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UX/UI for your employer brand: One simple question

November 11, 2015

*Originally posted on LinkedIn Pulse

I’m teaching a course in media usability studies, which naturally leads to a keener awareness of UX/UI. I’ve been thinking about employer (ER) branding within websites as an essential, holistic vehicle to attract target talent. Sometimes the message is clearly conveyed and sometimes it’s not.

The simple question: Do outsiders “get you?”

Consider the following:

  • Does your site clearly convey who you are and what you stand for?
  • Would a new visitor understand why you do what you do?
  • Is navigation simple or cognitively demanding? [think visual overload]
  • Do you highlight employee successes in prominent places?
  • Have you tested usability from the ER brand POV?

The last question is the most important. In HRM, we’re not likely UX/UI designers. We don’t always have control over how our ER brand is represented on the organization’s website. The notion of leaving ER brand UX/UI to SMEs is outmoded and naive. The effectiveness of conveying our ER brand affects everyone in our organization and we need to get involved, even if our presence isn’t welcomed at first.

Like anything, there are good ways and not-so-good ways to get involved. The last thing we want to do is unintentionally alienate SMEs straight away.

Before asking for an overhaul:

  1. Become familiar with the SME(s) in charge of the website.
  2. Solicit general information (e.g., who built the site, when was it built, how often is it revised).
  3. Ask about the process for revisions (e.g., who controls the process, how does it work).
  4. Try to get a feel for receptivity and timeline for changes.
  5. Think about potential hurdles and align your expectations.
  6. Talk to people outside the organization to see if they “get” your ER brand from the site.
  7. Document observations and suggestions.
  8. Draft potential fixes with specific ideas for revision.
  9. Build recommendations, ranked by importance, and request only the most important revisions. Scope matters!
  10. After revisions, TEST your site for ER brand UX/UI with 3-5 outsiders (different from those in #6). Do not skip this step!

Revisit the simple question: Do outsiders “get you?”

We can’t always see deficiencies because we become accustomed to looking past them. Questioning the way potential talent experiences our virtual ER brand is worthwhile. They either “get you” or they don’t.

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