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It is better
to not be on
the web than
to be on and
not know why

John Sumser

is more
it seems.
John Gall


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Branding III
(December 19, 2002) - 
Okay. So you've begun to figure out the traffic thing. There's much more. In traffic development. Gaining the ability to precisely quantify your needs and then meet them is what the game is all about. How many hires (or leads) do you want? How do you know if they are qualified? What does it take to keep them coming back?

A brand is a conversation. It is the reason that people return to use the services of a company again and again, over time. In our universe, Human Capital Management, a brand is a way of talking about the motivations of website visitors(potential employees). That's right, a brand motivates.

Once you've identified your traffic requirements (how many candidates or leads do you need multiplied by the likelihood that they'll complete your forms and the probability that they'll stay interested), the question moves to user experience and loyalty. What do you want them to experience? How often do you want them to return?

The first step in developing an employment website that uses branding effectively is to study the likely visitors. This can take a number of forms and is under constant refinement. The best place to start is with a look at current employees (assuming that the workforce development goal is 'more of the same'). What you want to understand is a range of demographic characteristics...likes, dislikes, family size, age, gender and so on.

By placing current employees under a demographic lens, a number of insights are available. Mercer is making hay these days with the successful observation that demographic insight can produce cost and productivity efficiencies. While useful, the workforce management results are a secondary benefit. The point of the initial workforce demographic analysis is to understand the things that will interest and attract potential employees. A look at GoArmy.com will show you how demographics can drive Employment Branding website design.

Your website is not a way to tell people about you. It is a way for visitors to find out about themselves. People use the web to meet their needs, not yours. A brand is more about the user than it is about the company. In order to be useful to you, your website must be primarily useful to its audience.

In order to attract and retain an audience, the website must be interesting to them. Designing it, from the outset, to meet demographic and traffic objectives is the central difference between employment branding and just another company job board.

- John Sumser

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