A vital component of DirectEmployers Association is sharing knowledge, resources and best practices. It makes us all better practitioners and helps drive innovation in our industry. One of the key ways we execute this part of our mission is through the DirectEmployers Annual Meeting & Conference (DEAM).

This year’s event featured general and concurrent sessions that covered various aspects of recruiting, especially search engine optimization (SEO). From a recruiting perspective, companies who ignore SEO for their brand and jobs are at risk of losing the war on talent. There are 338 million searches for the word “jobs” globally each month. Where are your jobs coming up in search rankings? What other content about you as an employer is showing on the results page, or not showing for that matter?

Many DEAM12 sessions addressed these issues with first-hand experiences, case studies, research and results. The SEO conversation started on day one as Heather Hoffman, VP of Digital Strategy at DirectEmployers, and I took attendees through Recruiting with the New Internet. Our presentation addressed the following questions:

  1. What is the new internet and why must we recruit differently?
  2. Is there a war for talent?
  3. Recruiters or marketers?
  4. Why will 2013 be the year of SEO?

We also educated attendees about Top-level domains (TLD), the value of the .JOBS TLD and explained the elements of an SEO Footprint. A few areas we emphasized to companies is to take back your brand, own your domain, keep job seekers in your space and control the job seeker’s experience.

We broke into concurrent sessions after lunch and Lance Sapera of 24 Hour Fitness kicked off the recruiting track with a session entitled Building a Powerful Online Recruitment Brand. He demonstrated how his company built their presence on a limited budget and dramatically increased the number pages indexed by using .JOBS Microsites (examples include: http://24hourfitness-california.jobs/ & http://24hourfitness-veterans.jobs/). One of the success metrics was a 28% increase in applications from 2010 to 2011, credited to the improved ranking on search engine results pages.

Lance also made an important point around a Member benefit that is often under utilized – our analytics tools. His explained that “pre-DE” his team made decisions from hunches and anecdotes, but now, they make fact-based decisions because of Direct Traffic and Google Analytics data.

Jonathan Liepe of Colorado Springs Utilities elaborated on SEO best practices to attract your target audience. He showed examples of source information from pages (think titles and meta tags) and URLs before and after SEO, helping attendees understand why neither should be overlooked.

While there are many advantages to a solid SEO strategy, Jonathan also cautioned attendees to avoid questionable SEO schemes such as paying for links, link pyramids and placing links to your career site on irrelevant sites. He buttoned up his presentation by sharing successful results from the .JOBS Universe and roll out of ColoradoSpringsUtilities.jobs, from which they’ve made 17 hires over the past year.

Rhonda Stickley of Providence Health & Service took the stage for the final SEO focused presentation. She went into great detail about Providence’s journey into SEO, and took time to explain the company, goals and steady progress of their strategy. As a result of launching 128 .JOBS Microsites coupled with an aggressive approach in winning location and occupation/term searches, Providence saw 57,044 visits and 10,284 conversions. (examples include: http://providenceiscalling.jobs/ & http://providence-informationtechnology.jobs/)

Thank you to the presenters for sharing such valuable insight. To learn more about how our Members are harnessing SEO with the help of the .JOBS TLD, visit casestudy.jobs and universe.jobs.

Members can download any of the DEAM12 presentations, including the ones referenced above, by visiting http://voice.directemployers.org/page/2012-annual-meeting-archive.

What efforts is your company doing around SEO for recruiting?

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