The User-Experience of your Recruitment/Careers Website - Have You Tested it Yet?

Posted by Johnny Campbell,
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The World's Smallest Mobile Phone

That’s great, but what’s the point?

Generally, the only time recruiters would have heard of the term “User Experience” is when they’re looking to hire a UX designer. It’s not often a commonly thought concern of recruiters and their websites for receiving job applications, but the truth of the matter is – if your website isn’t working for you, ie. people are checking out your jobs but they’re not applying, there’s something wrong with the User Experience. And there’s only one way to really fix it: test it.

So here’s some stats that’ll give you some context:

Registration User Experience

If you require people to set up an account on your site in order to submit their CV and register with you, it turns out that 86% of people say they’re bothered by this, and said they would actually change their behaviour:

  • 54% might leave the site and not return
  • 26% would go to a different site if possible
  • 6% would just simply leave or avoid the site
  • 14% would not complete the registration

88% admitted to supplying incorrect information or leaving form fields incomplete. 90% admitted to leaving a website if they couldn’t remember their login details rather than taking the time to recover their login information.

However, on a more positive note, 77% responded to say that using a Social Login (like signing in with Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn) is “a good solution that should be offered”, and 41% prefer a social login to creating a new user account.

(Source: Marketing Sherpa Blog)

Job Application User Experience

During the application process, you can measure the drop-off rate as candidates progress through. The more stages you have in the form, the larger drop-off you’ll get. Measuring the flow of applicants is achieved through Google Analytics, using the Goal Funnels. Arm yourself with real-time and accurate information about your site, don’t just assume that all applicants follow through. If there’s a drop-off, identify the point in which they drop off and change the process to maximise completed applications.

Frustrated with the User ExperienceUser Experience on Mobiles

If your website isn’t mobile optimised (yes, I’m going on about this again) here’s something to chew on:

More people own mobile phones than they do toothbrushes! This was a fact pointed out to the delegates at the recent DotConf in Dublin that I was hard-pressed to believe, but here’s the reference on Mindjumpers. Mad stuff

Mobile commerce is projected to increase ten-fold over 2010’s figure of $3 billion to $31 billion by 2016. What does this mean for recruitment websites when you’re not technically selling products that people can purchase? It means that your customers (ie, candidates) will be so used to conducting transactions on their mobile that they’ll simply expect to be able to use your site from their mobile or tablet device without much hassle.

When testing the user experience of your website on a mobile device, the easiest thing in the world is to load up your home page on your own mobile and try the whole process for yourself. Check for the following features:

(a) Can you see what’s going on – ie, are you greeted with calls to action that you can actually read, or do you have to pinch and zoom in to see anything?
(b) Can you search for jobs easily on the phone?
(c) Can you actually apply for those jobs? Here’s the tricky bit: who has their CV stored somewhere on their phone? Very few is the answer!
(d) Can you sign up to register with your agency using your phone, or is it simply easier using a desktop?

How do you solve these issues?

(a) Get your website mobile-optimised using Fluid CSS (HTML5), or follow this guide we blogged about last month on mobile website creation.
(b) Your search bars should be large enough to read without having to zoom. They should also prompt you from multiple selections, rather than having to type in your desired criteria. These selections will be active categories that your jobs have been filed under, so that there’s no empty categories that turn up no results.
(c) Do at least one of these: Enable an applicant to save the job for later to apply using their desktop; use the Apply with LinkedIn button (a terribly under-used option but a very valuable one); or enable candidates to apply as an “Intention of Interest” rather than a full application, where you will email them later and follow up.
(d) Use a social login for candidates to register themselves with your agency. Studies have shown that customers prefer it, and it provides you with factual data (since 88% of people admitted to supplying false or misleading information when asked to fill out lengthy registration forms).

While we’ve only scraped the surface of User Experience, these steps are going to provide the greatest and most immediate return on investment than any other UX design you could possibly invest in. Do you know of any great examples of good UX for a recruitment or careers website? What elements would you advise companies install on their site to make it more user friendly? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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