Simple steps improve shop websites for hiring

January 29, 2018 - 11:45am

Claudia PenningtonAlthough millions of manufacturing jobs may need to be filled in the years to come as baby boomers continue to retire, many manufacturers already struggle with unfilled positions. One efficient way to combat the problem is by improving company websites, said Claudia Pennington, co-founder and CEO of DIY Marketing, Marietta, Pa.

“There are definitely best practices to attract job applicants when there’s so much competition for them right now,” she said. “Make things easy and obvious for the applicant. Companies that don’t will struggle to attract people.”

Too many manufacturers’ websites appear to be low priorities, with outdated or even absent pages for jobs, let alone pages that are optimized for viewing on mobile devices, she said. This can cause today’s job seekers to move on to other potential employers without a second glance. Another problem, Pennington said, is when a manufacturer relies on a third party to assist with recruitment and consequently ignores the website. This shuts off an alternative route for the public to learn about the manufacturer and may turn off the third party’s leads if its information does not match what is on the website.

She said five simple improvements can accelerate hiring.

1. Create a careers page for your website, and make it easy to locate.

This is a requirement for business these days.

“It’s become expected that these jobs will be easy to find,” she said. “Train your audience to look at the same place periodically. Make it easier for potential applicants to locate.”

2. Refresh your careers page on a regular basis, and provide the ability to subscribe to updates.

Include news from recent months, mention new benefits of employment, and generally keep things current.

“Do anything you need to do to make it look fresh,” Pennington said, “so it doesn’t look like it hasn’t been updated in 10 years.”

3. Put the most critical positions on your careers page in plain text.

Simplify the process for the most important jobs. For example, do not force applicants for high-priority positions to create accounts through an online application system.

“With jobs that need to be filled immediately, make it as easy as possible to quickly scan that information and then apply for those jobs within a few minutes,” she said.

4. List all your company’s benefits on the careers page.

From health care benefits to retirement account options, be upfront.

“Make it easy to compare one company to another,” she said.

5. Embed a video of your company and photos from your events on your careers page.

Through company activities, let people see what it means to work there.

“It could be day to day on the floor,” Pennington said. “It could be volunteer activities to show what the company does in the community.”

She said with the proper platform—that is, an easily edited website—changes such as these could take no more than several minutes apiece. For instance, as jobs are filled, they can be removed very quickly from a website. And once set up, some pages, such as basic benefits and informative videos, may not even need to be updated annually.

“It’s easier than ever to update and edit a website,” she said, “especially for small companies.”

One big benefit for manufacturers with well-maintained websites that are optimized for cellphone viewing is the kind of applicants who are attracted.

“Companies with mobile-friendly websites and a presence on social media platforms are able to attract a younger workforce who will likely stick around longer on the website to read more or apply for jobs,” Pennington said.

But she said the most important advantage is perhaps the significant amount of time saved.

“Jobs that would have taken weeks to fill sometimes can be filled in hours or days with some of these improvements.”


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