How making The Warehouse careers website ‘stand alone’ and mobile friendly produced remarkable performance results - year on year!
We designed The Warehouse careers website for the purpose of providing an engaging Employer Brand experience for both passive and active candidates. The new careers site is a powerful asset in their recruiter’s toolbox.
The Warehouse Careers Website Project Case Study
The Warehouse is an iconic New Zealand business at the forefront of retail. It invests heavily in channel delivery, store development and its people – strongly focusing on initiatives to position retail as a career of choice.
Within the fast-moving retail landscape The Warehouse identified that its recruitment requirements were quickly growing and transitioning. The existing Careers brand and online strategies had become outdated with a user experience that relied on old technologies and an employer value proposition (EVP) that needed to be more clearly defined and articulated.
Digital Stream was appointed to create a completely new online presence for The Warehouse Careers. Digital Stream began with in-depth discovery sessions and research that informed the brief and strategy. Google Analytics intelligence on the previous site, combined with specialist experience in the careers online space, were incorporated into the strategy right from the start.
Design and build a 4th generation careers site that combines clear and powerful communications combined with a great user journey and experience. Here are some of the highlights:
- Mobile first approach to content and design for better connection with candidates
- The Warehouse’s new Employee Value Proposition (EVP) is prominent site-wide
- ‘Hard to recruit’ roles, such as Store Manager and Category Manager feature their own dashboard web page which servers up highly relevant content for target candidates
- The Warehouse Brand Ambassadors share real stories and messages which are also dynamically fed through to appear on targeted pages throughout the site
- The website is developed in conjunction with the SnapHire applicant tracking system (ATS). This delivers a powerful job search feature, along with ‘featured jobs’, relevant jobs and related people bios, all contained within content pages - always with quick access to jobs just a single click away
- The Warehouse’s careers offering is also amplified socially, integrating with Facebook feeds, blog feed and LinkedIn’s ‘Your Recruiter’ and ‘People you may know in your network’ plugins. The latter shows candidates who they may know at The Warehouse from their extended LinkedIn network.
- The site also as a supporting blog for publishing more personal stories and content related to life and work at The Warehouse
- Google Analytics goals and event tracking, and reporting has been integrated to understand in depth user behavior and interactions, along with providing insights that inform marketing decisions
The Warehouse Careers website is built as a knowledge center to position The Warehouse as a great place to work. Users are actively engaged with the website content rather than just submitting job applications.
Digital Stream were our chosen partner for our major rebuild of The Warehouse Careers website. Their knowledge of Employment Brand, our ATS SnapHire and our business meant that the project was successful in delivering against our objectives. Digital Stream were willing to explore innovative new aspects of our careers website which help to position our brand as a great place to work."
Leslie Taylor - Employment Brand Manager | The Warehouse Group
Here’s the data and story behind the project’s success.
Rather than just a gut instinct and some positive feedback that the site is performing well, web analytics is critical to uncover the deeper story using segmentation and conversion tracking.
Above are the results generated in one year since the new site has gone live.
- Nearly 750,000 visits to the website, with an average of 60,000 visits per month
- Avg time on website has increased to over 3 minutes (note, a large amount are mobile users)
- 25,908 applications received from the website among which 1,557 people have been hired
- The number of hired people from the website alone is 3 times of all other sources (i.e., 449) in combined
- Increased content page views (not just jobs) 30% of all page views - demonstrates candidate engagement with wanting to learn more about the culture and business
Increased organic search visibility by robust SEO implementation.
- 40% increase AVG. time on site
- 50% of visits are from mobile Direct and Organic sources (i.e: highly intentional searchers)
- Large increase in organic search rankings across many target terms
New website (Aug 1, 2015 - Jul 31, 2016)
Key website metrics and comparison performance data
The performance of the new careers website has significantly improved compared with the old site. Below are the key performance engagement metrics between the new site and the previous one.
Year on year comparison of engagement metrics: old website (Aug 1, 2014 - Jul 31, 2015), and new website (Aug 1, 2015 - Jul 31, 2016)
The new careers website has attracted more than 60,000 visits per month since it is live. Also the engagement level has hugely improved with nearly 20% decrease in bounce rate and 1 min increase in avg time on site.
Previously, over 70% of traffic is from organic search. For the new website, over half of its traffic is from Direct source. In Google analytics definition, direct traffic is mostly referring to someone typing a domain name into browser or using a bookmark to directly access the website. This is a strong signal that the new website has played an important role in establishing a strong and long term relationship with the target audience.
The number of visits from organic source has steadily increased with consistent SEO and content marketing efforts.
Visitors are interacting with website featured content. Below is relevant tracking data of the website in the recent month. Among 65,320 users, nearly 50% of them have used the search feature actively looking for a job. Avg time on single pages is nearly 1 min which is a strong signal that visitors are reading content not just skimming.
