Why optimise your website to encourage job applications?

The number of job vacancies in the UK has fallen for the eighth month in a row and the number of payrolled employees is increasing, according to official data. [source]

This means the talent pool is drying up and it's hard for agencies to find great people for their clients jobs.  Users finding your jobs and applying, without you having to spend lots of time on the phone is the dream, but at the moment it is tough!

So you need every angle covered, to quickly fill your clients roles and get paid as fast as possible.

With that in mind, it's essential that your recruitment agency website is optimised to encourage visitors to apply for your jobs.  Here's how...

Automatically load your jobs onto your website

Your website needs to be automatically loaded with all your jobs from your CRM, just like all the major job boards.  This will save you time, make your listings consistent and accurate and you'll fill your jobs faster.

A system like Broadbean can do this and your website will need to use an integration to pull in the listings that Broadbean sends out automatically.

Broadbean website

Making job listings attractive

Job listings need to look like a job listing.  If your website has them styled to look like something else, then potential candidates with limited time are going to skim over them.

Your job listings need to be easy to read, with the right information so that users can quickly digest what they are abouy and decide to keep browsing or make an application.

At all screen sizes, text should be clear and listings uncluttered with a very obvious button to apply for the job.

Create an account

If users can create an account on your website, they can save their favourite jobs and keep an eye on their existing applications.  Speeding things up will help drive more applications for jobs and make life easy for busy job candidates.

You can also keep an eye on how many users are registering on your site to gauge interest.

Creating accounts will involve the user entering their details, such as name, password, email etc.  An even better solution is to offer them a "sign up with LinkedIn or Google" button which (with their permission) grabs these details automatically from their existing LinkedIn or Google account, making things much quicker and easier for them.

LinkedIn Login

Give yourself credibility

The last thing you want to do is spend big on advertising and have your audience land on a web page that looks amateur so your users don't want to engage with your business.

All businesses need to build trust with their users.  You can do this by building "trust signals" into your site, such as your contact details, reviews, awards etc.

Check out our blog article about 30 trust signals that can reassure your visitors that you are a reputable business who they want to deal with.

Follow the masters

In the industry there are always the main players who have lots to invest in research, design and development.  They are always optimising their website or app to work harder, by appealing more to users, helping them find answers to their questions and providing people with the latest functionality.

But everyone can benefit by keeping an eye on the masters like Reed, Jobsite, Totaljobs,  CW Jobs etc to see how they do it.  Job seekers will also build up some "muscle memory" using those sites, so by taking inspiration from how they work, how they lay out their UI etc we can create a website or app that feels familiar and friendly to users.

Job pages that load quickly

The slower your pages load, the more likely that people will go elsewhere.  We've all been on a slow site where it gets to the stage where you almost can't bear to load another page!

Not all users have a fast internet connection and mobile devices are not as powerful as desktop computers, which also affects loading times.  You can test the speed and efficiency of your website using tools like PageSpeed Insights.

Your website provider should use hosting that is built for speed and build your site in an efficient way with code, images and video optimised as much as possible.

Sometimes keeping things simple is the best way, without cluttering up your "all important" job list pages.

Add your team

Dealing with a recruitment company can be a bit daunting for people who are desperate to find a new job.  Showing your smiling team on your site can be really reassuring for them!

Offering a friendly face helps your business seem more "transparent" and adding staff bios means website visitors can learn more about you and your history and interests, putting them at ease and building common ground.

If you have team members who specialise in different areas of your business, you can mention that here so people know who to contact, e.g. for Hospitality Recruitment contact Kim Gardner.

Our team

Keep application forms short

The more fields you add to a form, the less likely users are to submit it.  Therefore you should limit the number of fields in your job application forms.

If you need to collect more information, you can do this later once a user has submitted their details with their initial application.

All logic suggests shorter forms should perform and there are plenty of case studies to back this theory up.

Venture Harbour

Place application link or form above the fold

Busy job candidates will be looking to apply for great roles quickly.  Adding the application link or button above "the fold" is an easy way to assist them and help you successfully place more people in your jobs.

