ask the readers: what should a company jobs page include?

I’m throwing this one out to readers to advise on. Here’s the letter:

We’re developing a careers page on our company website and I’d love your input, as well as the input of your readers. What is good to include? What’s lame?

The primary motivation to develop this webpage is to attract the best applicants when we post positions. There’s nothing glamorous about our industry, and it’s the sort of industry that nobody grows up saying “OMG, my life dream is to work in teapots. I hope I get a teapot job when I get older.” There’s nothing glamorous about our company either. We’re not big on PR or making local headlines or putting ourselves up for Employer of the Year awards.

What we have is a happy, financially stable company with sane management and a moderate amount of perks. We have crazy low voluntary turnover, so we are obviously doing a number of things right. We have many employees in the 5 to 25 years of service range.

I can steal off any number of corporate career “employment at” pages for the template, but I would love to know what potential hires really look for when they view someone’s “employment at” page and how we can make ourselves as attractive as possible.

Readers, what do you say?

{ 173 comments… read them below }

  1. Bryan*

    Find out why those employees have stayed and list those reasons.

    List the pay and benefits. My employer has the entire HR manual on its webpage so I saw every perk before hand, although I had to dig a lot so this might be a bit much.

    1. Bryan*

      I’d like to add that you should leave out anything along the lines of “an opportunity to work for the world’s best chocolate teapot maker.”

      My old employer did that. It might nice to say you work somewhere, but you will get the best candidates by trying to recruit them, not having it be an honor to work for you.

    2. Anonsie*

      This is a good idea.

      I love when I can review policies before applying, even if it’s not a whole handbook or anything (though that’s even better). Benefits packages like insurance and retirement, and PTO accrual are the two things I really really want to know.

    3. Lisa*

      Yes, list all benefits.

      10 holidays – great, name them
      4 weeks of PTO awesome – mention # of weeks, not just ‘generous’
      summer fridays – woo hoo, put the dates in (june x – sept x)
      maternity leave – important, but give the details, x weeks paid at 80%
      medical -is it blue cross? say that. Which plans are available – link to them. List the employee contributing price for individuals and families

      don’t leave it vague, put the details there.

      1. Anonymous*

        Exactly. Hire from within? tell me that. Let me know that there’s a career track if I want it, but if I don’t the jobs are stable and that’s okay.

      2. Liane*

        Yes benefits details are great. AAM just answered a question today from someone who was having problems getting this information from a company she was interviewing with.

      3. Bea W*

        God yes. This is some of the most important information I consider when thinking about where i’d like to work. Seeing a good benefits package up front gives me a positive impression not just whether employees are compensated well but I like the transparency and having some informatiin to consider upfront when deciding apply.

        1. Jazzy Red*

          I’m a few days late here, but I’ll answer your question.

          Many companies will allow people to work longer hours Monday through Thursday and have the day (or however many hours) off on Friday during the summer. For example, if someone normally works 8 hours a day, during “Summer Friday” weeks, that person could work 9 hours a day, and take 4 hours off on Friday (I always took the afternoons). Some people might work 10 hours a day M-T, and take the whole day off on Friday.

          It’s a nice little perk to start the summer weekend a little earlier.

  2. Hazel*

    I say, I think that your exact words were refreshingly honest. I would love to work at a place with sane management, etc. I think quite a bit of advertisement for people is “all show, no go.”

    1. AnonAthon*

      I was going to say that too. What you wrote sounds great to me! I generally enjoy company pages where it sounds like they are leveling with you. You (almost) could use that second paragraph verbatim.

      1. Gail L*

        +1 – edit the 2nd paragraph and the third could also be verbatim. If I read that, I would be excited. Reasonable, honest, a little blunt, with some evidence to back it up? Sounds like a culture I’d want to be a part of.

        1. John B Public*

          100% agree- your retention rates are amazing! Definitely highlight that, there are plenty of really good candidates that have no wish to work in crazy town anymore, even if they were good at it.

          Snap them up with your third paragraph and the last half of your second paragraph. Be honest about the typical workday and benefits and they’ll come to you.

    2. Sarahnova*

      Yes, definitely. OP, I read your description and was all, “Those words, right there? Put them in. They sound genuine, honest, and valuable. I like.”

  3. the gold digger*

    Specific details about benefits (ie, “PPO with $30 copay” or “HSA with $2,500 deductible, no drug coverage, and no employer contribution to the deductible.”)

    Vacation policies. Work from home policies. Parking? Do employees have to pay for parking?

    Information about anything cool, like, “Onsite gym” or “Great employee cafeteria catered by XYZ.”

    If you have some kind of search function, make it easy. Do not use Taleo! Their search function is horrible.

    Definitely include this paragraph. It gives me a good idea of your culture.

    What we have is a happy, financially stable company with sane management and a moderate amount of perks. We have crazy low voluntary turnover, so we are obviously doing a number of things right. We have many employees in the 5 to 25 years of service range.

      1. MelG*

        I agree – these are great! If you want someone to fill out an online application, knowing all of them are terrible (even if yours isn’t – the general assumption among job searchers is that they are all terrible), having the basic facts and figures listed would make me much more likely to decide to devote the next hour to your online application system. Think of it that way: What information can we quickly provide that will make someone decide that applying here is worth a one hour investment of time?

        Suggestions I would add:
        401(k) info. Does the company offer it? What is their matching contribution policy?

        Is there any kind of educational reimbursement? Gym membership or public transit reimbursement?

        Does the company support a charity or have volunteering days? Is there an employee incentive for volunteering, such as paid time off to participate in volunteer work?

        What about some brief employee testimonials? I wouldn’t do a bunch or require them from all of your current employees, but ask some of the people who have been there a while and would be willing. What do they like about it? Why have they stayed? If you include a photo of the employee who provides the testimonial I’d aim for a mix of genders, ethnic backgrounds, and ages on this. You want potential employees to see them and feel like they would fit in, not be the only woman/person of color/employee under 50/etc.

        1. Turanga Leela*

          I love the idea of employee testimonials–nothing overblown, just honest, enthusiastic statements about what a nice place it is to work. Employees can speak to the sanity of your work environment.

          1. Victoria Nonprofit*

            Eh, I’d never believe an employee testimony posted on a website. It would obviously have been vetted before publishing, so it couldn’t possibly be fully honest.

            1. MelG*

              Valid, I just think it depends on the context. If the OP’s company posts all of the info we’re advocating for here, then the testimonial is kind of like the cherry on top of the sundae, you know? And the testimonial can be phrased to sound like it comes from an actual human being, rather than just reiterating the mission statement. “I’ve been with the company for six years and appreciate that everyone here is friendly and pulls their weight. It also doesn’t hurt that we get a catered lunch every Friday,” isn’t the same as “I truly appreciate the opportunity to work for one of the leading Chocolate Teapot manufacturers in the greater Cleveland area,” you know?

              1. Turanga Leela*

                Exactly. I’d assume they’ve been vetted too, but I pay attention to brief employee statements about when they came to the company, what they enjoy about their jobs (especially if it’s not a traditionally sexy field), and why they’ve stayed with the company.

