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What can we learn from online retail?

Applying the best from online retail to recruitment websites

Collecting a CV through your website is a very similar process to buying a pair of headphones from Amazon. Emotionally it’s clearly very different but the buying or applying process is very similar.

4MAT is constantly looking at the online retail market to see what learnings we can implement for recruitment. Some of the best websites to learn from are hotel booking and auction websites such as Ebay and These are highly competitive environments so user experience is constantly evolving. Here's just a few examples showing how recruitment can learn from online retail.

1. Create a sense of urgency

Ebay is a good example of where a countdown or a motivational message encourages the user to complete an action or convert. You can see the example below where we have both an 'ending soon' message and a 'countdown' to the end of the auction. This is the sort of idea we can apply to a job landing page.

Heres an example of how this looks on the Fircroft website.

2. Serve up related content

When a user purchases the latest music player on Amazon the website will suggest headphones at the same time. No different in recruitment. If someone has completed a job search, offer up related content such as the latest salary survey. In Aspire's case one the NEVER goes out of date.

3. Don't leave dead ends?

A classic mistake in online retail is that once a user has completed a purchase they leave the website. We can avoid this easily by providing additional options at the end of a user journey. Online airlines do this particularly well as shown in the EasyJet example below.

So once a candidate has applied to a job we want to retain them on the website and keep them engaged with our business. Good example from Service Care Solutions below.

Find out how adding some urgency, related content and better ‘thank you’ pages can generate more engagement and CVs for your website. Contact the Adrian Farthing at 4MAT on 020 7247 9494 or email

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