Your conversion points have to convert. Just ask Taylor Swift.
When America’s favorite pop star funneled her ticket sales through Ticketmaster, fans flocked to the platform to spend a totally reasonable amount of money to see her perform. Tragedy strikes. An unprecedented spike in demand causes Ticketmaster to crash, leaving tens of thousands of fans irate. What follows: nationwide backlash, a steep stock price drop, and Swift herself proclaiming she was “pissed off” that many of her fans “went through bear attacks” just to get tickets.
Your conversion points have to convert.
Especially your career site. And I’m sorry to say this, but the average job applicant isn’t anywhere near as determined on applying to open roles as Swifties are on buying tickets. They’re probably on the fence. So you need to ensure your career site is optimized to convert the most amount of applicants.
And frankly, I’ve seen a lot of career sites that seem to have been designed to repel candidates away. Which pains me because I know there’s a better way.
The truth behind your career site’s conversion.
Here’s the problem when it comes to conversion: We tend to think of it as black and white.
Was a Swiftie able to purchase a ticket? Yes or no. Did a candidate apply? Yes or no.
But conversion doesn’t really fall under this sort of boolean thinking. Some Taylor Swift fans may have gone through bear attacks and gotten tickets, but I guarantee you that the bad experience sullied their view of Ticketmaster: They’re less likely to return to the vendor. Ticketmaster may have “won” the battle, but they lost the customer.
A seamless user experience is even more crucial in the job search, where candidates will often test the waters before actually deciding to apply for any specific position. And this is regardless of a company’s size or status. Houston Methodist, one of the largest hospital systems in the United States, saw the average RN come to their career site seven times before actually applying.
You may look at that number — seven — and feel discontent. You may see a career site that failed to do its job six times. But consider a perspective shift. Houston Methodist designed their career site to motivate hesitant candidates to come back. They created an online experience that appealed to nurses, one that formed a connection with its intended audience.
The career site didn’t fail. It did its job — it kept Houston Methodist relevant in nurses’ minds.
You can’t control candidate behavior. And you can’t force every person who stumbles upon your site to apply to a job. But you can influence candidates’ attitudes towards your brand, and nudge them with each subsequent visit to start a job application.
OK, so hopefully the inability to control the behavior of your candidates is obvious. You’re not Darth Vader. But your perspective on conversion should directly influence how you design your online footprint.
The crux of your strategy shouldn’t always be getting candidates to apply as quickly as possible. Candidates don’t always want to apply immediately. Your career site should instead revolve around giving users the best possible experience.
No more slow interactions, hidden job descriptions, and impersonal interfaces.
This doesn’t necessarily mean sacrificing your site’s speed-to–apply. For many hourly roles, speed is more important than anything. But there are ways to cater a digital experience towards speed without overwhelming your candidate with a barrage of information and calls to action. You shouldn’t be suffocating potential employees with irrelevant content that halts a willing applicant from applying.
In the end, when someone visits your website, they should feel comfortable browsing at a pace they dictate. If they feel like they’re being forced to apply, or that they cannot apply at all, they’re going to leave. And they’re not going to come back.
88% of website visitors are less likely to return after a bad user experience. That is a massive drop off in potential job applicants. The question then becomes: How do you give candidates the best possible experience?
That’s where the conversational career site comes in.
Turning a conversation into a point of difference.
When you travel somewhere new, it can feel overwhelming. Where do you go first? What restaurants do you need to try? That’s why hotels have concierges — these experts act as steady hands to guide tourists to exactly the right spots that coincide with their interests.
Career sites can — and should — behave in the same way.
I’m sure your company has a lot to offer. But most candidates don’t care about the quantity of options you provide. They want what’s best for them. That’s why Paradox created the conversational career site, a webpage that tailors experiences to the individual, creating a simplified, easy experience for every candidate.
Let’s say you want your career site to cover information for 40 different open roles, as well as answer over 30 FAQs from candidates. Even James Patterson would tell you that’s too much to read. With a conversational career site, candidates can enter a 1:1 conversation with an AI assistant, which immediately streamlines a job search. Candidates can be matched to the right jobs for them based on experience, location, and availability. They can also receive answers to their specific questions.
Let’s say one of the lucky Taylor Swift fans that got concert tickets is thinking about taking a few days off to mentally prepare for the biggest night of their life. They would probably want to know what a company’s PTO policies are. Instead of scouring the career site for an answer, they can simply ask the conversational AI a question, and the entire website’s interface molds to focus on the exact information the fan is looking for.
This isn’t rocket science. It’s taking an often overcomplicated and bustling metropolis of a webpage and boiling it down into a conversation. It’s serving only the most relevant content without any unnecessary clicking or reading.
It’s giving candidates the experience they want. And in turn, that will drive higher conversion rates.
What does your career site say about you?
Let’s talk about your brand. More often than not, brands will sermonize their own values out into the public. Career sites work differently. When a potential applicant clicks on your career site, they’re effectively opting in to engage with your brand. They’ve given you the keys to the car. They’re saying, “Okay, I’m interested. Show me what you got.”
You can’t answer that prompt with a clunky experience full of irrelevant information. You don’t just lose the candidate — you lose the goodwill you’ve built in the candidate’s mind. For many hourly brands, that means losing a customer. Your career site is a direct reflection of what you view as important. And candidates need to know that they’re valued, or they’re not going to apply.
They’re not even going to like you.
Conversational career sites directly contribute to gaining that sweet, sweet brand equity (yeah I’m a marketing major). The upgraded experience doesn’t just personalize and simplify job applications, it sells candidates on your brand. It tells them that you give a crap about them.
That’s how you convert applicants on the fence. You sell them on your brand. You sell them on you. They may leave your career site without applying — maybe even six times — but if they feel valued they’ll come back.
Look, you’re never going to get candidates applying in the same fervor that Taylor Swift fans buy concert tickets. But you can certainly try and give them a better experience.
And you’ll probably get some more great applicants out of it, too.