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How to write the brief for your new recruitment website

Written by Vicky Jessop on 26 Sep 17
How to write the brief for your new recruitment website
In an industry as competitive as that of recruitment, it’s always a good idea to stay ahead of the curve, and one of the best ways of doing so is by investing in a new recruitment website. With the UK’s hiring volume due to jump by 58% this year alone, your new website needs to be designed with candidate UX, ease of use and excellent functionality in mind. 

The best way to accomplish this is to write an excellent website brief for your website providers. Acting as a guide for the people building your new recruitment site, the brief should include everything your providers need to know in order to build a brand-new, up-to-date website that is on brand, modern and will increase your website traffic and conversion rate.

Taking the time to write a good brief means that both you and the digital agency responsible for building your site are clear about what you expect, what is required and what the final product will look like.

Here’s a breakdown of everything you need to think about.

Who are you?

The first thing to establish is who you are as a company. In order to create a website that clearly communicates your brand, the design agency needs to know what services you provide, what about the company and the company’s brand you consider important, and what image you would like to present to your potential clients and candidates. A good way to do this is to describe the company in five to ten words- for instance, are you young, passionate, friendly, or technology-focussed?

You should also include a breakdown of your client base, and details about your current website. Who built it? What traffic levels is it receiving? What needs to be improved, and what parts of the old website would you like to keep? Why are you changing websites- is it because the technology has dated, or your image has changed?

What do you want from the new website? 

Now you’ve established who you are, it’s time to establish what you want your new site to do. First of all, outline your aims: whether you want to increase brand awareness, increase your conversion rate or promote the services you offer, it’s important you’re clear about what the site should be built for so the people creating your website can adjust the design and functionality accordingly. 

Who are you targeting?

Next, it’s time to think market niche: as a recruitment agency, you need to keep your audience in mind. Do your recruiters feel that your website is important, or do they value job boards and LinkedIn? If you’re a large company, then your website should have an easy-to-use search function and a site that attracts high volumes of visitors through Google. Conversely, if you’re in a niche sector, then you need to position yourselves as market leaders with strong branding, great content and testimonials.

What’s your budget?

It’s worth thinking about the budget that you want to put aside for your recruitment website relatively early on in the planning process, because this will affect the design process. If you know what your budget and business requirements are, then you’ll be able to communicate clearly and frankly with the design team and save wasted effort from both of you. Be realistic about what you want to spend: a good recruitment website will cost you upwards of £30,000, so be prepared to compromise quality if you spend less.

What functionality do you want?

The most important thing you need to communicate is how you want the website to function; after all, you’ll be the one using it. You need to outline your expectations for what users should be able to achieve onsite, whether it’s apply for jobs or create a profile from which they can easily apply to jobs. 

Many recruitment companies also use ATS systems like Taleo to store and manage their job vacancies and candidate applicants; does the new website need to be integrated with it? What should site managers be able to do on the site, and what type of user interaction will there be for potential candidates- for instance, will they be able to leave comments, interact with members of your team via a chatbot, and should it be mobile-responsive? It’s also worth thinking about whether you require hosting. The aim is to make your site as easy to use, and maintain, as possible.

If you’re especially focussed on creating an excellent candidate user experience and staying a few steps ahead of the competition, then it’s also worth including the latest functionality in your site, such as Predictive Search, a social wall- which compiles relevant content, jobs and social media in one area on the website- or even personalisation. 

Have you considered digital marketing?

Though your website’s appearance and functionality may be perfect, how visible will it be online once it’s been put live? Given that 73% of candidates start their job searches on Google, it’s well worth thinking about.

Many people forget about digital marketing, but it’s arguably one of the most important things to think about when designing your new recruitment website. The promotion of your website is vital in ensuring you receive a steady supply of traffic and maintain a healthy conversion rate. 

You could consider:

- Content marketing, which will build your brand and increase your SEO
- PPC advertising 
- Social media advertising 
- Email marketing 
- Ensuring that your website has the functionality it needs- for instance, a sitemap- to be as SEO friendly as possible

All of these need to be addressed early on in the designing process, and included in the brief, so your team can build the functionality and site pages necessary to include them in the main website. 

Have you asked the experts?

At 4MAT, we take our time during the designing process, so we can create a finished product that is high-quality, well-designed and tailored to our clients’ every requirement. Find out more about what makes the perfect recruitment website in our free eBook below, or if you want to chat recruitment pick up the phone and get in touch with us. 

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