Corporate Eye

The Wizard Can’t See You Today

 

Oz Museum

In today’s story, the Wizard of Jobs rejects all comers by putting up this sign:

There are currently no openings.
Please check back again later.

I recently came across those exact words on the site of a mid-sized, modestly successful company.  The company is privately owned, and may typically hire only when there’s attrition.  So (one might ask) why bother to put a more elaborate message on the Careers page?

Come to that . . . why bother even to have a Careers page?  Which is the key question here.  In the case of this particular company’s website–otherwise very well done–it’s hard to see the sense in having a page where the only message is “Go away.”

That message, or some variant version, often shows up on the websites of small- to mid-sized companies where hiring is fairly rare.  Or where hiring may be cyclical, seasonal, or otherwise intermittent.  In those circumstances it’s not surprising that on any given day/week/month there are no jobs available.

And yet!  If a Careers page exists, there has to be something on it.

Obviously the page offers an opportunity to provide further information about working at the company.  But that option only has value if the company really expects to hire people in the future and wants to build a pool of potential applicants.  If not, no point.

Big corporations almost always have some jobs available, so there’s value in offering visitors useful information about employment, along with incentives to return if no current job openings are appropriate.  That’s part of building an employer brand.

But in reality, smaller companies that rarely employ don’t need an employer brand.  Therefore, the obligatory Careers or Jobs page becomes little more than a place to say “No.”

Which doesn’t seem like an asset to the website.

The point for smaller companies is: Either do something worthwhile with the Careers page or don’t have one.  Use that real estate to extol the virtues of your company culture.  Otherwise, take down the page.  And either issue a real invitation (“Please come back in March, when we expect to have new openings”) or skip the whole thing.  After all . . . how often are people supposed to “check back”?  And for how long?

The point for bigger companies is: Consider what your corporate Careers site would accomplish or offer if there were no job openings.  After all, most visitors won’t find a suitable opportunity on any given day.  But they should still leave the site with something of value.

 

(Thanks to JoshBerglund19 for snapping this Emerald City vignette at a wax museum.)

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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 www.cynthiagiles.com, 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.
 
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