One of the most important pieces of your Hiring Funnel is your careers page on your website. You have done all the work of finding creative ways to market your job opening. Now you need to give applicants a call to action – tell them what to do. “To apply, go to www.yourcareerspage.com.”
When they arrive at your careers page it should answer all their questions and sell them on WHY they should want to work for your school.
Having a thorough careers page has the added benefit of sending a clear message to potential parents that you have a quality program. It demonstrates that you are professional enough to have this process thought out and somewhat automated. It also shows them that you look for qualified people and take good care of them. This implies that your team is happy and will take good care of their children. Paying close attention to setting up a dynamic careers page is important to both recruiting staff and enrolling children.
Everything you present on your careers page should portray your school as positively as possible. Your careers page should come from a place of strength, rather than a place of lack, so emphasize the good stuff, rather than seeming desperate.
Your candidate should get the feeling that they would be LUCKY to get a job with you, rather than feeling like you are almost begging them to work for you because you are desperate for workers. You want your school to seem so attractive that they wonder if they will even measure up enough to be considered for hire.
To accomplish this, there are several key elements you need to include on your careers page. Fortunately for you, most child care centers are not employing these basic recruitment techniques, which means you will have the advantage.
Do a google search for child care websites and look for ideas that you can add to your own toolbox of hiring tactics. Do not copy what others have done exactly, but you CAN BE inspired by what they’ve done. Peruse the samples that they have worked so hard to create for themselves, and model them. Take an idea that speaks to you and make it your own. It should be different and unique, representative of your own school – with your own values, photos, and design.
The Ultimate Careers Page Checklist
Find the Right Mix of Content, Visuals & Video
Be sure to include a great balance of photos and information. The layout should be visually appealing and leave your audience wanting to scroll to read more. When you use a variety of elements you will appeal to a larger audience who each may prefer content delivered in different ways.
You might want to include videos, infographics, photos, text, or bold colors. Work with your web designer to find the right balance so job seekers want to stop, scroll and find out more about your company.
You’ll want your content to sell them on why they should WANT to work for you. It should never seem like you are begging for people to work for you, but rather like you are always looking to add the best people you can to your team.
You should come at it from a place of strength emphasizing things like benefits, perks, positive culture, and professional atmosphere, rather than from a place of desperation. The more you can attract them to you the better. They should feel like they might not even measure up to the quality that you expect and would be LUCKY to get to work for you.
Emphasize Benefits, Perks, & Positive Culture
Again, because budgets are sometimes tight, many owners think they “can’t afford” to offer a bunch of perks to their employees. While you might not be able to afford expensive benefits such as HEALTH INSURANCE for your staff, there ARE lots of things you CAN offer.
Click over to this blog post where I share 16 inexpensive perks you can provide to your employees.
It’s possible that you’re already doing some of these things, but you aren’t highlighting them as “Employee Benefits.” Sometimes all it takes is re-framing and emphasizing all the good things that you offer your staff in a nice little flyer. Your employee benefits/perks should be mentioned on both your careers page on your website and in your hiring e-packet.
Also, if you can put a monetary value to these benefits, it may also make a difference in how their wages/benefits are perceived. When you highlight the positive, they can see it more clearly.
Again, consider this list (it’s worth clicking over to), and then see what you can add or highlight to beef up your employee perks.
You may have other things that you do to take care of your employees. Whatever you offer them, be sure to include it in your employee benefits list, and begin promoting your huge package of perks.
Get creative in how you present your benefits! Do it “Top 10” Style, or create a fun infographic! The bottom line is, highlighting all of the great things you do for staff in a well thought out Employee Perks or Benefit Package will help you attract and keep the best staff.
Include Your Core Values & Vision
It is important that your applicants know a little bit about you before they apply to work at your school. Be sure to emphasize your culture of excellence.
This will help visitors to self-select, meaning if they visit your website, and can just tell they won’t be a good fit based on what your company is all about, then they just won’t apply. Conversely, those that get excited about your core values and mission WILL apply.
You want to get more of those candidates that align with the vision you are trying to accomplish – and fewer duds! This will help keep your workplace culture positive and your team working well together.
You can share your vision on your careers page in a variety of ways.
- You could record a heartfelt video from the owner introducing your mission and core values and explaining the type of employees you are looking for.
- You could create a fun infographic on Canva (or another graphic design software).
- You could include a letter from the owner with several photos demonstrating what the letter talks about.
- OR you could use a combination of these methods to communicate what you are all about.
Show Evidence of a Positive Company Culture
Include photos and/or videos of your team doing various positive activities. These can include being engaged with children in learning activities, doing fun activities with other staff, attending training or professional development days, or dressing silly for fun school spirit days.
A picture is truly worth a thousand words, so you want your pictures to show your team being happy in their professional capacities, but also in other fun (or even silly!) ways. You want to send the message that working at your school is both professional and fun, and that your staff is happy to work there!
