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Persona Prioritization: Rethinking Your Staffing Website

In this week’s Weekly Bite, our founder, Jeff Pelliccio provides some insights on how you can make sure your website is communicating information that both your clients and candidates can relate to no matter where they are in their journey.

Your starting point? The homepage. This is where those two personas are most likely to land and having your value propositions communicated throughout is vital. From your header sections, hero image, and body content, each section of your homepage should be deliberately curated to let your audience know your differentiators, what your process looks like, and how you can ultimately solve their pain points. You must provide both personas will all the information they need to get to know your brand and make them interested enough to move deeper into the funnel.

Once you’ve got that nailed down, you should pay attention to your footer. This is like your website’s
sitemap and what your visitors will use to navigate around your website, at their own pace. For this
reason, you must include all the pages that both clients and candidates may find important and elements that can enrich their user experience.

Then we go to internal links, this is an SEO play that is meant to keep your users within your website ecosystem. The idea is to essentially place strategic hyperlinks that redirect them to other landing pages on your website, so your visitors don’t exit before they convert. Typically, you can do this by providing helpful resources or even having them click a link that will take them to a job feed or form fill. The main idea is to create a web-like net within your website that keeps them engaged enough until they convert. From an SEO perspective, the more you keep them navigating in your space, the more credible your website is seen by search engines.

Naturally, after putting in so much work to provide your value propositions and keep your visitors
engaged, you want to convert. This is where call-to-actions (CTAs) are essential. While this may sound
pretty straightforward, it’s tricky in itself. Your CTA shouldn’t just be eye-catching, but it should be
written in a way that it hits each persona’s most burning issues that trigger an emotional response that makes them want to take action. So, make sure your CTA is aligned with their journey.

When all your general messaging elements are set in place, it’s time to dig deeper into the specific parts of your website that each persona needs.

Since the majority of your visitors will most likely be candidates, you must have a space dedicated just for them. In a candidate-centric space, you can talk about your verticals, industries, services, and the candidate journey they can expect to go through. Your goal is to essentially provide them with as much information they need when it comes to finding a job with your firm and how they can connect with you.

Of course, engagement is a priority when it comes to recruitment, so you might want to consider having a virtual recruiter who can engage them even when you’re offline.

The same idea applies to your client-centric pages, except what are your clients concerned about?
Return on investment. So, this is where you should talk about metric-based differentiators like
submittal-to-hire ratios and the average hiring cycle.

One thing that will be extremely helpful for both personas is a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page. Not only will this improve their user experience, but it’s also a great way to boost your SEO juice.

Speaking of SEO, are you leveraging the traffic coming from your job feed properly? Suppose you’re propping up your job feed using a portal from your ATS. In that case, you’re losing vital SEO juice because even though the traffic may initially come from your website, it will end up getting redirected to a different subdomain outside of your web ecosystem. It’s better if you have your job feed built and coded into your website using your ATS’s XML or RSS feed.

Of course, we can’t forget blogs. They are one of the best channels to speak to both personas. Not only
are long-form copies great for improving your website’s search rankings, but they are also extremely versatile and can be leveraged in a lot of different ways: thought-leadership for social media, recruitment and sales enablement tools, and conversion points for visitors. So, don’t just write blogs for the sake of writing blogs, leverage them for thought-leadership and maximizing their ROI-generating potential.

Last and not least is the lead management. All that effort culminates into one thing: getting that lead and successfully converting it. And even at the very end of their journey through the marketing funnel, you want to make sure that there is no friction or confusion. So, make sure that your lead flow is smooth at all touchpoints and every successful lead receives an affirming message that will let them know what they can expect next. The last thing you want is to lose a prospect just because you didn’t have the right workflow in place. So, test your conversion points to minimize fallout.

If you’ve got questions on how you can optimize your website to its maximum potential, Connect with us and we’d be more than glad to help you elevate your digital space from a digital brochure into a lead-generating tool that speaks to both personas.

Good morning, good afternoon, and good evening.

I’m Jeff Pelliccio, the founder of Allied Insight and we are back again, probably a little sooner than you
expected. Apparently, we had some audio issues on the first recording so we’re doing a quick rinse and
repeat of this week’s Weekly Bites. So, I apologize for the issue with the first video but we’re gonna get it right this time.

