BC Tip: Kering – Changing the job search comes at a cost to usability

Kering’s previous job search tool was an example of how to make things easy for jobseekers – but its latest version does not match up

The updated Kering Job Offers page

The updated Kering Job Offers page

The Feature

Kering, the France-based luxury goods group, has changed its job search and application system, which is linked from a page called ‘Job Offers’ within its Talent section.

A short introduction appears, with a clear ‘Click Here’ button beneath it. This then takes the user to a separate site in a new window, provided by a third party with partial Kering branding. On it jobseekers can search using keywords or by various filters such as job category or location. They can also change the language of the entire job search via a dropdown in the header, although this does not change the language of the jobs returned by the search, which varies.

Previously, the job search and application system appeared to be part of the site (although still provided by a third party), with the job search mechanisms appearing within the Job Offers page. The old system provided more search options and tools than the current one, most notably the ability to filter available jobs by any of Kering’s brands, and posting date.

The language filters also worked differently: changing language not only changed the language of the mechanisms, but also narrowed down the search results to those jobs posted in that language, helping jobseekers to see appropriate positions for their preferred language.

The previous Job Offers page

The previous Job Offers page

The Takeaway

Kering may have changed its job search and application provider for sound business reasons – such as cost efficiency, integration with other HR systems, or better performance on search engines or other job platforms – but it has harmed the user experience.

The previous version, although also provided by a different third party, was styled to make the user feel that they were still within the Kering site, and provided a more seamless experience. Jobseekers would likely not have felt as if they were being shipped off to an external and more weakly branded site as they are now.

But of course the main practical differences are in the inferior search filters and tools now available. Given that jobseekers are most likely the biggest audience on the site, with over two thirds of those likely to have come just to search for a job, then making their task harder will endanger the company’s brand perception* – and make it more difficult to attract the best talent.

*Data from Bowen Craggs survey data, which indicates that 69% of corporate website jobseekers come specifically to search for a job; and that goal achievement affects brand perception: only 24% of those who failed their task leave with better brand perception.

For more commentaries, tips and downloads for online corporate communications professionals, visit our website.

If you have a query or for more information about Bowen Craggs, please contact Dan Drury: ddrury@bowencraggs.com.

BC tip: SAP - Transparency though Glassdoor, but presented opaquely

SAP is embracing Glassdoor as a channel through which to engage with employees and respond to criticism. But oddly it seems reluctant to shout about it.

SAP response to criticism on Glassdoor

SAP response to criticism on Glassdoor

The Feature

We wrote almost two years ago how SAP has established a vibrant presence on Glassdoor, the site where employees can leave reviews of companies as employers.

The company has invested time and money in creating an enhanced employer profile, on which it displays awards and feeds from its other careers-focused social channels such as Twitter and Facebook. It also posts updates directly, and has created other bespoke information on life at SAP.

A closer look reveals that the company responds to both positive and negative employee reviews – the central part of Glassdoor.

For example, on February 4th 2018, the company thanked an employee for a 5-star review, while on March 7th it engaged with an employee who had posted a review titled ‘Trash’ and which complained about sexism, racism and homophobia. The company detailed its efforts at inclusion, apologised to the employee for their experience, and provided an email address for the employee to take matters up with the HR team.

On the SAP website, Glassdoor is not included in the links to social channels in the footer. The company’s Glassdoor profile is advertised on a page at SAP Careers > Who We Are > Social Media Channels, but this page is quite hidden in the site – not in the navigation and only accessible via small links on other pages such as Careers > Who We Are.

Unlike two years ago, there is no advert on the Careers landing page for the Glassdoor presence (only a reference to a Glassdoor award).

The Takeaway

SAP’s activity on Glassdoor shows how employers can engage with employees and show how transparent they are.

There are alternatives to this approach: this recent PR Week article sets out the legal avenues to have posts removed, or prevented in the first place. While these options may be useful in extremis, such as if an employee at the company in question has been identified, it is preferable to demonstrate transparency by facing negative reviews head on.

Given that employees will be posting reviews – both positive and negative – on the site, whether a company has chosen to tailor its presence there or not, it makes sense to respond to criticism and put forward the company’s point of view.