"The fold" is the part of a web page that is visible on screen when it first loads.  Website users will scan that area of the page and not all of them will scroll down! 

It can be more complicated than this, but by having apply buttons above and below the job ad text, you are "covering all bases" and making it super easy for people to apply for your jobs.

Make application form error messages helpful

Your application forms will require some validation to prevent users entering useless information.  For example, telephone fields should throw an error if non-numerical values are inserted and email address fields will need to require an @ symbol and at least one period character.

But the messages should be written in clear, plain language, not too technical, and tell the user what they need to do to correct the issue.

Include your privacy policy

A privacy policy is essential, detailing how you use personal data, who you share it with, what services are collecting personal data and how and what cookies you set on their devices etc.

For the UK, the ICO offer a comprehensive list of what you need to feature in your Privacy Policy.

The privacy policy should detail how users can contact you in order to as for data deletion, see more on obeying the GDPR.


Improve keyboard input for job forms

Some users are reliant on their keyboard rather than touch or a mouse.  Even if they are not, tabbing is an easier way to progress through forms that clicking into fields with a mouse or trackball. 

Your website forms such as your job application form, should be highly accessibly to all users and fully support the use of the keyboard, including tabbling down to the submit button and hitting enter to submit.

Make it obvious which fields are required

Another important thing to consider with your job application forms is clearly marking mandatory fields, so the user knows what data is required up-front.

This avoids the form submission from failing first time and having to show an error message.  It cuts down on frustration with your users and if they are guarded with their personal data, builds trust by showing that not everything is needed.

Make your form headline a call-to-action

Users need to be guided when they browse a website.  Your job application form will need a headline and you can use a call-to-action to further guide users towards completing it.  

Check out these 50 powerful Call to Action headings for some great ideas

A quality website design

The power of a high-quality website design cannot be understated.  The website needs to have gone through the right planning, design and build process so your visitors like it, can interact with it and find the answers to their questions.  The website needs to look professional so candidates will see you are a trustworthy business.  This will mean they are encouraged to go through your agency.

It is important to invest in a quality website (along with a professional logo and trademark) so you can start to build your brand image from day one.  This means people will remember your company and jobseekers and clients alike, will return to do business with you.

A quality website design is planned and built to work for your users and what they are trying to achieve.

Email Deliverability

Check your email deliverability

Imagine if the perfect candidate applied for one of your roles and you didn't know about it because the email from your site didn't even arrive!

Email is far more complex than most people realise and open to issues which can cause you to lose business.

If your website stored submissions in the backend then it's worth checking those daily, but we should all test our email deliverability regularly to ensure there are no issues.  This guide will tell you what to do.

Obey the GDPR!

Ensure that you are obeying the GDPR at all times, by only collecting the personal data you need, using it in the right way and deleting the data after a certain period of time.

If your job application form is doubling as a marketing opt-in, your users need to know this and explicitely consent to any future marketing.

This means all guidance and messaging on your site will need to clearly and accurately convey to your users why you are collecting the information and how you are going to use it. 

Users need to know that their personal details will only be stored for as long as is necessary and there is a process to delete them when the time comes.  They also need to know how they can get in touch to request their data is deleted. 

Push your jobs on social

Posting regularly on social media has become a top priority of any organisation, from huge brands through to start ups and local businesses.

The reason is obvious, huge organic reach to your audience without having to pay for expensive ads.   Choose the right social platform, grow your audience and post your jobs out in real time. 

What's next?

Recruiters shouldn't view their website as merely a brochure or digital presence, they should take it very seriously as an essential tool for filling their clients jobs.

There is so much scope to build a foundation to drive and encourage more job applications through the recruitment agency website, beyond this article, but we hope you find it interesting and get in touch with your feedback and ideas.

Who are we?

We are a digital agency specialising in Web Design, Development, Concrete5 and digital marketing, based in London & West Sussex.

We make digital simple. Our purpose is to simplify your frustrations in digital and solve the challenges you face to help make you more money and progressively grow your business or organisation.

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