So, this week we are talking about Persona Prioritization as it relates to your website. Rethinking your staffing website with the priorities in mind of the personalization and the personas.

Let’s dig in.

As we talk about, sort of, rethinking the persona or rethinking your website with the persona in mind,
what we’re really talking about doing is taking those nuances with regards to your personas and applying them to your website strategy. So, in this instance, your clients – hiring managers, line managers, employers – whatever you call them, those personas are going to be around 90% baked out, right? Give or take. There will be some nuances especially if you’re focused on multiple verticals. You’ll have some nuances between your industries or the verticals that you serve, but for the most part, hiring managers all need very similar things, right? They’re looking for candidates who show up to work on time, who are
really good employees, who will stay for a while, who won’t make their lives complicated, and will help them get done with whatever the projects are that they’re doing.

On the candidate side, we’re sort of running into a very similar circumstance there, too, right? Your
candidates are going to be around 90% baked out when you finally do your first or whatever number
persona you’re on. You’ll have the fundamental core pieces in place and from there you know you’ll have your nuances, again, dependent upon your vertical or industry that they participate in.

A great example of this would be: let’s say you have a hiring manager that is in manufacturing. So, the
light industrial hiring manager that’s looking for candidates, you know, again, they still want that quality person, but their issues would likely be at the very very top. Like those nuances; the issues that they might be facing outside of, maybe, a light or dwindling candidate pool would be different from, let’s say, someone who’s in legal compliance or, you know, healthcare, right?

So, that hiring manager is sourcing a very different candidate pool with different requirements on their
experience or on their certifications and so, therefore, that can become, you know, they have obviously different hurdles that they have to overcome.

So, once you have these sort of fleshed out, then you could really start digging into your website and
making sure that you’re delivering information that is relatable to your audience and actionable based
on where they are on their journey.

So, let’s dig in.

We’re gonna start first with the homepage and building a homepage narrative. The reason why I’m
starting here is that home pages are typically that big picture location where you have that 30,000-foot view. It’s really that opportunity for you to really dig in and establish that baseline for building that digital trust with your audience.

Fundamentally, you know, you’ve got your main header at the very very top, a bunch of different
sections, and then a footer at the bottom. But there’s a lot of meat in the middle and so we want to make sure that we’re sort of identifying what those bits and pieces are. In your hero, you want to make sure that you’ve got a really strong value proposition. It’s basically that thing that separates you from the rest of the staffing agencies.

So, staffing. Let’s just all be honest, right? Staffing as a whole, we all do very much the same thing. We
have employers that are looking for talent. We have candidates that are looking for jobs and we marry
the two together. Staffing, as a whole, is basically that in a nutshell. However, each of your agencies do things a little bit differently. You have your own proprietary process, you have your own action plans, you have your own ways that you interact with your candidates and clients, and you have your own set standards. And those are the things that make you unique.

You know, quite like a panda.

So, with that said, you’ll want to make sure that you have a value proposition in place in that very top line that sort of help give you that differentiation between you and every other staffing firm that’s out there in the country, in the world.

When you move into the next section, you have now built or established a baseline of digital trust, right?
So, they agree with whatever it is that you’re saying and now they want to kind of know what’s next on
the plate. In that instance, you now want to start moving towards things like maybe something about your process. You could talk about your verticals, where you have your office locations, and what types of services you provide. All those kinds of things start to establish additional digital trust but also allow that person to progress through the narrative and become more and more engaged with your brand and who you are.

So, as you think of a homepage from top to bottom, what you’d want to be really careful not to do, is you don’t want to keep people at the very top of the funnel. If you keep them at the top of the funnel, they never progress, and then eventually they just bounce out and go somewhere else that will progress the conversation.

So, from a homepage perspective, you start at the very top. What is the differentiator between you and every other competitor in the marketplace? Then, you move into your process. You move into the things that are inherently you and you start to explain a little bit more about what that engagement’s going to look like and what you’re committed to doing for your client or your candidate.

Now one thing to keep in mind is that staffing firm websites typically generate an offset number of
candidates versus clients. In fact, you’re probably running somewhere in the ballpark of 90% or even
more candidate traffic versus client traffic or hiring managers. And so with that said, you’ll want to make sure that you’re obviously catering to the candidates without alienating your clients.

