How to grow your startup with a great company career page
The SnapTravel story
Mar 5, 2018
Table of Contents
For all the talk about ‘AI for recruitment’ or ‘social sourcing’, it turns out a great company career page is still your most valuable recruiting tool, period.
In a 2017 study that looked at 180,000 job seekers, 58% said that company career sites are their top channel for researching an employer, followed by personal referrals at just 36%.
A great company career page does so much more than list open jobs. It tells your company story, shares your values, and showcases your perks and company culture. When done right, a career site does more than attract applicants, it can draw in the talent you want and help others to self-select out.
In this article, we followed SnapTravel, a high-growth startup looking to double its team within the year, to learn how they re-designed their career page to hit ambitious growth goals.
58% of job seekers say a company career site is their top channel for researching an employer, followed by personal referrals at just 36%.
Read on to learn:
How to set recruiting goals
What candidates look for on a career page
Top career page examples
What to include on your company career page
How to build diversity and inclusion into your hiring process
Plus, download our worksheet to create your own career page template
Talent Acquisition Manager, Brett Reed, fills us in below.
Who is SnapTravel?
SnapTravel is changing the way that conversational commerce works and becoming a leader in the hotel-booking space.
Through advanced natural language processing and machine learning, we help users purchase the best hotel rates and access post-booking support, all through messaging apps they already use like SMS or Facebook Messenger. It’s as easy as if you were messaging a friend or texting a family member.
In 2017, we closed our Series A and grew from $1 million in sales in our first year to over $20 million in our second, so it’s high time to grow our team, too.
In 2017, we closed our Series A and grew to over $20 million in sales. It’s high time to grow our team, too.
How would you describe your company culture?
We’re taking bright, curious people from around the world and bringing them together to create a product that users around the world will love. We believe in full transparency, data-driven decision-making, and shipping things quickly.
At the same time, we’re not your typical startup with ping-pong tables and beer. We value work-life balance and support our people like a high-performance team. We have inside jokes, weird acronyms only we understand, and have found a way to work together and have fun while solving complex and difficult problems.
I would say, at the end of the day, we’re the type of place where you bring your whole self to work. If your ‘whole self’ starts work at 11 am, then that’s cool. If your ‘whole self’ feels most comfortable in sweats and a Blue Jays snapback, that works too.
We value work-life balance and support our people like a high-performance team.
Why does having a great career page matter to you?
In my career, I’ve had a chance to meet some amazing recruiters and HR professionals. These people have so much passion and enthusiasm for the teams they are building, that after the conversation, I think: “I need to apply there. I want to be a part of that.”
Obviously, at scale, and when recruiting internationally, you can’t talk to every potential candidate face to face, but a great career page is just an extension of that. You can show anyone in the world at any point in time who your company is, what you believe in, and why they should get excited about working with you.
With a great career page, you can show anyone in the world at any point in time who your company is, what you believe in, and why they should get excited about working with you.
Before we continue…
Collage worked with SnapTravel to create a free, printable worksheet any company can use to create their own career page. Simply download, print, and fill it out.
This year, my goal is to more than double our team’s size. For the career page specifically, we came up with three targeted goals. Each one is tied directly to a business objective.
1. Attract high-caliber candidates. I’ve done quite a bit of tech recruiting before but never at this caliber. When you’re a small team, you can’t hire individuals for each niche technical skill. You need people who can get a lot of things done really well. We’re committed to bringing in the best and the brightest talent from all over the world, and I want to showcase that on our site.
2. Attract diverse candidates. This isn’t going to sound great, but when I first joined SnapTravel, my impression was that diversity was a major issue. SnapTravel is doing very well in certain areas of diversity, and very poorly in others. For example, our team has members from a huge variety of educational, religious and ethnic backgrounds. But from a gender standpoint, we’re predominantly male.
Diverse boards build better companies and diverse companies build better products.
It’s statistically proven that diverse teams perform better. Diverse boards build better companies and diverse companies build better products. Moreover, we believe our team should be representative of our users. Right away, I wanted to identify what got us to this point and what do we need to fix in our recruiting process to achieve different results. SnapTravel has taken great strides to eliminate bias in our recruiting and highlight the women on our team, but our company career page can still do more.
3. Define our employer brand. Before SnapTravel, I led a recruiting team at Bell, which has amazing brand recognition and huge numbers of inbound applications. SnapTravel doesn’t have that recognition yet, and our previous career page didn’t reflect our culture at all. In order to grow our team, we need to get people’s attention, tell our story, and show them why we’re worth applying to.
What are your favourite company career page examples?
During our research, we bookmarked top career page examples to find common elements, best practices, and inspiration.
Here are our top picks for (mostly Canadian) tech company career page examples and why we love them:
Asana: Along with an overall great page, I love how Asana showcases their growth in a creative way.
Bench: Bench’s voice and tone are really unique. Instead of listing traditional perks, they have 'perks for the soul.' What a great way to convey their company culture.
Carta: Carta gets points for an all-around awesome careers page. Everything, from their mission to their history, team, and EVP (employer value proposition) is crystal clear thanks to sleek design and UI.
LogoJoy: LogoJoy’s company photos are warm and inviting. There's a great representation of the diversity within their team and everyone looks like they’re having a great time.
StackAdapt: What stands out the most on StackAdapt’s page is the custom illustrations and descriptions for their values and perks. You can tell a lot of care went into defining their culture.
Wave Apps: Instead of talking about themselves, Wave’s career page showcases how they take care of their people. That’s a great strategy to attract candidates, especially when you are competing for technical talent.
Can you describe your 'product-focused' approach to creating a career page?
