So what does it take to build an effective recruitment website?
Volcanic are often contacted by recruitment businesses that want a pretty website. In some respect a pretty website is good – but it isn’t great. A great website puts the user first, and users won’t be influenced by over-the-top website design. For us, beautiful, rich design is important, but only skin deep if it’s not backed up by data-driven design.
That’s why the best recruitment websites are often the most simple. Here are some areas of website design and development where less is always more.
It’s easy to get carried away when it comes to choosing photography and imagery for your recruitment website. This biggest pitfall in recruitment website design is being dazzled by huge, sweeping imagery that, while looking beautiful, says nothing about your business, its services, messaging or values. This is particularly true when it comes to your website’s hero shot. This will likely be the first thing a user sees when they land on your website (usually in a banner at the top of the homepage); it needs to grab their attention and reel them in, but most importantly it has to tell them who you are.
Imagine landing on an education recruiter’s website and the first thing you see is a huge image or artesian chocolate: looks nice, but what’s the point? This could be enough to make users bounce off your site, thinking they’ve landed in the wrong place. When it comes to imagery, always keep it simple, keep it to the point and make sure it's the right size so it doesn't slow down your page load time.
As with many aspects of design, colours are subjective. While everyone and their mother will have an opinion on exactly how green your green should be, it’s important not to get too caught up in colour choice. The majority of recruiters will design their websites around their existing brand identity, however, a new website is a good a reason as any for a complete brand relaunch. If you’re starting from scratch consider what you want your branding to say about your business, but don’t overthink it and always go with your instinct. The best, most simply designed websites make good use of white space, so consider which colours will complement this and add effective accents to the overall feel of the site. Also, keep mobile browsing in mind and remember that certain colours used for fonts can make some of your content more difficult to read on a small screen.
Your web copy must complement your web design, and it also needs to translate your business’ key messaging and services. However many recruiters fall into the trap of writing page after page of content that looks great on the surface but doesn’t get to the point. To put it simply, users just aren’t going to read that much content, especially when browsing on tablet or mobile when the smaller screen size can make your content a lot denser. Your hard work drafting all of those pages of content could have been put to better use devising creative ways to translate your business’ message in a simple, clear and coherent way – after all, this will look a lot better aesthetically.
Think of it like this, studies show that on average, most users (55%) spend around 15 seconds on your website on their first visit. This means you have one hell of an elevator pitch to get over to your users. Every word counts, so don’t ‘waffle’, get to the point!
If you get your homepage wrong, you may as well forget the entire site. Your home page is the single most important page and it must deliver your single promise to the visitor. Not cluttered with information, not chapter and verse on your company - but all about the visitor and why you respond to their need. Give them a reason to stay and to read on.
You’d think that design is the most important element of recruitment website design, but truth be told, functionality will always be the biggest influence on your site’s success. Your website might look great, but so what? The design must work alongside functionality to make the user experience the best it can be. Websites that are extravagantly designed are at risk of becoming brochure sites that get few registrations and applications simply because the user doesn’t know where to go or what to do. Guide your user towards your end-goal and make it easy for them – make it simple.