How can you increase the visibility of your jobs? How can you help your jobs stand out among other similar jobs? How can you ensure your jobs appear at the top of search results? You can do so by applying Search Engine Optimization (SEO) practices to recruitment. SEO is about understanding not only the crawling algorithms used by search engines to index results, but also what people search for, the answers they seek, the words they use, and the type of content they want to consume. SEO practices have yielded excellent digital marketing results in the last 10 years. In this article, we apply them to recruitment.
Discover how to help your job listings rank higher on recruitment platforms such as Talent.com and on general search platforms such as Google. Let us first take you through the optimization of your career page and then of your job titles and job descriptions. Lastly, we will explore sponsoring options.
1. CAREER PAGE
If you are redirecting job seekers to your career page, you must make it as search-engine optimized as possible. Here’s how to give your career page a better shot at appearing on the first page of Google:
• Competition audit
Look at what the big players in your industry are doing with their career page and take notes. Where are their calls to action placed? How clear are their images? Are they using alt tags on their images? How navigable are their menus? How accessible is their career page from their home page? Working with your technical team to ensure these elements are optimized on your own career page will help increase traffic and boost organic ranking.
• Relevant keywords
Any SEO strategy is all about finding the keywords your audience is searching for. Conducting a thorough research on what your target audience is googling will give you keywords, which you can strategically place in the headers and content of your career page. SEO tools such as Ahref can help you identify and insert keywords.
• Internal links
Maximize the number of relevant links from key pages (such as your home page) to your career page. Doing so essentially tells Google that your career page belongs to a full digital ecosystem that brings value for your audience, strengthening its relevance and rank on search results.
2. JOB TITLE
First, the title should accurately represent the job. Chief Geek can be a funny way to call your Chief Technical Officer internally, but it’s better to use recognizable and searchable titles when trying to recruit. Googling a job title to see if search results match what you are looking for is a good indicator of accuracy. You can also check job sites like Talent.com to validate the job title by comparing it to the ones used by your competition.
• Short... but not too short!
A long job title might not appear in its entirety on certain screens, especially mobiles ones, so feel free to shorten a word or two. For example, you can write math instead of mathematics. However, consider that some abbreviations or acronyms which are familiar and obvious to you might be unclear or misinterpreted by your target audience. Also, job hunters are usually not typing abbreviated terms into the search bar. To avoid confusion, write the whole title. For instance, it’s better to spell out “Research and Development Specialist” than simply writing “R&D spec”. Likewise, “Software Developer” is preferable to “Dev”.
The title should also be as specific as possible. For example, “Inside Sales Representative” instantly provides more information than simply “Sales Rep”. This full title directly tells candidates that they won't have to visit prospects in person, which can be a make-or-break factor when hesitating to apply. Writing specific job titles also gives Google more information to categorize you in the search results.
• Other details
There is no need to add details like location or salary in the title. These pieces of information have designated spaces. You can however specify the experience level you are looking for. For example, “Senior Inside Sales Representative” is a good title because it is both informative and concise. Generally, it is not necessary for the job title to contain for example “full-time/part-time”, “day shift/night shift”, or “remote/on-site”.
Before posting on a job search platform, check your title in preview mode to make sure it appears correctly.
3. JOB DESCRIPTION
• Company Description
Once they click on your job title, users can read your job description. Perhaps they are not familiar with your company, so it's important to start by describing what you do. This often takes the form of 1 or 2 short paragraphs, with just enough information to peak job seekers’ interest. We all know how important first impressions are, so feel free to include impressive statistics and figures in your company description to establish yourself as a legitimate place of employment. However, remember that the user’s first interest is to know more about the position, so a good option would be to place your concise company description at the end of the job posting.
• Job Information
Proceed with providing information on the vacancy. What does the job actually entail? Put yourself in your ideal candidate’s shoes & place keywords that they would search for. To capture a wider variety of searches, use synonyms throughout the job description. Make sure to provide an exact job location and use inclusive language.
What experience, education or certifications does it take to perform the job? Include both soft skills (such as the ability to work under pressure) and hard skills (such as fluency in a coding language) in this part. Be careful not to discourage potential candidates with a long list of qualifications. Put some as optional if you can.
Why should job seekers pick you over the competition? Listing all the attractive benefits you offer (such as healthcare, insurance, casual dress code, time-off and remote work options) will encourage more people to apply. If you fail to attract high application volumes, consider starting your job posting directly with the benefits. Our research on candidate personas has shown that job seekers like to know the salary or at least a range of salaries in job offers, as opposed to later in the interview process.
What you write in each part of the job description must match with your corporate values. Asking for flexibility or high levels of autonomy for certain positions could infer a lack of organization or structure on your part.
4. SPONSORING OPTIONS
Organic results and sponsored results are complementary approaches. A comprehensive digital marketing strategy successfully incorporates both. In fact, sponsoring your content tells search engines through a traffic increase that your page is relevant, further increasing your organic rank on result pages.
Akin to Google’s bid environment, job search platforms have sponsoring options to make your jobs stand out from the rest.
After some time, job postings rank lower in search results due to new listings being posted every day. To thrive despite the arrival of newer jobs, consider sponsoring yours to ensure their continued visibility and keep the applications coming.
• Distribution power
A programmatic advertising platform automatically publishes your jobs in the most advantageous places, resulting in a more fine-tuned recruitment campaign and higher quality applicants.
In this performance-based model, you can choose your starting amount, adjust your budget at any time and stop sponsoring once a job is filled. You have the option of sponsoring high numbers of jobs or just one job if you wish.
In short, here is the two-step solution for ranking higher not only on job boards & job search platforms but also on Google. First, optimize the structure & content of your job postings & your career page. Then, sponsor your links via Google and/or Talent.com. This will further facilitate your climb to the top of the index ladder.
Applying SEO to recruitment is just a small portion of what recruitment marketers do. If you are interested in learning more about recruitment campaign optimization and talent acquisition strategies, contact our team of experts.
Talent.com is a leading job search and recruitment platform available in 78 countries. We help you post jobs, craft personalized digital campaigns and track performance to reach your hiring goals. On this blog, we use our industry expertise to inform and guide you in the development and implementation of your recruitment strategy. Follow us on LinkedIn or subscribe to our blog to get the latest scoop on job seeker interest, hiring news, job market trends and talent acquisition technology. Looking for advice to maximize your recruitment ROI? Contact our team of experts today.