Jobseekers are a reputation-building opportunity
Over the past ten years, Bowen Craggs has gathered over 400,000 survey responses from jobseekers visiting corporate websites. Helen Lindsay explains why the benefits of serving them well may go far beyond attracting talent.
No one will be surprised to learn that jobseekers are a large, often the largest, visitor group on corporate websites. Almost half of our survey respondents describe themselves as a jobseeker.
Jobseekers may be more willing to take a survey than other time-poor visitors such as journalists and financial professionals, thus inflating their representation. However, countering that effect are people who describe themselves as customers, employees and professionals working in the sector, and then go on to describe the reason for their visit as job search. So whichever way we cut the survey data, jobseekers are undeniably the largest group. Web analytics data provides further evidence, typically showing that Careers is the one of the most visited sections of the corporate site.
Few would disagree that supporting recruitment is one of the most important tasks of the corporate website. However, the benefits of serving jobseekers well go far beyond attracting talent and reducing the cost of hiring. Jobseekers are also a channel for disseminating corporate messages and enhancing the company’s reputation.
Most jobseekers are actively engaged in job search but are open to other content
Not surprisingly, the vast majority of the respondents describing themselves as jobseekers say the primary reason they visited was to find a job or internship. However, a significant number of jobseekers are also consuming other content during their visits. Twelve per cent of jobseekers say the primary visit reason was to find out about the company and what it does.
And although only 1% of jobseeker give corporate social responsibility as the primary reason for their visit, their free text comments in our visitor surveys (which jobseekers give generously) indicate an increasing interest in a wide range of issues.
“The vision of the company, and how they are driving purpose for profit. Their passion for sustainability, ethical standards, employee wellbeing, community building. (Jobseeker, June 2021)
Sustainability messages resonate with jobseekers who want to see the values of a prospective employer aligning with their own.
“Culture of company and quest to be pioneers of country change (zika, sanitation worker support, drive to give back/ meaningful purpose) personal stories of several spotlight employees.” (Jobseeker February 2021)
When a commitment to sustainability is evident in job search categories, the message is reinforced.
“I liked the attention towards sustainability and climate change is so integrated into the company even so far as job applications rather than a few CSR- motivated posts.” (Jobseeker, September 2020
When it isn’t, the sustainability message can be undermined.
I disliked that when I searched ‘sustainability’ in the keywords box of the job search, there were no results. I also disliked that neither ‘sustainability’ or ‘environmental health & safety’ were options in the categories section of the job search. (Jobseeker, September 2020)
It’s not that easy to find a job related to [Company’s] sustainability as it is not listed as a category. (Jobseeker, July 2021)
The surveys give us plenty of evidence that jobseekers are receptive to the company’s messages on a wide range of topics. They expect images to convey the company’s values (such as diversity) and give insight into the workplace and are quick to spot inconsistencies between what they read and what they see.
Jobseekers stray well beyond the Careers section
As we would expect, jobseekers who are actively engaged in job search are focussed on the Careers section. When asked what sections they recall visiting, nine in 10 jobseekers recall visiting Careers. However, more than one in five recall visiting the About us section and significant percentages recall a business, product or brand section. Eight per cent recall the CSR section.
Jobseekers are the group most likely to recommend the corporate website
We ask “How likely are you to recommend the website?” and apply the standard Net Promoter Score (NPS) methodology.
Without exception, jobseekers are the group with the highest Net Promoter Score. Whilst it’s possible that some jobseekers believe that their anonymous survey response is somehow linked to their job application, we can think of two more plausible explanations.
The first reason is that they tend to be the most positive group of respondents. The second, is that they are most likely to have a reason to recommend. Private investors explain “The website’s fine but I have no reason to recommend it, I don’t discuss my investments with friends and colleagues’. Jobseekers (particularly graduates) are part of a cohort that is actively engaged in the same task (job search) at the same point in time. They have both the motivation and the social media skills to share their experience.
Jobseekers are therefore perfectly positioned to be advocates for your company and brand. The survey tells us that they are both positive and open to persuasion.
The vast majority of jobseekers arrive feeling favourable and leave feeling even better
Unlike other visitor groups (who may be jaded by long experience of the company), jobseekers arrive on the corporate website full of hope and positivity. Two thirds say their feelings towards the company are “very favourable”. And two thirds say that as a result of their visit to the website, their perception of the company is better.
When we cross-tabulate these two very strong results, we see a reinforcement effect. Of the jobseekers who arrive feeling “very favourable”, 73% leave saying their perception is “better”. This reinforcement effect is strong even amongst those jobseekers who failed to find a job.
In conclusion, the survey tells us that jobseekers are
- a positive group
- a group open to persuasive communication
- receptive to corporate messaging across a wide range of topics (particularly sustainability)
- quick to spot disconnections between words and actions
- both motivated and able to share their experience with others.
Serving jobseekers well via job search tools is a primary task of the corporate website, but Bowen Craggs visitor data shows there is bigger opportunity to build your company’s reputation amongst this positive, motivated and open-minded audience.