For Carmen Mason, Employer Brand Manager at Enterprise Holdings, and her team, it's always been a strong tenet of their overarching strategy to be transparent whenever possible for the sake of the candidate. For the past several years, one way they've achieved this transparency is by structuring their career site to make local recruiter contact information available and easily accessible to candidates.
“We believe candidates should have the opportunity to initiate a direct conversation with a local recruiter, if they choose,” she said. “If you put yourself in the shoes of the candidate, it's incredibly frustrating when you can't properly address your cover letter to an individual, or when you simply want to follow up on the status of your application. Our recruiters answer those calls and emails every day. These open lines of communication mean candidates have a personal contact at Enterprise, sometimes before they've even interviewed with us.”
While this transparency has always been a part of their work, the way Carmen and her team present it on their site has evolved over time.
In 2014, after a career site refresh, Enterprise updated its local group pages so candidates could also find relevant information about the company's local operations.
“We have over 60 operating groups across North America,” said Carmen. “They aren't necessarily aligned with a specific state, so it can be confusing for a candidate to know which operating group they would fall into. We were hoping to correct some of that confusion with this update.”
According to Carmen, a lot of the success they've had on those pages has revolved around their ability to localize the information.
“We have an integration with Yello that allows us to feed not only recruiter contact information, but also the territory they cover so the candidate can reach the right person,” she said.
Then, through an integration with Career Arc, they were able to add job maps to those pages as well. “The maps allow candidates to search geographically and visually,” said Carmen. “We want our candidates to have a variety of ways to search and find our jobs.”
On the maps, there are pins for the jobs available in different areas, so candidates can click on and apply to jobs they're interested in.
Since each operating group is different in size and scope, Enterprise wanted to make sure they were providing that context to candidates.
To ensure the Employer Brand team has an open line of communication with the content experts –- the recruiters –- Carmen focused on building connections and raising awareness around the benefit of these pages.
Early on, Carmen spearheaded conference calls and mandatory trainings with the talent acquisition professionals from each operating group who would be the point people for these pages.
“I worked with them very closely on the content, so they felt ownership over what was made public,” she said. “Those same talent acquisition professionals are still the real owners of those pages. Sometimes I'm the one reaching out to double check something, but just as often they are proactively reaching out to me to provide updates. Our recruiters point out how often candidates mention the group pages in their interviews, and I think it's because of that connection that they feel responsible to maintain them.”
Since making these page updates, Carmen and her team have seen some great results in how candidates are interacting on the site.
“Over the past year, we've had tens of thousands of visits to just that page with 3.4 minutes average time spent there,” said Carmen. “And we know once they get on those local pages, they're interacting with the content and contacting our recruiters.”
Another result they've found interesting is that having these pages benefits their search engine optimization.
“If somebody is doing a location-based search in Google for instance, and they're searching Enterprise in Oregon, our Oregon recruiter page will pop up in the organic search listings, sometimes above third-party travel aggregators,” she said. “Our group pages surface very highly on Google and other search engines because they have a lot of the relevant information that Google crawls.”
But, Carmen and her team are always looking for new ways to improve their career site and get relevant and helpful information in front of candidates.
Currently, she is working on a pilot with some of their talent acquisition professionals to make sure candidates' questions about group culture and structure are being answered on these pages.
“We've started a focus group to find out if there's anything we need to add, like more photography, or local employee profiles,” said Carmen. “We're working to find out what candidates are asking for, what they think is missing, or what they like the most so we can identify what we need to highlight better.”
With all this information, Carmen and her team wanted to make sure the pages were as structured as possible so valuable content isn't missed.
Next, they feature recruiter contact information and the local events groups are hosting, which surface through the Yello integration.
“We wanted to make sure those career fairs and local hiring events were feeding in so candidates can meet and see our recruiters,” said Carmen.
Carmen is now looking to incorporate more information on how Enterprise Holdings impacts local markets.
“We are looking at adding a component illustrating our local economic impact,” she said. “We're always opening new branches because we have so many different business lines. If you can see we're opening a car rental, truck rental or car sales branch in your area, it shows Enterprise has a big impact on your local community.”
Throughout the process of building out and optimizing these pages, Carmen said she learned the importance of finding new and effective ways to provide information to candidates.
For example, she explained the Career Arc map was a more recent addition to the pages that has since received a lot of interaction.
“If you have a successful site, you can continue to maintain it,” she said. “But when we found that new content modules or integrations were bumping up our interactions, we realized we needed to continue to push ourselves to provide information in new and different ways for our candidates.”
For anyone else looking to better communicate with candidates in this way, Carmen emphasized building relationships with your content experts first.
“Make sure you have open communications with your talent acquisition professionals, because you need them to be bought in,” she said. “All the rounds of calls and the webinars I had with them really helped to showcase the importance of keeping information up-to-date and having a place where their candidates could find them.”
Then, she said, any time you have a third-party integration with your site that's not managed by your agency, you always need to be aware of places where things can go wrong.
“We work with TMP, so everything else on our site flows through our relationship with them,” said Carmen. “But things like the Career Arc map or the contact information through Yello are separate vendors, so you have to make sure you have the right people on the phone as you're setting up these feeds and integrations. Make sure everybody knows what the feed schedule looks like, what's live, and how to make updates as quickly as possible if you need to.”
Carmen Mason has been a member of the Talent Marketing Board since 2017. You can connect with her on LinkedIn.