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Let’s imagine you’re an industrial company. You need a machinist. You know, you’re going to always need machinists, just constantly. And if they don’t have it on their own website, Google’s never going to see them as someone that is reputable for that terminology.
Welcome to The JoyPowered® Workspace Podcast, where we help HR and business leaders embrace joy in the workplace. I’m JoDee Curtis, the owner of Purple Ink and Powered by Purple Ink, and with me is my dear friend and co-host Susan White, owner of Susan Tinder White Consulting, an HR consulting practice.
Our topic today is making your website work for you. As an HR or business leader, you may not think you need to be involved in your company’s website, but potential employees are out there looking at your website, so it’s important that you’re showcasing your culture and that your open positions are easy to find. Susan, when I was an HR director – seems like forever ago, but maybe it was 12… little over 12 years ago – the company I was with was working on the new website, and I was not included in the process. I wasn’t even really concerned about not being in the process.
I just thought, okay, that’s a marketing thing. But I also knew, you know, we got a lot of traffic from career sites and all that. But you know, I had a lot on my plate and I wasn’t really looking for more, so I let them move forward, and our marketing director took the lead. But after the first three meetings, our outside marketing consultant reached out to me to talk about the careers, and he insisted that I be added to the website team, because he said he had told them three times our number one site on the page that people were going to was the careers page.
And… but yet, the leaders on this team were like, no, no, we need to talk about our services and our products and we don’t need to, you know, talk too much about open positions. Of course, this was back in the day where it was easy to hire people, too, right? So even I was surprised about it, but all of a sudden… so they added me to the team, and all of a sudden, I’m almost, like, leading the charge on website review. But I see… I go to a lot of websites now and look at their career page, and I am amazed at how difficult it is to find, how unexciting it is to share things about their culture or their benefits or what their careers are or they’re posting job descriptions versus real job ads…. It’s just not good.
It’s such a wasted opportunity, because if you have a website, what a great chance to amplify your story, your employee value proposition. And even if you get job candidates just looking at your careers that happen to spill over to look at your products and services. You never know. What a missed opportunity. So I’m really glad we’re doing this topic today.
Yeah, so I’ve invited Cody Sharp. He’s the owner of Sharp Guys Web Design. Cody has spent the last two decades working on websites. He’s Google Analytics certified and has a decade of professional marketing experience with generating leads for B2B and B2C companies. He’s also spoken to thousands of business leaders across the country on topics like database management, email marketing, landing page design, split testing, and how technology has changed the small business landscape.
Cody, can you please tell us about your background helping clients look to find people for their team?
Sure, yeah. A lot of our clients, they kind of run the gamut of different types of companies, you know, a lot of them could be B2B or software companies or whatever. These days, more than ever, all of them are looking for the same thing. Not just leads, which is a big part of what they’ve always looked for, but also people looking for careers. And so we’ve… we’ve helped industrial companies, software companies, just any number of other types of companies do that over the last… I’d say over the last few years that’s picked up more than ever. People are looking at different options instead of just going through kind of proprietary routes like Indeed and some of the other job applicant systems. They’re trying to just build out their own and so we’ve been helping them on the search engine optimization side along with the pay per click side as well.
Cody, I always find it interesting, sometimes we’ll have clients call us and say, “Hey, we’re… we’re struggling to fill this role. Can… can you help us find candidates or help us place someone in this role?” And our first question, typically, is “What have you done so far?” Sometimes even when we, you know, before we get into the conversation, we’ll go to their website and see how it’s posted or what it looks like in there. And I bet over 50% of the time, they haven’t even posted it on their own site. Like… And I would say the number one answer is, “Well, we put an ad on Indeed.”
“And we’re not getting anything.”