            2. KC*

              Yeah… and as someone who used to work under the Marketing banner at her last company, they were NOT above fabricating testimonials for websites.

            3. Anonymous*

              True, and even if it is an honest testimonial, your potential applicants are going to assume it has been vetted and possibly changed.

            4. Grace*

              Not necessarily all companies have contrived, managered employee testimonials. Take a look at online shoe/clothing retailer Zappos (see their employees on youtube), their core values, etc. Very cool. Zappos is so confident in their employees, that they tell visitors to their company where the lunch room is, restrooms, and to go walk around and talk to whomever they want to…no supervision.

    1. Betsy*

      Thirded. I was coming to say most of this.

      I would add that if you can include photos of your workspace and it won’t horrify people, I would do that. I like a sense of the space in which I’d be working, and people will start to picture themselves in it, giving you an emotional in.

      1. KC*

        Oh! I like the idea of pictures of the inside of the space. And not canned pictures of people posing in front of things–actual pictures of the work space.

    2. Labratnomore*

      I agree as well. I find it very helpful if there is a detailed list of benefits, not just “we have health insurance and a 401K program”. Quantify as much as possible so people have a better idea of the total compensation they would get if they applied there. Also make it realistic not all show, I find that a big turnoff!

    3. Christine*

      All of these suggestions are great. It’s important to have specifics and useful information, rather than generic statements like, “X is an industry leader in chocolate teapots.” I would love to see more company websites with career pages that actually give the applicant a sense of what it would be like to work there.

  4. hfsteph*

    I recently applied to a position where they had the names and links to a small picture and bio about every employee. Each bio was about a two paragraphs. The first one was about professional stuff: education, how long they’ve worked at the company, etc. The second one was more personal stuff: likes to play with her dog, is a huge Ninja Turtles fan, loves cooking etc.

    I could see why some people feel that this is a lot of personal information to post about employees and some may not be comfortable with it. But as a person applying there, I thought it was awesome. It gave me a sneak peek into their culture and if I would be a good fit, it also made me more comfortable/confident because I could see that employees had similar professional backgrounds and interests.

    This obviously might not work everywhere, but if you have 1–50 employees it might be a good idea.

      1. jmkenrick*

        I’m not necessarily a fan of pictures of employees, but I think pictures/bios for the exec staff/department heads can be nice.

        And I think it’s a reasonable thing to ask of those employees, since visibiltiy tends to go hand in hand with leadership.

        1. fposte*

          And it can be done as an opt-in. I’m a privacy bug, but CVs with pictures are pretty much the norm in academia, so I wouldn’t be bothered by this.

  5. Elysian*

    Specific information about benefits, like:
    – Individual health insurance fully paid by employer. $500 deductable, average $30 copays.
    – 6 weeks of fully paid maternity, paternity, or adoptive parent leave.
    – 401(k) policy with employer match – employees eligible after one year.

    Any information you can disclose about pay whatsoever. Do NOT say “Pay is competitive with industry and level of experience.” That is a meaningless phrase that tells me nothing. No one is going to say their pay is below market.

    Anything special about your interview process.
    – Candidates will be required to cater a meal for 40 staff members.
    – Candidates will be required to complete a phone interview and two interviews at the office.

    Any opportunities the company provides for professional growth.
    – Company pays for one out-of-town conference per year.
    – Company will pay for employee’s licensing fees in one relevant state.

    Since it came up earlier, I actually like to know about staff team-building types of activities on a hiring page. I think my husband’s company lists something about their go-cart building club, their monthly “hack-a-thons,” and their giant video game room. Book club, knitting club, what-have-you. Especially if you’re in an industry where some types of employees are under-represented in some way, this is an area where you can show inclusion. For example, as cool as it is, I told my husband that his company’s go-cart building club was probably not helping them attract more female software engineers.

    1. Ash #1*

      “For example, as cool as it is, I told my husband that his company’s go-cart building club was probably not helping them attract more female software engineers.”

      If I was a software engineer, I would go nuts for that place! I’ve always wanted to participate in go-kart activities. Don’t assume that no women would be interested in something like that.

      1. Elysian*

        Not assuming no women! Just that there is probably a statistically small number of women who would find that to be a perk they cared about or could participate in. I know very, very few women with the mechanical know-how to build a go-cart, and this wasn’t really a club that would teach you. Also, it wasn’t helping that there were no women in the club to start with.

        1. Kerry*

          I’m sure the statistics change once you realize your sample group is “female software engineers” rather than “females at large.”

          And sorry, but “fancy cappuccino machine” isn’t less condescending than my fictional knitting circle.

          1. Elysian*

            Seriously? The coffee machine comment is condescending? It’s like a barista-level gigantic expensive thing with some kind of gourmet beans and its own grinder and it takes up like a whole counter (I don’t know much about coffee, but the guy who bought that machine apparently did). They do in fact mention it elsewhere on their website, but it doesn’t have 25 pictures like the go-cart club (which has 5 members) does. I just assume more people like fancy coffee in the office than have time and money to build go-carts on the weekends.

            1. Windchime*

              And I don’t drink coffee, but I *do* knit and would join a knitting circle! What I want to know about are less tangible things and I’m not sure how it could be stated on a website in a way I would believe it:

              –Non-crazy working hours. We’ve all seen the places that boast about work-life balance, but where the idea of “balance” is 65 hours of work per week.

              –Vacation. If you’re going to make me work 10 years before I get 3 weeks of PTO, I would like to know that before I (don’t) apply at your company.

              –Salary. Yeah, I know you’re “competitive”. My last place of business was “competitive”, too, but it was in East Podunk, USA so competitive was a very relative term.

              –Culture. OldJob would say they had a supportive, positive culture but they did not. Workers were a cog in a wheel. NewJob’s culture is positive and supportive in both word and deed.

              So those are the things that would matter to me. I’m just not sure how they could be stated in a way that I would read other than normal corporate advertising.

            2. Bea W*

              Go-karts. You can get fancy coffee pretty much anywhere now.

              When I interviewed at my current job, learning there was an ice cream vending machine, and the nice cafeteria, that was definately a plus.

    2. Kerry*

      For example, as cool as it is, I told my husband that his company’s go-cart building club was probably not helping them attract more female software engineers.

      Yeah, try talking more about the knitting club!

      1. Elysian*

        *sigh* Any effort to attract female candidates is going to have to make sSOME assumptions. I’m not proposing the “sit around and complain about menstrual cramps” club. I just suggested that they might do better emphasizing the fancy cappuccino machine and catered lunches than the go-cart stuff. You know, perks that might be more universally appealing.

        1. Elysian*

          If there was a knitting club, though, they should totally have mentioned that as well. But there isn’t one.

        2. TL*

          Most female engineers I know are actually pretty into building stuff, even if it’s not in their field. Maybe software engineers are different but I feel most people choose engineering because they’re tinkers by nature.

          1. Anonymous*

            Not to mention if people do not know how to build go karts and they want to participate the club may just have to change its focus a little bit. Perhaps the club should consider inviting people who have never, to see if they might be interested if people were TAUGHT how to do it. Even now. More than 5 people might like the thing, if they didn’t think “it’s all experienced people, they don’t want new people, they don’t teach anything.”

