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These Are the 3 Biggest Trends in Workforce Innovation

Keeping up with the changing world requires constant innovation — and this includes hiring. Evolving technology, the shifting generational makeup of the workforce, and a candidate-centric market[...]

February 18, 2020

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Revamping Career Sites to Enhance Contingent Workforce Programs

Candidates today have higher expectations for their job searches and the technologies that power them. Young talent grew up in a digital world where social interactions and sprawling vistas of information opened up in a few clicks of the keyboard. Workers also have more options in selecting employers and conducting their own research into best-fit cultures. Despite the emphasis our industry has placed on social recruiting, mobile apps and Tinder-style hiring platforms, the career site is far from dead or forgotten – at least to Millennials. As contingent workforce program leaders and their staffing partners hunt for the most skilled talent on the market, perhaps it’s time to rethink the importance of career sites.

Career Sites Have Become Vibrant Showcases for Employment Brands

It may surprise you to learn that 64 percent of candidates said compelling career sites were the most valuable resources for exploring job opportunities, based on the Talent Board’s 2015 Candidate Experience report. That figure surpasses social networks like LinkedIn and Facebook, as well as traditional job boards such as Monster.

It’s true that people analytics now drive the focus of contingent workforce leaders in the staffing industry. We concentrate on metrics, key performance indicators, Big Data and business intelligence. And that information is instrumental behind the scenes. Our recruiting strategies, however, must sell an employment brand – the client’s and the staffing firm’s. It’s not enough to provide candidates with compensation figures, numbers about the company’s growth or competitive rankings. We must engage them, entice them and inspire them. That means shining a brilliant spotlight on corporate culture, opportunity, vision, mission and career development. In short, our success often hinges on our ability to become recruitment marketers.

Just as consumers visit the websites of their favorite retailers to study their brands, so do candidates explore a potential employer’s career page to gauge a sense of employment brand. People seek strong connections with companies in which they’ll invest. The same holds true for workers looking to invest their skills and talents in a position. An engaging career site remains one of the most prominent displays of an employer’s values, mission, commitments and incentives.

SmashFly recently released a report on effective career sites, driving home the incredible advantage of a renewed candidate experience.

“Your career site is not always the start of the candidate journey, but it is the pivotal touchpoint in your recruitment strategy where you convert passive visitors into leads, active visitors into applicants and communicate employer brand over job requisitions,” the paper begins. “The keys to success are an authentic and vibrant employer brand that speaks to candidates’ ambitions and emotions and a thoughtfully-designed site that drives and measures action. It’s a perfect blend of art and science.”

All of these attributes – the mix of data, technology and aesthetics – create the wow factor that will entice talent to your company. The impact must be immediate, powerful and alluring. According to recent scientific studies sponsored by Microsoft, researchers discovered that the average human attention span has dropped from 12 seconds to 8 seconds over the last six years. To put it in a different perspective, scientists now believe our attention spans, long-term, are one second less than that of goldfish. The culprit? Smartphones.

To be fair, it’s not that smartphones and instant access to scores of data have made us less intelligent. The study found that people have grown adept at multitasking. They absorb tremendous amounts of information quickly and have high bursts of attention in the short-term. However, that means people now discern what will be relevant or meaningful to them at accelerated rates. If your career site fails to capture a candidate’s interest right away, he or she will rapidly move on to another.

Key Elements of Captivating Career Sites

career sites contingent workforce program.jpgThink of your career site as the culmination and showcase of all your recruitment marketing efforts. It should combine your strategies, tactics, social media, hiring events, targeted content, SEO, case studies, testimonials and even analytics. People, whether as consumers or job shoppers, respond to the pitch yet want data to bolster the claims.

On the backend, the career site becomes your reporting mechanism. As SmashFly explains: “Your career site is a hub to attract interested leads and then convert them to an applicant or part of your talent network, which is why it’s critical to measure your success. If you can’t engage leads and influence them to act on your career site, then all of that recruitment marketing spend is wasted!”

In order to design a platform that meets the needs of candidates and your internal marketing analysis teams, here are some best practices.

