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May 7, 2010

One More (Unexpected) Way an Improved Website Can Help Your Bottom Line

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Amazon Web Services

When it comes to profiting from a website, most marketers and business owners will immediately think of online sales. After all, the easiest way to bring in dollars and cents is by selling more product and expanding your company’s reach to find buyers in more places, 24 hours a day.

That doesn’t tell the whole story, however. There are dozens of other ways a professionally designed, state-of-the-art site can help your business, including reducing customer service time, educating customers, and decreasing costs on recurring orders. To that list, I’d like to add one more benefit…one that can literally make or break any company, but most clients never think of: recruiting.dream-job

For much of the world, your website is the face of your business. The numbers change in every industry and geographic locale, of course, but it’s safe to assume that more than three quarters of all online businesses – even those with brick and mortar locations – will never be seen or experienced offline. That means it isn’t just customers who are forming impressions from your site, but prospective employees, as well.

What are they seeing from your company’s site? Are your pages helping to attract quality candidates? Since it can cost, on average, more than 50% of a new hire’s salary if they don’t work out, you need to be sure they are a good fit. Here are a few steps you can take to increase the level of talent that your website is bringing you:

Post openings. As obvious as this might seem, lots of businesses never post their openings on their websites. Usually, it’s because they don’t want to be deluged with resumes, or are only seeking local candidates. Even if that’s the case for your company or department, however, it makes sense to extend your search to your website. For one thing, you’ll probably attract sufficient local traffic to justify the effort. But more to the point, some of the best employees come from a business’ customer base. Who better to work for you than the men and women who already know and love what you sell?

Seek referrals. You could always take that idea one step further and seek referrals from your online customers. Given that you’re about to devote a serious amount of time and money interviewing and training a new employee, offering a few hundred dollars in the way of a gift card or free merchandise is a small price to pay to have people recommend a strong candidate. Just be sure you outline exactly what type of employee you’re looking for, along with the qualifications and background needed.

Show appreciation. Actions always speak louder than words, and one of the simplest ways to attract top talent to your company is by showing that you care for the employees you have now. While it’s a bit of a longer-term strategy, highlighting a member of your team and one of his or her achievements each month can help create the impression that your business is a good place to work. And as an added bonus, it might help morale around the workplace, too.

Be fun and personable. We all know that the best jobs aren’t necessarily the ones that pay the most – they’re the ones that we actually look forward to going to. Your website doesn’t have to be a barrel of laughs to show your office or facility has a little bit of personality. In fact, all it usually takes is a willingness to highlight a few details here and there, like photos from a recent company picnic, or staff pages that show off a little bit of flair. As with the other steps, this extra touch doesn’t only help your recruiting, but can also strengthen customer relationships by giving customers a “behind the curtain” look at your team.

Generating online orders is important, and no Internet marketing venture is going to succeed if you can’t convert visitors into customers. But, as any experienced business owner or manager can tell you, having the right people around you can make every aspect of your business easier, not to mention more profitable. Take that knowledge to heart and add elements to your site that can help you attract the best talent. It’s usually not that hard, and the effort will pay for itself many times over.

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Amazon Web Services

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