Include Testimonials from Your Team
There is nothing more powerful than social proof. In today’s digital age, people look to reviews when making any kind of decision. This includes employment decisions. Who is more qualified to tell your potential employees what it’s really like to work for your company than one of your current employees?
The best, most believable type of testimonial or review is a short video. So, if you can get some of your team members to record some happy, upbeat testimonials, do it. You might want to give them a couple of “idea starters” to help their videos be more powerful. You don’t want to tell them what to say, or put words in their mouth, but you can give them some bullet points of things you’d like them to talk about if they wanted to.
Written testimonials are also very powerful, especially if you have a photo of your staff member to go with it. Photos of real people always add another layer of credibility to the written words. It’s almost as if the photo proves these words came from a real person.
Try to feature testimonials that cover many different reasons that your team likes working at your child care center. For instance, one person might like how the school feels like a family, another likes making a difference in the lives of children, another likes your nature-based curriculum, etc.
One way to present information about your company in an interesting format is to answer several FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions). Rather than listing your topic as, “Vacation Policy” with the details of the policy listed after, list it as, “Will I receive paid vacation time?” or, “I’m planning a vacation this summer, how do I request time off?” and then explain your policy in the answer to the question. It makes the potential candidate feel like other people have been interested in these same things and they are not the only one who wants to know. It also makes it less boring to read about your policies when they are framed like questions.
Make it Easy to Apply Online
Don’t make someone who is interested in working for your school hunt to apply. Make it easy for them. If they have to work too hard to figure it out, they will just give up and click away. Have a bold “Apply Now” button in plain sight. Create an easy online application or resume upload process.
Quick Tip: One important thing to consider when creating your online application: if you require your prospective employees to fill out their work history in the online application form, but also request an uploaded resume, it can feel like a waste of time to apply. This is especially true for candidates with many years of experience.
If you prefer that applicants apply in person, clearly state your process or policy for this on your website. Some center owners want their applicants to jump through a few hoops before granting them an interview. Or they may want to get a feel for the applicant’s professionalism, so they prefer an in-person application. I certainly understand the reasons for wanting people to apply for the job in person, but I would suggest having an online option as well.
Using an online submission process allows you to keep a database of interested applicants. This is important because you can then easily reach back out to them later if a position opens up again. You can tag rejected applicants to exclude them from future recruiting efforts. Having a digital application process also allows you to track your marketing efforts so you know what is working and what is not. For these reasons, most modern businesses now have an online application process.
Let Applicants Know What to Expect
Somewhere on your careers page, you should let the applicant know a little bit about your hiring process. They will want to know when they can expect to hear from you after they click submit and what your application process looks like. Give them a heads up with information similar to this example:
We are always looking for the best early childhood teachers and caregivers. We invite you to fill out our online application so we can learn more about you. Our typical hiring process looks something like this:
- You turn in your resume or fill out the online application.
- If you qualify, we will contact you by phone to schedule an interview within 5 business days.
- You’ll meet with our director and other select team members for a formal job interview.
- We will conduct a reference check and other required background checks.
- We will call you to offer you the position or email you to let you know another candidate was selected.
Optimize for Mobile & Remember SEO
Work with your web designer to strategically plan your keywords so the RIGHT people find you. You want people to easily find your employment page when doing a search.
Also, make sure your site is optimized for mobile phones. Sometimes potential candidates will NOT take the step to apply at your school if your website is too clumsy or difficult to use on mobile.
Update Your Careers Page Regularly
Be sure to regularly check your page and update it often with new photos, awards, testimonials and update videos. You want your content to be fresh, accurate and current! At minimum, plan to revisit this page annually to adjust/refresh it. (More often if you link to current job postings.)
It also may be a good plan to do a competitive analysis from time to time- It’s a best practice to check out what your competitors are doing to see what you can model, or see if anyone is doing better than you.
Create an E-Packet and Automated Emails
When your candidate submits his or her application, they’ve taken that first action towards you. However, that’s not the end of the story! You need to continue your efforts to make a great impression on them and educate them about your company.
You’ve already caught their attention with your well written hiring ad and highlighted your positive company culture on your careers page. Those things were enough to grab their interest. Now you need to continue communicating with them and planting seeds that you are a great company to work for. Every touch point and communication that you have with them continues to reinforce this.
Remember, most of the best applicants will have their choice of several job offers, so you want to do what you can to stand out. Very few child care programs or preschools send their applicants a hiring e-packet. When your applicant gets an email from you right after they submit an application, it sends a message that you run your business in an organized and professional way. When you attach a well-designed e-packet that gives them more information about your company – which is essentially the same information, presented in a different way – you are just continuing to plant those seeds.
Going above and beyond to present a positive and professional company image will definitely make a difference in the way your applicants perceive your school.