        3. Bea W*

          It depends. Some people may like to see some diversity in activities and perks and even if they have no interest in go-karts, it’s something different that stands out and in context it contributes to the range of things going on and signlas the culture and company may be friendly and supportive of various personal interests and not just people who like caffeine and want to lose weight.

    3. Anonymous*

      “Any information you can disclose about pay whatsoever. Do NOT say “Pay is competitive with industry and level of experience.” That is a meaningless phrase that tells me nothing. No one is going to say their pay is below market.”

      You’re correct that no one is going to say their pay is below market, but saying it is market is not meaningless. If it’s true, it has meaning, and in comparison to another position where nothing is said, it’s helpful info.

      1. Elysian*

        Eh, I disagree. My current job said the “competitive” line and they definitely pay below market. I would rather see nothing at all, personally. I’ll assume that pay is market if there’s nothing, but if they say it’s competitive and then offer less, I’ll just think of them as liars. Or delusional.

      2. Bea W*

        That line translates to “We don’t pay as well as other employers, but want people to think we do.”

    4. Jubilance*

      Actually the women I know who are software engineers would be totally into a go-kart club, especially if they got a chance to build their own. But hey, different strokes…

    5. Mike C.*

      If you want to attract women, you need to not only recruit where women are, but have an environment where women are treated like human beings. Having a go cart club or hackathons has nothing to do with it.

    6. Elysian*

      I’m going to go with a different example because I feel like my example has started distracting from my point:

      “Especially if you’re in an industry where some types of employees are under-represented in some way, this is an area where you can show inclusion.” For example, if you offer health benefit for same-sex employee spouses/domestic partners, state that on your page. It demonstrates the environment of your office much better than just saying that you have a non-discrimination policy.

    7. OP "We're hiring!"*

      Ha. I am a regular AAM reader and have used the “catered dinner for 40 skills test” joke multi times in the last (2 weeks is it?) internally. Will probably use it forever.

      No, we don’t do any weird crap. There’s no drug testing (except for advanced financial positions, which have nothing to do with me), no personality tests, no bizarre interview questions. We have limited skills testing in technical areas, information on which is included in the appropriate job posting.

      I’ll have to figure out a way to convey “we don’t do weird crap” without a laundry list of all of things we don’t do.

  6. A Teacher*

    Have pictures but not the staged corny ones I see on so many career websites. For example: I would want to see what the work space looks like–at least offices or cubicle farms and if its farms are the boring or can people personalize them. Basic questions answered: what is your dress code? Dress code is big for me–I hate uniforms for lots of reasons so the ability to tastefully express myself in my clothing choices matters.

    1. jmkenrick*

      I agree with this. Some photos (not of fun group outings, but of, you know, average days…the actual work you’re hiring for) can be nice. Photos of team leads/department heads with some info about them is also nice to have.

    2. FRRibs*

      Definitely agree here, especially if the site layout has a major effect on the work process. I always pay close attention to photographs that include work areas (I am more the manufacturing than the administrative side at this time). Does the work space seem clean, organized, uncrowded, busy, etc.

  7. Sunflower*

    Definitely note the low turnover. Anyone can say it’s a great place to work but that SHOWS that it is. Employee testimonials on the site are great- especially ones who have been there and worked their way up.

    Avoid too much going on. Some companies have all these crazy graphics and things flying around to show how up with technology they are and its just too much.

    Make it easy for people to find the ‘search for open positions’ button. I can’t tell you how many companies who are on ‘Best to Work for’ lists that have all this flack all over their site that I can’t figure out where to click to look for jobs.

    1. some1*

      Yup. I always ask about employee retention in that dept and the company as a whole when I interview. IME high turnover means that the company sucks and people get out as soon as they can, &/or that they hire too many of the wrong people (which indicates poor judgement).

    2. CalicoK*

      This might be the rare exception to what low turnover indicates, but I don’t always see this as a positive. At my current job, the company sold me on low turnover. The average employee stays here for 10+ years! I thought this was a great selling point. Once I accepted the job, I saw why there was low turnover. There was a retention bonus offered to more senior employees if they stayed until a certain date. Almost everyone I talked to is dissatisfied with company/job and they’re only staying because they couldn’t say no to the bonus. The morale here is awful and lots of people are getting by on subpar work. I wish this was disclosed to me before I accepted the job :(

      1. ExceptionToTheRule*

        Yeah, really long retention rates can turn a place into a cult or, even worse, “a family.” It can also limit advancement opportunities.

        1. OP "We're hiring!"*

          Op here.

          Yup, you’re right. We went through contraction when the economy collapsed and it was a long few years where there was nowhere for anybody to go.

          If you don’t have retention + growth, the atmosphere becomes boxed in.

          Fortunately, that’s behind us awhile now. Onward and upward.

  8. Del*

    Plenty of great suggestions here! Seconding “Pay, benefits, location perks” quite hard.

    Another thing I would note is if your company is particularly good on the inclusivity front. I know the difference for me (and for plenty of LGBT folks of my acquaintance) between “Oh, that might be a nice place to work” and “Oh man I super want to work there!” is knowing that a company has a good record and good policies on the books for LGBT inclusivity, nondiscrimination, etc.

    1. MelG*

      Totally. Even as someone who idetifies as straight, if I see a company is inclusive towards LGBTQ folks I tend to think more highly of them. Similarly with maternity/paternity leave policies. I am childfree by choice, but seeing a generous policy that the company is proud to advertise, while it doesn’t apply to me specifically, would make me think that this is a nice, understanding company to work for.

      1. thenoiseinspace*

        +1, especially for things (like maternity leave) that might not apply to certain candidates now, but might a few years down the road. It’s always nice to find a place where you feel like you can stay.

    2. OP "We're hiring!"*

      OP here.

      That’s interesting and I’ll tell you why. We’re in a blue state that has marriage equality (finally) and strong anti-discrimination laws that include sexual orientation and gender identity/expression.

      We are LGBT friendly but I probably wouldn’t have thought to include it because, law. You don’t get to not be. (HR will review copy and might well have included this, it’s just “duh” from my perspective, which is nice. This makes me like my state at least today.)

      1. Anonymous*

        There’s a strong difference between “because, law,” and “because we are and we want to be whether or not, law.” Because the first is where you do the absolute legal minimum, and the second is where you treat everyone like people and human beings and all.

        1. OP "We're hiring!"*

          Oh, I follow you.

          My observation was that precisely because it is normal course of business for us to have LGBT employees, I wouldn’t think to call same out specially.

          (My other thought is that because it’s an employment law issue, HR will want last pass on wording. )

      2. newbie*

        It’s law now, but if you’re able to truthfully say something like “We’ve offered domestic partner benefits since 1987,” that will convey a whole lot more!

  9. caligirl*

    If you have multiple locations, indicate which specific office(s) for the jobs. My company has 3 locations in one city and the commutes would be different for each, depending on where you live. Thank you for asking!

    1. some1*

      Ditto. And mentioning if you are on a public transportation line can help, especially if you don’t pay or subsidize parking.

