What are candidate testing websites

Usability check: applicants pay attention to this with career websites!

Put your website through its paces with our usability checklist. Applicants have certain expectations of career websites that you as an employer should meet.

From many recruiting projects I would like to reveal my very personal checklist for improving the usability of a career website today. I use this checklist for all audits within our Discovery Workshops and it is a central part of our HR marketing services.

The checklist is for all those who ask the same questions as our customers:

  • How do I get more applicants?
  • How can I become more visible as an employer?
  • How can I simplify my recruiting with the help of my website?
  • How do I convince young applicants on the Internet?
  • How do I get potential candidates to choose me?
  • How can I simplify my application process?

Step 0: change perspective

If you want to create or optimize an easy-to-use and successful career page for your employer brand, you have to turn your perspective on recruiting by 180 °. Look at your company as someone who

  • Your company doesn't know
  • don't know what your company is doing &
  • does not feel like tormenting his way through a jungle of information to find out what is hidden behind the previous two indents.

Once you have internalized this, the basis for the following points on the checklist has been laid and you can begin with the review and the subsequent implementation.

Improve usability [checklist]

The following points are already sorted according to priority and can be implemented independently in focus projects. I'll go into each point in more detail later in the article.

  1. Make your career area visible on the website
  2. Use a mobile-optimized layout
  3. Reduce your application forms to the essentials
  4. Improve the loading time
  5. Create an authentic representation of your company
  6. Provide applicants with basic information about the employer brand

Make your career area visible

Many employers haven't internalized it yet: every visitor to your website is a potential new employee to your company. It is all the more important that you integrate your career area or your career page on the website in such a way that someone who visits your company can find their way there directly.

Avoid placing the career page somewhere in the footer of the website or, in the worst case, outsourcing it to a subdomain like karriere.meinunternehmen.de and not having a link on the website at all. Henner Knabenreich made a perfect statement in one of his podcast episodes: “This is an applicant avoidance strategy”.

As a recruiter, you can ensure that one of the most important areas in the company ends up in the main navigation of your company website.

It doesn't have to be directly on the first level of the navigation. But as a submenu item in the “About Us” or “Our Company” area, it should basically be feasible.

Use a mobile-optimized layout

The sales of desktop computers are decreasing from year to year. Young people grow up with a technological understanding that it probably no longer works without a smartphone. In 2015, Google recorded for the first time that more mobile requests were sent to Google than requests from tablet and desktop computers combined.

The time of the website that is not optimized for mobile devices has expired.

A mobile website is a must, especially in training and career entry campaigns. In very few cases, these young candidates even have a desktop PC and are so self-determined that they do not always want to use their parents' PC, if available, to apply for a job that they already have on their smartphone anyway have opened.

I have already explained in another blog post how you can create targeted job offers.

The best practice for providing a mobile-optimized website for your users is the approach of a responsive website layout.

To test whether your pages are optimized for mobile devices, Google has provided a free tool.

Reduce your application forms

Thanks to the GDPR, application forms are now required by law. Please only use the mandatory fields in the application forms that you actually need for an application. It is not necessary for a user to first register with your applicant management system, if one exists, in order to be able to apply for a position that is difficult to very difficult to fill anyway.

Reduce the application forms to the most important information.

We have had very good experiences in our projects with application forms that ask for the following fields:

  • First name
  • Surname
  • E-mail address*
  • File upload *

Only the email address and the file upload for the application documents are required. All other information is in the application anyway.

And if you adhere to the principles of the GDPR on data economy, it is not necessary to define any more fields as mandatory fields. As a recruiter, you should use this for yourself.

Improve the loading time

Isa and Max are sitting together in the bistro. Isa talks about her new job and Max is fascinated by Isa's new apprenticeship. Max wants to do exactly what Isa does: training as an industrial clerk.

Max pulls out his smartphone and types in the search box "Training as an industrial clerk". The first result on Google is your business. Max clicks on your result and lands on your careers page.

After 3 seconds, Max (according to Google) is so impatient that he returns to the search on Google and clicks on the next result: straight to your competitor. He delivers his career page in less than 3 seconds and was able to win Max over.

Use these insights as an opportunity to optimize your page speed.

A tool for checking the loading time including a task list, what needs to be done to get faster, comes conveniently as a free browser plug-in for Chrome. The Lighthouse extension. You can forward the results of the Pagespeed audit directly to the relevant departments in your company.

Repeat loops are encouraged. Job seekers and those interested in training will thank you for this with more applications.

Create an authentic representation

We often hear from applicants that when they visit the website they are looking in vain for content that authentically represents the company. There are no up-to-date pictures of the location, statements from future work colleagues and clear announcements about how the company “ticks”.

Many HR professionals let themselves be chased into the box by classic advertising agencies by accepting high-gloss design as best practice in HR marketing. Everything is perfectly coordinated. Images that do not come from the company will be replaced with stock photos.

In a standard photo shoot, employees from the various departments are all photographed from the same direction with the same background. Is the working world in your company so monotonous and perfect? No corners? No edges?

Not at all!

Create an atmosphere that corresponds to your working environment. Applicants can use an authentic insight to evaluate directly for themselves whether they would like to work for this company.

This automatically increases the quality of applicants and you can assume from the outset that your company will be accepted by the applicant as it is.

Provide basic information about the employer brand

According to Google, 42% of internet users do not interact with a company because information on the desired topics is missing or incomplete. In the context of your recruiting process, they are often the simple things applicants expect.

  • A tidy navigation
  • Information on the basic application process
  • Contact person for queries
  • Benefits within the company
  • Company values ​​& basic corporate culture
  • Structure of the organization & career paths

Ask? Then please bring it on!

If you have any questions or suggestions on the subject, please use the comment function under this article or send us an email.

Take a few steps back and see your business from a distance. Evaluate the individual points on this checklist and for yourself start optimizing your application process.

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Sascha Albrink

I have been a passionate online marketer since 2002 and have been advising companies on all aspects of search engine marketing since then. My specialty is SEO consulting with a focus on the strategic development of SEO growth concepts.