There is evidence to back up the benefits of this approach: a 2016 Glassdoor survey found that 62% of jobseekers said a response to a negative review would improve their perception of a prospective employer.

However SAP’s seeming reluctance – or perhaps it is just oversight - to publicise its engagement on Glassdoor seems odd, and to undermine its efforts there. Other companies such as BNP Paribas do a much better job of showcasing their Glassdoor presence.

BC Tip: Deutsche Telekom - Experimenting with a chat bot

Using an innovative way to communicate with jobseekers brings mixed results – but some promise

katy_whole.png

The Feature

Deutsche Telekom offers an unusual way for jobseekers to interact with the company.

The corporate website exists in English and German, and on the German version a blog alerted us to the existence of a chat bot, ‘KATY’, in the careers section of the subsidiary T-Systems Germany site.

KATY appears as an overlay panel available on the right-hand side of all pages in the section; users simply type in questions and the answer is provided (or not).

The bot did not prove that useful. We asked it several simple questions in both German and English, and most of the time received a standard message that it could not help us.

Even when we wrote, in German, that we were looking for jobs in Stuttgart, we were simply directed to the job search mechanism, rather than a listing of available jobs in Stuttgart from the job search site.

The Takeaway

The fact that Deutsche Telekom is prepared to use a chat bot – and to advertise it on its blog and other channels, such as its Whatsapp messenger service – is perhaps as much about reinforcing its credentials as an innovative tech company than providing services of real use, at least at this stage.

In mitigation of KATY’s deficiencies, the blog publicising the release of the bot states clearly that it will not be perfect yet and that, as an implementation of artificial intelligence, it needs to learn from successes and failures. Only offering the bot on a subsidiary country site, at this stage, seems sensible too.

The blog also says humans at T-Systems will sometimes help the chat bot as it learns. This seemed to happen when we asked it about company benefits. We initially got the reply that KATY could not assist, but then several minutes later received another answer – presumably from a person – setting out some high-level information on company benefits, although there were no onward links and many jobseekers may have given up on KATY by then.

As ever, the success of using new technologies relies on the skill and effort of the humans behind them.

https://www.t-systems.com/de/de/karriere/willkommen-bei-t-systems/karriere-126456

BC tip: UnitedHealth Group: Accessible careers chats

An online chat feature gives a wide range of options for jobseekers to ask questions about the company and recruiting process.

The Feature

UnitedHealth Group, a US-based health insurance giant, offers online chats with company recruiters in the careers section of its corporate website.

There are chats in nine functional areas, including ‘clinical’, ‘college’, ‘consulting’, ‘customer service’, ‘technology’, etc. Each of these has further ‘areas of interest’- for example, under ‘Clinical’ there are links for physicians, pharmacy, behavioural health. Days and times are given (in US central time), with links to access the chat.

A 2-minute video explains how to prepare for the chat and what kinds of questions to ask. The web page also suggests jobseekers ask about benefits, the business, CV-writing tips, interviewing tips and locations. If jobseekers cannot make the chats at the specific times, they can email questions; and there is an FAQ.

The section is responsive so jobseekers can access it on a smartphone.

The Takeaway

UnitedHealth’s recruiter chats are unusual for their breadth of options and flexibility.

The range of functions means there is likely to be an option for most jobseekers, and also gives an immediate sense of the numerous career paths on offer. FAQs and chance to email questions are useful options for those who can’t make the specific time.

The video is welcoming, straightforward and informative; and will encourage uptake.

It is a good way to make the company seem friendly – and perhaps give recruiters a chance to cherry pick especially promising talent.

https://careers.unitedhealthgroup.com/getting-hired/recruiter-chat

BC tip: Roche - YouTube recruitment

A pharmaceutical uses a video Q&A on social media to explain a senior role and attract candidates.

The Feature

Roche, the Swiss healthcare giant, is recruiting for a head of public relations. The company published a video on YouTube this month, in which a member of the ‘Talent and Acquisitions’ team at Roche interviews James Woodhouse, Roche’s director communications, about the role.

In the five-minute video, Mr Woodhouse describes the role, the kind of person they are looking for (eg, someone who can help manage controversies and be an ‘ethical compass’), practical details such as the size of team that will need managing; and opportunities for career progression.

