SmartRecruiters Blog

A Step-by-Step Guide to the Perfect Career Site

As an employer, it can be hard to strike a balance. You want to present yourself as a great place to work to attract the best potential candidates, but you won’t always have lots of time to dedicate to the task.

Even if you already know how to write the perfect job ad, it needs to be presented as part of a strong, cohesive wider strategy of employer branding. How you introduce your company to potential hires should be a key part of your corporate communication plan.

It’s important to be proactive about communicating with interested candidates, and a very simple way to do this is through your company career page. Read on about why it’s important to have one, how much effort you need to put into it, and you can make the most of it to find the most talented people for your team!

What is the value of a career site?

Currently, job seekers can afford to be pretty optimistic about the jobs market, but companies now have to actively compete to attract the best talent. It’s not uncommon for those in high-demand fields – IT professionals are probably the best example – to be in the luxurious position of having their pick of the best job offers.

Web-savvy candidates are making more informed career decisions than ever before. They’re no longer just looking for a livelihood. They’re asking themselves questions like: ‘Is this a company where I would be happy to spend the next few years?’ ‘Do I share their objectives, ideas and vision?’ ‘Can I realise my personal goals here?’. Candidates can avail of a plethora of online resources to find out exactly what they need to know about the companies that interest them.

Through clever use of employer branding, companies can actively present themselves as they wish to be seen, instead of leaving candidates to do their own investigations. This saves the candidates time, and gives companies a golden opportunity to put their best foot forward.

One effective step towards great employer branding is to have a dedicated career page. The goal is to provide potential new employees with an authentic picture of the company and to make clear what you stand for.

A really good career site isn’t just about providing vacancy information – it’s even worthwhile for smaller companies that don’t have any jobs openings at the moment. Its purpose is to convey a sense of what it would be like to work for the company, and it doesn’t take a big investment to make this possible!

Of course, people who eventually apply will need to have the right skills and experience to be considered, but the primary goal of the career page is to encourage those who share the company’s vision and are motivated by the organisation’s goals to apply in the first place.

How to best structure your career site

Before you begin to build your career site, you should ask yourself some basic questions. Who are we looking for? Who is our target audience and what is important to them? Are they seeking job security or adventure? Do they place more value on flexible working hours or higher salaries?

It’s possible that you’ll end up with diverse target groups that need to be addressed differently. For example, career sites now often have sections specifically for tech candidates. At its most basic, the career site is an element of corporate communications that should be in line with the company’s presence on all channels including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and of course your company’s website.

The Basics

  • Present your company’s vision and mission

What do we stand for? Where will our journey lead us? What values do we represent?

  • Show off the office culture

What differentiates us from other companies? What makes us special? What kind of atmosphere do we have here? At this point, the motto is: “show, don’t tell”. Use photos, videos or your Instagram feed instead of bombarding people with reams of text.

  • Brag about employee benefits

What do we have to offer? Are there flexible working hours, a company car, catering, gym memberships, internal or external training opportunities, etc.?

  • Provide any pertinent company information

Who is the contact for applicants? Where is the office? Are there any other offices, and if so, where are they located? Who are the founders or managers? Has there been any relevant press coverage?

If you don’t have any current vacancies, you should briefly express that unsolicited applications are always welcome.


  • FAQs

For those with time and resources who regularly advertise new positions, applicant FAQs can be worthwhile. There you can provide answers to common questions that potential candidates regularly ask. You can display information about who to contact for queries that arise, explain how the application process works, and what you want to see in the ideal application.

  • Live Content

Live content is the icing on the career page cake. This content provides an insight into day-to-day work and the current state of play at the company. For example, Zalando has built a specific job portal for tech candidates which centres around a dedicated blog. The team reports there on their work, provides information on open source projects, offers tips and posts photos of team events.

However, not everyone has the opportunity to maintain a dedicated HR blog. A less time-consuming alternative is an integrated Instagram feed which provides an authentic insight into daily life at the company, and sticks to the aforementioned motto: show, don’t tell. However, if time and manpower are too tight to maintain such channels, they aren’t crucial. If you have the basics covered, you can leave them out.

A little goes a long way

Even just a little effort can really make a huge difference to creating an exciting, evocative career page. Ultimately, its most important goal is to get across an authentic picture of the company and the culture, in a way that suits the means at your disposal. Don’t forget to extend the influence of your company page through using supportive platforms like Kununu or Jobspotting so that you can reach great candidates wherever they’re hanging out online. Creating a fantastic career site doesn’t need a large budget, just a little careful planning, a few hours work, and a willingness to share a little info about your company!

Article republished from Jobspotting and updated Nov 14, 2017.

Sandra Stein