In the past year, Advisor Group has made significant updates to their career site. We recently spoke with Leigh McCluskey, Senior Vice President of Talent Acquisition for Advisor Group, to learn about the important elements of an effective career site for one of the nation’s largest networks of independent wealth management firms.
When you began thinking about updating your career site, what were the goals you set for yourself and Advisor Group? What were some of the “must-haves” for you?
We really didn't have a career site presence. At the time, Indeed was the only place you could find out anything about us or our jobs. I wanted to make sure that we were able to tell the story of our company and culture in a very different way from the rest of the players in our industry.
I think people have stereotypes about what “financial services” looks and feels like. We didn’t want to look like every other financial services career site out there. In addition, we were separately launching a corporate brand independent of the career site, and we wanted to make sure that we were in sync from a philosophical perspective regarding both entities.
Were you concerned about the candidate experience? How does your career site make the candidate experience easier?
We were focused on function; namely, a career site that was clean, crisp and simple to navigate. We also wanted to avoid overkill in terms of content. Don't try to “drink the ocean” as they say, right out of the gate. We wanted templated, viable content that tells the story of who we are with honesty and conviction. This is also where our testimonials play a huge part in conveying our messaging.
What do you feel is the single most important feature of your career site?
One of the most important aspects to me was, I wanted our career site to look great on mobile. As so much traffic now originates from a mobile device, we wanted to ensure that our career site was both intuitive to follow and easy to navigate.
Did you have any challenges internally getting support for the project or was your team pretty much on board?
One of our internal stakeholders has a background in very large organizations and she understood its critical importance to our recruiting efforts and culture. I had extensive experience in recruiting for call centers that hire like crazy so my passion around this necessity was obvious! I was very fortunate that my leader gave me the green light and her immediate support without hesitation to not only select the vendor partner, which turned out to be NAS, but to also put the strategy and project planning timeline into motion.
We launched with the essential components in place, such as Job Search functionality and About Us, Benefits, Culture and Career Stories, which profiles the career areas at Advisor Group. As part of a phased launch strategy, we then built out content for the Diversity, Community and University areas of the career site, which really showcases the holistic vision of who we are as an organization. It was extremely valuable to have a partner like NAS to help us make these decisions about our career site content.
The initial plans for the site incorporated a lot of video of your employees telling their stories about Advisor Group. Why was that so important to you? How did your team go about getting those videos made?
I think it is really powerful and genuine to hear from an employee's perspective in the startup environment world within a very complex industry. It really matters for people to be able to click on a short video and hear about what this person does as part of our business. And so we just decided, “Let's do this!”
We surveyed our employees to determine which of our team members were comfortable in participating. Then we scheduled them for sessions in our little makeshift “Green Room” that honestly was like a storage closet! Our interviewer was in the corner, out of frame, asking questions and then we edited it all together.
We then used written testimonials and recorded video for our career site, as well as internally as part of our brand launch that was shared across the organization. We previewed video content in company meetings and made sure that our internal population was on board before we launched externally, so it was actually quite a project!
Do you feel site information on culture, diversity and community involvement helps you attract the right talent?
We were a year-old organization when this project started, so our culture was really evolving rapidly. It was a comfort that we weren't trying to do it all immediately in terms of our career site, because we were a new company. The phased approach allowed us to create organic content as it came into existence, and to also determine potential gaps in content that candidates really care about. From the time we started this project, we had a significant hiring increase, and to have a project plan that was fluid while, at the same time, ensuring that essential elements were in place, was critical to our strategy.
Check out the Advisor Group career site, powered by ACTIVATE™. And check back next week for part two of our interview with Leigh, where we’ll talk about Phase 2 of Advisor Group’s career site implementation.