The video is housed on Roche’s YouTube channel, and we saw it promoted on Roche’s LinkedIn and Facebook careers feeds. At the end of the video, candidates are invited to send ‘video applications’ via a link on the corporate website.

The Takeaway

Roche’s YouTube recruitment video is innovative use of the online channel to ‘sell’ the idea of working for Roche and the specific role on offer.

When used in this way, video is an effective way to go beyond a written job description – giving jobseekers a fuller description of the role and opportunities in the organization; as well as to introduce the culture and their potential boss.

The five-minute length seems about right – it might be too long for other corporate videos, but in this case, interested candidates are likely to watch until the end. Candidates will also have a better idea of the tone they should take in their own video applications.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YNXJ2KQ8crg&t=3s

BC tip: Oracle - Introducing campus recruiters

A simple, friendly page with campus recruiter biographies could be adapted for other corporate careers sections.

The Feature

The campus recruitment section on Oracle’s corporate website has an ‘Overview’ page that introduces its team of university recruiters that cover North America.

There are nineteen short profiles, each with a one-paragraph biography, smiling headshot, an invitation to make contact via LinkedIn and ‘quick apply’ link, which leads to Oracle’s Taleo application management system.

The Takeaway

Oracle’s welcoming and social media friendly biographies strike the right tone for US university students looking for job opportunities.

Some of the US-centric details of the page could put off international audiences – lots of smiling and ‘fun facts’, etc – but its benefits in helping jobseekers get to know a company’s recruiting team is an idea worth adapting.

http://www.oracle.com/oms/campus/na/index.html

BC tip: GSK - Volunteer vlogs

The pharmaceutical giant has successfully adapted the ‘video blog’ trend to the corporate web.

The Feature

GSK has created a series of video blogs – known as ‘vlogs’ – featuring an employee who spent six months on a company-sponsored volunteering programme in Kenya, which finished in December 2016.

Vanina Kacheva, an area marketing manager for Central and Eastern Europe in GSK’s healthcare business, created five vlogs during her stint advising Save the Children on its communications.

They are two-minute to three-minute video diaries, in which Vanina speaks directly to camera about her experiences, in the style of popular video blogs on YouTube. The vlogs are located on the corporate website in the Responsibility section, and on YouTube. GSK promoted Vanina’s final vlog on Twitter in December.

The Takeaway

GSK has taken the trend for vlogging, popular among internet marketers and millennials, and adapted it effectively for the corporate web.

A volunteer programme, which gives employees interesting new experiences to share, is a natural application. You need an employee willing to go on camera, but an advantage is that with vlogs, lack of high production values or professional presenting skills is an advantage, and adds to authenticity.

Vlogging could have a number of uses in the corporate context – employee profiles are an obvious one, but there are surely many others.

http://www.gsk.com/en-gb/responsibility/our-people/volunteer-stories/#vanina

Facebook beyond the feed

The social media giant’s web estate is fragmented and often frustrating to navigate. However, there are pockets of brilliance and originality; and signs that the company’s approach to online corporate communications is maturing, Jason Sumner says.
 

In the last few days, we’ve been doing our annual check of Facebook’s web estate to help keep our Index of Online Excellence up to date. Since we last looked in detail at the firm’s online presence in 2015, the all-conquering social media platform has become one of the world’s 10 biggest companies by market capitalisation and now has 1.8bn monthly users. 

We think it’s unlikely that Facebook will break into our top 30 ranking though. It has too many weaknesses, the most obvious of which is fragmentation, something that it has in common with a lot of US technology firms’ online estates. Journeys to information for anyone who is not a signed-in ‘user’ are often difficult, with an array of dedicated Facebook pages and microsites that have different navigation systems and do not always link up neatly.

But Facebook has online communications strengths in a few important areas that make it worth watching: 
•    It is highly effective at providing online information for its customers (advertisers and potential advertisers), an issue that is front of mind for digital managers we speak to. 
•    Careers pages are at global best practice standards.
•    Visually speaking, much of the estate looks elegant and parts are outstanding. 

We also saw signs that the company thinks ‘corporate’ online audiences such as investors and CSR professionals are worth trying to serve better too. 

