This video contains my background preparation and research into the recruitment / careers section of estate agent websites. It starts by looking at the pages and application form, within the existing Marsh and Parsons website. Then it looks at how Foxtons, Hamptons, John D Wood, and a few other estate agent websites handle the same recruiting use case. From there we look more widely to see how non estate agents like Virgin Atlantic, John Lewis Partnership and McKinsey deal with hiring online to see if there are any ideas we can glean from outside the industry.
There is a conclusion section at minute 40, which wraps up on the main themes and ideas we can learn from all these sites. The main points from the conclusion are also summarised below.
Clear entry points: Make sure the entry points to the “careers” section of the site are well signposted. The current M&P site is good in this regard, with top level navigation, as well as a link in the body of the site.
Simple content / Real feeling: Many of the sites examined had lots of content, but it often wasn’t well curated. Pay attention to content chunking and breaking up the flow with imagery. M&P have good cross navigation within the recruiting content, though opportunities to link in from some of the wider company content. Consider how much content is really justified in this area, and wherever possible, write with authenticity, rather than too corporate / dry a position in articles (many sites suffered from this).
Engaging human stories: A notable opportunity, would be to develop the meet our people content, breaking each person up onto separate pages. McKinsey provide a great example of doing this, and keeping it really authentic, as per the point above. John Lewis and Virgin also lead the whole recruitment funnel with people based stories.
Videos: Hamptons gave a good example of using video within the recruiting process, and the use of video was also better developed still amongst non agency sites (where larger scale helps, clearly).
Training material (Survey): It would be nice to take the authentic theme, and actually openly publish some of your training content itself. Can you find any material that you can expose, either the course structure, or the contents itself? The idea is to allow the applicant to imagine themselves directly in the process. Alternatively, you could spin the idea into a survey to see how well they would fare, not so much a test, as a self-test, with the price of participation being a simple registration at the end of the process.
Vacancy listings: Most of the larger sites examined were running some form of system to list the actual vacancies. Some sites, only really allowed application following on from those vacancies. Outside of estate agency, e-recruitment platforms are clearly a whole industry, and we see this seeping into agency with CountryWide group using some form of external system running on a sub-domain. Foxtons have clearly built their own, though it’s questionable whether the complexity of such systems is overdoing it for estate agency.
Clear application funnel: Many of the systems shared a kind of “funnel” architecture, with content at the top (about the roles, the application process, and example employee case studies). John Lewis and Virgin do this well from a whole recruiting site funnel perspective, and McKinsey from a narrower, UI, perspective. Foxtons nearly get there.
CV (even video) submission: Most of the larger companies took structured application forms online. Hamptons take that one step further inviting candidates to submit their own videos! Smaller sites, fall back to simple forms, and the external systems take application forms only after identifying the role in question.