Recruitment Marketing: Using SEO to Optimize Your Careers Page

If you want to outdo your competitors, you must have the best employees. High turnover rates plus underperforming employees is a recipe for lost revenue. It costs employers an average of 33 percent of a worker’s salary to replace them, according to Employee Benefit News. Gallup estimates turnover among millennial workers costs the U.S. economy $30.5 billion annually.

Hiring workers who have the right skills and experience for the job and who are engaged in their work can make a big difference to your company’s performance and profits. The data is clear: employee engagement drives growth. Aberdeen reports companies with employee engagement programs see 26 percent growth in year-over-year annual revenue.

Those high-quality, engaged employees aren’t interested in working for just anyone. Sixty-nine percent of employees wouldn’t accept a job at a company that had a bad reputation, even if they were unemployed. Not only do you have to find the best employees, you need to prove that your company culture has something to offer them.

Chasing unqualified candidates on job boards isn’t going to help you find the right employees. Recruitment marketing is your key to a high-quality staff that stays engaged and drives results.

What is Recruitment Marketing?

“Recruitment marketing is deceptively simple,” says Lee Fisher, head of recruitment at Roman Blinds Direct. “It’s the practice of making your business known to potential (and suitable) new recruits, then also making sure you are attractive as an employer to these people.” The goal is to use the same digital marketing techniques you use to attract new clients—such as branding and content marketing—to make your company more appealing to potential employees.

There’s no better time than now to implement recruitment marketing techniques. “Study after study shows that best-in-class talent acquisition functions begin the recruiting process long before a candidate applies for a job or future new hires even think they need a new job,” according to the Society for Human Resource Management.

This ongoing promotion of your brand’s mission and company culture can result in valuable recruits who pursue you rather than the other way around.

How to Optimize Your Careers Page Using SEO Best Practices

There are many ways to implement recruiting marketing strategies in your organization, but one of the simplest places to start is by optimizing your careers page with SEO best practices. “Over 30 percent of Google searches are related to job hunting. That’s why implementing good SEO practices will help you to stay visible and attract the most talented candidates,” says Eva Wislow, career coach and HR executive at Careers Booster.

Start seeing results from recruitment marketing with these expert SEO tips for your careers page.

1. Create a user-centric design

The goal is to use the same digital marketing techniques you use to attract new clients—such as targeted branding and content marketing—to make your company more appealing to potential employees.

Your on-page SEO will only be as good as the website that houses it. Your careers page needs to attract the right job seekers and entice them to apply to your open positions.  “If your recruitment page is ugly, confusing, or just plain bad, that first impression is going to be negative and you’re going to lose that potential recruit,” Fisher says.

It’s not just users who will click away from a poorly designed site. “Search engines have increasingly emphasized user experience, relegating many of the traditional SEO techniques and strategies to a merely supportive role,” according to Search Engine Journal. Websites with a user-centric design will impress visitors, which will signal search engine algorithms that those sites are worthy of a higher ranking. Make sure your site meets expectations by implementing UX best practices like an uncluttered, well-organized nav bar and an intuitive page flow.

2. Use strong keywords

Keywords aren’t the only important aspect of SEO, but they still play a strong role in driving the right visitors to your site. “Incorporating the right keywords into your careers page’s content, not to mention the job descriptions themselves, is how your job ads reach the candidates you’re looking for,” says Steve Pritchard, HR manager at Cuuver.

Job seekers have to wade through piles of job opportunities that aren’t the right fit for them. This isn’t the time to get fancy with funny or creative job titles. Promoting a job title like “social media maven” may look cute on a job board, but it doesn’t accurately describe the position, which sabotages a search engine’s ability to connect you with the right job seekers.

Think about the terms and phrases potential employees are searching. By choosing specific keywords that are relevant to the open position and incorporating them throughout your careers page, you’re not only attracting the right candidates, you’re making a strong case for your organization as a match for their skill sets.

3. Deliver valuable content that’s easy to digest

Recruitment marketing is an ongoing process, one that involves producing value-driven content before you’re actively looking to fill an open position. “Your goal is to develop a positive employer brand,” Wislow says. “You need to create authentic, engaging, and relevant content that presenting your organization’s values, culture, and mission in a way that attracts talented candidates.” Using on-page formatting with descriptive subheadings and bulleted lists will improve readability and help keep busy job seekers engaged with your content—the SEO boost it provides is just a bonus.

It can also pay to go beyond written content and incorporate video into your careers page. “As you battle your competitors for talent, you must know who you’re looking to attract, where they consume content and whether or not your content resonates with that population or individual,” says Kenneth L. Johnson, president and diversity recruiter at East Coast Executives.

Video can help you stand out from the competition and pique job seekers’ interest before their attention wanders. Embedding high-volume keywords into your videos’ descriptions will keep your on-page SEO from suffering, and it could increase your visitors’ time on page.

4. Craft actionable CTAs

A dead-end careers page that leaves visitors hunting for contact information can compel qualified candidates to click away and worse, seek out your competitor’s’ site. Your careers page could attract the most talented candidates available, but you’ll still be losing out on those employees if you don’t make it easy for them to apply. Just like any other page on your website, your careers page needs a strong call to action.

“Make it easy for a candidate to apply for a job,” says Julia Kravchenko, HR vice president at Qubit Labs. “Create buttons with a call to action, and indicate your email for sending a CV.” Be clear about what information candidates need to send for their application to be considered, and make it easy for them to submit all the materials you need.

Recruitment Marketing Can Work for You

Recruitment marketing is the way of the future for organizations that are committed to attracting the best employees. Learn more about how to make recruitment marketing part of your hiring strategy in Using Inbound Marketing to Jump-Start Your Recruiting Process.