriend. Which of the following sites would help you find a new planner to groom for the business?

  • FabJob.com
  • DreamJobsToGo.com
  • WedWiz.com
  • BridalDirect.net
  • Site Spotlite … from the pages of WEDDLE’s 2004 Guides and Directories

    jobsinthemoney.com

    www.jobsinthemoney.com

    A WEDDLE’s 2004 User’s Choice Award Winner

    Post full time jobs: Yes

    Post part time, contract or consulting jobs: Yes – Part time, Contract

    Distribution of jobs: National: USA

    Fee to post a job: $201-300/posting

    Posting period: 60 days

    Can posting be linked to your site: Yes

    Resume database: Yes

    Number of resumes: 130,000

    Source of resumes: Direct from candidates

    Top occupations among resumes: Finance & Accounting, Sales & Marketing, Healthcare

    Other services for employers: Auto notification of resume-job match, Banner advertising, Special area for HR professionals, Status reports: banners, postings

    Answers to Site Insite

    1. All of the sites but OnwardWeGo.com, which advertises a multilevel marketing opportunity.

    2. None of the sites; the first three deal with the funeral services industry, but do not offer a job board. The last site is a corporate job board provider. In short, we’re stumped. Do you know of a job board for morticians?

    3. None of the sites; the first three sell books about how to become a wedding planner, and the fourth offers wedding planning services. Once again, we’re stumped. Please drop us a line if you know of a job board for wedding planners.


    This Issue’s Sponsor: Dice

    This issue of WEDDLE’s newsletter is brought to you through the generous support of Dice.

    Give Dice a try with our FREE job posting offer!

    Dice is where you will find the best tech candidates available.

    But don’t just take our word for it …. Try Dice for yourself – at no risk. Click here today!

    The Free Job Posting offer is available to first time customers only, posting jobs by June 30, 2004.