To do that, you’ll just want to make sure that you give the appropriate amount of attention to both,
maybe use some messaging that uses words that are relevant to both groups. But just as you read
through once, you have your copy written for each of these sections and you’re really outlining what
those values are that you’re trying to extend each step of the way.

At that point, you’ll want to go back through and be a little bit more critical of the content that you’ve
created and make sure that it’s not leaning too far to one side or another so that you don’t alienate
either of these groups.

So yeah, that’s really the crux of this.

By the time you get down to your footer, you want to be able to layout, basically, like a site map, right?
But it should stage a lot of those key elements and prop up those main areas where people should be
navigating in order to, again, choose their own journey, right?

The next thing you want to do is extend value at the right place at the right time. So, as I mentioned, you don’t want to take a homepage and keep people at the very top of the funnel giving them only surface information that doesn’t really start pushing them down or allowing them to graduate themselves.

So ensure that you’re sort of giving people that bit of information and then provide them that ability to sort of like navigate into that space, right? Choose your own journey.

If you remember those books, you know, if you want to go down or if you want to take a ride on the
roller coaster, turn to page 62. And if you want to go get ice cream, turn to page 37.

It’s kind of like that and that’s really kind of model that you should be thinking about your website –
which is how do people progress along while going through their own journey? And do you provide the
flexibility for them to do that at their pace or are you running a bit more of a linear approach to how
you’re engaging with your audience?

The next piece is internal links and CTAs. So, internal links are a bit of an SEO play, I really don’t want to dig too far into it but in essence, what you’re trying to do with internal links is give people those offshoots, right? What you want to do is you’re trying to prevent people from bouncing out of your website. As they come in and they find the information they realize that there’s an alignment with who they are, where they are on their journey – you want to give them an opportunity to click something and move into the next step of whatever that journey is; educating them further, providing additional resources, maybe even getting them to convert on either a job or some sort of a form fill to get even more information. All of these things sort of work together to create a net – like a web – and you start building credibility between your own pages from an SEO perspective but you also allow people to kind of like navigate through your space, going along their own journey.

The piece about CTAs is this: you know as you navigate through a website or as you get through a story a narrative – in this instance, we’re talking about a website narrative – as you progress through a story, the messaging around your CTAs should adjust with you.

So, you know you might be learning more on something further up the funnel but then you might be converting in Getting Started or checking into this thing or downloading this item. As you get further
down the funnel, make sure that you’re providing them CTAs that, again, also align with where this
individual may be in their journey, so that you don’t jar them and try to push them to the bottom of the funnel too quick, and you also don’t send them up the funnel when they’ve already sort of progressed beyond that.

The next area that you’d want to look at would be your About You section.

So, your About section is another area where you can extend the narrative a bit more. You could build additional digital trust and you can also talk a little bit about the foundational elements that make your organization – your staffing agency – what it is. So, a lot of times you’ll have sort of that origin story, right? You’ll go in and you’ll talk about like why you created a staffing agency and what was deficient in the marketplace and why it was important for you to do this and bring these services to the market.

You’d also get into your mission, vision, and core values. You can even start talking about your
foundational principles. There are elements – there are reasons – why you created your organization and they could be based around these fundamental components that exist throughout your entire process.

What a great way to explain that to someone, so that way they understand what kind of experience that they’re going to have with you.

You can get into your team, you can talk about frequently asked questions, and you could do a bunch of different things in these spaces. I wouldn’t overwork an About section but you know as you build out a company space – company, why us, and about us – you might be able to leverage some additional things like resources, career pages, and things like that to even do some of your own internal recruiting and grow your team.

Helping your candidates.

When we talk about helping your candidates it’s really talking about those candidate-centric pages, so typically speaking you’ll have a variety of different areas on your website. This is going to be one of them.

In those candidate-centric spaces or in a candidate space, what you’ll want to do is develop the concepts that you had on your homepage to be very persona specific on your candidate page. This allows you to again further insulate the confidence that they have in your brand at this point.

Give them that additional information and also align contextually those bits and pieces about your
process as it relates to their experience as a candidate versus the overarching, “hey, this is what we do, this is what we believe.” Doing that will give them a better sense of the experiences that they can plan on getting from you as well as help them progress through the process with you.