That’s exactly right. Yeah. And they don’t post it on their own site, which there’s a lot of these companies out there that are looking for the same position over and over and over again, you know. Let’s imagine you’re an industrial company. You need a machinist. You know, you’re gonna always need machinists, just constantly. And if they don’t have it on their own website, Google’s never going to see them as someone that is reputable for that terminology. So if you can own the relationship with the career section, the more you can own those types of things, both on the lead generating side and on the career side, the better it’ll be long term.
You know, I find too, sometimes when I’m going to those sites, I can’t even find the career section of their site.
Yeah, I’ve seen people not have it linked in the menu at the top, it’s on like a contact form but only at the bottom as, like, a button that you have to click on or something like that. So, you know, I… you know, we’re building out a couple of new sites right now and we’re just telling people, if you’re looking for clients, let’s make it a button that people can see right away. And almost everyone is doing that, because it’s such an important part of their organization at this point, is hiring.
Right. Some other advice, Cody, that we give to our clients sometimes is for them to add part of their team culture on the website. However, I really don’t… I don’t… I don’t know how to tell them to do that. How do… how do you help clients?
These days, I think it is more important than ever, in two different ways. One, seems like you have a younger generation that’s looking for that in particular. You know, I think a lot of companies, historically, maybe it has just been a smaller part of what they kind of offer, but now a cultural aspect is a big part of what a lot of companies are trying to put together as a package for a potential hiree. So you know, it’s hard to… because here’s the other thing that happens is you start doing, like, events that you did, but then they start aging, it’s been, like, a year or two or something and you put up pictures, and it looks like you haven’t done anything in, like, two years. So I think that there’s a couple of different ways that people can go about talking about their culture. And one of the ways that I think is the best is if they can figure out a way to have kind of, like, ongoing, just quick video testimonials of people. What it’s like to work with the organization, what they found out about it that they didn’t expect, you know, almost like if you ever do, like, an interview process where you have them kind of meet some of the employees. Kind of have them, you know, just do a quick video. Most of the people are just doing videos anyway, all the time. They don’t mind being in front of a camera these days. And so… and they have the edit button if they need to. So I think that, you know, just having some kind of casual, you know, video, just, “Hey, what’s it like here,” and just have some interesting questions for people to answer. And also, those aren’t… those aren’t dated necessarily. You can just do them as you have the chance to, knock out three or four, and then just post them every once in a while. Something like that is sometimes better than the stuff that gets really dated around events and stuff like that. “We had a walkathon in 2020” or something, you know, and now it’s two years later, and it’s like, “Oh, well…” Probably didn’t happen in 2020 though, due to COVID. [Laughs]
Yeah, right. But yeah, it does..it can get stale really quickly if you don’t really keep an eye to it, but you want… you want it to be fresh and relevant. Do you have the employees sign releases to make sure that us using them as part of our branding is not going to come back to haunt us?
I think that’s a great legal question, so I always leave that in the hands of the client. But I… yeah, I think that’s a great idea. And in fact, I have heard of some cases where past employees have said they wanted anything removed that they had ever done that was out there. I don’t know what the legal ramifications of that are, but it’s not worth the headache, probably. So probably good to have something like that in place.
I can remember one time we had some threat of litigation with an employee that we had used as a testimonial in something we were doing, and they said “How could they get rid of me for performance when they put me up on their website?”
So that was interesting. So you just gotta be thoughtful about who you’re capturing – right? – and putting out there.
How true it is. Yeah, that’s a great point. Yes.
But I do… I love it. I love… I think it’s a great way for people on the outside to see what’s it like to work there. So I think great tip.
They share really well, too. So, you know, a lot of times people don’t know how to use their social media, and it’s not a great purpose for lead generation in a lot of cases, but actually hiring purposes. So one of the things that people do when they’re interested in looking at a company is they get on their social media accounts and see, you know, what’s going on. That’s a good way of kind of just having some people on there chat about stuff. It shares a little bit better. And at the very least, they might share it with their own friends, which might get it out there, as well.
