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By Kat Rodway, First Internet

The growth of digital has certainly helped the HR process; speeding up its research tools, engaging talent, tracking applicants and teams and helping to promote organisational culture. It’s thanks to technology that the move from the bricks and mortar office to remote working over the last year has gone so smoothly for so many, enabling teams to stay connected all over the world. HR teams have responded to the challenges brilliantly, engaging employees in a wealth of ways and ensuring that people stay connected and supported.

The process has demonstrated both the power of digital – and the importance of people. And as we all hopefully move back to our previous ways of working, it is your business personality that will still need to shine through all online offerings.

Your website is the first place your potential employees will learn about you, so here are some simple ways to ensure you keep it personal and positive for your future (and current!) teams.

Promote your staff

2020 has seen us all embrace the likes of Zoom, WebEx, and Teams to communicate with our colleagues and clients, showing that even if we cannot meet in person, face to face contact is key, even if it is digitally! People buy into people after all. It’s important to get your personality across and endear yourself to your audience, ensure your website has a section that outlines the key personnel and use a blog to include stories that humanise your organisation and set it apart from others.

The right image

The style you adopt on your website will depend on your business brand image – are you formal, or more casual? What is your message and what content / assets do you have already or would like to utilise? This message needs to be reflected through your site. Make sure you use language and assets that support your brand image and represent you in a way that is conducive to how you wish to be seen by the outside world. From a tech perspective, optimise your images (compress them so they are the optimal file size and use next gen formats): specify width and height so that they are uniform and well presented.  Uploading large files will affect page speed; optimising images greatly improves experience, as does employing methods such as lazy load, so the user can scroll and interact with a page while off screen content loads as it’s needed rather than all in one go, which can take much longer and be frustrating for the user.

Make it mobile

Over half of global traffic comes from mobiles[i], so you need to make sure your offering is suitable to use across all types of device and content is prioritised to cater for the different mind-set of a user browsing on mobile.  In fact, your site should really be developed using a “mobile first” mentality. 

Keep it positive

Over recent years, Google has introduced several assessments to rank the usability of websites. These assessments are conducted to understand how positively or negatively a person responds to a web page.   To create a positive user experience, ensure your key content is clearly signposted and accessible, your messaging is clear and concise and you are guiding the user on their journey with strong and meaningful calls to action. Make the ordering process as simple as possible and make sure your comms are straightforward and easy to understand.

Security

The UK has seen a 31% increase in cybercrime during the pandemic as less secure home servers are manipulated[ii]. Interpol’s cybercrime threat response team reported a ‘significant increase’ in attempted ransomware attacks around the world.  Websites are vulnerable to phishing, data breaches, ransomware and supply chain compromises so you need to ensure your security is tip top.

Reviews

93% of consumers read an online review before buying[iii] and this applies to all businesses. It’s hugely beneficial to generate good reviews for your business and promote them on your website and on social media channels if possible – they can help to build a feeling of trust which is essential in the employer / employee relationship.

Even before Covid, we were living in a world where we can order things to be delivered within hours and minutes, tracking those deliveries every step of the way. Applicants expect the same kind of response time from potential employers. Organisations that use right tech, and communicate effectively through a secure, efficient and attractive website, provide reassurance, in the most reasonable way.

2020 was a real test for us all  and in 2021 we will all need to effectively use digital tools, and communicate well through digital channels, more than ever before.