      1. Bea W*

        Do mention if you subsidize public transit passes. Huge perk for people working in cities with extensive public transit. I pay $25/month through payroll deduction. I couldn’t fill my gas tank for that much never mind find parking. For employees in the burbs commuter train passes get pricey.

        Mention group discounts on things like auto and home insurance.

    2. sharon g*

      +1 I live on the east side of a big city. I hate when employers with multiple locations only put “Big City” only to find out the job is located on the west side of the city. If the job has great pay/perks, I might consider applying, but I don’t want the surprise of a possible 45 minute one way commute if I think the job is down the road.

    3. MelG*

      And make the job listings sortable by city. It amazes me how many sites list all of the open positions but won’t let you sort or filter by city.

    4. Brett*

      Which location goes with which job is extremely important with multiple locations.
      Also, if a position -could- be flexible to different locations, that is important too. First thing I look at with an interesting position is where it is located.

  10. danr*

    First, forget about attracting ‘the best applicants’, worry about attracting applicants at all. So, make your page easy to find. There should be a direct link to the jobs or careers page from your home page. Do not bury the page on the 10th level or so. (don’t laugh, I’ve seen that).
    Second, Do not include your mission statement or a PR page about how great you are. Especially when it moves the positions that you’re advertising to the second or third page. The ‘best applicants’ will laugh and move on. If you have a mission statement put it on it’s own page and link to it.
    Third, make sure that any pictures taken in your offices match the description of the office culture. If you describe your culture as relaxed and fun, and all of the employees are in three piece suits, your best applicants will move on.
    Finally, if you use an application system, please test it from the outside before making the applicants use it. Make sure it provides you with the information that you need, and doesn’t toss candidates based on keyword matching. It may reject the best candidates and accept those who have learned how to game the system.

    1. AnonHR*

      Agreed. No hiding the link in the “About Us” section under some other heading. Right on the home page is key :)

      1. Anonymous*

        That depends how much recruiting new staff is central to the operations of the organization and particularly the homepage. If the purpose of the homepage is, for example, to make sales, and the organization recruits by online listings at external job sites, it doesn’t make sense to have recruiting take up much space on the homepage or be prominent at all. It should be listed way down – perhaps a link at the very bottom of the page, or a link in an About Us section.

        I am very doubtful that people looking for jobs will be randomly browsing homepages and not willing to scroll a little to get to jobs listings. In comparison, potential customers looking to spend $15 on a mop or potential donors looking to contribute to helping kids are much more likely to leave the site quickly if they can’t find what they want, so the homepage should (usually) cater to those users.

        1. Anonymous*

          A small “jobs” or “careers” link at the footer of a homepage is all it takes. What danr is talking about is where you have to click around to see if the jobs page is under “about us” or “contact us” or somewhere else. Even a company does it’s recruiting on external sites, many candidates will check a company’s jobs page to find information about the hiring process/culture/benefits etc that others have mentioned here.

          1. holly*

            +1 yes, i always look in the footer first, then under About Us. if in neither of those places, i’m usually stumped.

            1. Jessa*

              Exactly. There’s nothing wrong with a “careers” link on the bottom of the page or even really on the top. Even if your site is geared to sales.

        2. Piper*

          Tons of people look for careers information. Depending on the company, careers could be your highest hit page (ours is). Having worked extensively in analytics and user testing for several companies (from tiny startups to big fortune 50s), I can tell you, most companies need to get that career link to the top level of their navigation and not hide it somewhere. People are definitely looking for it.

          1. Piper*

            *To clarify, by top-level, I don’t necessarily mean it needs to live in the main header/navigation, but a link on the footer or a link above the header works, too, depending on the company.

  11. Anonymous*

    For the love of God put your office’s address as easy to find as possible. If there are multiple locations make it super clear which one you’re talking about. The general city (or, as I’ve seen, the large city closest to the actual location) is not enough information for people, who, like me, have to geographically limit their search for various reasons.

    Also, please give each job an easy to get unique link that you can link someone too — I’ve been on sites where the only findable link is to a general “careers” page and the individual listings just open with Ajax or whatever, so it’s not easy to send a post to someone else (without using a built-in “email this job!” function which there’s a 0% chance I would ever use.

    1. Mike C.*

      Pictures of your front offices would also be nice when it comes time for interviews! I’ve had more than one lab forget to attach building numbers and signs, and that sort of thing is really frustrating.

      1. Anonymous*

        Oh come on – pictures to help find the place? If there is no building number, that should be fixed by adding a building number, not putting a photo of the place on a website.

        1. FRRibs*

          The number should be there, but on long streets it’s nice if you know what the building looks like before you end up on a city street with cars riding your bumper while you keep looking at building numbers and traffic at the same time. I’ve also worked at places where one organization owns an entire commercial park, with only one address on the gate, but every building run as a separate entity.

          Hence one reason I like google earth.

  12. Dan*

    Much like employers don’t like the “soft skills” section of a resume because they’re hard to verify, skip the same stuff on your website if you can’t back it up objectively.

    Benefits should go up on the website — particularly if they’re better than standard.

    1. Anonymous*

      “skip the same stuff on your website if you can’t back it up objectively.”

      What does this mean? And where do we back it up?

      1. SD Cat*

        Do you mean subjective statements such as “We’re great!” without anything backing them up (in this case, things that make you “great”)?

  13. Nikki b*

    Do you have any no -go issues ? Eg citizens or permanent residents only,

    Why should any one apply via your site – direct engagement only – no hires through recruitment agencies?

    1. James M*

      Please don’t mention that applicants should be legally able to work in the country since that could make it look like you’ve had previous problems with that issue.

      Less common legal requirements should definitely appear if applicable, e.g: state residency, driver’s license, felony convictions. Those are awkward interview moments you want to avoid… unless you’re looking for material to post on AAM.

      1. CAA*

        Companies who say “you must be able to work legally for any employer in the U.S.” are just trying to limit the number of resumes that come in from people who need visa or green-card sponsorship. I think most job seekers know this doesn’t imply that the employer has been raided by the INS.

      2. AB Normal*

        Still, it’s useful to mention if you require citizenship or permanent residency (meaning, you won’t consider candidates legally in the country, but requiring a visa sponsorship to work for you).

        I’ve been in this situation, in a working visa, before being granted my green card, and it was much more practical to know upfront whether the company was willing to go through the visa sponsorship process or not, so I could just apply to the ones that had this option.

  14. Anon*

    Make sure the current openings are listed/linked clearly, along with any pertinent application process information. And keep it up-t0-date.

    1. Audiophile*

      ^THIS. It’s infuriating when a job is featured by a company but no longer available. I’ve actually applied to positions and then been in touch with companies only to find out a position was filled months ago.

      1. JMegan*

        Although the flip side to that is also helpful – it can be really useful to include an archive of past job postings (as long as it’s clearly marked as an archive, of course!)

        That allows job seekers to see what other positions exist at the company, even if they’re not currently open. They can see what qualifications are generally needed – if someone is flipping through and sees that half of your jobs require a Teapot Design Certificate, they might be inclined to go and seek out that certificate, or to feature it more prominently on their resume.