Facebook.com/business is the gateway page to resources for advertisers. The material here is clear, straightforward and well-targeted to the audience. The calls to action anticipate some ignorance about the basics of Facebook’s business model and address it – ‘How Facebook adverts work’ – or, for those already in the know, ‘Create Advert’, which leads to a step-by-step process to set up an online campaign. There is abundant and useful supporting content, including clear, succinct video tutorials, FAQs, case studies, pricing information, metrics, etc.

How-to video in the business section

How-to video in the business section

Careers information on Facebook.com was strong when we looked in 2015 and it is strong now. On digital careers metrics alone, we rate Facebook among the best online estates in the world, and well worth emulating. Jobseekers receive a top service, with the global vacancy mechanism and careers information provision at global best practice levels. The online application form is excellent - elegant, streamlined and appropriately targeted at digital natives. The ‘Careers hub’ provides a very effective pitch to prospective jobseekers, positioning the workplace as a lively environment in which staff are encouraged to pursue their ideas and make a real difference.

Careers landing page

Careers landing page

Facebook has made some improvements in the way it communicates with traditional corporate stakeholders such as investors and CSR professionals. In 2015, we noted that their investor landing page stood out for its boring conventionality (even if their recent quarterly information was very well organized). Since then they have launched a modern-looking microsite for investors that is much more in tune with the company’s visual style. Although it falls short of best practice (we could not find a quarterly results archive, for example), the microsite is a step forward.

Investors landing page

Investors landing page

In 2015, we could not find any CSR data. In our most recent visits, the Sustainability microsite had a long scrolling page of creative data visualisations, housed under ‘Our Footprint’, covering carbon emissions at data centres, the energy mix between renewables and fossil fuels (including its goal to be using 50 per cent renewables by 2018), and water usage. The site provides a PDF download of all the data and a useful list of links to external resources about Facebook’s environmental performance. The page has links to interesting real-time dashboards tracking ‘power usage effectiveness’ and ‘water usage effectiveness’ at Facebook’s four data centres.

Sustainability landing page

Sustainability landing page

Real-time energy and water usage dashboard

Real-time energy and water usage dashboard

The Sustainability microsite is a good example of the site’s often striking visuals. It uses (currently-trendy) looping video on the landing page, original photography, clean fonts and colours to tell make the company’s case that it is a force for good in the world. 

‘Facebook Stories’ are another example of professional visuals combined with high-quality editorial. Housed on a microsite, they are a set of well-produced videos that cover what ordinary people have accomplished by setting up Facebook groups. Many of the videos have CSR and community-based themes, including 'Homeless in Seattle' about an architect who has a page 'Facing Homelessness' and 'Save the Monarchs', a group in Iowa dedicated to butterfly conservation. The production values are high, and may well be outside many firms’ digital corporate communications budgets, but the way the videos are summarised on the page, and the way the videos are subtle about connecting Facebook to the groups doing the work, could be a model for other corporate 'story' videos.

Facebook Stories microsite

Facebook Stories microsite

Overall, we were struck by the imbalance between how frustrating it can be to find specific information on the estate, and then being impressed by the abundance and detail when we got to the right places. It is a good thing for Facebook, given how frustrating our journeys were, that the estate tested very well for visibility on search engines. Users starting from the home page could struggle, for example, to find the links for journalists, investors or sustainability, but putting these terms into Google returned the exact destination at the top of the results every time. 

- Jason Sumner

BC tip: Johnson & Johnson - Too simple timelines

Using interactive timelines on employee profiles is an interesting idea, but badly executed.

J-J timeline.png

The Site

Employee profiles on Johnson & Johnson’s careers microsite have interactive timelines displaying career histories at the US pharmaceutical and consumer goods giant.

For example, the timeline for ‘Eddie’, who is director of university relations, has three clickable red blocks, each representing a different job at the company from 2005 to 2013. The blocks are colour-coded according to department – consumer, pharmaceuticals, ‘cross-segment businesses’, etc. Clicking on the blocks reveals basic information about the job – year, job title, department, company and location.

The Takeaway

The timelines have a lot of weaknesses. Usability is confusing – visitors are instructed to ‘Click over the timeline to reveal career milestones’ – but it is unclear at first where exactly to click to reveal a new milestone. The ‘milestones’ themselves are uninspiring, just a list of basic facts. The colour-coding key to different business segments seems odd when the employee has only worked in one department.

