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Is Your Careers Website a Gourmet Experience or a Microwave Dinner?

Is Your Careers Website A Gourmet Experience Or A Microwave Dinner
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I have a theory. I think the average meal tastes better if you eat it with metal cutlery (knife and fork) than if you eat the same meal with cheap plastic alternatives. For whatever reason, my brain just doesn’t want to enjoy the culinary experience as much after staring at the little cellophane pouch containing the tools of doom, no matter what I tell it about the food that it sits alongside.

Having said all that, I’m a pretty picky eater these days and the quality of food I eat is important to me. I love food. I appreciate a well-crafted meal and you look down at a meal that has been lovingly prepared, at home or in a restaurant, the anticipation of eating, tasting, and savouring.

The ingredients, the presentation, and the aroma all contribute to whether or not it’s a positive or negative experience.

Many moons ago (like 28 moons, if a moon equals a year?) I was a trained chef working up to 70 hours a week to pay for school. I still remember the restaurant manager taking the ingredients list I’d written to convey the daily special and writing the most poetic nonsensical storified version of it to help the waiting staff drive more sales. He was a genius.

He would turn a list of; Seafood Risotto: cream, white wine, arborio rice, onion, garlic, olive oil, seafood mix (king prawns, scallops, calamari seafood stock, parsley, butter, lemon, salt & pepper (my actual recipe btw)

Into something like this;

"Tonight, we have a delightful Seafood Risotto that's like a seaside escape on a plate. We have perfectly cooked Arborio rice, creamy and rich, infused with the essence of the ocean. Each bite reveals tender morsels of lobster, shrimp, and scallops, kissed by the sun and sea. Finished with a drizzle of fresh lemon and a sprinkle of aromatic herbs, this dish is a journey to the Italian coast without leaving your seat."

The point is, the ‘specials’ story ignites your imagination, your imagination creates desire and the anticipation of it all makes you order more Risotto.

Omg, I’m so hungry right now… what’s the connection between Risotto and a careers website?

As branding, marketing and talent attraction professionals, we should be adopting and utilising all of the ideas above, but sometimes we’re restricted or prohibited from being able to so… which is ridiculous!

So, let me try to bring this food-related analogy all the way home, here we go…

Have you ever wondered if your careers website is more like a microwave dinner than a gourmet experience? It’s a question worth pondering. In today’s competitive job market, your careers website isn’t just a page on the internet; it’s a digital entrée into your organization.

And like any good meal, the experience should be thoughtfully crafted, not hastily assembled. Let's explore why this matters and how you can ensure your careers website is Michelin-starred, not microwaved.

Employer Branding vs. Recruitment Marketing: The Recipe for Success

Think of employer branding as your secret sauce. It’s about building value, encompassing your company’s mission, values, culture, and identity. A strong employer brand tells a compelling story, creating an emotional connection with potential candidates and setting your organization apart.

Now, recruitment marketing is the chef who serves this delicious dish to your guests. It’s about extracting value, leveraging the foundation laid by your employer brand to attract and engage candidates, and guiding them from awareness to application.

But here’s the kicker: if your careers website is a pre-packaged, one-size-fits-all template, it’s like serving that secret sauce in a plastic tray. The experience falls flat, and all the effort put into crafting your brand and marketing strategy is wasted.

Is Your Careers Website Gourmet or Microwaved?

To determine if your careers website is hitting the mark, consider these quick and easy checks:

  1. Evaluate the User Experience (UX):
    • Navigation: Is your careers website easy to navigate, or does it feel like trying to find the dessert in a freezer full of frozen dinners? Candidates should find relevant information quickly and without frustration.
    • Mobile Optimization: Think of this as ensuring your meal can be enjoyed on the go. Ensure your careers website is fully optimized for mobile because many job seekers use mobile devices. A poor mobile experience is like serving a gourmet meal in a to-go box that leaks.
    • Application Process: Is your application process straightforward and user-friendly, or is it as complicated as a three-course meal with a plastic fork? Complicated forms can lead to high drop-off rates, much like a diner walking out of a restaurant due to a frustrating dining experience.
  2. Analyze Content Consistency:
    • Brand Messaging: Imagine eating a meal where each bite tastes completely different. Review your careers website’s content to ensure it consistently reflects your employer brand’s tone and message. Inconsistencies can confuse candidates and weaken your brand’s impact.
    • Visual Identity: Think of this as the presentation of your dish. Check that the visual elements (colors, fonts, imagery) align with your brand guidelines. A cohesive visual identity is like a beautifully plated meal that enhances the dining experience.
  3. Assess Technological Capabilities:

The Perils of the Microwave Dinner Approach

Relying on predefined, out-of-the-box templates is like serving microwave dinners at a fine dining restaurant. It’s limiting, bland, and ultimately unsatisfying. Here’s what happens when you don’t go gourmet:

  1. Restricted Technology: Your technology is like a microwave that can’t accommodate your culinary needs. It limits your ability to create a cohesive and compelling candidate experience. Candidates may feel like they’re eating a TV dinner instead of a gourmet meal.
  2. Lack of Expertise: Without the right expertise, your careers website can become just another page on the internet. It’s like serving a meal with no flavor, failing to engage candidates effectively, resulting in higher bounce rates and lower application rates.
  3. Disjointed Experiences: If your branding and marketing efforts aren’t aligned, candidates will notice the disconnect. It’s like serving courses from different cuisines that don’t go well together, making it harder to attract and retain top talent.

Crafting a Michelin-Starred Experience

The best careers websites aren’t microwaved meals. They’re gourmet experiences, designed and built by experts who understand the intricate relationship between employer branding, recruitment marketing, and technology.

By focusing on these core elements and ensuring they work together seamlessly, you can create an optimized candidate experience that attracts and retains top talent.

To truly elevate your careers website, partner with experts who specialize in this delicate balance. At HappyDance, we combine deep expertise in employer branding and candidate experience design with cutting-edge technology and world-class customer service.

We help you create the world’s CXiest careers websites, where every candidate experience is a five-star dining affair.

Explore how we can transform your candidate experience and elevate your employer brand. Visit our website or reach out for a demo today. Let’s move beyond the microwave dinner to something truly exceptional.

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