    2. SevenSixOne*

      Some companies seem to think no one will apply for a job that’s more than a few weeks old… so they post the same opening again and again and again, sometimes without removing the older postings. This makes it hard to keep track of which job you applied for and which “new” postings are really new.

      Do not do this.

  15. Audiophile*

    The company I’m currently considering applying to has a great “we’re hiring” tagline on their page. That caught my attention. No searching needed. They’re also clearly spelling out their salary ranges for each position. They’re a small startup, so what they lack in traditional benefits, they make up for in cool perks. And they display all of this on the job posts. Additionally, they’re very clear about what their culture is like with pictures of all the other staff members and links to the company’s Twitter account, as well as individual staff’s Twitter accounts. It’s a great way to get to know potential colleagues.

  16. B*

    Agree with much that has been said. What are the benefits – health insurance (when does it start), maternity & paternity leave, how many vacation and sick days to start, wageworks, half-day Fridays, fully-stocked kitchen with coffee and soda, once a month staff lunches. As well as pictures of the workspaces, of the building, any info about location, etc. If you are allowed to work from home on snow days.

    I would think about the enticements. Ask the employees why they stay, ask yourself why you stay. What are the super little things that people really enjoy. Those are the perks.

    1. the gold digger*

      health insurance (when does it start),

      Yes! If you have a waiting period even though you have low turnover, then I know you are just cheap and I know that I will have to negotiate something with you. (She said with annoyance, having never had to wait for health insurance before in her life.)

  17. Starry Knight*

    Please acknowledge that you’ve received applications, even if you just do it with a form email. I’ve applied for jobs where there is absolutely no follow up whatsoever, leaving me to wonder if they actually received my materials. Just let people know that they successfully applied and when they might expect any follow up. Your company sounds pretty great … I’d like to apply!

    1. Jessa*

      Oh yes this. If you take applications online, even if it’s an automatic boilerplate “we got this,” system generated message, there should be a CLEAR notification that the application was processed through the system.

      I cannot stand taking 30 minutes or more to wade through a complicated online thing and have NO clue whether the form actually went through or got lost in a glitch.

  18. OP "We're Hiring!"*


    Great feedback already, thank you. About to go into a meeting and will come back later.

  19. some1*

    Not getting into whether you or shouldn’t do this, but if you happen to require candidates to pass a drug test or any type of background check it’s super helpful to put in the posting or make it clear.

    I like succinct job postings with bullet points. Reading blocks of texts on a computer screen when you are job searching all day can be annoying.

    1. Ruffingit*

      Totally agreed. If a drug test/background check/credit check is part of the deal, be upfront about that. It allows some people to self-select out.

    2. Stephanie*

      Post your jobs in English! No jargon, acronyms, or descriptions that make an entry-level admin sound like the COO.

      1. Bea W*

        Avoid buzz words! Leverage, synergy, transversal, these are completely meaningless to even the marketers who made them up.

  20. pgh_adventurer*

    Keep your job postings up to date. I don’t want to see jobs posted in 2011 that are listed as open. Might be too much work, but you could take it one step further and color code the job listings by “accepting applications”, “first round interviews”, “second round interviews”…

    1. Sunflower*

      A company I’ve applied to has a status that changes from ‘Application Sent’ to ‘Application viewed’ to ‘Hiring Manger is scheduling Interview’ and so on including ‘Not selected for an interview’. They also note when a position is closed whether the position was filled or canceled which is helpful for the candidate

      1. SevenSixOne*

        And make the statuses very clear like Sunflower’s examples, not some nonsense like “open” or “approved”. What do those even mean?

        1. hamster*

          For example , there is one corporation i know that applies the process like this. A manager thinks he needs 2 positions for his dept/team needs . Goes to his director , they agree on a ballpark idea of headcount and budget. Advertises the opening. Conducts interviews. Negociate/talk money with the top contenders. Propagate 2 cv-s . They need to be approved by 10 levels of management ( from the manager to the CEO ) . If everyone agrees that 1. the candidate is worth and able and the org really needs him. He gets extended the offer . Might take as long as six months. God forbid he rejects and the process starts over again( so approved might mean that it is absolutely sure they want to hire someone if they find him/her). And sometimes the higher-ups are not impressed with the cv. and give another sattelite, or another country the headcount. However, they have such great benefit/salary/prestige that people line up to apply their CV. And the experience there is like gold on a CV. So they can afford to be picky . But the process itself is very convoluted .

      2. Job Seeker*

        This would be great, wish more companies did this.

        A little OT and also too late, but on the off chance someone might see this: I see no logical reason why, when you are applying using an online form that captures each applicant’s email address, an email could not be automatically generated to the unsuccessful candidates when the job is filled?

        Those emails should be triggered to be sent as the administrator removes the posting. Just a simple form email that says in essence, thanks for your interest, the position has been filled, have a nice life, and do not respond to this email as no one is monitoring this mailbox.

        I have received exactly one email of this variety. Why? Every employer appears to have some nightmare of an online application system that I have no hope of ever matching keywords in, so when everything else is this automated, how about some automated closure?

    2. Ruffingit*

      YES! Please do not keep old jobs on active status. It’s so irritating to see that because it makes me wonder if they are in fact still accepting apps for a job listed in 2011 and if so, why. Do they have horrible hiring practices and therefore couldn’t find someone for the job, is it a lot of turnover so it’s just continually listed, do they just not update their jobs page? Any of those reasons make a company look bad.

    3. KellyK*

      Ooh, good point.

      On that note, if it’s an old listing because you’re always potentially hiring for that position, take the date off entirely and making something like “ongoing.” That tells people 1) that it’s not a stale listing from a company that either doesn’t update their webpage or has horrifying turn-over and 2) They may or may not have anything right at the moment. #2 is good for people who have a lot of possible jobs to apply for and need to prioritize, and being really up-front about whether this is a position you need to fill now shows honesty and respect for people’s time.

  21. mads*

    My pet peeve with most company’s career page is how difficult it is to find the login page and check status of the jobs one has applied for. so annoying when it is 4-5 levels deeply hidden.

  22. Anonymous*

    I would love to see your company’s annual goals on the careers page. It would help align my idea of expectations and culture with yours.

    Examples of how you can move up with the company in employee testimonials.

    Show your level of management to staff transparency. It looks like you have a great attrition rate, so I would mention that.

  23. Ruffingit*

    If you have an online application, for all that is good and holy in this world, please do not do the following things:

    1. Ask for information that is not at all relevant. The job requires at least a B.A. for example and you ask about high school, what the “major” in high school was and what activities the person participated in while there. Yes, I have seen this on online apps. It’s stupid. Skip the high school section, it’s not usually relevant.

    2. Give people the opportunity to put “present” in the date boxes. I had an app that would not allow me to do that and forced me to list an end date for a job I was still working.

    3. Don’t ask for a cover letter and then give a person a “Twitter” box to put it in. In other words, don’t ask for information that takes more than 140 characters, but then give only enough room to list your name, rank and serial number.

    Just some quick thoughts. May have more later. :)

    1. Samantha*

      All good. Definitely agree about #1. I have even seen applications where they want exact start and end dates … for high school!

