Candidate Experience Recruitment Marketing

Building a Stand-out Careers Site Experience Using Candidate Behavior Data

Building a Stand-out Careers Site Experience Using Candidate Behavior Data
4.7 (93%) 20 votes

Do you know what candidates think about your careers site?

If hard-pressed, could you find definitive answers to any of these questions:

  • What brand perceptions do candidates form after browsing your careers site?
  • Are candidates getting everything they need when they visit your careers site? Or is there important information missing?
  • How do candidates navigate your careers site? Where do they go first? How far down the page do they scroll?

If you don’t know the answers to these questions, you’re not alone. Most of us in Recruitment Marketing have a long journey ahead when it comes to collecting and using candidate behavior data as the driver for improving our candidate experience.

The good news is that if you’re not quite there yet when it comes to answering these questions, this article is for you.

Over the past year at Great Clips, my team has been obsessed with creating a better candidate experience on the Great Clips careers site.

In order to improve the candidate experience, we’ve implemented a number of new tools that allow us to collect more candidate behavior data and use it to make informed careers site improvements.

Here’s a bit more on our careers site enhancement journey to date, the data we’ve collected and the improvements we’ve made as a result:

Phase 1: Upgrading our careers site to align with candidate behavior observations

Back in the spring of last year, our team had made a couple of candidate behavior observations that motivated us to do a complete careers site overhaul.

Those observations were:

  1. That some candidates were submitting their interest to jobs in locations that were not convenient to them at all. In many cases, there were relevant job openings at franchised salon locations that were much closer to where they lived that they didn’t see on our careers site.
  2. That many candidates were coming to the careers site directly through a job board first and missing out on all the great content that we had painstakingly created for them on the careers pages.

In order to address these issues and to better track future candidate behavior patterns, we partnered up with TMP Worldwide to launch a new careers site.

Our new careers site addressed these two candidate behavior observations we had in the following ways:

For the location-based issue, the new site recognizes the location of the site visitor. Candidates are now automatically presented with the jobs closest to them when doing a search. At our vendor’s recommendation, we also added a feature so candidates are delivered up jobs near them right on the home page of the site, before even having to conduct a job search.

For the job description issue, TMP worked with us to develop what we call “advanced job descriptions.” These advanced job descriptions provide a better first impression of our brand to candidates.

With advanced job descriptions, candidates are no longer presented with a wall of text when clicking through from a job board! These new job descriptions actually act like a mini careers site – they contain more visual and video content, icons that showcase benefits of working at a franchised salon and content that can be personalized to a candidate’s location.

Phase 2: Implementing new tools to collect more candidate behavior data

Next up, we knew we needed to find ways to continue tracking how the site was being used so we could update it on an ongoing basis to provide the best experience possible.

TMP brought forward two new measurement options that we quickly added to our toolkit to glean even more candidate behavior insights. These tools are:

  1. Heatmaps
  2. Candidate surveys

Heatmaps are a tool that is regularly used in marketing that show a visual representation of the way your site is being used. They show how candidates interact with a given page, where they click, how far down they scroll and what other pages they navigate to (and how they use those pages in turn).

Here’s an example of what a heatmap looks like in action:

In the above heatmap, the areas that are clicked on most are darker and feature “hotter” colors (red instead of blue, for instance).

Secondly, we also implemented candidate surveys at the front end of the recruitment marketing process, during the attraction and consideration stages.

Previously, we had administered candidate surveys once candidates had completed an interest form for a specific franchised location, but this meant we were missing out on all the candidates who didn’t reach that stage because they decided not to apply or weren’t qualified for a specific role at a given time. In other words, we were missing out on a lot of valuable data!

The new survey sits right on the careers site, so anyone visiting can have the chance to leave their feedback about their experience navigating the page, accessing information and interacting with our brand. We even track our net promoter score this way by asking questions about if they would recommend our careers site to a friend.

Phase 3: Making improvements based on candidate behavior data from our new tools

Once the new heatmap and candidate survey tools had been in place for a couple of months, we were ready to read the data and make some further tweaks.

Here’s an example of one of the observations we’ve made and the changes we quickly actioned on to address it:

Candidate behavior observation

Using the heatmap tracking tool, we noticed that the “menu” button was the most clicked on spot for site visitors.

Our assumption had been that the jobs search page would have been more popular, but this was discredited by the heat map.

This meant that the site content describing the Great Clips employee experience was even more important to candidates than we’d realized.

However, this primary emphasis on the menu button was also partnered with the fact that people weren’t scrolling as far down on each page as we thought they would be. And some of the great content we had further to the bottom of the pages was getting missed.

In particular, we use a social aggregator tool called Tint that pulls in content that salon employees share on social media with the hashtags #Stylisthood and #LifeatGreatClips. We were really proud of the great salon employee-generated content being produced here and were disappointed candidates weren’t getting to see it. 

Candidate experience enhancement 

To address this, we decided to place this content in a place that was more prominently visited, according to the heatmap data.

Since candidates were using the “menu” first and foremost, we put the content on a net new page called “Life at Great Clips” that was listed under the main menu.

Now more candidates can engage with the real-time content salon employees are sharing – and can form some great perceptions about working for the Great Clips brand!

What’s next?

Now that we have these tools in place, we’re focused on establishing candidate behavior baselines and tracking trends over time.

By creating a robust framework for tracking and reporting on this, we can quickly spot where we need to make changes to the careers site to ensure we deliver on a stand-out candidate experience on an ongoing basis.

As we gain more and more marketing tools and capabilities, it’s a really exciting time for our team at Great Clips and for the broader recruiting industry.

Our team is looking forward to the stories and insights we’ll be able to pull from this data. Personally, I can’t wait to see how careers sites in general evolve with all of this new data in the coming years!

Building a Stand-out Careers Site Experience Using Candidate Behavior Data
4.7 (93%) 20 votes

About the Author

Profile photo of Jared Nypen, RallyRM Mentor

Jared Nypen, RallyRM Mentor

Vice President of Talent at Great Clips and a RallyRM Mentor