Applications and hires
- Over 8,000 people have registered on the new website one year after it is live
- Over 25,000 applications have been received
- The new websites has contributed to nearly 80% of The Warehouse hires!
As a source the new website not only receives the largest amount of applications, it also has the highest ratio of hires per application comparing against other online job directory websites like Indeed, Seek and Trade Me. The careers website provides The Warehouse with much higher quality of applicants through the self selecting and self qualifying, resulting in reduced cost and administration time for their recruitment team.
Client friendly custom dashboards monitor the ongoing performance of websites and social marketing efforts.
The new website has delivered continuous improvement over the past year. However, the internet world is a place where changes happen daily. To sustain continuous growth of traffic and also to ensure the quality of job applications, Digital Stream created custom analytics dashboards to monitor the health of the website and to track the supporting marketing campaigns. The reporting dashboard features include:
- Employer branding benchmarks and KPIs (set against the other TWGroup careers sites and best practice indicators)
- Event tracking from Google analytics to monitor the usage of job search, dashboards and homepage tile clicks
- Website and the social platform comparative data from other brands in the TWGroup
- Real time website performance dashboard to show year on year data along with social media performance metrics
With a comprehensive reporting system The Warehouse Careers are able to closely monitor the performance of the website and marketing campaign activity. Intelligent alerts were also set up in Google analytics to ensure the Employment Brand Manager was informed about any significant changes - up or down!
Web design strategy
The design strategy was aimed at providing candidates with a user friendly journey and engaging informative experience - particular on mobile devices. From landing on the new home page users could easily select from a range of visual navigational options to be directed to their particular information of interest. Whether it was first time passive candidates researching and discovering what ‘Retail as a Career’ was about, and if The Warehouse was the right company for them. Or if they were active candidates looking at roles advertised on the job board, and checking out the people who work at The Warehouse.
The new careers site is mobile friendly (Responsive Design) for an optimised user experience across all devices, from modern desktop and laptop computers, through to tablets and mobile phones.
Website key attributes
Hard to recruit role dashboards
The site features highly focused content for hard to recruit roles. For these particular roles we created dashboards that feed in and serve up relevant information all in one place for that targeted candidate.
Prospective Store Managers and Category Managers can do the following:
- View related jobs
- View a related role description
- View related role video content
- Contact a specialist recruiter for that department
- View a related brand ambassador’s story
- See who’s in their network via LinkedIn feed
- View latest Facebook activity feeds
- Links to Rewards & Benefits and Learning & Development pages
Each dashboard has its own tracking and reporting to gain further insights into user behavior and engagement.
Job board and applicant tracking system (ATS)
A custom job board for accessing job information is built into the website which provides the candidate with a seamless user experience, as opposed to being navigated away to another platform.
Content asset management
The CMS platform also supports content asset management, meaning featured and related content such as jobs and brand ambassador feeds can be assigned to any target page throughout the site. This is powerful as it serves the candidate with relevant and up to date information at the sweet spot of the user journey.
Social channel feeds
The website supports multiple social feeds, plug-ins and channel links acting as a hub for the candidate to connect with other social channels that they may not be previously engaged in. This also helps provide a framework to drive The Warehouse Careers social strategy.
The Warehouse careers has wide reaching social media pages across multiple social channels to reach passive and active candidates where they prefer to hang out.
Each careers social media channel is tracked, analyzed and reported on to uncover valuable insights for understanding channel effectiveness in KPIs, brand building and candidate engagement.
The Warehouse team members
The culture at The Warehouse is family focused with a strong sense of pride for the business and the communities they work in. To be successful at The Warehouse a candidate will need to work well in a team environment whilst having a true belief in The Warehouse's core purpose.
Brand ambassadors profiles and stories
Brand ambassadors from each team are featured throughout the site at relevant points, telling of their own stories and experiences of what it’s like to work at The Warehouse. This enables candidates to catch an inside view and an insight of who they might be working with. This also aids in pre qualification - if they are the right fit for the business.
Social media - channels and marketing
The Warehouse employer brand and social media strategy
Social media provides an opportunity for brands to communicate to a huge audience online. With more and more kiwis using social networks, (2 million users logging on daily in Facebook alone in 2015) this gives brands the opportunity to engage at a deeper level with its target audience. By putting in place a social media strategy, The Warehouse has turned its careers page into a brand building, hiring hub. There top line strategy...
1. Attract - Increase brand awareness and ensure potential candidates are directed to the careers website. This is done creating engaging content that results in click-through to the careers website.
2. Engage - Capture the audience’s attention with rich content and communicating key messages in each piece of content that aligns with the brand employment objectives. This is achieved by using a combo of rich media and great copy to engage with the audience.
Position retail as a career
Position the brand as a great place to work
3. Convince - People want to know what it is like to work there - similar to the engage phase, this segment is used to communicate employment brand objectives (career progression, working culture, testimonials, perks, involvement in the community)
4. Convert / Hire - Turn the passive candidate into an applicant. Enticing available job advertisement, easy process such as custom apps on Facebook - to allow people to apply easily. As well as a careers website that helps turn visitors into applicants.