So, in a candidate space, you might talk about the verticals, the industries that you deal with, and the
process as it relates to the candidate experience. Here’s a great opportunity for frequently asked
questions – something that relates to the candidate audience specifically. You can provide the most
recent job postings or jobs as it relates to a given vertical if you were to have let’s say multiple candidate pages based on verticals. So, you can provide a lot of opportunity in this space, and you kind of build it out as what would be known as a pillar page.

Again, this segment isn’t about pillar pages, so I don’t want to dig too far into it but a pillar page is
basically just what it sounds like – it’s a concentration of content around a given topic that really feeds a given persona. It’s the information they need for them to make some decisions and migrate around your website. So, think of this in a multitude of different ways. You don’t have to bite it all in one or eat it all in one bite, rather you can build this out and version it up. Having phases is probably a really healthy way to kind of execute on it and then you can see what the performance looks like.

You know, as you’re thinking about doing this stuff for your candidate spaces, think about not only what that organic traffic or paid traffic is that you have coming to your website, but also think about how you could be using this in other areas of your business. So, you know what are your recruiters using for their resources as they interact with candidates going through the pipeline. What types of things are you offering to people inside your automated messaging in order to keep them engaged? And provide them those additional resources they need to feel confident in working with your staffing agency.

Those are areas where I think that you can really get more bang for your buck, you can get a lot more
traction out of the content in the time that you’re spending.

If we’re gonna help candidates we might as well help clients, too. So, in this instance, we’re talking about helping the clients in the same exact way, yeah? I don’t wanna say it’s a rinse and repeat of the candidate section but that structure will help to identify what types of content you’re developing. And again, you can do these little sorts of break-off pieces. You obviously have very different personas. There may be
additional elements that you want to include in the client side that don’t exist on the candidate side. Like the things that are important to clients, you might really lean a little bit harder on your data, right?

So, what does your hiring cycle look like compared to the industry average? What is your submittal-to-placement ratio? What’s the ROI of using a staffing firm like yours versus another staffing firm or even internal resources?

You have some opportunities that you can sort of play within there that would be very different from
your candidate space, but again, a frequently asked question is another good element to have in this
space as well. Those FAQ sections are a really strong opportunity for you to get picked up by your search engines: Google, Yahoo, Bing. All of those that have sort of like that section in their search results that when someone says, “what’s the recruiting process like?” or “what should I plan for when trying to find talent?” You might be able to answer some of those things on your page and get picked up by one of these searches that are generating an awful lot of traffic. I mean, that would be the win, right? That would be the golden ticket if it can come through.

Prioritizing your job feed.

So, many websites use the portal that comes from the ATS and that’s not a bad thing. It’s not the worst thing in the world it’s, at least, propping up those jobs and giving you an opportunity to be able to extend that value while they’re in your space. But always keep in mind that portals are not using your domain which means when someone clicks on that portal, the traffic exits your website and goes
somewhere else. It sits maybe on a subdomain so you’re staffingagency.theATSname.com but that is not your traffic.

So, even though you can brand it, in some ways, it probably won’t look exactly like your website. But you can typically do a little bit of branding and you can include your menu so that way people can go back to your website. You would be far better off having these things built into your website itself. So a lot of ATS’s will give you either an XML feed or an RSS feed that you can utilize in order to do this, and then it just takes some savvy coding to kind of put it all in place and prop it up properly to have a feed a filtering function as well as an application page and a thank you page.

But you know there are some resources that are out there in the marketplace that allow you to, sort of,
get ahead of that without necessarily having to have the muscle in-house. Just as a couple to mention, you know, staffing future can certainly do these integrations and build those API connections.

And if you are a little bit more hands-on yourself and you’re willing to like do a little bit more of the
staging, SHAZAMME is also a really good platform. They get the migration in place and can do the connectivity, and then the management of the site is yours.

So, just as a couple of resources. I’m not trying to plug anything but simply letting you know that if you get into those conversations and you’re looking to be able to sort of build those integrations, there are tools and resources available to you in the marketplace.

Organize thought leadership.

Now, here I’m talking about your blogs, right? Your articles. Your long-form content.

Many times you get into a conversation and it’s sort of like, you know, I think people tend to think you’re doing blogs for the sake of doing blogs and well, that’s a nice concept. There are a lot of things to do in this world, so doing busywork is certainly not the perspective.

