EB Meetup Recap – User Experience In Career Website Design

21 February 2024

Last Thursday, LEAP Create hosted another of their EB Meetups at their offices in Hayward Place. Upon arrival, a range of recruiters, talent acquisition teams, and content specialists descended the stairs into their delightful and cosy offices to hear the latest from Sara McGregor, Taylor Setterfield, and Roger Cayless. This was my first time attending and was excited to hear about new tips and tricks in career website building.  

After a quick round robin of what we all wanted to learn from the session, things got underway with Olivia Williams taking us through Dunelm’s journey to redesign their career website. One of the main challenges facing Dunelm, the number one home furnishing retailer, was trying to create an employer brand that spoke to 11,500 colleagues, 9000 of whom are in retail. The other aspect was their website, which Olivia described as too static with outdated people stories.  

The solution was the development of their new slogan Find Your Happy Place, which endeavoured to create a sense of belonging and find what’s best for their workforce. To do so, a simple design to streamline the application process and speak directly to user needs. This included folding in their EVP into each step of the application process, phrasing benefits at every step so users knew what they were gaining from joining a company like Dunelm.  

One of the challenges in executing this plan was in communicating employer brand design to the ATS team who would actually be building the website, meaning communication was of paramount importance. For the new EB to reach its target audience, there needed to be no confusion of content needs, clarity in briefing, and the talent team’s expectations needed to be managed. Ultimately, the results spoke for themselves as they saw a huge increase in applications, particularly amongst female and black applicants.  

After a couple slices of pizza, it was time for Alex, a senior UX lead at eConsult Health, to gift us all with a user experience toolkit to supercharge careers sites. Alex started by noting how in her experience, when objectives were written down, they often emerged as a list of features. This indicated a solution-oriented work model that ignored user needs, which, by Alex’s definition, ignored how a person feels interacting with a product or service.  

This brought her on to their roadmap from challenge to outcome, labelled in four steps: Discover, Define, Develop, Deliver. Working in this way led to a coalescence of vision between stakeholders, employer brand teams, and the people outside the organisation who actually interacted with the job site. Well-sourced data was an imperative aspect of this and Alex flagged how typically companies have access to much more data than they realise. By defining what questions you want your organisation to be answering, harnessing data insights to bring answers, and incorporating functional user needs, your careers website can answer potential talent’s queries way ahead of time.  

The two talks were concise, enlightening, and contained many applicable tips and tricks for maintaining core brand tenants at every stage of the employee journey. Fundamentally, it was about recognising how functional elements and higher minded imperatives can work side-by-side and that the ideals of working at your company should be represented externally as much as possible.  

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