Enemy at the Gate: Is Your Website Killing Your Hiring Process?

Bad websites can result in hiring troubles
The homepage of a website built in 1997, and it looks the same today. Would you think the company is even in business, much less doing well enough, to hire new employees?

It is a valid question.

After all, today’s recruits are technologically savvy. They’ve been using laptops since elementary school and are active on social media, to say the least. So they have certain expectations. And in a candidate-driven market where top personnel are scarce and hard to find, in many cases they call the shots. For your part, you certainly want to “put your best foot forward.”

I want to provide some guidelines for you, a checklist of sorts, that you can use to evaluate your existing business website, the cornerstone of your business online.

High cost of personnel recruitment

But first let’s look at some facts on the cost of personnel recruitment. In 2012, Dun and Bradstreet said that the cost of replacing a manager is roughly 1.5X their salary: “If a manager makes $60,000, then your company can expect to spend $90,000 searching for a replacement. Of course, not every employee is worth as much as an experienced manager. Employees that perform unskilled tasks cost less to replace. The 150 percent average rate, however, could apply to any job position. Unskilled workers just get paid a lot less than experienced managers” (How Much Does It Cost to Hire a New Employee, Feb 14, 2012, by Matt Thompson).

And according to another study from California, even the lowest employee in the company will cost you $4,000 to hire on average. Considering that companies hire more than one employee, the total cost of recruitment is extremely high.

I could go on, but you get the point. Having a website that assists you in the recruitment process (not actually turning key prospects away), is vital to hiring the personnel you want working for you.

Key questions to ask about your website

Take a look at your website from totally different eyes, those of a potential hire for your company:

  • At first glance what do you see?
  • Is it appealing or repelling?
  • Does it look modern or dated?
  • Does it turn you away or pull you in so you can find out more?
  • Does it look like a company that you would like to work for?

There are a number of things that can affect these various factors including:

  1. The design of the site should be modern and fresh. This is not to say it should look like a video game, it must look like a business – but not like it was designed in the 1990s! (If you want some guidelines on this for your business contact us here for a free website review.)
  2. The graphics, including the photos, should be of the highest quality and create a positive instant impression. Today “high definition” is commonplace and people are used to seeing slick photos. Moreover, there should be people if at all possible, in the photos similar to those you are trying to attract to come work for you. Makes it sound like they have to “look” a certain way which is slippery ground. Instead suggest “Moreover, you should include photos of your smiling staff and great work environment on your About Us or Hiring page.”
  3. The fonts that are used throughout should be modern, but this is a second consideration to readability. Do not make your text too small or grey or anything that makes it hard to read. It should be easy to read so it communicates instantly, and the writing should be friendly and approachable when it comes to style.
  4. The site should be fully functional. In my line of work, I look at websites all the time that are dysfunctional. One site in Austin, for example, had an email address on it no one ever checked. Another in Toronto had a form offering a free estimate that did not work. Etc.
  5. It should be mobile friendly. Today’s generation is multiplatform (desktop computers, laptops, tablets, smartphones and smart watches). So make sure that your website is adaptable and accessible on all these devices.
  6. Host on a fast server. Hosting is one thing you should never be cheap about. Aside from other necessities such as security, it is imperative that your site loads fast in searches. If it does not you will be penalized in search engines because too many people will instantly leave a slow-loading website.
  7. Make your website social media friendly. This is to say it should be integrated with LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and others. This will make it easy to share content.
  8. Have the right content. The best way to explain this is to use a real-life example of a dentist I visited. I searched for a new dentist and found this guy on the internet and was immediately drawn in by a clean, well-designed website. But what really hooked me was all the photos he had on the site of his team having fun in the office, during holidays, etc. My immediate thought was wow, this must really be a good place to work. Staff are happy and happy staff means excellent service for me. So I was in. If your website achieves a similar result to my dentist’s you will be in excellent shape.

Again, if you need help or advice I encourage you to contact our office. We will be happy to help.

Until next time!


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