A recent webinar, entitled “Best Practices in Career Center Management,” highlighted the various means that career center professionals can use to promote their businesses and keep their clients happy.
The webinar was presented by Peter Weddle, who is the executive director of the International Association of Employment Web Sites (IAEWS). He’s also the CEO of Weddle’s Research & Publishing, a columnist for The Wall Street Journal and CNN.com, and the recipient of a federal award for leadership-related research.
Weddle began by noting that there are two hurdles faced by career centers. The first, he said, is a lack of a “product.” That is, that many career centers don’t promote their brand properly. He noted that the three best means of promotion are: direct marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), and search engine marketing (SEM). He also advised career center professionals to stay in touch with 100% of their membership, including active and passive candidates.
The second hurdle, Weddle said, is inadequate content. He advised career center webmasters to “teach/encourage/cajole” employers to create content that avoids the use of “employer words.” He also said that content should be marketed to job seekers based on the WIIFT (What’s In It For Them?) principle. Employer content should answer questions like: “What will they get to accomplish?”, “How will they be recognized and rewarded?”, and “With whom will they get to work?”
Weddle also recommend the “electronic sales brochure” format for content. This includes “a title that cannot be ignored” and “a format that will hold and sell them.” He described that format as follows: a summary, a list of advantages, a list of benefits, a note about the corporate culture, and then a call to action.
An Emphasis On Mobile
After discussing how to leap the hurdles, Weddle discussed the importance of responsive web design for job boards. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, a responsive web design simply means that the website is user-friendly across all known hardware devices, including desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones.
Weddle noted that the industry is “going mobile” and shared polling data indicating that almost 30% of job boards, as of 2014, are still not optimized for mobile. He also shared statistics about the percentage of mobile traffic that job boards receive, noting particularly that job board webmasters are paying closer attention to hits from mobile devices.
Finally, Weddle shared a few ideas for overcoming perceived threats to career centers. These threats include social media, LinkedIn, and aggregators.
He advised his audience to take an active role in changing the perception of job boards. Weddle also recommended the adoption of SEO and the integration of social media on career center websites. Additionally, he said that some companies might need to modify their existing software platform.
Weddle concluded on a positive note. He said that the future “looks bright” for career centers.
Perhaps it will be even brighter if online job recruiters follow his advice.