Lately I have spoken to many potential clients about talent attraction, and the unfortunate situation they face because their current career centre and technology solution is effectively blocking Google (and other major search engines) from seeing their jobs!
This invariably leads to demonstrating the reality and confirming the consequences, namely; reduced ‘natural’ traffic from job seekers searching for specific roles, and a necessity to invest more than needed to attract candidates from search engines, job channels and other media (paid for traffic)!
CareerBuilder confirmed that 70%+ of candidates start their job search on Google in their 2015 Candidate Behaviour Research. In addition people in general are getting much more granular with their job search, including; very specific job titles, locations and company names.
Other commentators have said that candidates naturally want to find jobs with named companies ahead of job sites, and companies would prefer people to find, then research, them on their own site (previous home stadium article here by yours truly in 2011!).
To cut a very long and technical story short, Google visits your site (sends spiders or crawlers hence the jazzy image up top) and takes what it finds back to a database at a server farm, and it’s this database that is searched when you search on Google, not the trillions of web pages live on the web itself! So you can see how important it is for Google and others to be able to find your jobs on your own corporate website environment.
Most companies have career pages and a link to search their jobs. It’s where these jobs live that constitutes the first problem for most. If they are searchable on the company website and domain (the important bit here), and the individual page for each job is an extension of that company domain, they pass the first test!
For example, if the company is called ‘Great Company Plc’ they may have the domain www.greatcompany.com. Their career centre may link from the homepage and be called www.greatcompany.com/careers. And a specific analyst job in London may have a page name/URL of www.greatcompany.com/careers/analyst-london-jobid. Something along these lines!
More often than not however, the jobs are hosted (they reside) elsewhere, perhaps on their ATS or career site hosting platform; e.g. www.theatspartner.com/greatcompany/analyst-london-jobid. The jobs are not then attributed to the company because they are somewhere else.
In simplistic terms, if you click from your website to either the job search function or the jobs themselves, and the bit after www. in the browser changes away from your company name, you may have a problem Houston!
Don’t forget, Google’s job is to give searchers the most relevant and credible results to satisfy their searching activity. It won’t take a punt!
Also, some companies do host their jobs on their own site and domain but the URL’s are unfriendly; e.g. www.greatcompany.com/careers/jobid/hundreds-of-random-characters-that-make-no-sense-at-all, which is a big red flag to Google, with some being completely ignored!
Google also puts a great emphasis on mobile content now so even if you are doing it well on fixed web, if you don’t have a comparable mobile site Google will again mark you down, even for searches on a PC and laptop!
There’s a lot more detail and science to this but let’s look at solutions.
This is solvable in a number of ways, but invariably involves bringing corporate website and recruitment technology partners together to deliver an alternative and best solution based on the technologies involved. Alternatively a new technology arrangement can be considered! I have done both many times globally, so can help you with this.
The benefits of attracting natural traffic to your own website (home stadium) are huge. Reduced cost is a great one for the FD! But for me, your career centre is the front door to your brand and story. Surely you want that story to be told from start to finish by your own people, using your own messaging on your own site!
Yes the story telling effectively starts on Google, but pretty much everything does these days, so let’s at least ensure you are the next destination for the most valuable thing in your business. People!
All the best.