When developing your employer brand strategy, you’ll hear many terms thrown around such as social media optimization, content curation, and brand engagement. One term you may be less familiar with though is microsites. Microsites are essentially what they sound like, small websites that can exist within or separate from a broader site URL, in this case being a company career site, used to communicate specific messages. If you’re thinking that sounds a lot like a blog or an actual website; you’d be right. In fact, in many cases, the terms can be used interchangeably. Now the question is, how you can build one of these to optimize your employer brand?
You have a killer company culture and employer brand...now what? You have to find a way to communicate to the broader talent marketplace. This is where great content comes into play. For example, if you find yourself hiring for aerospace engineers four out of five days a week, a blog site that focuses on industry-specific content would be wise. Create or curate content that is interesting to this target audience, while simultaneously promoting your employer brand and linking to open positions within your organization. This is also a great platform to have employees communicate their own stories and experiences to potential applicants. After all, statistically candidates read at least six reviews before forming an opinion of a company. They might as well start that reading on your own site.
At their most basic form, the purpose of a microsite is to drive traffic to your careers page. So don’t be afraid to think outside of the box and lean on some of the content tricks utilized in consumer marketing. Chipotle is a company who has done this rather well over time. They have repeatedly created microsite campaigns that drive traffic via branded videos or games which, if you’re lucky, result in a coupon freebie, all while effectively creating an experience for their consumer. It is via experience marketing like this that a target candidate can have the opportunity to dive further and truly experience your employer brand.
If your organization pulls upon a vast variety of different skill sets to fulfill needs, a microsite could be the solution. You’ll sometimes see these divides happen between corporate positions and retail or factory roles. By creating separate portals, you can communicate the value proposition to each group in a way that is tailored-made for them. This can also help the recruiting team split efforts when optimizing messaging for different hiring needs, reducing the amount of internal stepping on each other's toes.
As good marketers and recruiters, our goal is to simplify the process and message rather than further convolute it. This goes back to the idea of creating tailor-made content for specific talent groups. There's no reason to create a bunch of background noise to distract a potential applicant from the things that matter to them. It should be noted though, that caution should be taken on how many microsites should be utilized. Too much of a good thing, is often just that, too much. If you have too many portals, this can complicate the application process. So be strategic in how you apply them and promote them. Don’t let yourself be guilty of sharing every new URL on every media site you have. Be selective, be smart.
When done right microsites can be the next big thing to add depth to an employer brand. They are truly the inception concept of employer branding, bringing potential candidates deeper into the fold, making the recruiting and hiring process and pleasant experience, rather than a distasteful chore.