The Warehouse social media results and the performance
The Warehouse has created a careers blog where blogs are shared on their social channels to drive traffic back to their careers website to read more. One of the benefits of having a blog is been able to attract long tail web traffic. These users are usually more engaged with the content as they have come in from organic long keyword search term (highly intentional searchers). We encouraged posting to have a best practice content structure to promote engagement with easy to read sections and visually assets. Subscribe & Follow feature also stands out on each post to trigger a further interaction.
Social media reporting
In the first year of adopting Facebook, The Warehouse’s career page has greatly improved their performance and the response from their audience. It is crucial for any business pursuing social media as a communication channel to have an ongoing reporting in place to ensure they know progress is being made, as well as ensuring they are on track to reaching their goals. The social media report Digital Stream provides quarterly includes analysis and insights of the page’s performance. The specific metrics we have chosen are associated with The Warehouse's overall employment objectives, so as to clearly link their progress and ensure they are aligned with their goals. In addition to this, we also include a recommendations section where we highlight what worked well and areas that they can try in the next period. The reports are discussed with the Employment Brand Manager quarterly to help develop the plan for the next quarter. With it, the Employment Brand Manager can make better marketing decisions and help improving performance quarter on quarter. We have seen a great improvement in their engagement rate and follower count with the implementation of recommendations. Check out one of their top performing post's below.
The Warehouse careers website is linked to the respective social media channels where people can search and apply for available jobs. The content used in these pages are used to communicate the brands key messages shown in the strategy, with #retailcareers hash tags used and links to relevant job opportunities or website pages. Ultimately, the brand is operating in social media channels where there is likely to be passive candidates. By posting structured as well as social content - candidates can expect a fast and easy application process as well as using these channels as a hub to learn more about the brand.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
The first place to start with SEO work is a technical audit. Technical audits are usually considered to be long and onerous. It requires using many different tools and inspecting various aspects such as, page speed, sitemap indexing, URL redirection, current footprint visibility and more. In the first phase, we work to identify and resolve any hidden issues that hinder the website organic performance. Our work focuses on laying a solid SEO foundation for best practice and ongoing successful SEO implementation.
On-going analysis and enhancements
Regular analysis and reviews are undertaken to analyze the digital performance and effectiveness of the website, blog and social channels against KPIs and benchmarks. This informs the best ROI and resource allocation, along with important communication of results to board level helping to facilitate buy in and align recruitment strategy with business objectives.
Positioning ‘retail as a career’
Along with leveraging social media to communicate The Warehouse's employment brand, we also look to building long term success with SEO to increase the exposure towards candidates. The most important aspect of this work is to promote awareness by increasing the organic ranking of keywords such as ‘retail careers’ and also the hard to recruit jobs like ‘category managers’, ‘store managers’. We implement best practice, white hat strategies that over time increase organic visibility and traffic.
Key roles SEO targeting - ‘category managers’, ‘store managers’
Key topic SEO targeting - ‘careers in retail’
The story behind ‘retail as a career’
The Warehouse Group (TWG) is committed to changing the perception of retail as a career and making it a desirable career choice.
There are common misperceptions about the retail industry and TWG up are leading the industry to change these. Perceptions such as: retail is poorly paid, it’s boring and it’s not a real career.
TWG is working with industry bodies, universities and internally to help to change this perception.
Improving perceptions of retail as a career has always been important for TWG, but in 2013 the business decided to further invest and create strategy to drive retail as a career. Some of the initiatives they are working on are:
- Partnering with Massey University to develop and launch the Bachelor in Retail and Business Management Degree.
- Building a ‘Retail Learning Centre’ at our Store Support Office in Auckland which will become a Centre of excellence for developing NZ’s best retailers and retail leaders.
- Creating a ‘Career Retailer Wage’ which recognizes the skills and experience of team members who have completed all of their training and given more than 5000 hours or 5 years’ service
The Warehouse Group’s goal is to show people what they know – that anyone can develop an exciting and lucrative career working in the retail sector. TW Group are leading the way in promoting this message. They want talented people with “the right stuff” to aspire to join The Warehouse Group and build their careers with them. #retailcareers
About The Warehouse
The Warehouse has 92 stores nationwide and is New Zealand’s largest general merchandise retailer. Working at The Warehouse gives you the opportunity to work in an iconic New Zealand brand which is centered around its core purpose – to make the desirable affordable for all New Zealander’s and to support our communities and the environment. The culture at The Warehouse is family focused with a strong sense of pride for the business and the communities you work in. To be successful at The Warehouse you will need to work well in a team environment whilst having a true belief in the core purpose.
For careers at The Warehouse please visit www.thewarehousecareers.co.nz
Can we do it for you?
If you’re a business that is employee and people focused but you’re having growth pains when it comes to attracting and retaining the right talent - then we can definitely help you.