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SEO for Recruitment Marketing

Marketing and Human Resources teams are constantly faced with the question of, “Where does recruitment stand?” 

Is this a marketing or HR function?

Most of these questions likely come from whose budget does that come out of? 

From an organic standpoint, it is likely an “Human Resources” or a “Talent Acquisition” situation, but HR/TA likely does not have the Social Media expert or even less likely a qualified SEO person.

From a paid advertising stance, it’s likely more of a split between them and a “Marketing” decision. 

To be quite honest though, Recruitment is a function of both HR and Marketing, as it takes both of their expertise to get the job done right – don’t departmentalize, work together! 

That being said, put the differences aside and really consider what could happen if you internalize your recruitment function from an SEO stance. Rather than going entirely through a 3rd Party Applicant Tracking System (ATS), look at the benefits of building job listings directly on your own website first.

Maintain Ownership, Canonicalized On Your Site

In the world of Earned, Paid and Owned Media, a company should always take their own first. That’s not to say exclude the others, but certainly not to reduce your owned media to playing second fiddle. 

Canonicalizing content tells Google and other search engines that this is the original authority on this particular piece of content. Putting it on your own site is helpful when your organization plans on sharing this out over other recruitment processes or pages, so that you get that added visibility from being on those other pages, but the core source, in search engines eyes, is your website for that job listing. 

Ensure that this Job Post is submitted to your Search Console and that it’s in queue for indexing before you submit it to third parties, just in case the canonical gets mistaken. 

Note: If you’re hiring for 2 of the same jobs or perhaps in many different areas, create a listing for each job or area on your site and use the Rel=Canonical reference on your case for canonicalization early! 

Oftentimes when using an ATS, it acts as this job board and puts it on a new website, on a subdomain or on another party’s page. These situations take away from the value that your organization’s website could build for organic rankings for the job listings, but also have peripheral benefits across your entire website’s SEO. 

And with that latter point, should marketing help out TA, then TA helps out marketing!

Proper Job Posting Schema

When placing jobs on your website, it’s more than just position, pay and description (or maybe that’s just it). 

Schema is a universal language used by different functions of the internet, like search engines, to provide structured markup and attributes to “things” to make them easier to understand. Schema is one of the few times you actually get to TELL a search engine something specific. There are plenty of different schemas that exist out there and some categories are as follows: 

  • Local Business Schema
  • Healthcare Schema
  • Event Schema
  • Content/Creative Work Schema
  • Job Postings Schema

The non-exhaustive list above ends on the Job Postings Schema as that is our subject for this article and one to really dig more into. Job Postings Schema is incredibly robust and comprehensive, and with the way structured markup works is very helpful to search engines and people looking for jobs. Available schema properties include everything from the Job Posting requirements to the salary, and even a breakdown of compensation types (salary/hourly, bonuses and commissions). It even puts your company information in structured markup for branding visibility within the recruitment posts. 

The icing on the cake is that Search Engines aren’t the only places that utilize Structured Markup – many job boards out there use Job Posting Schema to actually automatically pull job postings off of your website and onto their job board aggregator feed, which just further expands your organization’s visibility. 

Listings In Google For Jobs

When utilizing the appropriate Job Listings Schema, not only do your jobs get picked up by Google in general but they are also listed in the Google Jobs feed. This area of SERPs comes with very valuable and visible digital real estate. 

A job posting with structured markup made it to essentially position 3 within only a few weeks. How often are other SEO tactics met with such a timeline? And the above example really shows how under-utilized this is. Two of the three Google for Jobs listings are fed from Job Boards, and only one has come from an individual website – even when looking at a marketing-industry related job query (which you would expect for marketing and HR teams to naturally come together more on). 

What’s the value of being on Google Jobs aggregator? I believe google does a good enough job answering that one. 

Image Source: Google Jobs 

The numbers really add up. There are plenty of other structured ways for your website to show up in SERPs alongside standard organic listings, and Job Listings certainly hold their fair share of search traffic.

Keep Your Listings As Unique As Working At Your Company Is

When you use a 3rd party ATS to set up your job listings, the job descriptions risk getting watered down and portrayed in the same way they are on every 3rd party job listing site out there. Creating these jobs directly on your website allows you to put some character into it, while still leveraging these common items (through schema indicators). 

In a competitive recruitment environment, company culture can be a huge selling point for job seekers, as can standing out from the crowd. If an applicant comes across 10 jobs they’re interested in and 9 of them speak in the exact same way, it’s going to be that one that gets the attention. 

Be the one that stands out. 

Unified SEO Strategies

The best SEO strategies are ones that take a look at the entire picture, rather than just one facet of business. Keep in mind that the SEO strategies positioned in this article for recruitment optimization should not be standalone but rather a part of the organization’s overall SEO strategy.

This unified perspective on search gets more stakeholders in the game, as well as more resources and content on the table.

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