HR Magazine April 2004 Make A Good First Impression Essay

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HR Magazine, April 2004 ­ Make a Good First Impression


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HR Magazine, April 2004 ­ Make a Good First
By Martha Frase­Blunt 4/1/2004


Vol. 49, No. 4 (/Publications/hrmagazine/PastIssues/2004/Pages/200404.aspx)
Your corporate career web site can become one of your most effective recruiting tools.
Michael Roseman is on a surfing safari. For the past 18 months, the second­year MBA student at the University of Texas at Austin has been clicking his way through the web sites of dozens of companies, from the Fortune 500s to smaller upstarts. His destination is often their careers pages, where he peruses job opportunities and sometimes applies online. But primarily, as he sifts through the glowing “why­you­should­work­here” verbiage and puts the site’s navigation tools through their paces, Roseman is compiling a mental portfolio that

 will determine if he does, indeed, want to work there.
“A lot of what I’m looking for is a good fit,” he says. “I can tell a lot about how a company regards its employees from its web presence, particularly the parts designed to attract applicants. But so many corporations’ recruiting sites don’t seem to understand that the candidate is the customer in the relationship.” Roseman admits he may be particularly sensitive to matters of customer service because he spent 10 years in retail with Neiman Marcus in Dallas. But you don’t need a sales background to be put off when you can’t upload your resume in its original format, or when a job database won’t allow you to search by job location. “I want to search keywords and locations; that’s essential to me. I need that functionality,” Roseman says. “But some sites take you 10 clicks to get to the job listings; others make it impossible to find your way back the next time you log on.”­b.aspx



HR Magazine, April 2004 ­ Make a Good First Impression

Other turnoffs are sites that don’t have real jobs listed, but instead seem to be collecting stacks of resumes for a database. Worse are those that lazily point the surfer straight to an outside job board such as Monster or CareerBuilder. “That’s horrible, but it happens with companies large and small,
I’ve found,” Roseman says. “Why would they send you someplace where you can view the jobs of their competitors?”
Steve Pollock, president of WetFeet Inc., a San Francisco recruitment technology provider, has researched practices in corporate recruiting web sites. The best, he says, “make it simple for candidates to apply for jobs, provide a wealth of information about companies and leave candidates with a favorable impression.” WetFeet research has consistently found that about half of job seekers say they became more interested in working for a company after visiting its web site, while approximately one in four refused to consider a company based on their visit, Pollock says.
Corporate recruiting sites need to perform well in four areas: content, navigation, branding and functionality, he says. “A good web site should look different from every other site. It has to capture the unique experience that individual will have at that company,” he says. “It’s like looking at cars; you want them all to have certain standard features, but expect them to be very different in the experience they offer.”
While some companies have recognized the value of their web sites in recruiting efforts, others aren’t maximizing the potential of their Internet presence. (See “Easy Enhancements to Your
Corporate Career Site.”)
Still Not Getting It?
“In the three years we’ve been collecting statistics on online recruiting, we’ve seen corporate web sites become a major resource for job seekers, but many still have a long way to go in providing a…