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Creating the perfect career portal - part one design & content

“How can we get the most from our career portal to attract the best candidates to our company?” This is a question that is frequently asked by retail recruiters and HR teams. By Chris Bogh, Eploy’s technical director.


Creating the perfect career portal - part one design & content

“How can we get the most from our career portal to attract the best candidates to our company?” This is a question that is frequently asked by retail recruiters and HR teams. By Chris Bogh, Eploy’s technical director.

Recruitment is such a crucial part of the development of any company and modern organisations should be maximising the career sections of their websites. Over the next few issues, I’ll be looking at how to create the ‘perfect’ career portal – we’ll explore candidate attraction methods, using social media and the latest web-based recruiter tools.

We start the series by looking at the design and content, the first crucial stage in creating your career portal.

It is important to think strategically from the outset because if designed well your career portal will become the central communications tool for not only candidates but your own staff. It will work hard for you by reducing administration and enabling recruiters and hiring managers to conduct most of the detailed work in an efficient and coherent way.

Our top design tips are:

1. Make sure the design and navigation is as user-friendly as possible. Think of it as the perfect opportunity to make a good first impression to potential employees. Do not fall prey to bad practices – there are plenty of examples of people who have complained that a poor recruitment experience, either through poor portal design or bad experiences with recruiters, has put them off a company.

This kind of reputation can be hard to lose.

2. Develop an exciting and dynamic website that shows candidates what it is like to work for you. Promote the benefits and culture of the company via candidate testimonials, blogs, photo and video galleries such as Flickr and YouTube.

3. Ensure that you are not creating a mere shop window; what you need to create is a valuable communications tool for candidates and existing staff. There has been a tendency over the last few years for career portals to have great content, but offer little in the way of candidate services/ recruitment functionality. Therefore, consider the different layers of functionality required to ensure a good candidate experience. We will be looking at this in more detail in a future issue, but examples include: intelligent searching tools, allowing candidates to quickly sign up and register for job alerts, and extending the reach of the website with social media share links.

4. Match your content with actual recruitment features that you would often associate with job boards or agency sites. This would include things such as CV parsing tools to make candidate registration easier, CV creation tools, psychometric testing, online timesheets, interview booking and interactive help sections.

5. Build your website on a strong Applicant Tracking System/ recruitment platform. The website will operate a lot better than self-built portals and will provide a higher level of recruitment functionality to improve the overall candidate experience.

6. A good website should also be designed to maximise accessibility (including for the visually impaired), and SEO optimised for the major search engines.

7. You might also want to consider combining a content management system into the website so that authorised employees can upload and edit content themselves. These pages can often be maintained directly through your ATS.

8. Branding is everything so ensure your corporate brand is protected. Make sure any ATS powered career pages perfectly match your brand guidelines and corporate website. Career portals no longer have to be clunky, templated frames within your existing site. Also, be aware that those driven by API’s tend to offer limited functionality.

9. Pay attention to detail, go as far as to consider the URL used for the career portal. You do not want to put candidates off from registering by making it obvious that they are registering on an external system/site. This is especially significant with the regular press stories relating to data protection.

10. Finally, you should develop a mobile (touch) version of your website - another subject that will be discussed in more detail a later issue.

This list is by no means definitive, but hopefully gives a good insight into the key design and content considerations.

Next time, I’ll be looking at the next stage of the process: attracting candidates to your career portal.

To take a look at the latest advances in recruitment technology, please telephone Eploy® for a free online trial on 0800 073 4243 or email Visit

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