What Career Sites and Kevin from Home Alone have in common

What Career Sites and Kevin from Home Alone have in common

Kevin Lee

You’ve been working hard on a new wave of requisitions. Getting budgets allocated, carefully tailoring job descriptions to attract that perfect candidate and finally, you’re ready to post.

But then it hits you. Just like it hit Mrs. McCallister in Home Alone when she realized she left her son behind — your career site has been forgotten.

Traditionally, Talent Acquisition teams are consumed with recruiter facing tools like CRMs, LinkedIn Recruiter and Job Boards. As a result, the career site can get punted to Marketing or left to be incrementally updated by a series of context-lacking creatives.

Each time you take stock of the site, you sense a familiar, overwhelming set of problems:

  • Lack of employer branding content
  • Inconsistent user experiences across multiple platforms
  • Search that doesn’t pull in the most relevant jobs
  • Non-responsive mobile application process

While you’re out traveling, Kevin is the face of the house

A poor first impression on a perfect fit candidate can negatively impact all the diligence you’ve put in building your new requisitions and, like Kevin leading the Wet Bandits through each obstacle, you want to make sure your career site workflow is as simple to follow as possible. The irony is that while consumer-focused marketing campaigns are typically passive and indirect, marketing on career sites is direct. When candidates arrive on your site you only have a few minutes to convince them why your company is special and get them in front of the job that will be the best fit for them.

Unless a job seeker has someone within their network who can speak to the experience of working at your company, the first impression you give will be critical. If a job seeker finds a few negative reviews on Glassdoor and your career site seems similarly neglected, what will a job seeker reasonably conclude?

Job seekers are on your site trying to figure out why they should work for your company and how they can contribute. Driven by individual needs they seek to fulfill, whether it is finding a mission and culture to align with or skills that will allow them to grow their careers, job seekers are best informed and sold on your company through your Career Site.

Kevin provided a fluid and optimized user experience.

Like any good movie, or a stroll through an unforgivingly booby-trapped house, a consistent end-to-end user experience is critical to getting candidates to convert.

Companies like Johnson & Johnson and Comcast understand this and have focused on enhancing each touchpoint of the candidate journey to reduce as much friction as possible, increasing job seeker-to-applicant conversion and decreasing their time-to-fill.

There are many steps in a candidate’s journey to discover your jobs and each step can be a potential drop-off point. For example, we have observed an average of 30% drop-off when a job seeker is asked to create a new account. Addressing points like this has led to an 8% decrease in time-to-fill amongst our customers.

Map out this journey and optimize it like Kevin did his battle plan for the Wet Bandits.

Kevin’s intruders did not miss one trap. Your visitors shouldn’t miss your jobs.

A truly effective career site ensures that all your jobs are discoverable by the candidates fit for that role. Job seekers should be able to effortlessly find your jobs, much like Harry and Marv found every trap Kevin set. All the branding and content on your site would be for naught if the appropriate requisitions are not surfaced by your career site technology when requested by candidates.

Conventional career site job searches across job descriptions presents challenges for both job seekers and recruiters. Recruiters and job seekers often speak different languages when writing job descriptions and searching for jobs, respectively. Simple keyword-match search algorithms fail to bridge the language gap failing to consider multiple interpretations and variations of terms, implied seniority levels, spelling errors, slang, acronyms, etc. commonly used by job seekers.

Services like Google Cloud Job Discovery (CJD) improve these results with the use of machine learning to better understand the job seeker intent and the job content.

After we installed Cloud Job Discovery as our default search engine, our customer FedEx saw a 57% increase in job applications over the previous period for their Package Handlers. Why? The top query term was ‘warehouse jobs’, a term that previously didn’t surface Package Handler positions well. These job seekers identified more with this role by its environment than the job description and job title did. CJD was able to bridge this disconnect however leading to the lift. With that insight, FedEx has the word ‘warehouse’ included in these job listings to better connect with their candidates.

In Home Alone 2, the stage grew bigger for Kevin. The same is happening for your Career Site.

As part of Google’s Google For Jobs initiative they feature an immersive, rich job card experience when users start their job search on Google.com prior to landing on a career site. That means significant increases in organic and direct traffic to your Career Site while job seekers skip job boards entirely.

It’s a new chapter now. Stakes are higher and so is the size of your audience. Don’t find yourself lost in New York.

Optimize your candidate experience so that your organization doesn’t get ignored like Kevin.

Career sites have significant impact, possibly more than you have previously recognized. And we predict it will only grow in significance as the landscape changes to drive more direct traffic to your career site.

Make sure your career site is setting its best foot forward for your company’s image. The most important impression to leave is on your potential future workforce. Your employees’ work experience actually start there!

Even if they don’t get the job, they can leave as a loyal brand ambassador.