Corporate Eye

Test Question

Actually, it’s one strategic question with ten tactical sub-questions, and it was asked recently by recruiting guru Lou Adler: “Is Your Career Site Turning Off Top Candidates?” Adler breaks out his query into a scoring system for site assessment and discusses each item in some detail, so the article is well worth a read. Meantime, I’ll recap Adler’s questions here, and then add two more Qs for good measure.

I’ve put a brief explanation of each topic in parenthesis:

1.  Can candidates just look, or are they forced to “buy”? (Visitors should get plenty of information without having to apply.)

2. Are jobs easy to find? (Visitors should be able to locate relevant job listings efficiently.)

3.  Can your career site be found easily? (Visitors to the corporate site should be able to locate the Careers area quickly.)

4.  Are your job descriptions boring or compelling? (Descriptions should “wow” a top candidate.)

5. Is the application process simple or an endurance contest? (Application should take less than five minutes.)

6.  Is there a way to stay connected without applying? (Visitors should have options to submit a resume or sign up for something even if they do not apply for a job.)

7. Is there a CRM nurturing process? (Follow-up contact campaigns should be in place for “candidate relationship management.”)

8. Can your ads be found by those who are Googling for jobs or those not looking? (Jobs should appear on the first or second page of a reasonably targeted online search—and extra points if jobs appear on social media.)

9. Do you use SEO’d talent hubs for groups of similar jobs? (Adler uses the term “talent hub” in a specific way—best to read his explanation.)

10. Can your candidates find employees they know within your company? (This point is about the importance of an active employee referral program—not clear how it relates to the corporate website.)

Questions 1-6 make up a handy checklist for doing your own site review, and questions 7-10 provide food for thought about recruiting strategy in general and web presence in particular. But there are a couple of additional queries I think would make an excellent addition . . .

Adler begins the article with an assertion that “most career sites are designed to repel the best and attract the worst.” There’s definitely truth in that statement, though in most cases the effect is probably not due to design, but to lack of design. And lack of attention. So a very good question would be:  Is there a dedicated resource for coordinating and maintaining the design and functionality of the Careers site? And if so—does that person have the requisite skills to do the job, and enough time to do it?

The other question I’d suggest (and I would make it the very first one) is:  Can you state the mission of your Careers site? Different companies have different recruiting needs and strategies. Sometimes these are well-defined, sometimes they are not. And even if there is a definition, sometimes it is intentionally and skillfully utilized to create a “just-right” Careers site, more often it is not.

And that sets up another post. In the meantime–let me know if you think there are other questions begging to be asked!

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Cynthia Giles has followed a serpentine career path from academia to publishing to marketing and design to information technology and corporate communications. There’s plenty of detail about this journey at, but briefly--the common theme has been ideas, and how to present them effectively. Along the way, she became an accidental expert on data warehousing and business intelligence, and for the past ten years she has combined corporate contracting with an independent consulting practice that focuses on marketing strategy for smaller businesses and non-profits. Having spent quite a bit of time looking for work, and anywhere from two weeks to two years inside a wide variety of American companies—she has given much thought to what works (and what doesn’t) when it comes to creating a great employment fit.