16 Things Your Career Site Doesn’t Need

When a candidate lands on your career site, you want it to make an immediate and positive impression on them.

But there are somethings your career site would be better off without…


1. Bad stock imagery

We’re not against the odd stock photo. Sometimes they’re relevant to your industry or employer brand. Sometimes, without your own image library, they’re a necessity. But what a really makes an impact on candidates are authentic photos of your people and places.


2. Flash animation

Who hasn’t ground their teeth whilst waiting for a flash animation to load? Asking candidates to wait whilst an unnecessary animation stalls at 97% is not a good first impression.


3. Long forms

Often you don’t need a candidate’s life history at the first stage of their application. Keep forms short and simple, capturing only essential information.


4. Excessive documentation

Some positions will require more documents than others – but you don’t necessarily need to ask for it all upfront. Consider a two-tiered application process instead, where suitable candidates provide supporting documentation at the second stage of their process.


5. Too many clicks

It should be quick and painless for your candidates to get from ‘Search Vacancies’ to ‘Apply for this Job’. Ideally pages should be kept to a minimum and every task should be able to be completed in just a few clicks.


6. Industry or internal jargon

You may refer to your development team as the ‘Coding Crew’, but not everyone will know this. Stay away from industry buzzwords or internal jargon on your careers site, and instead keep search criteria, key words and all menu and navigation options in plain English.


7. Too much content

You want to provide your candidates with a real insight into life at your organisation, yes. But too much information can be overwhelming for candidates trying to find their way to your vacancies. Often, people simply don’t read it.


8. Every staff benefit

There’s no need to list every staff perk on your career site. Pick out a few core ones that demonstrate your approach to employee benefits and reflect your working culture, but don’t overload candidates with information.


9. Too many practicalities

The same goes for day-to-day information about working practicalities. Consider operating on a need-to-know basis. For example, applicants you invite for interview will need to know about directions to the office and parking. Potential candidates simply having a browse, on the other hand, don’t need to know the pragmatic (and sometimes dull!) ins and outs of your workplace.


10. Out of date content

It just looks scrappy, doesn’t it? Keep your information fresh and relevant to engage with candidates.


11. ‘Email your application…’

If you’re still receiving and managing applications using email and Excel, you should consider offering an online application process powered by an Applicant Tracking System.


12. Beautiful design…

…if it’s at the cost of clear functionality. The job search function and ease of use have to come before prettiness.


13. An amazing desktop experience…

…If it doesn’t also run on a mobile and tablet. The number of mobile jobseekers is continuing to rise, so a responsive careers site is essential to make sure you don’t miss out on talent.


14. Infinite loops

Ensure there are no bugs or glitches where you send candidates on an infinite loop. What do we mean by this? Well, imagine your candidate is asked to select an option from a drop-down menu, but there are no choices to select. The question is mandatory, so the candidate has to choose an option. But there aren’t any – so they can’t progress to the next stage of the application. It’s an inescapable loop of frustration for applicants.


15. Copy and messaging only targeted at Millennials

Don’t ignore the rich pool of diverse talent that exists out there. Millennials are a fast-growing group but candidates of all ages and backgrounds add value to organisations. Unless you’re recruiting for a graduate or apprenticeship campaign, remain inclusive in your messaging.


16. ‘No vacancies’ message

If you don’t have any live jobs, you could still add an engaging note encouraging speculative applications or asking candidates to sign up for job alerts. Ensure you’re not alienating passive candidates by simply having a blunt ‘No vacancies’ message.


Whilst your careers site doesn’t need swathes of copy or posed photos, it really does benefit from a clean user journey, simple online application process and an authentic insight into your working culture.  So say goodbye to points 1 – 16 above and instead say hello to happy candidates.



Established in 1997, Hireserve creates leading recruitment software.  Trusted by organisations across the world, including CERN, Arriva and Global Radio, Hireserve ATS is agile, intuitive and powerful.

Handily, they’ve also put together a guide to getting your careers site right, covering all the essentials from navigation to content. You can take a look here!

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