7 ways to increase your recruitment and staffing website's conversion

Putting a website together is hard (stating the obvious!) but one of the most frustrating things is after months of hard work, launching your website to find that candidates simply aren't converting.

If this is happening to you, then you probably have issues with your user experience (UX). There's nothing worse than driving high volumes of good traffic to your website only to see now output, ultimately your website should be judged on performance.

To turn visitors into converting candidates, your website needs to provide conversion in key areas. The following information is a great starting point for your business.

1. First Impressions

Wherever a candidate lands on your website, its crucial that the basic design is attractive and actually encourages them to use the site as it was intended.  Simple principals should be adapted to deliver this.  Put yourself in the shoes of your typical candidate - use imagery intelligently to make the website attractive but not to the point that it distracts from key messages or tasks.  Show features they will want to use prominently, the present information they will find useful as simply as possible, build a navigation that is logical and of course make sure your copy can be easily understood.  Also, the design must be fully responsive for mobiles and tablets, so it will work effectively regardless of the device being used.

2. Job Search

The most important element for most candidates is job search.  Therefore, we make it easy to find a relevant job at all times by displaying the job search as a prominent function on the homepage.  More help is at hand with predictive search (when they start typing, the search box will use what they are typing as a prompt to display relevant options to select from).  This ensures they can get to the jobs relevant to them as quickly as possible, minimising the chances of them leaving the site.  

3. Registration and Application Process

Make it as easy as possible for a candidate to register interest by providing options such as LinkedIn as well as your own forms, but remember they must be as simple as possible so as not to deter users from completion.  Ask yourself what the minimum information should be, it can be as simple as a name and e-mail address.  The same for apply, make it easy to upload a CV and apply through LinkedIn and ask for the minimum information.  

These elements need to be focused on the task in hand, don't be tempted to surround them with distractions at this stage such as images and deep content.  You may think the page looks bland, but that's the point, they are functional areas where you want the user to be focused on applying and anything that makes this more difficult to complete must be avoided.  

This may all seem obvious, but by adopting these simple principles, you can make serious gains in engagement.  The industry benchmark is to see a 1% conversion rate before a new site is built, with 3% being seen as good.  When we have launched the new site we typically see 5% conversion from unique user to registration and application with 10% being achievable on the best sites.  Also, candidate quality will invariably improve as well.

4. Calls to Action

It's vital that the website 'tells' your user where to go next. The way your going to want to do this is by using Calls to Action (CTA). Good CTA's are descriptive and don't disguise the next step for the candidate. An example of this is instead of having a button with 'click here' set the button text to 'Submit your CV'. By clearly labelling your CTA's, the user has a much clearer experience.

Calls to action should be clearly and logically placed on the page and should often stand out by using contrasting colours to the rest of the page.

5. Marketing Automation

Websites are 'spherical' by nature. What I mean by this, is that visitors won't all hit your homepage. Instead, they will often land initially on job pages, sector pages and blog pages (to name but a few). If you recruit for multiple disciplines or sectors it's difficult to then make your website look niche for these candidates, especially when trying to portray an image of professionalism and dedication to a vertical.

That's where automation comes in. By using automation, you can track the user's journey, then change the layout, content, jobs and design of the website to make even a multi-discipline recruitment website look specialist for the candidate. The candidate, when they click on pages that have been set up for automation, will never see content that is irrelevant to them, meaning higher engagement and conversions.

6. Candidate Portals

Conversion shouldn't stop at the point of application or registration. You have a short, active window to place a good candidate and it's likely that they will be speaking to other agencies. With this in mind, you will want to give them the best experience possible in order for them to stay engaged with your brand. Candidate portals should be given to all candidates when they convert on your website in order to present information, their data and importantly other jobs to them that they may want to apply for.

Other tools such as payroll, onboarding, timesheets and video interviewing can be added to the portal to provide an exceptional level of engagement.

7. Job Alerts

To keep continually engaged with your candidates, you should set up automated job alerts. Job alerts are a great way to make sure that candidates are not missing out on jobs that match their skills or wishes.

Commonly, you should offer multiple chances for candidates to sign up for job alerts. Usually, on job search pages, application pages or from within their candidate portal attached to the website you should be giving candidates the opportunity to configure and set up their own alerts.

Our research shows that Volcanic customers receive an application from 1 in 5 job alerts that are sent out to candidates. With this in mind, having automated emails should be key criteria for your website.