Right. You know, you were talking about aging things. At the first company I worked with out of college, we always said the quickest way to know if someone would be leaving the firm is if they were on the company… of course, then we had company brochures, right?
Later to be on the website. Because it seemed like whoever we highlighted then would leave, and then we’re like, “dang, we just put them on the cover of the recruiting brochure.” [Laughs]
That’s a great, yeah, that’s… something similar happened. We were at… I was at an email marketing software company here, and we had, like, three people on the wall that were no longer there. They were, like, these big pictures of people. So these clients would come in and be like, “Oh, that’s, those are great.” And I was like, “Yeah, well, you know, this is the only time you’ll see them today.”
They’re out of the office. Yeah.
So Cody, how can a company website work in tandem with an applicant tracking system?
So there’s actually a couple that are custom made for websites these days. So we work with WordPress websites, which is now used for… about 50% of all businesses are using WordPress or something. And so there’s some really good WordPress plugins that kind of give you the foundation or the structure to post resumes, to have those come in as an application, you can create whatever type of form you’d like to, they can attach additional documents like cover letters or PDFs or even imageries of their work, for example. Those things can be emailed to multiple people with your organization, maybe the hiring manager, maybe an HR person, and then you can even do your rating on the backend side of that, as well. And as opposed to a lot of these tracking systems you’re talking about, like, maybe a one-off cost of $100, or maybe it’s $100 a year. So the cost is very low. You can have an unlimited number of users use that, you just really need some training and you really need to kind of get a better feel for, you know, how you want to use it, almost like a process-based thing. How are we going to use this? But you need that probably with any system that you go through anyway. So. But yeah, it’s pretty powerful these days. They’ve been built out. There’s one called… WP Job Board, I’m pretty sure, is the name of it. I’ve used that a number of times in the past. It’s really good.
Nice. I wasn’t aware of those.
Yeah, we… we use them for a number of clients. And the nice thing, of course, even if you end up posting these job listings elsewhere, you can still have them on your website, be able to be found. And Google actually will… if you’ve ever seen those things where they’ll index job listings, where if you search for a job title, it’ll be pulled up into Google’s results. These things play nice with that and can be pulled in there from your website, instead of just Indeed getting all of those items, or Google Jobs getting a lot of them these days, too.
Yeah. Interesting. And Cody, what do you think about ad budgets? Like, how can you help people with “Hey, I’ve got this much money to spend on recruiting? What… what do I do with this budget amount?”
I think ad budgets, they can be hit or miss, to be honest. The nice thing you can do with ads is that you can run an ad for a job outside of the territory that you normally might recruit from. For example, we have a client that’s recruiting folks from Puerto Rico, and they have people in Puerto Rico that can do the skills, they have factories, for example, they can do the skills here, and they’re Americans, so they can move here without having to worry about it. And it’s typically very difficult to do this using one of these other softwares like Indeed or one of the other options like that. But we can focus directly our ads on those. We can do video roll ads that show up, “Hey, are you looking for a new career?” for people that are in Spanish speaking, you know, YouTube stuff. We can do Facebook ads. Now the only thing is, of course, whenever you’re doing any kind of ads, you still have to abide by all the normal hiring rules. So you don’t want to kind of, like, try to only see people… only show it to people within a certain age range, or only people within a certain whatever it would be. Gender, for example, or something like that. So as long as you’re abiding by those rules, it can be really useful. I think it becomes a tougher play or a different… different market if you’re in a really competitive marketplace and, like, if you have a really generic… like, you’re hiring for a secretary. Well, there’s, like, a million people for that. But the more niche you’re looking for, I think it’s easier to carry that over.
Yeah, good advice.
So yeah, but I’ve definitely seen a lot of people have success in you know, going after areas that they already know that there’s business operations. So if you’re looking for people that are professionals in marketing, you’re gonna find a lot of those folks in LA and New York. And a lot of them now, you know, they don’t have to move here. And there’s just more of them there per capita than there are here, so there’s just more opportunity to hire in specific locales.
