8 secrets to attracting top talent

8 Ways to Attract Top Talent to Your Career Site

More and more, job seekers are looking to online resources to learn about the company for whom they wish to work.

While referrals remain the number one source for internal hires, at about 25 percent according to CareerXroad’s 2013 Source of Hire report, right behind that number – at 23 percent – is career sites.

Following that is job boards at 18 and, somewhat surprising, hires acquired through social media fall below three percent.

What’s important to note from these statistics is that candidates acquired through a company career site were hired faster and stayed on board longer than from any other source.

So what is it about an organization’s career site that seems to attract lasting talent?

Well, it’s where one goes to learn about your organization, to learn about the company culture, to find available opportunities and discover what you have to offer in benefits and perks, and to interact with recruiters, so it’s most likely that this is where they are most engaged with your employer branding.

Your career site is the window into your healthcare organization and it has the power to showcase the vision of the work experience.

As such, you want it to be informative, easily navigable and fairly simple in design with an easy to use applicant tracking system that works across multiple devices, to keep visitors engaged.

There are several components to enhance the experience a potential candidate has on your career site and applying these will turn that experience into a lead who is excited about what your employer brand offers.

1. Follow Through with Your Employer Branding

Your employer branding says that you are the employer of choice in your market. You can’t just say it; you have to show it.

The content you provide needs to have personal meaning to every future employee that lands on your page and it must lean toward the relationships your existing employees have with the company.

In other words, make it about the employee experience.

After all, your employees provide the best insight into the culture of your organization. They know firsthand what it’s like to be part of the values that your brand represents.

Share their insights. Highlight their successes. Publish their stories on how they make a difference.

Be genuine in your content and you will create an emotional response from any potential candidate.

By the time that hire has finished consuming your content, he or she will have a clear idea of the culture within the company and will be excited to be part of it.

2. Readily Identify Growth and Opportunity

It’s important to not only show why you are the best healthcare organization to work for, but also what the right career path is for a candidate and what that career will look like.

This is your compelling value proposition, also known as a customer value proposition in B2B marketing, or CVP for short.

There’s an old marketing adage that says a prospect needs to hear your message at least seven times before they take action.

So someone may visit your career page up to seven times before they make a commitment to apply.

Your message is a compelling argument that sets you apart from a competing healthcare organization.

You have to make clear the opportunities you provide and what kind of growth and professional advancement one can expect from a career with you.

Include all opportunities for career development, any continuing education, tuition assistance, schedule flexibility, all the things that promise a fulfilling career in a healthcare role.

Obviously, employee experience can help convey this, but you also want to have your recruiters accessible to answer any questions. This sounds obvious, but make sure their contact information is readily available.

A strong value proposition that expresses how you care for employees will attain and retain the best talent.

3. Provide a Talent Community

One of the greatest assets on your career site is your talent community.

It is a database of potential hires that have not yet made the commitment to fill out an application and join you.

Where your employer branding and value proposition is geared toward attracting talent, your talent community is a proactive tool for lead generation.

It’s an area within your career site that allows an individual to create a personal account and set options for various email notifications.

Sometimes you’ll have a candidate that loves your organization, wants to work for you, but there are no current opportunities that match that person’s skillset or the individual just isn’t ready to move forward.

Having a way for that candidate to receive alerts for job openings, upload a resume for future use and/or monitor positions at a particular facility can lead to quickly filling roles with qualified candidates.

Make it easy to find. There should be a clear call-to-action above the fold that jumps out at you asking persons to join your Talent Community.

Describe the benefits of signing up and provide options that can be set within the application.

Our version of the talent community offers the above options, plus the ability to create lists of favorite hospitals and particular job openings, save job searches, receive RSS feed notifications and share jobs with friends and family.

It’s a pretty powerful tool for recruiting quality healthcare workers.

4. Be Visually Inviting

While it’s important that your career site doesn’t stray too far from your main site’s design, you should make it visually appealing.

The most compelling content will not keep a reader’s attention if the design is stale and boring or too extravagant even.

Strong visual elements that complement white space can enhance the user experience and help engagement with your content.

And nothing works to engage candidates better than vibrant images of your workplace and employee interaction.

Video also works great as an engagement tactic. In fact, it’s fairly common practice to include video in the talent acquisition process.

Use anything that will maintain interest and compel someone to remain on the site as long as possible. The longer they are engaged, the more likely they will join your talent network or begin the application process.

And that’s what you’re working toward.

5. Be Mobile

Along with being visually inviting comes being visually accessible.

That means having a site that is responsive to several browser types as well as several devices, or in short, being mobile.

It always seems like the healthcare industry lags behind in basic technology. For example, how many of you are still using Internet Explorer 6 or IE7 as your organization’s browser of choice?

It’s no different with mobile accessibility. Few career websites in the healthcare industry are mobile accessible – about 11%, according to this report by Career builder.

In a world growing increasingly mobile, that’s a sad statistic.

LinkedIn suggests about 72% of candidates actively seeking employment use a mobile device to view company career sites.

Candidates want to access your information on their phones, they want to apply for jobs on their phones, upload resumes and communicate with recruiters on their phones.

Even if it’s a small percentage of folks trying to access you through their phones, let them.

What it boils down to is, if your career website doesn’t work on a mobile device, you’re missing out on a growing segment of talent.

6. Feature Your Most Recent Jobs

It should be fairly clear by now that you want important features on your career site to stand out and be found easily. This also goes for the opportunities you have available within your organization.

After all, it’s a “career” site. What good is that without some actual career opportunities to showcase?

Of significant importance is to show current availability, being sure to purge old listings as soon as they are outdated or filled.

Leaving old requisitions in the database presents confusion for an applicant and makes it look like you don’t care about the company which in turn will make interested parties lose interest.

Announce at the top of the listing that the openings are new and the positions are ready for new hires.

This is especially helpful in expediting those need-to-fill roles.

7. Provide a Search Function to Find Other Opportunities

Passive candidates are generally not in a hurry to apply. They want to “browse” your job listings.

So let them.

Provide options to search for positions they are interested in by keyword, job category and geographical location.

  1. Keyword Search involves typing in the position the candidate is interested in.
  2. Job Category involves a list of prefilled job classes to choose from.
  3. Geographical location provides openings based on specific regions.

While you might not require all of these, they are by far the easiest approach to drawing in more qualified applicants.

8. Allow Visitors to Easily Apply Through Your Career Site

You’ve got all the information a candidate wants and the individual has found the perfect position in your company.

Then you send that person away to some other website where they have to create a new account and jump through a channel of hoops before being able to apply.


A complicated applicant tracking system, or ATS, results in a high dropout rate in applicants who would rather opt out and give up than sit through a long process.

That is a lot of talent lost and, not surprisingly, is what talent gripes about the most.

The application process should be easy and simple and able to be completed while they are on your career site in a short time.

You already have the candidate’s interest at this point and they want to fill out the application now. So let them.

If you’ve included a resume upload as part of your Talent Community experience, you can cut out several steps in the application process by prepopulating areas once the candidate logs in and clicks apply.

In addition to reducing dropout rate, it is extremely timesaving for the applicant interested in more than one position.

In Closing

Your career site is your number one tool for attracting the individuals you want working for your company. Use these strategies to your advantage.

Providing employee perspectives that tell your story, defining the paths to opportunity and growth, being accessible on mobile and implementing interactive features such as a Talent Community and the ability to complete an application on your site – these are just a few of the real techniques that work to attract top talent.

Above all else make the experience interesting for the candidate.

The more engaging your career site is, the more impact your employer brand will have in influencing top talent to work for you.

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