On the plus side, the company is trying to demonstrate the opportunities for career progression, and that does come through in some of the profiles. For example ‘Jeanne’, talent acquisition vice president, has been at the company since 1978 in a variety of roles.

The timelines are more a missed opportunity than a flawed concept. A better, modern design, with multi-media elements and more interesting editorial (descriptions of achievements, why they went to a different role, the challenges they faced, etc), in a timeline format, could engage potential jobseekers rather that leave them wanting more.

http://www.careers.jnj.com/understand-our-culture


BC tip: Nintendo - Pokémania pitfalls

A Japanese video game maker’s careers page fails to take advantage of American enthusiasm for Pokémon Go.

The Site

Pokémon Go – an ‘augmented reality’ game in which players try to collect virtual characters in real-world locations on their smartphones – was the most downloaded app in the US last week, and has added £5.4bn to Nintendo’s share price since its game debuted on July 6th.

The Pokémon craze, aside from inspiring increasingly bizarre stories in the media, is likely to have got many more Americans interested in working for Nintendo. Searching ‘nintendo jobs’ on Google leads visitors to the ‘Career Opportunities’ page, which can also be reached via links in the footer of Nintendo.com.

Here they will find a notably rudimentary and old-fashioned site, with links to the history, jobs, FAQs, etc; and a left menu including ‘Manuals’ and ‘Health & Safety Precautions’.

The Takeaway

Japanese companies traditionally do not prioritise corporate communications, but this is the most extreme example we have come across of a missed opportunity to impress a core audience online. The opportunity cost is multiplied in this case because of the spike in publicity for Nintendo, and the ease with which Pokémon hunters can switch from the game to the jobs page on their smartphones.

Searching for jobs on a corporate website can probably never compare in excitement with collecting virtual creatures in the real world. However, Nintendo’s careers page, which could have been designed in the 1990s, does nothing at all to enthuse career-minded Americans.

https://www.nintendo.com/corp/jobs.jsp


 

BC tip - John Lewis: Job hunt

A UK retailer’s online job search does its best to hide the results.

The Site

The vacancy search engine on the John Lewis careers microsite has five filters – for divisions, job type, region, etc and a keyword search box. Next to the filters is a long text column that extends below the scroll line on a standard desktop monitor, with an introduction explaining that the engine covers jobs across the retail group, including supermarkets, motorway services shops and the head office; a phishing scam warning; and further notes about how to apply and sign up for alerts.

When jobseekers fill in the filters and press ‘search’, the page reloads but it is not immediately clear that any results have been returned. Only when scrolling all the way to the bottom of the page – underneath the warnings and notes – will users discover a series of panels describing the company’s current vacancies. On a smartphone screen, the results also appear at the bottom of the page.

The Takeaway

The John Lewis job search engine takes the assumption that ‘people will scroll’ to new limits.

In our tests we initially thought the tool was not working. There are no instructions to scroll down the page to find the results, and visitors are simply left to hunt for them. The page design does not help matters; the filters and text are on a grey background, which switches to white for the vacancies, making the section look like a footer.

Even jobseekers who eventually find the results listing will be frustrated; others may just give up.

http://jlpjobs.com/search-jobs


BC tip: SAP - Glass half full

A German software giant promotes itself to jobseekers on a candid employer rating site.

The Site

Glassdoor is a US-based website where employees and former employees can post anonymous reviews of their experiences, trade salary information and share gossip about what to expect at interviews.

Many of the world’s largest companies are rated on the site, but SAP, which has accumulated a total of 3,700 reviews, is unusual in sending its own website visitors there. There is a panel promoting Glassdoor at the bottom of the SAP Careers landing page – ‘Candid. Transparent. Honest employee reviews.’

On the Glassdoor page for SAP, before visitors get to the reviews, there are promotional ‘company updates’, and a pitch to jobseekers; a right column runs alongside the reviews with links to SAP’s social media channels, company videos on YouTube, etc.

The Takeaway

Glassdoor has been around since 2008, and has gained traction with jobseekers, especially in the US, for its unvarnished look at potential employers. However, SAP is one of the first large companies we have seen promoting Glassdoor on its own site and posting content there. (A limited amount of company content can be posted for free; for more, there is a fee.)