    2. OP "We're hiring!"*

      OP here.

      We’re not planning on using a specific online application system. I’m not sure I understand the value of one, outside of maybe academics or maybe very large/popular employers that have set in stone specific degree requirements.

      “Do you have XYZ qualification” check/no check

      We don’t robo process resumes. Human beings look at them. (Mind we are under 200 employees, not some mega place.) There’s rarely a specific deal breaker check/no check unless it’s a financial or technical position that really does have to have a certain degree or years of experience.

      So, there’s no value to me in an online application system. Is there a value to potential employees? Something I’m missing?

      1. Ask a Manager* Post author

        No. I do the same thing you do, but I’ve had clients who use online application systems and I hate them — they actually make it less efficient, in my opinion, at least if you want to look at every candidate (which I do).

        1. hamster*

          They *are* useful. If you are a popular company you can easily build a db of people who apply there and search into it when openings open up. Plus, certification/years of experience can be very legitimate yes/no filters depending on the job

          1. Ask a Manager* Post author

            Oh, I’m all for building that type of database for that type of use — just not for making applicants use an electronic system to apply. I want them to email me a cover letter and resume. I don’t want their formatting stripped out. I don’t want them to have to jump through onerous hoops. I don’t them asked screening questions that don’t have one-size-fits-all answers.

            1. Fiona*


              Honestly, I think LinkedIn has a really nice “best of both worlds” approach. Fields for name, email, phone, and cover letter/ resume upload boxes. Assume it timestamps and autopopulates with the position applied for, and what more do you really need in your database? Okay, I wish LI would let you upload a cover letter rather than the dumb text box, but that’s a minor quibble in the grand scheme. The applicant gets an auto-confirm that their application was received (along with that nice reminder that all resumes are reviewed by human eyeballs!).

      2. Fiona*

        “We don’t robo process resumes. Human beings look at them.”
        SAY THIS. One, it reflexively makes me think good things about how you probably treat the folks you actually hire; and Two, I might be slightly more patient in waiting for a response if I know I’m waiting in line for human eyeballs.

        Say, what kind of company are you, and what are you hiring for?? ;)

        1. OP "We're hiring!"*

          Thank you. It wouldn’t have occurred to me to say that, when it is obvious that I should. I don’t get the weird gauntlet processes that other places set up and forget they exist.

          Mind, resume bombers can be draining. There must be a tipping point that companies reach where they can’t deal with it anymore. We’ve recently expanded HR & recruitment so we can handle it humanly for the foreseeable future.

          (We’re a B to B company, primarily online, and we’re going through a big growth jump, yay. We’re hiring for everything from warehouse, to customer facing reps, artists, online marketers, web development. My primary function is marketing exec and we’ve thrown “market the company to potential employees” to the marketing team, since that seemed logical. )

      1. Ruffingit*

        Exactly, I hate that. And it’s even worse when that is a required field. WTF and WHY?? So stupid. If you’re going to use an online app system, make it useful. I’m with Alison in that I don’t like online app systems at all really, but if you’re going to have one, don’t make it cumbersome and inefficient totally.

  24. Sunflower*

    I would also advise against having a general ‘Please email this address for inquires of job opportunities.’ if you can help it. I hate this so much!!!! I tailor my resume and cover letter to every job I apply for so it’s really hard to send out a generic resume when I have no idea what you’re hiring for!

  25. themmases*

    I really appreciate an option to bypass searching available positions, and just see the whole list. Lots of people have general office skills that will transfer, or could be called something totally different or categorized differently at different companies. People who have never been to your site before have no reason to trust your search service, especially in areas like job titles and duties that involve ambiguity. I’ve often found jobs I want to apply for filtered out by even very broad searches, so I strongly prefer to just read the list myself.

    I agree with others that I really, really need to know the location of the job being advertised. If I’m not confident I could or would commute there, I most likely won’t even apply.

    Also, be thoughtful about how you organize information about the company. I’ve seen companies (especially startups) leave the “technology perks” of how nice their computers are on ads for admin assistants and account managers who probably don’t need a lot of the specs offered. Or the nice location of their office on the list of benefits. I’m interested in that information and I’d love to read about it in an “About the Company” section or something, but it’s not a career-type “benefit” the way health insurance or PTO are. Some of that stuff just reads to me like trying to have the longest list of “benefits” no matter what they are– but maybe others will disagree.

    1. A Jane*

      Completely agree with the “show all” option.

      I do like having a filter for location. However, I hate when the location requires you to select country, then state/province, then city.

  26. Cajun2core*

    Much of what everyone has said before. I especially agree with the salary (put a range at least) and benefits (401K, vacation, health insurance – including as many details as possible, sick leave, parking, etc.) It does no good to apply for a job where the salary is great but it gets eaten up in insurance, parking, etc.

    Also, in the job listing put the hours and days that the person would work. Seriously, I have seen job postings that did not list it and I went for an interview and was offered the job. When I asked about the schedule the person who interviewed me said, “Well, we are not really sure which shift you will be working. It could be any number of shifts.” I didn’t take the job. They also had a hard time telling me who my direct supervisor would be. This kind of mess was too big of a red flag for me to ignore.

  27. Ask a Manager* Post author

    I want to throw out that while I think these are all great suggestions on their own, I also think that if you used every single one of them, you would run the risk of crossing over from “what a great amount of transparency” to “weirdly overwhelming with too many details that people don’t need at this stage, before they’ve even been called for an interview.”

    I’d be thoughtful about what you include and don’t create an information flood for people who are still in the very early stages with you. Salary, benefits, culture, yes. But probably not the level of detail that implementing everything here would take you to.

    1. Joey*

      Our website has every employment related resource an employee or manager might need and I always get comments about how nice it is to see what real employees can see. We have the following:
      Searchable database of all job descriptions
      All of the benefits info new employees recieve including what the employer/employee contributes
      Our full pay plan including all pay bands, schedule for tenure or performance based increases
      Testimonials from real employees in each different job category
      Real employee pics
      All employment policies
      Annual evaluation forms and supervisor instructions
      Supervisor guides to handling employment issues

      I’ve heard nothing but good comments, even though its information overload.

      1. jesicka309*

        My current company has lots of this information on their careers page, because they’ve structured it in a way that has multiple pages. Once you click on “career opportunities” on the bottom of the homepage, it opens up a careers homepage with subheadings down the left:
        “Why company X?”
        “Training and Development”
        “How do I apply?”
        In the same menu (careers is a subheading of “About Us”) it has other headings about “Our Environemnt” “Our Community” and “Our People” – all have more information about our coporate responsibility programs etc.
        I’ve always thought it was the best system I’d ever applied in. And the hiring system is the kind where it notifies you via email once you progress through the stages: Application received, application read, application progressed, interview stage, reference checks, offer extended, offer accepted. It was so transparent, I loved it. It even allowed the offer to be extended (formally via letter) through the system so that they could send me my offer letter and I could read and accept immediately.
        Easy to use, no extraneous information, and the ability to sift through the extra information if you liked (as I did the first time I visited the page) but also log straight into their jobs site and bypass that (as I did once I applied).

