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How Corporate Career Websites Have Evolved

Fifteen years ago, before the advent of online recruitment, recruitment websites, job boards and social networking; recruitment agencies were in a powerful position as they were the gatekeepers, owning the database and access to candidates and clients.

If you were a candidate looking for a new job you had three options; write letters to employers, religiously scan the local, national and trade publications for adverts or go to a recruitment consultant.

The recruitment landscape has changed, as we have moved through the first decade of the 21st Century. The balance of power has shifted from the recruitment agencies to job boards and more recently with the advent of social networking sites to a much more open recruitment market.

In today’s period of austerity direct employers have changed their recruitment model to reduce costs and the era of RPO and Direct Hire has emerged. Whether you are working with an RPO organisation or have an inhouse recruitment team the Career Website has a fundamental role to play in attracting direct candidates and reducing your agency spend.

Your career website is just an extension of your corporate website isn’t it?


Your Corporate Website and Career Website have different roles to play and shouldn’t be confused. Your Corporate Website is designed to attract customers whereas your career website is designed to attract candidates and their requirements for information are very different.

Key points to consider your career website.


The design of your career website should be easy to navigate and be focussed on usability and functionality. Remember the majority of visitors to the site will be looking for a job and to find out what you are like as an employer.

Make it personal, employer brand is about people and the values your business has. The more personal a corporate career website the more likely you are to engage.

Jobs should be easy to find and the use of browse links to departments is an approach which has been used successfully for many years by recruiters and job boards. The destination pages for these department links can be become landing pages an extremely important aspect of career website design and aid search engine optimisation.

Internal pages should carry clear calls to action, whether it is job search a featured jobs or information on a career fair. 

Flash in Career Websites

Flash animation may look good when advertising consumer brands and cars, but should not form the main part of your website as it is detrimental to search engine optimisation, fails accessibility standards without a standard html version and is generally to be avoided. If you want to include movement into imagery then Flash can be used well, but it should be used in context and not in areas of functionality. 


Vacancy Database

Imagine a business advertising products on the website which can’t be found by the search engines? It would not make commercial sense, yet the majority of direct employers have vacancies that either cannot be indexed by Google, or are indexed against their ATS providers domain. At a recent online recruitment conference two of the headline employers, both household names, integrated with their ATS provider in a manner which effectively hid their jobs from Google. Both these companies had focussed time and money on the content of their career site and using social media, but had missed one of the fundamental basics of developing recruitment websites.

The content which over 14 million internet job seekers were searching Google, every month could not be found. 

Integrated Applicant Tracking Systems 

If your job search is integrated with one of the large, well known ATS or ERP systems, chances are that your career website or vacancy search is using your ATS provider’s domain and a web address such as .

Alternatively the vacancy search functionality is provided through an i-Frame. Neither of these methods of integration will help your vacancies to be indexed effectively by Google. If you’re not sure just check the URL when you carry out a job search, if it doesn’t change you’re using an i-Frame.

The good news is that most ATS and ERP systems already either provide integration with a multi-posting service such as Broadbean or Idibu, or can provide a datafeed of your vacancy information direct to the website. Choose a web development company experienced in the recruitment sector, such as HotLizard, and you will find that they already develop websites that can integrate with a wide variety of systems using these simple and cost effective methods.

Candidate applications are managed simply with candidate information moving seamlessly from the website to your ATS.

Through their own profile on your website, they are provided with the expected Jobs by Email and Jobs by RSS to keep updated on new opportunities. 

Job Search and Application 

An easy to use vacancy search is essential and often an area that direct employers get wrong. Simple is always the best approach with any recruitment orientated website as candidates typically search by job title (or type) and location and by adding too many variables the chance of returning zero results increases.

Browse jobs by using text links is an excellent method of searching and also ensures that search engines can quickly index your vacancies.

Once someone has searched for a vacancy, make it easy for them to apply and more importantly register on the website. Direct Employers tend to use a more comprehensive application form, but you’ll increase your response rate by simplifying this and capturing the minimum information and allowing the applicant to attach their CV. The use of CV Parsing Tools in the background will allow your ATS to be populated and provided a candidate with the option to update at a later date. 

Jobs by Email

This has almost been an expected standard for candidates for 10 years and is an easy opportunity to engage with a candidate once they have left the site. Not only can they receive suitable job adverts by email, but you can use these emails to hi-light other opportunities, news or events and even advertise a referral scheme. 

RSS  Feeds

RSS Feeds not only allow visitors to receive the latest jobs in almost real time, but they also allow quick integration with social networking sites such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook, as well any blogs employees may manage. Encourage your employees to visit your social networking groups or pages and to share this information with their networks. A simple employee referral scheme will benefit your recruitment budget. 

‘Share This’ or ‘Add This’

Have you noticed that many news and information websites have a series of buttons on a page, often next to the title? These buttons are known as social bookmarks and through the use of Third Party Software such as Add This and Share This, your web pages can be shared to visitors pages on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter etc. As a direct employer this approach to viral advertising can quickly disseminate a job advert or piece of news to a wide audience through visitors’ friends and professional colleagues. 

Mobile Career Sites 

Mobile is an increasingly important aspect of social media recruitment. The growth of smart phones, especially the I-Phone has created a new generation of internet users and seen a change in browsing habits. Research has shown that the use of mobiles to access the internet has extended the timeframe for job searching. Traditionally the majority of job seekers accessed the internet during the working day, trailing off in the evening, but the advert of mobile internet access has extended this well into the late evening without any significant reduction in traffic during the day. This suggests that the personal, private and portable nature of the mobile phone provides recruiters with a far wider market.

Just think of the ritual you go through before leaving the house:




A mobile website or application is therefore an essential part of a modern candidate attraction strategy and with mobile internet users forecast to outstrip traditional computer access over the coming years, the rewards will be there for employers who are early adopters.

Content and Content Management Systems 

Keeping your website up to date and fresh is an important aspect of candidate and talent attraction. Engage with your visitors through the addition of well written and planned articles or information. A picture says a thousand words is a common phrase, but the addition of video enhances this tenfold. What better opportunity for your business to showcase the environment and people that work with in it. Many companies have taken the step of allowing employees to create content for the career site through the use of smart phones or video a department head extolling the virtues of joining the team. The high quality video which can be created quickly on a budget provides potential employees with a real insight into what the business is truly about.

This means that an easy to use content administration system is essential, as without you will always need either your IT Department or Your Website Developer to update information. 


When looking at your Career Website, it is important that you choose a partner that is experienced in developing websites with the recruitment market. Your media and design agency may be experienced in developing corporate websites, but an expert in recruitment website design will be able to deliver far more return on investment and will have extensive experience of integrating with Recruitment and ATS systems, as well as being at the forefront of new online recruitment tools.

HotLizard is a leading online recruitment technology and marketing solutions company with over 11 years experience in working with recruitment businesses and corporate HR departments. Its suite of innovative solutions and services include bespoke job board solutions, job board software, recruitment website design, recruitment website software, recruitment SEO services, and recruitment software.

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