5 ways UX design can improve your career website experience for job applicants

In an effort to communicate your brand’s mission and image to prospective employees, you want your career site to attract talented job applicants who will fill current and future openings. You want the right people who will be the right fit for your company. And what you’re offering could be someone’s dream job, but the UX design of your career site can determine whether applicants even bother taking the time to check out your company. Missed opportunities could abound if proper steps are not taken.

Here are five ways you can improve the user experience on your career page, build your pool of qualified candidates, and attract the workforce your company desires:

1. First things first

Put the most important information near the top of the site to make it easy to find. Shine a spotlight on the application process as a way to attract more resumes and build a database of candidates for future job openings.

2. Keep it simple

If setting up an account is required, walk candidates through the process step by step to ensure no one clicks away because they’re irritated with the process itself. Place a button near the top of the page that leads users to register or upload a resume.

3. Speed, speed, speed

Make sure website text loads immediately, before images, so that visitors can start getting the information they need more quickly, while images load in the background.

4. Keep pages short

Providing additional information below the fold is fine, but realize the longer the page, the less likely visitors are to continue reading. Put resources and other supporting information lower on the page to keep job listings and other important text prominent.

5. Apply from anywhere

Optimize the page for mobile. As the Pew Research Center notes, 28 percent of Americans have used their smartphones to look for a job, and half of these have used them to fill out an application. You’ll want to make sure they can easily find your list of current openings and understand how to apply, especially on a smaller smartphone screen. Intechnic recommends that anything that needs to be clicked take up an area of 1 centimeter by 1 centimeter. Anything smaller could prove frustrating for users to try to see.

Helping site visitors quickly and easily find what they need, and leading them through the job application process, will ensure their experience is positive and you are attracting candidates who most closely align with your company’s needs.

Marcia Layton Turner is an award-winning freelancer who writes regularly about small business and entrepreneurship. Her work has appeared in Entrepreneur, Bloomberg Businessweek, and Black Enterprise, as well as at Forbes, CNNMoney and Amex OPEN Forum, among dozens of others.

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