Front End: The Marketing Vehicle

  • Feature testimonials from clients and actual employees who supported contingent workforce programs at those sites. Encourage them to share their experiences with your staffing firm, in their own words.
  • Make sure the site is responsive and can be easily accessed on multiple devices. Your core content should be simple to see, read and digest. Google offers a great tool for testing your site’s responsive design across media: computers, smartphones, tablets, etc.
  • Promote messaging that invites diversity candidates.
  • Provide regular updates of hiring drives or campus recruitment fairs.
  • Always use authentic images and videos. Streaming video apps such as Periscope and Facebook Live have had tremendous success in helping companies showcase their employment cultures to prospective talent around the globe. Many companies have live streamed their internal talent discussing the business culture, the work, the perks and more. Candidates want a genuine sense of the company, not stock photography and actors.
  • Post job descriptions that impart engaging, accurate and informative details about the position, the company, its culture and its opportunities.
  • Develop relevant content and specific candidate resources. A regular blog with useful job searching tips is a great start. Premium content can elevate the experience through white papers, studies, webinars, resume templates and more.
  • Try to refine your content so that it emphasizes the employment brand more than the duties of the job.

Back End: The Data Collection Machine

  • Ensure that your webpages and landing pages for job opportunities are search engine optimized (SEO). Keyword-rich content, links to resources, headings, URLs and images all contribute to your site’s authority, which determines its ranking in searches.
  • To really fuel your SEO, incorporate unique keywords that are specific to each job description. Successful companies create individual landing pages for each job posting, optimized with keywords and descriptive content.
  • Integrate your social media with the career site and the client’s profile.
  • Capture, track and report on data across devices, especially mobile.
  • Convert “leads” into “customers” (job searchers into applicants) through compelling calls-to-action (CTA). These should appear throughout the site, on blogs and landing pages.
  • Consider issuing job alerts as CTAs where candidates can apply for opportunities.
  • esign a seamless flow from your career pages to the actual applicant tracking system or hiring software.
  • Enroll your site in a roust analytics platform such as Google Analytics and Google Search Console.

Other Creative Approaches

Passive Candidates

Not every person checking out new car models online is in the market to buy. Talent are no different. Over the past two years, the industry has witnessed an Increased focus on passive talent. According to LinkedIn’s 2015 data, 73 percent of employed professionals were receptive to hearing from staffing firms as passive candidates. That number rose in 2016. Passive job seekers often become the best employees. On average, staffing providers spend 80- to 90-percent of their efforts developing networks and courting passive talent. Corporate teams, conversely, often have time enough only to source active candidates.

Your career site can become a magnet for these passive professionals. Consider creating a talent network CTA on your site. Invite employed talent to register as members of this community, where they will receive alerts for upcoming positions that may interest them. Using a simple form, you can gather details about their interests, experience, skills, motivations and more.

“A talent network allows passive leads to opt in to communication with your organization until the right opportunity opens,” SmashFly writes. Its data has shown that up to 97 percent of talent network opt-ins take place during the apply flow.


Social media now dominates how people perceive a business. Poor ratings on Glassdoor, Yelp, Indeed or other networks can cripple an employment brand. Great reviews solidify it. Be sure to feature awards and recognition you have earned, from the industry and clients. Intel, according to the SmashFly study, includes current employee quotes and a widget that displays stellar Glassdoor reviews. Positive third-party messaging can inspire candidates to act and apply for openings.


A diverse talent population is instrumental to any company’s growth, competitive advantage in the market, morale, innovation and bottom-line profits. Career pages are excellent places to tell your story. There, you can reach out to diverse talent directly through emotional testimonials and personal experiences from colleagues. Many companies include educational resources, reports, press coverage, data on the organization’s investments to diversity, and content that speaks to the benefits of an inclusive workforce.

Your Career Page Should be a Limousine in the Candidate Journey, Not a Cab

The candidate’s journey to job discovery informs his or her experience in a contingent workforce program. Unlike a direct-hire scenario, contingent workforce engagements involve more moving parts. Although talent are often the W2 employees of staffing firms, their roles may expand to support MSPs and clients. In a way, every group in the program has an employment brand to sell. Staffing suppliers who develop amazing career pages focus on highlighting their clients and even the MSPs running those programs. MSPs may consider using their influence to help clients revamp their own career pages to appeal more to contingent professionals. With eight seconds to capture a candidate’s interest, a fresh, authentic and engaging career page could be the wow factor you need.
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