Clients and candidates collide: The importance of different user journeys on recruitment websites

Sam McGuire
  • Sam McGuire
  • Senior Digital Designer

If you’re in the business of recruitment, your web audience will fall into two basic categories – clients and candidates; also known as applicants and employers. The best website design for recruitment agencies works equally well for both target audiences, by giving each audience a different user journey. This eliminates any confusion, while giving each target audience a clear and targeted journey – from log-on to action.

Know who you're talking to

You need to start by gaining a thorough knowledge of each target audience. When you fully understand the persona, it’s a whole lot easier to build a great product. By a great product we mean a recruitment website that brings in business and builds your reputation, each day and every day. To know who you’re talking to, take time on your research and ask the following:

  • What does the user ultimately want from the website?
  • Where do they need help?
  • What might they be struggling with?
  • What are the key elements on their journey that will keep them on your site? And what would make them switch to a competitor?
  • What is the content that fires them up and builds their enthusiasm?
  • What will make them feel positive and confident about using your website?

Look at the data that you’ve received from your existing site to help you find the answers, but don’t stop there. Look at other leading recruitment agency websites and find out what people are saying about their experiences. Then look at feedback on the smaller agencies –both will give you useful pointers as to what the recruitment consultancy audience wants, alongside valuable information about the blunders that lead to log-off.

Split up early

Split the two audiences early. They may both have the same aim – to fill a position – but they’re approaching that destination with different viewpoints. One is on the outside, looking in, the other’s on the inside, looking out.

There is more chance of a recruitment website converting if each user is immediately set down on the main highway to their destination, without the distractions and confusions that don’t concern them.

The best recruitment agency web design will have a highly visible filter on the homepage, taking employers and job seekers straight to a quick start of the relevant journey.

You may feel that you have content that is equally pertinent and persuasive to both audiences but that doesn’t mean you should try to cram it all into one place. You can use the same content twice, if it really does fit both job seekers and employers, but it’s probably still worth tweaking a little, to make it really focussed.

The right tools for the job

You’ve got the knowledge of who you’re talking to and you’ve set them off on the right road. Now you need to find ways of making them stay on the journey with you. The best design for recruitment websites does this by making the journey easy and enjoyable.

When it comes to the candidate journey, it’s all about the tools that you provide:

  • job alerts
  • email alerts
  • the ability to save positions
  • interview tips and techniques
  • easy cv upload and contact points

The right tools create a smooth user journey, keeping your candidates with you. Think of it as the difference between travelling first class with full service being brought to your seat, and standing room only on a train where the buffet is closed and there’s the lingering pong of someone else’s nasty takeaway.

Show your results

When it comes to the client journey, there’s less need of tools. For the client, the big focus is on results.

They want to know that your recruitment company can deliver the right candidates to fill their roles, and do it in a way that’s easy to manage. Don’t just tell them how good you are – show them, with stories of how you’ve delivered the goods to other businesses. Do this using:

  • news stories
  • case studies
  • testimonials

These will all give a client faith in your recruitment agency’s ability to deliver. Make sure that this sort of content is well crafted and highlights the benefits that your previous clients found especially valuable. Pay particular attention to showing how what you do impacts on their business.

Engagement is the essential ingredient of the best recruitment web design. Applicants and employers are both pushed for time and will only stay the distance on a user journey that’s simple, efficient and relevant. A user journey that’s targeted, clear and helpful will keep the attention of clients and candidates. It’s a key factor in what makes a recruitment agency first choice for users.