Corporate Eye

7 steps to Yes

Princeton acceptance letter


The letter from Princeton is an old standard now, but I mention it again to emphasize that the goal of a recruitment process (from both points of view) is to get to Yes.

Or perhaps Yes-Yes, because the goal is to get to Yes on both sides. (Yes-No or No-Yes are both mismatches resulting in disappointment. No-No is usually less of an issue).

To get to Yes, the prospective recruit has to find the answer to a number of different questions, and go through 7 steps:

7 steps to yes

Your careers section on your website should be aiming to help with this …

Most of the first few steps rely on communication from you to the recruit, and I shall look at each of these steps in turn. Today it will be the first step.

Step 1: “What does this company do?”

Before they can decide whether they would want to work for you, they have to be able to find out about your company – and getting this right on your website means that they can complete this step without requiring input from you, though a bit of active marketing on your part will be needed too. (If no marketing, then no job-seeker visits to your website …)

The elements a careers section could cover to help a potential recruit answer this question include:

  • an explanation of the industry
  • key facts about the industry and about the company
  • the company’s strategy
  • the company’s USP
  • an explanation of the company’s products and services
  • the company’s organisation and business units
  • a brief history of the company
  • a glossary of any jargon or technical terms used in your industry or within your company

Many websites I see fail to include one or more of these elements anywhere on the site, even in their About Us section. Of course, this kind of material doesn’t need to be duplicated on the site – but if there is appropriate material elsewhere, it should be signposted from the Careers section. And if it isn’t available on your site, it should be.

This section should be easy to absorb and engaging, and ideally, it would be rich in content. To make finding the answers to this question more engaging you could:

  • include a video interview of the CEO discussing the opportunities and challenges facing the company. Other interviews could include senior people explaining the products, markets, geography and revenue of the company. These do need to be aimed at recruits, not professional investors – new graduates are bright, but may not have the vocabulary to understand some of the terminology. Don’t forget to add transcripts of the interviews – and perhaps make the audio streams available on MP3?
  • use a bit of Flash, which is a great tool for illustrating a company history, products and markets in an interesting fashion. (Make sure there is an HTML alternative).
  • use diagrams and charts where appropriate: for example, to explain your market to potential recruits. I’ve recommended providing an explanation of the market for the investor-visitor before; it is just as important to explain it to potential recruits.

This area is often under-served. It may well be blindingly obvious to you what your company does, and how it does it, but it may not be as clear to someone else. If you can make this subject interesting to a potential recruit, you will have made it more accessible for potential investors – and other stakeholders. And that has to be good.

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