To be 100% honest, our first career page was shit. I couldn't blame people for not applying.
So we took a step back and applied a ‘product-focused’ mindset. If people aren’t using your product, you have to look at it from their experience and ask yourself why. What is their experience? How does it make them feel? When we did that with our career page, we quickly realized the experience was awful. It didn’t represent our brand, our team, or what we were building.
If people aren’t using your product, you have to look at it from their experience and ask yourself why. We did the same with our career page.
Our product is mobile-first, so our career page should be, too. Our product is bright, full of colour and amazing UI and UX elements, yet our career page was plain and flat. Finally, it should be representative of our team and who we are as people.
The fact is, our career page was the way it was because nobody noticed it was broken. But once we framed it in terms of our product, buy-in from the whole team was quick. Everyone understood the connection between the way we were marketing ourselves and the people we were attracting.
Assembling the elements of a great company career page
Taking everything we’d learned from our research, other career page examples, and SnapTravel’s recruiting goals, the next step was to create a list of the elements we wanted to include for our own career page.
Going one step further, I created a simple Career Page Survey and sent it out to 500 people to learn what real candidates look for. These are the elements we came up with:
#1. Company mission and product
As mentioned above, SnapTravel doesn’t have the same employer brand recognition as big, national companies. The first thing we wanted to make clear is who we are and what we do. Luckily, we have lots of great mentions in the press, so we added those near the top so candidates can easily learn more.
#2. Company values
Company vision and values came up a lot in the survey responses. As a company, we’d never actually put our values into writing, so this was a great catalyst. We went through the exercise as a team of writing down as many words as we could that define who we are and how we make decisions. Then we narrowed those down to six core values that apply to everyone on our team, regardless of their role, level, or identity.
The main takeaway I want for anyone who visits our career page is that we live our values. They are embedded throughout the page and in everything we do. Having them there is a reference for us all.
The main takeaway I want for anyone who visits our career page is that we live our values.
#3: Employee testimonials
One-third of candidates want to know why other employees joined a company and why they stay. Our Glassdoor page has great reviews, so it was a no-brainer to include them. Thanks, team!
We offer tons of great perks. Our challenge was deciding which ones to showcase that would fulfill our goals of attracting top talent and more diverse applicants. The survey, which had nearly 500 respondents, cleared that up for us.
Surprisingly, only 10% of respondents included "Parental Leave Policy" in their Top 3. We still think this is an important one to show families or anyone planning to start a family that they are welcome here. We decided to include Parental Leave in our top 6 perks, along with team events and free food.
#5: Our growth story (financial growth chart and leadership profiles)
A big selling factor when I talk to candidates is how fast SnapTravel has been able to grow. We went from doing $1MM USD over Facebook in one year to over $20MM in our second year. These are impressive numbers within startups, particularly in the Toronto tech scene, so I really wanted to be able to show that off.
One of the biggest misconceptions candidates have is that startups are really risky. By showing our growth chart, we’re showing that financially, we’ve grown exponentially and are on track to continue. Our co-founders are repeat entrepreneurs and ex-Google Engineers, and our board includes the former CEO of Hotels.com and the CTO of Expedia. There’s a lot of experience to guide us in the right direction.
One of the biggest misconceptions candidates have is that startups are really risky. We’re proud of our numbers, so I really wanted to show that off.
#6: Team or office photos
In the survey, there was an overwhelming response that people do not like video on careers pages (some comments we got said they were “cheesy” or staged.”)
Overwhelmingly, people do not like videos on career pages.
On the other hand, 87% like to see pictures of the team or workplace. We’re moving into a new office soon and plan to take some great shots of our people and our workspace so candidates can see who they’ll be working with.
#7: The hiring process
In the survey, many respondents left comments about frustratingly long job applications or not knowing where they stand. To set expectations (and save me from answering the same questions on every screening call), we decided to put our hiring process and hiring FAQs right on the career page. We can also update this as new questions come up.
#8: Open positions
Finally, many respondents put an emphasis on having clear and realistic job descriptions. These should include salary ranges, location, and KPIs, and avoid buzzwords (ninjas, rockstars, etc.). Going one step further, we ran our job descriptions through Textio, which lets us analyse the language we use to ensure it’s gender balanced and inclusive.
#9: Making a mobile-friendly career page
This isn’t an ‘element’ we added, but it is important to us as a mobile-first product. 88.4% of survey respondents said they apply to jobs from a desktop, versus 11.6% on a phone or tablet. But digging deeper, we learned that many candidates do review career pages from their mobile then move to a desktop when it’s actually time to apply
Putting it all together + Next steps
At this point, and thanks to brilliant help from our design and development team (shout out to Utsav and Paul!!), we were able to put together our brand new career page and launch it on our site.
I’m so happy with what our team has been able to accomplish. It took a village, but that’s what makes our new career page authentic.
I think it’s important for other teams who are building their career page to not build it in a bubble, whether it’s an HR bubble or a marketing bubble. Unless you are only recruiting HR people, it doesn’t matter what HR thinks about your page! Treat it like you would treat a product: who is your target market? What do you want them to feel? Go and find your ideal candidates and ask them what they want to see.
From here on out, it comes down to being data-driven. We already track how many people view our career page, individual postings, and conversions. Over the next months, I want to see if our thesis is correct. Will we get more views and more applicants? Have we told our story in a way that attracts both technical candidates and more diverse candidates? Just like with our product, we’ll continue to monitor and iterate based on user feedback.
From here on out, it comes down to being data-driven. Just like with our product, we’ll continue to monitor and iterate based on user feedback.