Skip links

What We Learned from Researching 250+ Career Sites and Tips to Improve Yours

Reading Time: 5 minutes

As the Client Development Associate for Stories Incorporated, I’m responsible for researching target companies from Fortune 500 companies to local businesses in the area and highlighting areas where Stories Inc. can improve the candidate experience for that company. Within four months, I visited over 250 careers sites, read all of their content, and watched all of the videos on the sites.

What I learned after researching 250+ careers sites

All of the careers sites followed a similar pattern. A company would state that it values diversity and inclusion, provides career growth opportunities, and has a values-based culture. However, the next company would have those same statements without any substantial content to differentiate themselves from the company I looked at before.

Employee testimonials were common occurrences on careers sites, but they did not provide enough detail for me to understand what it’s really like to work for that company. I can only imagine how frustrated candidates looking for real insight must feel.

Every company is different and unique, but the careers sites I often viewed didn’t portray their differentiation points nor tell their story. Which meant that I definitely remembered those companies that did! For example, I know one in every 13 U.S. employees at General Electric is a veteran.

Also, Procter & Gamble places an emphasis on the Day 1 experiences of their employees to promote their purpose. When Franco was a student, he dreamed of learning a job that challenged him and he found that in P&G. His story started 15 years ago at P&G when he didn’t know any English, but today his company has allowed him to live in 6 different countries!

These aspects make their company unique and they’re actually showing candidates how they are. It’s easy for anyone to say that their company supports veterans or works for a purpose, but GE and P&G show candidates what that means at their company.

How to not be generic on your careers sites

PathMotion and Immersion Neuroscience conducted a scientific study to examine candidates’ immersion levels or physiological data, such as heart rate and oxytocin levels, during the recruitment process. They found that “employee stories are 20% more immersive than corporate careers sites” which means that scientifically, employee stories have a great effect on candidates. These findings parallel LinkedIn’s report because “candidates trust the company’s employees 3x more than the company to provide credible information on what it’s like to work there.”

We completely refreshed DCU’s careers site to make it more interactive and less generic by using content with employee stories. Here is a before and after shot of their careers site.

The before side looks similar to most of the careers sites that I researched. Most sites would only have text and no videos or a professional photo library. Text that scrolls on and on make the careers site unenjoyable to look at. The after side is easy to maneuver and includes real employee stories with photos featuring real employees. Visually it’s more appealing, but it’s also more substantive to those candidates who are searching for a good culture fit (all of them). 

Also, Stories Inc. knows that our brains are wired to remember stories. After visiting 250 career sites only a few have stuck with me. Real employee stories shown through videos, photos, and blogs will not only set your company apart from other companies but will also provide substantial content to attract top talent.