Using Your Website to Attract Top Talent

The way we work has changed forever. Today, employees consider work-life balance, the option to work remotely and a strong cultural fit when looking for their next job.

As these potential applicants explore new opportunities, they may find that the websites of many accounting firms are optimized with clients’ needs in mind and don’t speak to potential employees.

In a competitive marketplace where recruiting top candidates is a challenge, optimizing your website so that potential employees have a positive user experience is essential. Your firm’s website is your best tool for reaching your ideal candidates.

Start with Your Employer Branding

The Hinge Research Institute’s latest Employer Branding Study illustrates the importance of websites in recruitment. In the study, we asked both job seekers and professional services recruiters to list the principal elements of an employer brand. Here are the top five results:

  • A defined and clearly articulated workplace culture that celebrates employees’ contributions
  • The ability to attract highly qualified candidates who want to be a part of your firm’s success and thought leadership
  • Strong brand differentiators that set your firm apart from your competitors
  • A website that reflects your employer brand and gives job seekers the information they need
  • Content that supports the brand, including videos, thought leadership and social media that tells your firm’s authentic story

Recruiting agencies and platforms like LinkedIn and encourage job seekers to learn about a company before applying. They suggest reading about a company’s services, its mission and values and its leadership to prepare for a job interview. If potential employees cannot easily find this information on your website, they will look at other firms—including your top competitors.

What Do Job Seekers Want?

Before starting any web redesign, think about what potential employees might be seeking in their next job. They are not just looking for open positions; they want to imagine themselves working for your firm.

Of course, employees want to be paid well for their work, too, but it’s not the only consideration of applicants. We discovered the following benefits drive candidates’ decision-making process:

  • Competitive salary/compensation (57%)
  • Company culture and values/good fit (57%)
  • Opportunity for career advancement (39%)
  • Doing a variety of exciting and challenging work (37%)
  • A clear vision for the future/strong leadership (35%)

How you use this information will set your firm apart from the rest.

Build a Robust Career Section on Your Site

Top talent is hard to come by, which is why having a dedicated Career section on your site is crucial.

What should go into your site’s Career section? Consider doing the following:

  • Use real photos of your team in action
  • Film an overview video highlighting employee culture
  • Feature current job postings (or link to your job portal)
  • List benefits and amenities
  • Describe what differentiates your company culture
  • Use videos or summaries to spotlight employees
  • Provide the location of your office(s)
  • Call out special groups of employees (interns, students, veterans, etc.)
  • Include a form to contact you with questions

Use storytelling to celebrate employees’ contributions to your firm, and craft case stories to highlight how to overcome potential professional challenges. Use articles and speeches by leadership to illustrate your firm’s goals for the future.

As you create this content, look for ways to repurpose your efforts. Share stories, photos and videos on your social media feeds, especially LinkedIn and Twitter. By linking back to your website, you’ll drive traffic to the pages that are important to you—and increase the reach of your employer brand.

As you build this section, pay close attention to how job seekers will find the information they need. Include clear links in your main navigation, header and footer. Link to the Career section from your About Us page, one of the highest-trafficked pages on a website.

You have one chance to make a good impression. The Career section on your site may be a candidate’s introduction to your company culture. Make sure you put your best foot forward and tailor it to the kind of prospects you want to hire.

Now’s the Time

We live in a digital world. If your website doesn’t tell the whole story of your firm, you may be losing out on the candidates you need to grow and thrive.

If your site is disorganized, outdated or unsophisticated, you risk scaring away candidates who are evaluating you as a potential employer. Your website is critical to your employer brand, so you must prioritize updating or redesigning it with future job candidates in mind.

And remember: As the shift toward a more digital recruiting process accelerates, your competitors are recruiting online, too. Don’t fall behind.

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