    2. OP "We're hiring!"*

      Thank you so much for posting this question. All of the feedback is great. I appreciate your pointing out about picking and choosing.

      I’m digging the picture suggestions from angles that I wouldn’t have thought of. We have some showpiece no brainers, like a quite nice in house gym, but the suggestions here have sparked some ideas for a more personalized inside look. (That gym picture goes in everything we do. Okay. It’s a gym. We have one. I’m tired of always looking at the gym picture. )

      Thanks a million!

    3. Mephyle*

      For the most part, the very detailed suggestions relate to specific positions and could be listed with the respective position, or (if they apply in general) on the page where the open positions are listed. They wouldn’t appear in the area of the site where the general advantages of working with the company are featured.

  28. Fiona*

    Think about how you are wording your ads/listings, too. Somewhere in her archives AAM has at least one post about writing good ads. For example…

    Bad: “Develop and / or coordinate the development of marketing and communication materials, which incorporate the Allina-wide marketing brand and strategy to be used for external purposes to communicate hospital initiatives, projects, products, and service lines.”

    Good: “Design all marketing and development materials for print and web including three direct mail pieces, an annual report, two newsletters, event invitations and materials, department brochures, and food drive materials.” 

    If I can find Allison’s post that I’m thinking of before someone beats me to it, I’ll post it.

    1. Stephanie*


      I read so many terrible postings with acronyms, b school buzzwords, and overly lofty aspirations (“Really? As an entry-level engineer I’m going to be designing the entire product line?”).

    2. OP "We're hiring!"*

      I have studied that page previously! It might have even been the way that I discovered AAM some months back.

      Honestly, I am utter crap at writing job postings but fortunately we have a couple of people internally that aren’t so I can just take a pass at what they have done and look smart fixing a few things without having to do the heavy lifting. (Writing a job posting for the first time you have hired for a certain position is hard!)

  29. BCW*

    This depends on the size of your company, but I saw a page once for a fairly small company (approx 20 people) and they each had their name, job title, and a short video saying what they liked about the company. It was a pretty cool way to get some insight that may not be apparent.

    I will say though, that I’ve also seen it not good. A company which was supposed to specialize in working with inner city youth had 0 people of color there. I’m in Chicago, so its not like we are in an area where there wouldn’t be any qualified applicants who weren’t white. For a lot of jobs I wouldn’t care, but when your mission was to work with these kids, but there wasn’t a single person that looked like them, it made me question them a bit.

    1. Joey*

      Yeah its weird how that happens, but I always wonder if non minorities notice when the staff isn’t reflective of the local job market. To me its a huge red flag, but weirdly my white friends rarely notice.

      1. BCW*

        Well to me it depends on the job. I mean if it was a law firm, I probably wouldn’t question it as much. But in the case I mentioned, it was a huge red flag.

      2. themmases*

        I agree with BCW that it may depend on the workplace. I am white, but my employer serves many– but not exclusively– low-income families from Chicago. We’re not perfect, but I think the diversity we do have helps us serve families and so I will always notice it now. I might not have noticed before having this job and I’m sure others whose work experiences are different might not, either.

        I’m applying to grad programs right now, which also feature students and faculty members on their pages in this way, and most of them have very diverse pages. So when you reach a place where most or all of the people featured are white, the difference is noticeable. It definitely makes you wonder– is the page just not well run and no one thought about how this looks, or did they really have no one to feature, or choose not to feature the people of color that are there?

        1. Joey*

          It’s really eye opening when some of my friends started looking around at the race and sex diversity at their jobs. I’ve had some friends sort of ashamed to not have noticed everyone looks the same.

          1. Editor*

            There’s a tumblr that posts photos and listings of groups where all the members of the group are men. Until I looked at it, I had no idea Lego had no women in its top ranks. so any page about a company should be screened for giveaways about the culture. The tumblr doesn’t point it out, but there were plenty of groups where there were no people of color — just white guys.


    2. ChristineSW*

      I think that’s fairly common with nonprofit/human service agencies. I volunteer with a couple of panels that review grant proposals, and I have seen this with applications that ask for this information. It is particularly common with Boards.

  30. Tinker*

    A big green button that says “Apply Now”.

    It may say something not so great about my character, but even if I like your company, I turn into a button-mashing caveman behind the keyboard when I’m applying for jobs.

    Ogg find link to company website. Ogg look for link says “Careers” or “Employment” or “Jobs” or “Work For Us”. Hopefully link not in little tiny letters at bottom of page or Ogg look long time and cry also. Ogg find link. Ogg smash clicky mouse button! Ogg see job listing that not look heinous, Ogg want apply. Ogg look for big green button say “Apply now!” Ogg find button. Ogg smash button! Ogg put resume in hole for resume. Ogg put cover letter in hole for cover letter. Ogg send! Ogg happy. Ogg go get sandwich.

    But seriously, I think usability is really important — I’ve run across a number of places where their job listings are hidden away somewhere, or have a lot of text about how the CEO goes wakeboarding and stuff, and the link to where the job listings are is in that paragraph somewhere, but it’s kind of buried.

    The thing is, it’s really really likely that if I’m looking for that, then I haven’t been to your website that many times and that I’m going through a number of similar websites — not that I go for the extreme high volume resume grind thing, but in the initial stages my thinking is very mechanical. Do you have jobs for me? What do you want addressed in the application package? Where does the application package go? Lesser but still useful factor: Approximately what do your offers look like for this job? Done.

    I think sometimes places, particularly smaller companies, get kind of used to their website layout and don’t stop to think what they look like to a naive outsider — but doing that is really appreciated.

      1. Liane*

        Me too! And I really needed something to make me laugh today. Thanks. (It was one of *those* workdays, in what’s turning out to be one of *those* workweeks.)

    1. Tinker*

      Actually, let me sketch out also what makes me happy when I see it.

      Okay, so I’ve gotten to the main page of your company’s website somehow. The best happy time is that I see, above the fold, a link that says something that is clearly related to the concept of employment — I tend to look first on the top right corner or at the ends of menu-looking things. So I click this link and I get a submenu of say around 4-5 items.

      These are something like…

      “Company Info”, behind which is something about what the company does and who they do it to, and maybe has a picture of the CEO with her favorite bicycle. A brief sketch of corporate culture can go here, if your company has got a culture or you think it does. What that tells me is limited — the examination here is at the level of “sane / not sane”, not really “do I like it”. I don’t believe in getting that sort of information other than through personal interaction.

      “Locations” (or “Location”), behind which is conveyed where the company that does business — a picture of your hacker space or a map of the globe with dots on, as appropriate. Note here: if you go the dot route, and there are major gaps as to what is done at each location, this needs to be made clear. If you say that you are in dire need of controls programmers, and you have a map with a dot on it in Denver, and it transpires that what this means is that you have one landman who lives in a cardboard box behind the Starbucks at 16th and Blake, while your controls engineer positions are exclusively in rural Louisiana, actual physical flames will shoot out my ears.

