No longer can the Careers portion of your website simply be a list of job postings, or even just a single page. In order to attract and recruit top talent, your website needs to communicate why someone would want to work for you through a strong employer brand and employee value proposition.

In today’s web-centric world, job seekers almost certainly will visit your website before applying to a job. So you need to sell your company to them! Just as your website should be a strong engine for business development, communicating the “why” to prospective customers, your Careers section should sell your company to prospective employees as a great place to work.

If your website fails to bring qualified candidates to you, you are missing out on one of the most important recruiting tools you have! It’s a candidate’s market now, so as an employer, you need to be ready to compete. Here are 9 essential elements of a Careers section that will help you win over top talent.

1. Employee Value Proposition

Any employer needs to define and communicate their employee value proposition to prospective job candidates. An EVP answers the question, “Why would a talented person want to work here?” It is the offerings a company provides an employee in exchange for their performance in your workplace. Potential job candidates are looking for job openings that match their skillset, experience and interests, but they’re looking for much more than that in a career. They will want to know about your company culture–what it’s like to work at your firm, what your values are, how you’re involved in the community, and what opportunities there are for personal development and growth. All of these are part of your EVP. Your firm’s personality and branding should be weaved into the messaging, imagery and design of the Careers portion of your site. This will help establish an employer brand, which will be a differentiator that elevates you in the competitive recruiting landscape.

2. Mission, values and culture

Your entire website, and not just your About page, should communicate to visitors who you are. Potential job candidates may not visit any other pages other than the Careers section of your website, so they need to get a clear understanding of the company’s goals, values and vision from this part of your site. Including your mission statement and clearly stating your values will help your company attract candidates who share the same values. It’s also important to candidates that they can see themselves working for you before they decide to apply. Company culture is a huge factor in determining that, so it’s essential that your Careers pages convey what it’s like to work for you. All of these things will encourage like-minded candidates to apply for positions, and it will help narrow your pool of applicants to those who are a better fit.

3. Photos and video

Photos and video are a key part of showing your company culture. Use real photos of your employees and your workspace, and not stock photos! This paints a real picture of your company and makes you seem more personable. It’s an opportunity to share photos of your employees at social events, volunteering, or traveling to conferences, and to give a more behind-the-scenes look into life in and outside the office. This gives potential applicants a taste of who you are and helps them decide if they can see themselves working there. Video is another powerful tool for this and will help you stand out from other employers. Use video to show an insider’s look into your company culture or as an opportunity to tell your company story.

4. Employee Testimonials

Testimonies are powerful, and so having employees share first-hand about their experience working for your firm can be highly influential in an individual’s job search process. It’s like social proof for your job openings. No matter the form—whether simply a quote or a longer-form video—employee testimonials are a compelling way to share about your company values, opportunities for growth, and other aspects of your culture. Hourigan’s Careers page features several examples of this in the form of “Employee Spotlight” videos, where current employees talk about everything from education opportunities to career growth to the family culture of the team.

5. Social Media and News

As you seek to show job candidates what it’s like to work at your company through your website, be sure to link to things like your company news, your blog, and your social media accounts. Nowadays, if you don’t use social media for your business, you are practically invisible. Social media platforms are being used as search engines in many cases and generally are a primary place to reach your audience, so it’s important to have a presence there. So many prospective employees will look at your social profiles before deciding to apply for or accept a position at your company, so keep them up to date and make the feeds prominent on the Careers section of your website. Instagram and Facebook are already the preferred social channels for sharing behind-the-scenes content and a look at your company culture, so they are highly applicable to the Careers section. Applicants are interested in what’s going on at your company, so be sure to also feature your company news and maybe your blog to offer additional perspectives of your firm such as recent awards and recognitions and company-wide updates.

6. Perks and benefits

It’s important that potential applicants can easily find the employee benefits that you offer. This is one of the top pieces of information a job seeker looks for when researching job openings. Take the opportunity to display your benefits and perks in a visually unique way, whether that’s with icons or interactive buttons. Even if it seems like benefits such as PTO and retirement plans are a given, it’s still a box to be checked. Job seekers are looking for your benefits, and by not including them, you may be sending the message that you don’t have any. As you build your website to be a strong talent recruiting tool, this is part of conveying what the value proposition is for your employees.

7. Candidate personas

Buyer personas help B2B marketers better understand their target audience and make their content and messaging more relevant to that audience. Similarly, candidate personas can help you define and understand your ideal job candidate, and then use that knowledge to attract the right people to your Careers section. Your firm likely has multiple candidate personas, so you may want to consider targeting your content to different experience levels or types of jobs. GEI Consultants uniquely breaks up the Careers portion of their website into Students & Recent Graduates, Emerging Professionals, Experienced Professionals, Business Services Professionals and Administrative Professionals. By creating specific, unique content for each segment of job applicants, these pages will each be better optimized for search engines, and GEI is setting themselves up to receive applications for candidates who are the best fits for those jobs.

8. Integrated job postings

Of course, some of the most important content in your Careers section is the actual job postings. Instead of sending candidates to another website, bring the postings into the context of your site. They shouldn’t be the first thing on your page, but do make them easy to find and searchable and/or sortable. Write descriptive position summaries, while staying on brand with your messaging. Even though it may be more formal information, it can still look like you, sound like you, and continue to communicate your EVP.

9. Calls-to-action

Lastly, be sure to include a call-to-action to convert job seekers into applicants! All of the above is important for recruiting, but don’t forget to actually ask job seekers to “Apply Now” to work with you. Display a prominent link or button that directs visitors to an application or to all the job openings, and include simple, clear instructions on how to apply for a job and what next step they should expect.

Refining the process

Make sure your Careers pages are optimized for mobile so that it’s still easy for applicants to read and digest while on their phones. You should also test the site on all devices and practice applying to a job. The application process should be easy to understand with a minimal number of steps to complete. User experience is key because if the process is too complicated, glitchy or confusing, applicants will simply move on and continue their job search elsewhere.

All in all, your website should do much of the recruiting work for you. The beauty of putting more content and effort into your website’s Careers section is that it will bring more candidates into your applicant pool who are a good fit, and deter those who aren’t. If you can effectively convey your values and what it’s like to work at your company, not only will you attract more applicants, but you will attract the right kind of applicants who share your values and culture, therefore setting both you and your prospective job candidates up for success!