I get that you want your recruitment website home page to be a great user experience for job seekers, but…
Obsessing about whether the home page meets their needs, while not considering the internal pages they will mostly interact with, will potentially kill your job seeker generation dead when they click off the home page, or worse still, never get there in the first place.
Worse still, they may never get there?
The method the job seeker used to arrive at your website will dictate what page the job seeker will land on. For argument’s sake, if you advertised your domain name on LinkedIn, the user is going to land on your home pages in almost all cases, as this is what you provided as a link.
However, if the job seeker used a search engine then they may have arrived at your website via a Google Adwords campaign, a link in the organic search results, and/or the new Google for Jobs feature, when using Google.
Most Google Adwords campaigns will work best with some form of a specific landing page that was made to convert the users when they land on it. For example, you may place PAs in London as your core business, but you have a run of success with some Legal Secretarial roles. So you check Adwords, find out it will be just a few hundred pounds to run that campaign for 6-8 weeks, and so you run a Google Adwords advert for ‘Legal Secretarial Jobs London’.
Experts in Google Adwords will argue the best page for this campaign is not your home page, your job search, or your job search results page, but a landing page intended to pitch the specific Legal Secretarial roles you have. Now you may already have those pages in your site, subject to how your vendor advised you to go about the user journey, but they may also have been offered with limited user experiences in mind — for example, a page with some bland words about this niche and your latest legal secretarial jobs.
For me, these pages would be best tuned as specific landing pages for this campaign, and you should make them as user-focused as possible to convert this job seeker type.
Organic Search Results
Similar to Google Adwords, you can target critical pages on your site to be found by search engines. If you are using Long Tail SEO to generate your job seeker traffic, the page you get indexed may well be a single job post for a ‘Legal Secretary’. If you have 16 open roles of this kind, it would be sensible for your job page to help the user find those quickly and also serve up other information, like who is the recruiter, how do you contact them, etc?
You can also target specific users to go to landing pages made to be attractive to search engines. You can set up calls to action which promote faster and consistent engagement. Some of these items need to be tested by your recruitment niche, or your location, or your audience’s appetite for tech. By way of example of tech, a client of ours is having a feature added so users can leave voice mails for recruiters via the website. I think that is very cool, but it may serve some niches better than others.
Google for Jobs
Google for Jobs could be sending the job seeker to your site and the job boards or services like LinkedIn which are getting ranked for your content by Google for Jobs. So you also need to consider how these channels compare to your own site. LinkedIn makes it easy, as they one-click apply with their profile, while some job boards bombard the job seeker on your advert page with competing jobs. Given this range and complexity of offering, you need to be sure your vacancy page is selling you best.
So how do you ensure you have what is needed on your page?
So here I am going to make an unashamed shout-out to use a dedicated recruitment website vendor for your project because they will have the history and know-how in your space that a generalist website vendor just won’t have. Generalist website vendors by and large play catch-up and copy what dedicated vendors do, but they may copy a feature/approach which is not working or has failed to work well subject to which vendor’s approach they copy. An example of this would be forcing a job seeker to make an account with your website before they can apply for any job. This is positively stone-age in its thinking for the user journey.
Vendor aside, when you work out your site map for your website, then follow a step-by-step process to work out what each page should have as a minimum set of features/calls to action, etc., and then what is a cover all bases, etc. Test out page designs for that with your vendor and then get feedback before you commit to the final build of the page. If you are going for something edgy like leaving voicemails on a vacancy page, make sure the feature is an easy on, easy off feature. Some vendors have a penalty-based approach to taking features off websites once they are live, so know what you are getting into.
Please note I am Dyslexic, and in my form, I am blind to grammar, and sometimes I get my fors and fours, etc. backwards. I am not stupid – in fact, my IQ and EQ are both quite high. Please keep that in mind when you read my posts. Thanks.