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In 2011 I reviewed the careers page of 14 prominent recruitment agencies.

My reasoning was:

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 standard was uniformly low.

I repeated the exercise in 2012 and 2013 with a disappointing lack of improvement being seen across that two-year period.

Ambition and Wavelength International were easily the best of the bunch.

Given hiring recruiters is a priority every recruitment agency owner appears to be focused on I decided now would be a good time to revisit my careers site review of nine years ago.

I invested around ten hours visiting, via my desktop, the local careers site of 21 large and well-known agencies, covering both publicly and privately owned businesses.

I constructed a spreadsheet (much like this one from 2013) to ensure that I assessed each site using consistent criteria.

The key things I assessed were:

  • Ease of finding the careers page on the home page
  • The type of person sought e.g. graduate, experienced recruiter etc; information about current vacancies and who to contact
  • Information on values, benefits, flexibility, D&I, professional development, and career paths
  • Staff profiles, day-in-the-life insights, videos, photos, and FAQs
  • Ease of site navigation

All of the above was in service of the most important aspect of any company’s careers site – engagement and motivation to take action. That is, the site engages and motivates the site visitor (a potential employee) to take the next step in wanting to find out more by either applying for a specific role or by submitting a general enquiry.

I gave each agency a rating on a scale of zero to 5 stars.

The Ross Clennett star ratings are as follows:

Star ratingAgency
5 StarsWavelength International
4.5 starsHudson Australia
Six Degrees Executive
4 starsSharp & Carter
3.5 starsHays Australia
Robert Half Australia
3 starsAmbition
Clicks IT Recruitment
Michael Page Aus
Robert Walters
2.5 starsManpower
Talent International
2 starsAdecco Australia
Finite Recruitment
1.5 starsRandstad Australia
1 starIgnite
Davidson Group
0 starsChandler Macleod

The final ratings across the 21 agency sites represented the expected bell curve.

The only 5-star rating was awarded to Sydney-based medical recruitment agency, Wavelength International.

Benchmarking your careers site using provides an outstanding template for where you might find inspiration and ideas for enhancements to your own company’s career site.

The wavies site is vibrant, colourful, informative, comprehensive, well laid out, well written, easy to navigate, and, most importantly, provides an engaging and compelling insight into life as a Wavelength employee.

Runners’ up status, at four and a half stars each, goes to Hudson Australia, people2people, and Six Degrees Executive, who each did an excellent job in providing an insight into their respective cultures through videos, photos, and staff profiles.

At the other end of the scale, the agencies that rated poorly were completely ineffective at both communicating their culture and providing any good reason for the site visitor to find out more.

A few specific comments (comprehensive commentary can be found in the complete spreadsheet available for a minimum $150 donation to my 2022 MDC fundraising campaign):

The highlights:

Wavelength: Copybook example of insightful role profiles (five day-in-life Q&As covering five different employees across three recruitment roles and two support roles).

Hudson: A great use of professionally produced videos to provide insight into the company culture. Best use of photos featuring employees in a wide range of settings.

People2people: Highly effective use of short videos featuring an array of employees, including support team members.

Six Degrees Executive: Very impressive Career Paths page features 12 employees. No other site had a similar page even close to this standard. Best professional photos of any careers site.

Sharp & Carter: Best presentation of a graduate program

The disappointments:

Talent International: Earlier this week Talent was named a recipient of Gallup’s global Top 40 Exceptional Workplace Awards for the fourth year in a row. Talent’s financial performance has also been outstanding recently.  Given how much Talent has to boast about I had high expectations of their careers site. Frankly, it was a letdown. It struck me as a project where either the budget was cut or the responsible person either lost interest or didn’t have the required insight or guidance to complete the project to a high standard.

Ambition: What happened? Ten years ago Ambition had a careers site that was so impressive I devoted a substantial part of a blog to extolling its virtues. Their current site is above average but just pedestrian by comparison with the 2012 version.

Michael Page: Rather embarrassingly the two Australian consultants profiled under the Use your skills tab are no longer employed within Page Group. One left in June 2018 and the other left in July 2019. Oops.

Hays Australia: The Hays UK careers site is outstanding. The local version is solid. With their parent providing such an excellent template it seems odd that the local site isn’t substantially better than it is.

Ignite: Embarrassing for any publicly-listed company but inexcusably terrible for a publicly-listed recruitment agency. Tim Moran, Ignite’s CEO of 12 months standing, stated in last year’s annual report that “We strongly believe that our brand and our strategy will now attract the talent to deliver on our objective” must have never cast his eye over the Ignite careers page because it’s in no shape to help attract the talent he desperately needs to rebuild the business.

Chandler Macleod Group: No careers site/page for one of the two largest recruitment groups in Australia (or it was so well hidden I couldn’t find it). Maybe CMG has all the recruiters they need?

Some final thoughts:

  • Use videos. Given how ubiquitous videos are on social media platforms it seems strange how little use is made of videos on careers sites. Those agencies using videos gain a significant advantage in communicating their value proposition to potential employees.
  • Check your careers site thoroughly and regularly: Missing links, profiles of long-departed employees, confusing navigation, clunky text, and cheesy stock photos are all things that should be identified and fixed quickly.
  • Provide insight into the job of a recruiter: Why do so few agencies explain what the different jobs in their agency entail doing and what’s enjoyable about that specific job? As most agencies are hiring people without recruitment agency experience it seems obvious (to me, at least) that a careers site should help such a person understand the attraction of working for them as a recruiter. Very few agencies do this effectively.

Do you want more details of my assessments?

For a minimum $200 donation to my 2022 MDC fundraising campaign, you will receive the complete, unedited spreadsheet containing my six-category commentary on the careers site of each of the 21 agencies listed above.

For a donation above $250 I will assess, with commentary, your own careers site using the same criteria and include it in the existing rankings (just for your copy of the spreadsheet).

Donate here.

I am also keen to find other agencies with a great careers site – please contact me via [email protected] to point me in the direction of your company’s careers site.

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How serious is the recruitment industry about recruiting its own? 2013 update

Your careers site needs a strong dose of Ambition

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