Up to 80% of your members could be browsing your association’s online career center passively, meaning they’re not actively seeking a new job but they’re open to the right opportunity should it come along. How can you make your career center appeal to both active and passive job seekers?
One way to keep your career center on the regular rotation of sites passive and active job seekers visit is to maintain a variety of engaging content. A blog is a good start, but there’s much more your association can do in the way of content for a career center ― and the responsibility for creating that content doesn’t always have to fall on your staff’s shoulders. Consider community-sourced information about certifications, company recommendations or job application tips.
In addition, there are a few technical tactics your association can employ to make your online career center more useful for passive AND active job seekers. Tools such as an RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed that promotes new job listings on other pages of your main website or integrations that show comparable local salaries or digital badges can encourage all members to use your online career center even if they’re not looking for a job.
Here are a few ways to encourage your members to come looking for job openings, but stay for the community.
Host a certification directory
Indeed has a comprehensive Certifications center that includes links to information about all kinds of certifications; from driver’s licenses, to automated external defibrillator (AED) certification, to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 10-hour certifications. Indeed also lists online schools that will help job seekers enroll in courses that will support them in attaining qualifications needed for new jobs or promotions.
Copy this great idea at your association! Customize your certification directory to your profession or industry, as well as your geographical area. Help your members (and your larger professional community) quickly discover how to obtain needed certifications through organizations readily accessible to them.
Encourage career center users to trade reviews
Offer a review space or online community board, so members can chat with one another about hiring experiences, open positions at their organizations and more. Does one or more of your members work at a company they love (and that encourages them to be involved association members)? Let them have a post to sing their organization’s praises! Has one of your members been looking for a better job for months with no luck getting past the interview stage? Direct them to a “Hiring Help” board where they can pose their dilemma to fellow members and get some ideas for becoming unstuck. Such interactions tap into the power of your association’s collective knowledge while encouraging fellowship among your members.
Your staff will want to brainstorm some initial topics for community boards and how the forums will be organized, but be sure to solicit member input about what kinds of topics they want to discuss as well. You’ll also want to post some community guidelines about what is acceptable to post and assign a staff member to regularly monitor discussions in order to discourage misinformation, rumors and potential slander.
Use an RSS feed to promote job listings beyond your career center section
Feeding jobs to other parts of your site using RSS feeds is a great way to increase traffic to, and visibility of, your career center. It is also another way of reaching passive job seekers who may not think to actively visit the career center but will now be able to see jobs presented to them on other pages throughout the site. Most websites allow RSS feeds to be created from one website section, such as your career center, to be used as content areas on the website for additional promotion ― and in this case, passive job seeker capture.
Someone not actively looking for a new position might not proactively visit your online career center, but if they see a job title that excites them while browsing your homepage or registering for your conference on an event page they could be lured into checking out that listing ― and everything else your career center currently offers. Add RSS feeds on your website’s homepage and other webpages, especially on professional development and career-related pages. Some email platforms also allow RSS feeds in eNewsletters as well.
Take advantage of career application integrations
Another technical but easy way to keep your online career center relevant to passive and active job seekers is to add some app integrations that help members know their professional value at all times. Career centers often have integrations that provide extra value, at no cost to members or job seekers, such as credentialing badge showcases or resume critiquing services. Here are a few that can encourage all job seekers to visit your online career center more frequently.
A credentialing integration can help display job seekers’ verified credentials on their career center profile page, allowing them to stand out from other candidates. These integrations also help with the issuing, managing and tracking of digital credentials for your registered job seekers. It benefits both the candidate by allowing them to demonstrate their credentials and the employers since they can also search the career center’s resume database by certification to find qualified candidates.
Resume Critique Integrations
Resume critique integrations bring immeasurable value to your members through quick and confidential resume reviews. They can receive honest and objective feedback to ensure they are making the right impression with employers.
Pay calculators can help job seekers quickly determine if a job listing is within their desired salary range. Some integrations also allow for additional refinement of criteria, such as years of experience or job location. One of the largest benefits of a pay calculator integration is that it allows members to see what the typical salary range is for the jobs they are looking to apply for based on title, location, company size and more.
Social media-based career center promotions
Promote your career center and job postings via social media on a regular basis. Try for least one “featured job” post per day, assuming your career center can sustain this frequency. If it cannot, consider a weekly or biweekly cadence.
Save posts that earn a high rate of engagement as templates to continue publishing compelling messages to Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, or wherever your members gather online, drive traffic to your career center.
Create posts that promote your online career center in general, such as “Did you know we have a career center? Check it out!” and images that pertain to your industry with clear calls to action. You could highlight your career-oriented community forums, resume services and salary calculators as well. Be creative! You don’t always need to mention the career center in your promotion. Incorporate fun facts about your industry’s employment status or the local employment scene and then link to your career center or specific career content. You can likely find this type of information in your local business journal or through your area’s chamber of commerce.
Offer a space for fun
Host a section of your career center that might not directly relate to your industry, but is of interest to your members nonetheless. This might look like a community board dedicated to discussions about a local sports team, or a page of cooking videos sourced by the foodies in your association. Deirdre Reid’s “Reid All About It” blog and weekly newsletter includes a short section about recipes she’s loved or is excited to try before getting into the week’s bevy of association-related webinars and events. Her notes about good eats are a quick brain break before the reader dives into the real task at hand, professional development.
Looking for a job can be a full-time job in itself. Your members might appreciate a mental break from the slog of preparing their resume, rifling through job listings and going on interviews. And once they secure a job, a lighthearted section of your career center can keep them coming back even though they no longer need to scour job posts or career coaching articles.
Let member preferences guide you
Start with a couple of these suggested tactics for keeping passive job seekers on your career center and then expand your efforts as your staff’s time allows, as you see demand for these types of resources increase, or as members request it. You might find that some ideas resonate well with your membership while others are received with more of a “we can take this or leave it” attitude. Let your engagement metrics from these modules guide your efforts. Like a good party, your online career center won’t have to beg passive and active job seekers to stay if what’s going on interests them!
Want more tips about how to make your online career center a frequent destination for passive and active job seekers? Check out Naylor’s free Career Center Best Practices Guide for many more accessible, practical ideas for encouraging members to stick around and use your association’s career resources!