Right. Cody, thank you so much for joining us today. You had great advice and great tips. And I’m… seems like I’m always learning from you when we talk, so appreciate your time today.
JoDee, thanks so much for the kind words. Susan, very nice chatting with you as well. And…
Thank you very much.
If you’d like to reach Cody for questions or more information, you can reach him at Cody – C-O-D-Y – at sharpguyswedesign.com. Or you can connect to him on LinkedIn at, again, C-O-D-Y S-H-A-R-P.
JoDee, our listener question today comes from a listener of one of our April podcasts. We welcome questions from any of our listeners. Here it is. “What are some ways we can ask employees to advocate for our brand?”
You know, I thought… I liked this question, because it really made me think about, yeah, what am I doing with our Purple Ink employees to advocate for our brand, and what are… what could we be doing that we’re not doing? But I think social media kits was the first one that came to mind. And when I say a “kit,” I see a lot of times and… and actually, I do this myself sometimes, too, where I will just share the Purple Ink page, right? I don’t make a comment on it, I just share it. But when our marketing director gives us, like, a kit to say, here’s some things you could say and not just reposting it, but adding comments or giving you, you know, let’s talk about a webinar upcoming, here are some different ideas and how to post it and what hashtags and… and all that. So I think that’s a way that maybe people who aren’t that comfortable in sharing things on social media could take a kit and follow that. Certainly, I think just people posting on LinkedIn, using the company logo on LinkedIn, having referral fees for new hires, you know, you’re asking people to really go out and talk about your organization to get people excited about wanting to work there. I’m a big fan of logo wear, so…
Oh, you’ve come up with some really fabulous Purple Ink clothing and fun stuff. I’ve been trying to get you to do a shower cap, I’m never gonna get that done, but…[laughs]
You do have so many wonderful Purple Ink tchotchkes and… and things that your folks wear, so I think that’s great advocating.
Yeah, I do love that. Actually, I’m working on some new ones as we speak.
Wow, well done.
You know, maybe even just giving testimonials that could be put on the website or in social media or videos for those same. Did you have other ideas?
I really had more of a question for you. I know that some employers ask their employees to go out to Glassdoor and you know, give some testimonials. I don’t know if that’s okay or not okay. What is your advice when employers are wanting to ask their employees to go out there trying to counterbalance maybe some of the negative stuff that applicants or other employees are writing about them on Glassdoor?
I think it’s okay. I… you know, obviously, I think they should be honest. Right? So if they’re being honest about their experience, and obviously the employer’s gonna want to be positive, right? So you might have to be careful who you ask to put that out there. But you know, I’ve asked our people, really not for a long time, but a long time ago, I asked people to go out and post that on there, too. So. As long as it’s real. I think if you give social media kits to people for what they post on Glassdoor, that’s a problem.
Yeah, fair enough. No, thank you.
In our in the news section, Quality Logo Products recently surveyed 1,900 American workers to learn more about what behaviors they find most irritating in their colleagues. I thought this was kind of funny. So… But it’s real. The one thing they found was that more than 90% of American workers said at least one coworker annoys them.
57% have considered quitting or quit because of an annoying coworker.
Ooh, that’s interesting, right? When you’re losing people because someone is irritating. Number three, they identified the types of behavior that are most annoying are, number one, interrupting, two, taking credit for someone else’s work, or three, oversharing.
Oh, I think I’ve worked with a few people who did that. [Laughs]
Yes, me too.
They didn’t irritate me enough to leave though. Then finally, number four, the most annoying workplace conversations. Here they are. Drumroll please. Number one, politics. No surprise there. Number two, COVID-19. Wow, that’s new this last two years. Right? And number three, money. Talking about money.
Yeah. Well, I think you’re right. No big surprises there. Well, thanks for listening today and make it a JoyPowered® day.
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