Consider the following facts:
- According to Barbara Ashton, an executive search recruiter, headhunting agencies charge anywhere between 15% and 25% of the candidates total first year earnings.
- There are 729,800 talented people searching for jobs on Google every month (April-May 2016).
It is, therefore, easy to deduce that:
- Many talented workers are searching for jobs on Google.
- You can deploy SEO to attract these talented job searchers and thereby reduce the cost of employee acquisition.
And I’m about to show you how to use your SEO knowledge to acquire talent for your organization.
I want to provide true value in this article. But even if you aren’t hiring someone right now, you can use the principles in this article to apply to other needs. And for our conversion rate optimizers out there: the best way to have an effective CRO strategy is to attract talented optimizers to your team.
SEO is incredibly powerful, and the strategies I outline here can be repurposed for your other objectives.
1. Create a rock solid career section on your website.
If you want to attract the best talent, you must have an impressive website.
That “impressive website” needs to have a solid careers section.
In 2015, Nike’s agency, TMP Worldwide, designed a careers section with a clever and inspiring copy, helpful features, great SEO and content. The agency won a Webby for it.
Long story short: Create a careers section on your website that provides helpful information and leaves the job seeker impressed. Such perceptions will help boost your brand image.
Vacancies must be appropriately categorized and the UI must be simple and intuitive. A search function should be built in to help the job seeker search for his or her exact requirements.
If you have a small business, then too you should create an informative and enriching careers section.
It may not require a search function or categorization, but the information and experience must hook the job searcher.
The careers section on your site is the foundation of all SEO that follows.
2. Pay attention to your URLs.
URLs matter for SEO, and for job seekers in particular.
The job seeker will likely see the URL. If the URL is a string of numbers and symbols, it communicates little to nothing to the job seeker.
If, on the other hand, the URL contains the relevant keywords, it increases the likelihood of earning a click through and gaining a conversion.
Short, descriptive URLs work best.
Here’s what a Job URL should contain (as appropriate): Company name, job title, location and the keyword “jobs.”
3. Write effective meta titles and description.
SEO-friendly meta titles and descriptions help your job pages rank higher.
Make these titles and description rich and compelling. Remember, you’re offering something of value. It’s something that can enhance someone’s life. Sell it!
Here are the elements you should include, along with character limits.
- Title (up to 70 characters for desktop, 78 for mobile): Job Title, location, company name.
- Description (up to 165 characters): Job title in detail, location, company name + some call to action (e.g., browse now, search, apply, etc.)
While you’re at it, try using a site like onpage.org to get an analysis of your on-page SEO. You might find that you have a few things to fix in your source code which can save you a lot of headache down the road.
4. Post your job announcement on key job sites.
Just go to Google.com, and search for, let’s say, “Jobs in NY.” Check the results.
Some of the most prominent sites featuring on the SERP (search engine result page/position) # 1 are Craigslist (New York) (Free), Indeed (Paid), New York Jobs (Paid), CareerBuilder (Paid), Monster (Paid), LinkedIn (Paid) and NY Times (Paid).
Now search “SEO jobs in NY,” and you’ll find that SERP # 1 was monopolized by Indeed, Jobs.net, Distilled (a global SEO company), Search Engine Land (a SEO blog), LinkedIn and Simply Hired. All these job sites are paid.
The point I’m trying to make is that you will have to compete with the biggies for SERP #1 and this looks like a real toughie.
Therefore, here’s what you should do:
- Research the SERPs, and figure out what job sites are showing up for specific job queries.
- Make a list of sites, both paid and free. Remember that many job seekers will not abandon Google after browsing Page 1 of SERPs. Therefore, make a list of free and paid job listing sites that appear up to page 3 of the SERPs.
- Post your job on all free local classified sites. Craigslist should be on your list.
- If budget permits, post your job on a couple of highly ranked paid sites.
In this way, your job posting will make it to the top, even if the post on your site doesn’t.
5. Create a job video.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth millions. Searchers prefer watching videos and search engines are happily obliging.
Check this video out. It talks about the role of a Media Accounts Executive at Time Warner Media. The video has plenty of views, and you can bet some applicants have watched it and applied as a result.
Get inspired by the many job post videos on YouTube and create one of your own. If the title and the short description is keyword rich, your video should be picked up by search engines.
Your video can be about the role, the challenges that candidates face, the working conditions that you offer, employee testimonials, or any variety of things that will interest and attract a potential candidate.
6. Promote it on social media.
There are many employment groups on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Post your vacancies and the job videos you created in such groups.
Ideally, you should engage and debate with job seekers on social media by answering questions on employer expectations, fair wages, working conditions, brainteasers that are posed during an interview, and other things that will help you connect with them.
Your job post on social media will receive a mega response if your engagement levels are high.
7. Make your job posts shareable.
Every job post on your website must be shareable. Searchers who find the job unsuitable may share the post for the benefit of their friends, thereby increasing your reach.
When someone is looking for a job, they often recruit friends and family as their eyes and ears in the marketplace. Your posting may not reach the candidate directly, but it could reach a mother, brother, or friend, who would then share it with the job seeker.
Make sure that your posts can be easily shared socially or via email in order to make it spread.
Follow the SEO tactics above to get your job post a larger amount of exposure.
SEO is inexpensive, and these tactics should help you find the perfect match.
If you’re not a recruitment agency, you can thank me for bringing down your cost of hiring. (If you are a recruitment agency, you can still thank me for helping you attract a larger talent pool.)
What SEO tips do you have for attracting and hiring top talent?