What Does 2013 Hold For Talent Communities? Here Are The 10 Ways They Will Transform Career Sites

In looking ahead to 2013, as talent communities gain in popularity, we are predicting a social renaissance of the corporate career website. This is a direct result of the social enterprise’s need to connect with top talent on the candidate’s terms. The best talent expects a certain level of respect, transparency and ease as they engage with potential employers and make critical career decisions. Only those employers that deliver an outstanding candidate experience at the career website will win in the war for talent.

Our research shows that 88% of candidates prefer to make career choices and apply to jobs at a corporation’s own career site*. Yet, most career sites are in need an overhaul to attract the best talent in a more social way online. Today’s corporate career sites are usually limited to a static listing of jobs which creates an impersonal, transactional approach to hiring. And, as result of a long, complicated application process and the candidate’s fear of never hearing back, companies connect with less than 1 of 10 candidates who visit their site. More often than not, the best talent is getting away. In order to capture both active and passive candidates, companies need to engage with all visitors to the career website and build relationships over time. This means eliminating any barriers to entry and delivering a stellar candidate experience.

The fix? Transform a career site into a social talent community. Corporations are beginning to realize that in addition to leveraging social networks like LinkedIn, they also need to adopt new tools that enable them to be social at their own corporate site.

Here are 10 ways that companies can transform their existing career website into an active, engaging talent community.

Article Continues Below
  1. Two-Way Communication: Give candidates the opportunity to ask questions of hiring managers and recruiters. Limit the message size to 300 characters to make it easier to respond quickly. And provide an FAQ section to reduce the amount of work answering questions over and over.
  2. Light Social Engagement: Make it easy for passive candidates to join the talent community, and casually interact with you. Do not require that they apply to a job in order to express interest in working for you. This may cause you to miss out on connecting with valuable candidates who aren’t ready to commit.
  3. Professional Profiles: Let candidates create professional profiles within your community. And, by offering them valuable content as reasons to return, this will ensure their profile is up to date.
  4. Build Long-Term Relationships: Offer candidates an enriching experience when they visit your career site, treat them like a customer. And most importantly, keep the lines of communication open so that you know where they are in their career path when it’s time to hire.
  5. All-Inclusive Talent Pool: The ideal talent pool contains all potential candidates: job seekers, internal employees, and even former employees who might consider returning. The goal of a community is to be able to source candidates from one central place when a hiring need arises.
  6. Employee Referrals through Social Networks: Your best employees are connected to top talent through their social networks. So, give them easy ways to connect with their entire network, by inviting friends and family to job openings or even to join the talent community.
  7. Job Fit Transparency: Tell candidates how well-suited they are for jobs before they apply. This helps to set their expectations early on, and ultimately improve the candidate experience you deliver. It also works to reduce the amount of unqualified resumes you receive – easing the screening process.
  8. Job Recommendations: Deliver a great candidate experience by sharing job openings that are relevant to candidates. Don’t waste their time (or yours) inviting them to apply to jobs that are outside of their career field or expertise.
  9. Candidate Engagement: Keep your talent pool active, by giving them plenty of reasons to return to the community. Monthly newsletters that combine the latest news and announcements, in addition to recommended job openings keeps them engaged. Opening a new location? Growing a business unit? Announce it to your community before anyone else, and build interest ahead of time.
  10. Curate Content: Chances are, your marketing team has developed valuable content about your company. Simply curate those videos, slideshows and articles to give candidates a sense of culture, how the departments function, and what their professional growth plan might look like.

What’s your opinion? How do you think a talent community can transform career sites in 2013 and beyond?

*Ascendify Talent Community Survey 2012

Matt Hendrickson is Founder & CEO of Ascendify, which builds enterprise talent communities for large companies so they can connect with future talent in a more social way. Previously, founder of ResumeMaker, Matt brings 20-years experience and thought-leadership to talent acquisition.


4 Comments on “What Does 2013 Hold For Talent Communities? Here Are The 10 Ways They Will Transform Career Sites

  1. I absolutely agree that we need to interact with the visitors to our career site, especially those that are in the talent segments. Community in its purest sense suggests that there is a space for conversation. The prospect of having a conversation (or the potential of a conversation) with every visitor poses a daunting challenge. That said, I believe that enhancing the candidate experience (aka the black hole) is an imperative.

    I think your article covers a great many salient point around community–thanks for sharing.


  2. Good perspective. As a past job seeker and someone who is now learning about recruiting, I often found that finding a job through corporate websites was both a huge waste of time and a less personal experience than online shopping. Some companies’ sites didn’t even work properly.

    And I have one company in Chicago that I applied with 5 years ago still spamming me with ‘job matches’ that are totally unrelated to what I do, and despite that fact that I now live in Denver. I would close that account except that the emails include no information on how to do so…definitely not the hiring experience they are hoping for, I would think.

  3. Great write up Matt. I think candidates expect more now and are unwilling to just apply to an ATS without first knowing more about the role, the manager, the organisation. Orgs need to understand that the candidate landscape is changing and they need to change with it. Some really great points outlined – thanks!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *