Feature: What Does an Employer’s Web Site Really Tell You?
Employers large and small are now posting open jobs and organizational information on the Internet. Some, such as PepsiCo (www.pepsijobs.com), have launched stand-alone sites dedicated to connecting with prospective employment candidates. Others, like Toyota (www.toyota.com/jobs), have set up recruitment areas on their public sites. Whatever the format, however, all of these venues provide a special keyhole into an organization, often offering some very telling insights into its priorities and values.
How can you acquire this insight when you visit an organization’s recruitment site? Obviously, the first place to start is with the information an employer provides. That message, however, is imparted not only by what is said, but how. The creativity and effort the company invests in telling you about itself and “selling you” on its value proposition as an employer are also a part of the message. They reflect the culture and leadership of the company, two factors that are just as important to your success as the actual job you take.
To squeeze the most out of a company Web-site, then, look at what’s on the surface and what’s beneath it, at what is said and what isn’t, at what gets emphasized and what doesn’t, and at how you feel after the experience as well as at what you know. To gain those perspectives, ask yourself the following questions:
1. Does the organization provide information about itself on the site or does it simply post a lot of open jobs and ask you to apply in the dark?
2. Does the information that is provided celebrate the contributions of employees or the feats of the CEO and the executive team?
3. Is there information about the culture of the organization and the kinds of people who are most likely to succeed as its employees or are you left to guess about whether or not you will fit in?
4. Are you given a complete description of the organization’s compensation policies, benefits, career development and other support programs or are you expected to ignore such factors and apply on faith?
5. Is the information on the site well written and quality assured or does the organization not worry about what you’ll think of typos, grammatical errors and misspelled words?
1. Is the company proud enough of its people and facilities to picture them on the site or are you subjected to page after page of words?
2. If the site does include pictures, do they change from time-to-time or do you see the same tired, old images every time you visit?
3. Who or what is pictured on the site: the people who work for the organization or its products and press clippings?
4. If there are pictures of people on the site, do they include employees or focus, instead, on the CEO and executive team?
5. If there are pictures of employees on the site, do they depict a culturally diverse workforce where all kinds of people are welcome or is there a lack of gender, age and/or ethnic diversity?
1. Does the site provide a way for you to ask a question or does it simply talk at you about itself?
2. If it does provide a way for you to ask a question, does the response arrive in a timely fashion and provide the information for which you’re looking or are you ignored or sent a generic marketing message?
3. Have the site’s operating features been quality assured or are you subjected to pages that don’t open and links that don’t work?
4. Does the site offer a job agent so that you can see opportunities of interest to you without having to come back to the site over and over again?
5. Does the site offer such “visitor friendly” features as a tutorial on how best to search its job database and clear instructions on how to submit your resume online or are you left to figure it out on your own?
Obviously, the answers to these questions won’t tell you everything about a prospective employer. They will, however, give you a sense of how the organization looks at people. In other words, does it view employees and candidates as “preferred customers” or simply as a bother? Are you going to be central to the organization’s plans and success or an afterthought? Does the organization want to build a relationship with you or does it simply want to hire (and fire) you as its needs dictate? Combine that insight with the information you acquire about an organization and you have the two essential requirements for making an employment decision that will serve your best interests.
Thanks for reading,
A Final Note I hope you’re finding your WEDDLE’s newsletter to be thought-provoking, helpful and informative. If that’s the case, please tell a colleague about it and encourage them to subscribe, as well. I’d be very grateful for your support.
Section Two: Site News You Can Use
ExecuNet reported the results of its latest survey of executive recruiters. According to respondents, the following industries are likely to be the top sources of new jobs: medical/pharmaceutical, healthcare, financial services, manufacturing, and business services. The corporate functions expected to experience the greatest demand are sales, marketing, business development, general management and operations management. What does that mean for you? Assuming you have a background in any of these areas, make sure your resume is rich with keywords that would describe that experience. How can you identify those keywords? Read the job postings for such positions and use the same nouns and phrases that recruiters use. Those are the terms that will help your resume rise to the top in employers’ candidate management systems and resume databases.
WEDDLE’s tallied the votes cast to date for its annual User’s Choice Awards. Unlike selections made by pundits, these awards recognize job seekers’ and recruiters’ picks for the 30 best job boards on the Internet. Leading the pack at the half-way mark in the year are A/E/C Job Bank, Absolutely Healthcare, America’s Job Bank, Best Jobs USA, CareerBank.com, CareerBuilder.com, CareerExchange.com, CareerJournal.com, ccJobsOnline.com, ComputerJobs.com, ConstructionJobs.com, Craigslist, DICE, EmploymentGuide.com, FlipDog.com, HealthCareerWeb.com, HotJobs.com, Legal Career Center Network, LocalCareers.com, Monster.com, NationJob.com, Net-Temps, RegionalHelpWanted.com, The Blue Line, The Chronicle of Higher Education’s Career Network Site, TopUSAJobs.com, TrueCareers.com, Vets4Hire.com, VetJobs.com, and Workopolis. To cast your vote, click here.
Yahoo! HotJobs released its monthly “Hot Jobs” Index for July. Based on the openings posted at the site, it indicates which regions of the country are seeing employment gains, and which are not. In July, the central northwest of the country (the states of Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota) saw the greatest job growth, expanding at a 4.7% clip. The Pacific region (the states of Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon and Washington) experienced the largest decline, a slide of 9.5%. How can this information help you, especially if you don’t want to move? Add a second step to your daily search of employment opportunities. In addition to checking the ads for your local area, look at those posted for jobs in the high growth states. Some of these positions may permit (even encourage) telecommuting or off-site work, enabling you to be just as competitive for the job as the guy living just down the street from the employer.
Section Three: Site Profiles
Site Insite … how well do you know the Web’s 40,000+ job boards?
1. If you’re an experienced customer relationship manager who is looking for a new position with a local bank, which of the following sites could you count on?
2. If you would like to spend your summer in the saddle as a trail guide at a ranch resort, which of the following sites would likely throw you off your plan?
3. You’re an experienced systems engineer searching for an opening with a design team breaking new ground in high technology. Which of the following sites would cause a malfunction in your search?
Site Spotlite … from the pages of WEDDLE’s 2004 Guides and Directories
A WEDDLE’s 2004 User’s Choice Award Winner
Post full time jobs: Yes
Post part time, contract or consulting jobs: Yes – All
Distribution of jobs: National: USA
Number of jobs: 415,000
Salary levels of jobs: $51-75K, $76-100K/year
Offer a job agent: Yes
Resume database: Yes
How long are resumes stored: 365 days
Restrictions on who can post: Must register on-site
Other services for job seekers: Career and job search information, Links to other sites, Confidentiality feature in the resume database
Answers to Site Insite
1. Neither MoneyMakers.com, the site of a multilevel marketing company, or GreenPeople.com, the site of an environmental products company, would be helpful.
2. SaddleUp.com, the site of a western apparel company.
3. SystemsPeople.com, the site of an IT services company.