You Have a Pretty Career Website, But It Is Still Not a Brand

Ben Martinez Ben Martinez, Employment Branding and Culture

Career websites are a web developer’s work and a marketer’s dream. Examples of work and employees at a company can be used to capture stories for a website and market them as what it looks like to work at your company. The prettier the website, the more it looks like your company has a top brand. Nice websites make it easier to get on top 10 lists for workplaces, xyz generation, and pets too. The only problem is a pretty website says little about the real stories of who works at the company.

Websites are a big deal to a brand. I recently dropped some good coin on my side hustle website – Sumato Coffee Co. A coffee website is a marketer’s dream. You can lure all sorts of people with espresso shots and pour over coffees, but the attraction stops at the website. The real work to attract people to the coffee website happens 24/7 – on social media of all types and through in-person interactions and conversations.

My website looks nice but it shows you little about the brand of Sumato Coffee Co. That is because a brand is built by humans and we need to show and share the work of roasting, sipping and shipping coffee. My website does not show you the pain and frustrations I go through when my shipping software breaks down or a customer cancels on us at the last minute. It is a cool website but it does not show the customer or potential candidate the real work. You only see the pretty front of the website.

Enough talk about Sumato Coffee Co. Buy my coffee or help us build the brand by joining our community on social media. But I digress, because this post is about how your pretty career website says little about the culture of your company or the quirks of your executive team. Building a brand takes work way beyond the pretty logos and websites.

Create a career website which candidates and customers will recognize as you, but focus on the functionality of the website. Can someone easily apply? Can they do a video interview from your career website or do they get pushed all over the web trying to apply? Can they speak to a human behind the website? They should be able to apply for a job from their phone like it’s 2012.

Your website is pretty but your job as the HR or Recruiting Pro is to market and be persistent about what it’s like to work at your company. The HR pro should be measured by his/her ability to attract talent and show other people at your company how to attract talent. Yeah, I get it – HR is all about compliance and risk avoidance. I don’t care – figure how to do both compliance and attraction. The world has changed and your job is to change with it.

Attracting talent takes persistence. Being persistent is hard because you get busy – nobody is asking you to stop what you are doing and work on attracting candidates to your company. Most executives think attraction just happens and often forget they are also building a brand, regardless of how active they are in building it.

The savvy recruiter is thinking like a marketer 24/7 and cares more about attraction than anyone else at your company. They care enough to show the good, bad and ugly of the company. They understand that people can see through BS and want to know the story and real views of your company. In short – all workplaces have alcoholics and porn addicts. Nothing to hide.

The person in recruiting who can attract talent is often fighting with your marketing team because they care more about talent attraction than marketing does. They are doing such a good job of attracting talent that they get leads for the marketing team from people who want to buy the product. Double win – attracting talent and customers. They work with the marketing team on the product but have a clear responsibility in attracting talent by their marketing work.

Pretty websites cost a lot of money and the people inside of companies do little to market or attract people to the website. Doing little to attract talent is a waste of your investment on your website. If you build a website, people will NOT show up.

Any pretty website has people with problems behind the website, but for the most part people are good. Building anything well takes grit and the patience to grind out content every day. If you want to build a brand, your job is to create a story that will attract good people to your brand and maniacally obsess about telling the story. Once the pretty website and logo are created the work has just begun…