With that said, if you build your blogs in a way that feeds not only your traffic coming to your website
but also the trends that you’re trying to pursue in social media, and lastly, things that are important to the conversations that your sales and your recruiting teams are both doing, then your blogs start getting a lot more valuable.

Those blogs, in turn, become sales and recruiter-enablement resources. They can really help you in that sales process to develop pipelines, build trust, and extend that thought leadership on the sales side to hopefully generate more REQs.

And then also from the candidates’ perspective or from the recruiting perspective, they might be the
thing that keeps that candidate coming back and pursuing opportunities with you until they find the right fit. So, if you do blogs for the sake of doing blogs, you’re absolutely 100%, right? It’s going to be very hard to see any real value in that, but if you’re building blogs in order to incorporate them in other portions of your organization, that’s where you really get a lot of wins.

Connectivity and lead management.

Again, I don’t want to go too deep on this, but connectivity back into your resources is super important.

So, whether you’re using a CRM or you’re using an ATS – whatever it is that you’re doing – getting those leads to go from your website into the main platform that you’re using as your hub in order to circulate that lead workflow properly and create alerts for your people to do follow-up is crucially important.

There’s nothing worse than a lead coming to a website, filling out a form, and then not getting a
response. You’ve done all of this work to build that up in order to generate that exact lead that you’re
trying to pursue and then there’s no follow-up. It’s just, I don’t know, I don’t want to say a sin. Listen, it would be the worst thing, right? So, make sure that you’ve got connectivity back into your resources that prop up that lead properly, send it through a workflow distribution that has transparency so that, you, as a manager or as a business owner can actually watch, and make sure that those individuals are getting followed up on and you can also start counting the revenue that gets generated as being influenced by the marketing initiatives that you’re doing.

So, lead management connectivity is super super important.

Along with that you also want to make sure you’ve got conversion responses. There’s nothing worse than doing something and not knowing whether or not it actually triggered anything. Imagine walking into a room you flick on a light switch.. nothing happens, right? I would be, like, uh, did I flick on the right light switch? Did I turn something off? What else happened somewhere else in the world that I now need to worry about because it didn’t have an effect?

When someone fills out a form, you can give them pop-up thank you messaging that tells them sort of
some next steps or what they can expect. You could do thank you pages or thank you emails. If you’re
downloading content, obviously, make sure that it downloads or delivers the appropriate content and
the mechanism that you said it would happen.

All of those things are super important. The response element that people need online is the exact same response element that they would need in person. So, go through and test whatever the elements are that you have on your website. Ensure that you’re giving good response and that they know that there’s been something that’s been processed.

So, close to this 20 minutes, I’m not going to make it.

Listen, prioritizing personas generates ROI especially, especially, especially when you push this through the rest of the organization.

If you were to use this as a project and start incorporating it with the rest of your team, you can really rally your group around the concept and start getting ownership in each of the areas. So, as I said, sales owning a portion of the personas that they’re dealing with, recruiting owning a portion that they’re dealing with, and then utilizing that research and working in conjunction with marketing is a really really good way to create a really cohesive message, ensure that all of your departments are kind of working in synergy together, and delivering messaging that makes sense and stays consistent whether they’re on
social media, in your blog, or going through your process.

I know I’m a little over 20 minutes, I apologize. So, I hope that this has been helpful for you, again,
rethink the way that you’re looking at your website. It’s more than just a digital brochure. It really can
provide your audience with a lot of value. And if you’re providing them a lot of value, then you also
have the opportunity to provide a conversion.

Optimizing for conversion will generate leads and help you get ahead of the competition.

Next week, we have another segment coming up. So, on April 27th, and now that we’ve got our audio
situation figured out, we won’t have that problem again, but coming up on April 27th, Wednesday at
noon, we’re going to be talking about recruitment acceleration. And we’re going to have a guest this
time.

It’s going to be Staffing Engine. We’re going to have Matt Dichter in talking about all the amazing stuff that they’re creating for the staffing industry and how it can help your staffing agency improve its performance from a recruiting perspective.

I hope you all had a great day. Have a great rest of your week.

I hope this has been helpful and again, thank you so much for joining we will talk to you next week.

Have a great one. Bye.

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