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Creating the perfect career portal part two - attracting candidates

Retail recruitment has always been a very competitive marketplace, so the need to stay visible online and offline is crucial in order to attract traffic to your career portal. By Chris Bogh, EployÂ’s technical director


Creating the perfect career portal part two - attracting candidates

Retail recruitment has always been a very competitive marketplace, so the need to stay visible online and offline is crucial in order to attract traffic to your career portal. By Chris Bogh, EployÂ’s technical director

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
Smart employers are increasingly deploying a recruitment SEO strategy, helping them to attract candidates directly, thus reducing costs and time to hire.

To drive increased traffic to your career site, all of the same SEO principles used for your main site should be mirrored for recruitment purposes. This means optimising your career site and job content including the use of descriptive URL’s for vacancies and news posts.

SEO is a massive topic in its own right so you should discuss the best approach with your career portal provider.

Paid listings, otherwise known as Pay Per Click (PPC) are also worth considering, budget permitting. Getting ‘organically’ ranked on Google can be a slow painful process, whilst PPC advertising on Google and social media sites like Facebook and LinkedIn can deliver immediate results.

Get the Basics Right:

  • Make sure your career portal URL is linked to your company/brand name and use sub-domains where appropriate i.e. You should also consider a new domain name e.g.
  • Research the keywords you need to target by looking into the search terms candidates are using to find work in your field
  • Create talent landing pages that are optimised for your recruiting keywords. Because jobs go on and offline frequently, it does not give them much chance to rise in the search rankings, whereas talent landing pages stay online and are updated daily within your ATS with job feeds and news
  • Use your main corporate website to drive traffic to your career portal – this is a captive audience and one that is showing interest in your company. Capture this interest by making sure your career portal is easy to find and not hidden away at the bottom of the page
  • Make it easy for passive and active jobseekers to find the career opportunities being presented.

Cast Your Net Wide
The internet and social media have transformed the way that companies tackle recruitment. However, all of your competitors will also be using these channels so you need to ensure you stand out from the crowd.

  • Social media is just ONE of the weapons in your armoury, but when used well can be very effective in attracting candidates to your career portal. A strong and active social presence across the core networking sites (LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter) ensures that your employer brand is forefront in the mind of individuals during job searches and passive inquiries
  • Set up an employee referral scheme. This is an excellent way of targeting passive candidates, and by integrating into your ATS you can easily track and monitor both email and social network referrals
  • Utilise your own company talent pool and link with email and two-way SMS merging tools from your recruitment software. Keep building on this by capturing all interested candidates who visit your career portal by making it easy for them to register for job / email alerts
  • Advertise career opportunities, especially around seasonal/graduate/apprenticeships recruitment drives and use QR codes that go directly to mobile pages of your career portal
  • Enhance your career portal with communication tools such as forums and resource libraries to setup a Talent Community.

Analyse, Analyse, Analyse
All recruiters want to attract the ‘best talent’, not just high volumes, so use your ATS as a management tool to monitor and track results.

Identify where the best candidates came from by position, from which search engines, websites, social media or advertising channels.

Knowing what did and didn’t work is essential in order to evolve successfully; it will help refocus efforts and ensure budgets are being deployed effectively.

The suggestions here are just a few of the successful approaches we have taken to help our customers, but attracting candidates to your career portal requires a multifaceted approach and this list is by no means definitive.

Next time, as part of this series, we will be taking a more in-depth look at social media and talent communities.

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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