Recruitment Website Design – What Candidates Want

As the third-largest provider of recruitment websites in the UK, and having clients in 15 countries, with 14 million-plus transactions per month on our client sites, we have quite an insight into what a candidate wants from a recruitment website.  So here are our top tips.

1 Dedicated mobile design and features, not a responsive website

Responsive is the lazy way to do mobile on a recruitment website and does not give the mobile user a sense that you have invested in their experience.  The main blocker is that there are many things still that you can do on a desktop machine you can not do on mobile, and so responsive designs give a screen size that can be read but whose features can rarely be used in full.

2 Jobs

Might seem strange to say, but candidates want to see your jobs and to be able to get to them easily and to be able to filter them comprehensively.  The application process should be simple and include features like applying with or without a CV, applying with LinkedIn and so on.

3 Reasons to return

Candidates we have surveyed remain loyal to websites if there is a reason for them to return, so you need to have information and or services they need other than just the job-seeking process.

4 Info on the recruiter

Candidates want to know who they are dealing with and how to make contact with them easily.  Yes, you might get some unwanted rec-to-rec calls, but you will get them anyway.  So provide info like their LinkedIn profile, email, mobile, direct dial.

5 Be as original as possible

Your brand should be as original as possible in both its content and its images.  It is fine to use a theme others may have in the design of the site, but take the time to make it personal to you.  The effort shows you care.  Original branding also helps you to be memorable.

6 Keep navigation simple and consistent

Make sure the site is not a maze of information and links so users can find things and won’t get lost.  Browsing time is limited and often on mobile.  Another reason to have a dedicated design, not a site map made for those who have the time and a PC to view your site on.

7 Write to your audience as you would speak to them

Don’t produce content that is for content’s sake, write as you speak to your candidates.  Then there will be no disconnect in who you are and who your website says you are.

8 Grid-based layouts

Having content randomly placed on your web page can end up with a mess. Grid-based layouts organise content into relevant sections, columns and boxes that line up and feel more balanced, which leads to a better-looking website design.

9 Load time

Make sure your developers considered load times on all platforms and also that their hosting is up to spec.

10 Colours

This is very much a personal thing, but some colours do better than others.  Black websites are hard to pull off because it is hard to read content set on a black background on many device types.


So there you have it: our top ten tips.

Darren Revell