      “Benefits” — which consists of a list of bullet points ordered by approximate relevance. Something like “Health Insurance – 401k – Bus Pass – Beer Fridge”. I would use this, basically, to see if you’re offering something that I think of as a bona fide job — the complete details I don’t consider relevant unless given in the form of an offer or unless one of the details is something insane like no health insurance, a hard cap of $30k, or mandatory single tail flogging every Friday.

      “Available Positions” — which has got a list of positions following a structure like: A heading with the title and actual location. Underneath, a description of responsibilities. Under that, a description of desired attributes (i.e. what my cover letter is supposed to prove). Under that, a link to however you mean me to apply — email preferable, application system tolerable. If you ask for my high school GPA, flames. If you ask me to create an account with a password and stuff, tiny flames. If your application system is broken, you are dead to me.

      This, I would say, is pretty much what I would call my ideal path.

  31. Rachel B*

    Make the application process easy. If you can accept a cover letter and resume for the initial application, do so. I know a lot of applicants won’t fill out long online applications if the job or industry isn’t very desirable.

    Under the About Our Company section on the Careers page, include favorable statistics about retention (Example: 90% of our managers were promoted from within the organization). As a prospective employee, I like to see opportunities for growth. I get nervous if I see that most employees leave after less than a year on LinkedIn.

    Make interviewing as easy as possible. Include an exterior photo of the building and directions about parking or public transportation. It helps signal to me that your organization is thoughtful about making the interview process, and the time and energy it takes.

  32. Anton*

    So, occasional reader, first time responder. I do a great deal of job hunting, and in the end, company websites drive me absolutely bonkers.

    The layouts are often bad, with the jobs/career/employment link being in tiny script at the very bottom of the page. Then (if we’re talking a large company at least) it becomes weird/difficult to pick a geographic area (the best thing here is miles away from zipcode as opposed to specific cities/places).

    Then comes the “select a position” category of irritation. This isn’t often all that bad, but sometimes it’s just awful. I’ve seen ones that make you pick a position before even getting to geography, which is interesting but not helpful somewhat.

    Big box retailers are the next awful part, any psychological profiling thing is just awful and should frankly be booted from the whole process.

    Also pick one, resume or work history. In my general experience I can send out 4-5 resumes, do some websites, etc, several days in a week, and not get one response. Don’t make these things overly long please! We unemployed/underemployed may have a surplus of time, but none of this helps you, and none of it helps your applicants.

  33. Brett*

    At least for my field, make sure your job titles match industry standards for titles. I always see jobs that have required skills that match high level positions, but then have mid to low level titles.

    When these are published without salary ranges too, I have no idea if the position will be a complete waste of time or worthwhile. This is particularly true because changing jobs will be an enormous legal hassle for me where even applying for a job requires jumping through some significant hurdles. (And I suspect this is often the case for better candidates.)

  34. Christina*

    Speaking as someone who helps companies put together their company pages – simple and straightforward is key here.
    I think the instinct here is right not to go for this is the career of a lifetime, and instead go for the simple basic truths. I have to disagree with a lot of the comments here on including as much information as possible. If management is comfortable with sharing more information on insurance and 401K, I highly suggest those are links to a separate page to minimize text on the About Us Page.

    For pictures – trust when I say that most pictures that I see on company pages are stock photos, and after you’ve paged through a few companies, you start seeing repeats. Try to get a few candid pictures of the workforce, and a group picture of the executives is always nice to see. I caution against testimonials for the same reasons other have mentioned here – they are always assumed to be vetted and PC.

  35. T*

    I agree with most of what I’ve read so far. For me, the most important thing is that it is easy to find what I’m looking for. Can I easily find your employment section from the website’s homepage? Is each job listing easy to understand? So many are filled with internal codes and such. Is they pay or pay range clearly stated?

    Also consider putting contact info for hiring managers for each position, even if you don’t want phone calls. I find it off-putting when an announcement says not to call and I have no other way of finding out to whom I should address my cover letter. I also really want to see the closing date for applications and when the job was first posted.

    I agree with the people who like what you wrote in your original question. It is worded well–sounds promising and slightly informal without being goofy.

    Stating benefits is good, but you’ll have to spend time figuring out the best way to present this. I don’t know that you can put specific copays, for instance, because that creates so many variables as to become unweildy for the reader. I checked the website of one of my former employers, and they have a benefits in brief page available via link from their main employment page. I think it does a pretty good job. You’ll want to watch your wording in case all types of employees don’t get the exact same benefits.

    Finally, I would really like to have some idea of how the hiring process works–how I should apply, what I should include (will I need to have a cover letter handy to upload?), how long the application will take (if it’s online), how long will the whole process take, what I should expect to happen next, etc. Even if you require a form application, make sure that people can complete it electronically. I’ve recently come across some organizations that required me to access the application online only to print it and fill it out by hand.

    Good luck!

    1. Lady Harriet*

      I absolutely agree about a description of the hiring process! If you only contact applicants that you want to interview and ignore everyone else, say that. Tell me how many rounds of interviews I will probably have if you like me and approximately how long the process will take. It’s really good to know whether you will consider a long-distance candidate who is interested in moving to your location, or whether you only want someone local. It’s also helpful to know the office dress code for interviews. I saw a site recently that said “We’re a business casual company, but we expect you more formally dressed for interviews.” These things make my life as an applicant so much easier!

  36. adorkable*

    Specifics about job listings.

    Seriously, the number of places where listings are general (for specific jobs with different titles) is a joke. Please don’t be that person.

    1. adorkable*

      That was a little unclear. I look for two things in job listings that I almost never find, and both of them should be fairly basic:

      1. What will the person in this role do on a normal day?
      2. What’s the culture like? Are these folks professional and organized? Do they do that without taking themselves TOO seriously?

      In both cases, what I want to know is – what’s it like to work there? So many websites have 8 million kinds of information, but none of the most important ones!

  37. Suz*

    One thing that drives me crazy about many companies’ jobs pages is when you have to drill down several levels to get to the actual job listings. You should be able to get there in one click from the main jobs page. My company’s website is terrible. From our Careers page, you have to drill down five more levels before you can finally search our posted job openings.

  38. MR*

    The more details that you can provide, the better. This gives potential candidates the option to opt out if they don’t like what they see. You save a lot of wasted time and effort that way.

    Also, make sure the amount of work needed by the candidates is as low as possible. Nobody likes to have to put their contact information in three times and their work history four times. The simpler, the better.

  39. Dave*

    Sorry to beat the dead horse.

    I would share as much information as you can, especially relating to, but not including:
    1. Pay – I want to know if going to interview is going to be worth it.
    2. Benefits – Heath insurance, vacation, etc. I might take less salary for more vacation, a better 401k match or better health insurance. This would be good to know, especially if your pay is on the lower end.
    3. Career advancement paths – I don’t think your call center/tech support employees want to be stuck there. If they show promise and/or get a degree/certification, you should allow them to move around in the company. This may be a good thing to do/share, especially in light of Salary/Benefits.

  40. Some Guy*

    Wow. An employer who is interested in input from its potential employees?!

    I know that it’s only February, but can I give you the 2014 Employer of the Year award now?

    I don’t care what you make. I’d work for you in a second.

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