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This time last year I decided to do a bit of research to see how effective various high profile firms in the recruitment industry were at the basics of recruiting their own staff, ie having an effective careers site.

I rationalised it thus:

Given most job seekers who want to find out about working for a company will head straight to that company’s website, I thought I would make some observations about the attraction efforts of a sample of Australia’s largest recruitment agencies based purely on the careers section or equivalent component of their website.

The results made for ugly reading and I concluded:

Based on this sample, I award the recruitment sector an overall grade of … … Fail. 

It’s laughable that the recruitment sector in this country, which bemoans the lack of quality recruiters (I mean, how many Brits on 457 visas are there working the phones in recruitment agencies around the country?), cannot even be bothered to have a half-decent careers section on their website. It’s not that hard, surely? 

In the weeks following the publication of the article I received a couple of emails and tweets from people nominating their website as worth looking at, and so it proved. The state of affairs in our own backyard wasn’t quite as dire as I thought.

I promised to undertake the same rating exercise twelve months hence, and here we are again; two weeks before Christmas and I’ve spent a good few hours reviewing the same careers sites as I reviewed in 2011, and a few others.

As the report is too large to embed in this newsletter, please click on the image below to view the full report and the results, in order of top (highest rating) to bottom (lowest rating).

[the report opens in a new browser window as a PDF document]


So, how much progress has the recruitment industry made in the past twelve months in its efforts to attract its own staff?

Not enough, I’m afraid.

Disappointingly many of the sites I reviewed last year had made no improvements in the past 12 months. As a rule, the poor stayed poor and the average stayed average.

Adecco and Rubicor deserve mention for their respective significant career site improvements although both still have plenty of ground to make up if they are to be anywhere close to the standards set by both Ambition and Wavelength International.

The respective careers sites of Hays and Talent2 were disappointing given both of these firms have been known for their innovation and success in other areas of their respective businesses. I expected a much higher standard from both.

Ambition and Wavelength International both scored 5 stars for their respective careers sites because, although quite different from each other, they both clearly communicated a real sense of WIIFM (What’s In It For Me) to any job seeker viewing either site. If you can’t communicate your company’s purpose, energy, and culture then your careers site is simply going to be a way to fill jobs at your company, rather than attract top performers, or people who could be top performers, to your company.

The improvements of Adecco and Rubicor, along with the standard set by both Wavelength and Ambition raise the overall mark of 2 stars out of 5, compared to 0 stars out of 5 last year (neither Wavelength nor Ambition were assessed this time last year).

C’mon recruitment industry, give me something to get really excited about this time next year when I review all these career sites again.

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Having an effective careers site is certainly something that all good companies should aspire to.

But recruiting employees via a company careers site and via a recruitment agency are two wholly different animals.

Let's face it – if many clients had good careers sites, then there would be less of a need for agencies. Which may explain why many agencies, while good at headhunting, aren't necessarily good at attracting their own staff.

Interestingly, Ambition, the Australian agency that heads your list of top careers site is widely known for a lack of a headhunting culture (unable to headhunt candidates) and instead sources candidates via extensive advertising – a paper-pusher, if you will. This may explain why they are so good at developing their own careers site.

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