In today’s digital world your website has to work hard to deliver your brand values, engage your target audience and encourage candidates to identify themselves to you.
Your site has to do some really clever things if you want to take the edge in your field and be seen as market leader.
Your candidates think like consumers. They want clear and compelling messaging that speaks to them personally, obvious calls to action, minimal clicks and engaging content. To deliver these, you must partner with a great website design and management team.
Approach this type of relationship as a marriage and not a one-night stand. Do your due diligence and think about what you want before you even meet these firms. Fortunately, my background in digital transformation in recruitment has helped me to define what I want and I have enough technical knowledge not to be bamboozled. But even with that advantage I have twice found myself at the rough end of a web project relationship.
Fortunately for me it has been third time lucky. But humour me a little. Allow someone who has felt the stress, time and money wasted and sheer frustration of not being listened to or valued, to share straightforward strategies you can – and must – employ to stay on top of a relationship from the start.
Define what you want
1. Before you even talk to a website design company decide if you're happy with your current branding. Revisit it now before investing in your online presence.
2. Once you’re happy with your image, think about functionality and website styling. You will end up with something far better at the end of the project if you can share good visuals with your chosen firm at the start. Create a collection of websites you like and reasons why.
3. Create a list of functionality that you want. How will you use video? What should the job application process look like? Do you want a personalised experience? Should people be able to apply with LinkedIn/ mobile/with or without a CV?
4. Think about what data you want to gather; ensure your Google Analytics is configured correctly from the start, so you can refine and improve your site by monitoring current performance. You want people to stay on your site. Which pages do they visit? Which terms do they search for?
5. With the imminent changes in how we store candidate and client data (see p15), how compliant will your website be?
There’s no such thing as too much detail
Make lists. They don’t have to be technical but you must have a shopping list of the functions, pages, integrations and features for your website. It will give you a list of content to create, and will also give you a tick list for the final contract.
Don’t sign your life away
And this is where you will get caught if you’re not careful. The firm you partner with should break down exactly what they need from you and when. If they won’t do this, then run for the hills.