The fact that many large companies either do not yet publish on Glassdoor (or at least do not promote it in their website careers sections) probably reflects the risks. SAP may have calculated that many of its US-based recruiting pool will be looking anyway, so they might as well engage and try to influence, if not completely control, the message they see.

https://www.glassdoor.com/sap


Behind the scenes at the museum - showcasing digital

The website of the UK-based Victoria and Albert Museum has a blog, which gives a behind-the-scenes view of life at the organization. It covers a variety of topics, ranging from lesser-known collections, forthcoming exhibitions, events and educational initiatives to the work of the curators and other museum specialists… including, unusually, the digital media department.

Posts by the digital team (several different authors write about their specialisms) offer a fascinating view of how the department works. Two of the best I read were about how the team hit a tight deadline for a design project and advice for agencies on successful pitches.

The writing has an informal tone that makes it accessible to a general audience, but includes enough detail to interest fellow online professionals. The articles I looked at had a healthy number of comments and timely responses from the digital team.

Hearing from an internal department on an organizational blog is highly unusual. Even sites with features about working life in the ‘core business’ tend to gloss over the service teams such as digital, accounts or corporate comms.

The subject matter is often focused on design, and given the remit of the museum (‘…promoting the practice of design and increasing knowledge, understanding and enjoyment of the designed world’) there is a clear logic to describing its internal processes in this way.

However, I think there is a good argument for other organizations, including corporates, to follow their lead. What better way to attract the best candidates, for example, than to provide an inspiring insight into life all parts of the organization, including digital? A blog is the best place to include the occasional less formal ‘peep behind the curtain’.

- Mali Perdeaux

 

Online jobseekers – rise of the mobile awkward squad

Pew Research recently published its findings about how Americans use the internet to search for jobs

The weight of evidence has so far suggested that when it comes to job searches and mobile devices, people are more likely to seek information on their mobile device (browse jobs/see what the company is like), and leave the complicated business of filling out the application until they get to a desktop or laptop.

It seems more Americans (esp. young Americans) are trying to actually do their resumes/CVs and fill out online applications on the phone itself. Pew says of the 28% of Americans that have used a smartphone in a job search, half of these have tried to fill out an application on their device, and about a quarter have tried writing their CV. Maybe not surprisingly the report says they are finding this a frustrating experience.

The question for companies is should they attempt to respond to this trend in some way, by making it possible/easier to fill out mobile applications on their websites, or if by doing so they degrade the desktop experience (a real danger in the age of responsive sites). Certainly less complexity in corporate online applications could benefit users of all devices. Something tells me that, like with most other online trends, the question is not ‘either/or’ but ‘both’. In other words, they’ll need to try to cater for everyone – the rising mobile awkward squad and the ‘desktop dinosaurs’.

- Jason Sumner

LinkedIn goes to the ball

The corporate communications world has long treated LinkedIn as the Cinderella of social media channels. While companies poured time and money into their Facebook, Twitter and YouTube presences – often with decidedly mixed results – their LinkedIn pages remained rather neglected. 

Sure, HR people knew that LinkedIn was an important recruitment tool. But their communications colleagues didn't really see it as a primary channel for them.

I don't think that LinkedIn's 'suit, tie and firm handshake' image has helped. Nor has the fact that so much output from the 'go social or die' school of digital gurudom focuses on brand marketing, for which the likes of Facebook are natural fit, rather than corporate communications. 

Now, though, more online corporate communications teams are finding 'the world's largest professional network' to be their most powerful social media channel for driving traffic to their site and spreading company news.

The digital head of one major multinational said recently he'd been staggered by how much traffic his firm's LinkedIn pages are driving to material on the corporate site – and was particularly impressed by how a new LinkedIn feature, called Elevate, can encourage employees to spread company output around their own networks. (More on Elevate here).

He's not alone. In a Bowen Craggs survey for our new report on content strategies, 62% of digital managers predicted LinkedIn to grow in importance over the next 12 months – more than any other channel apart from the corporate website itself (see the chart below).

It seems that LinkedIn's time in the limelight is only just beginning... 

Which channels do digital managers think will rise in importance over the next 12 months?

- Scott Payton