I created my first “website” in 2007. Although, really, it wasn’t a website. It was a crappy blog about baseball.
I was a sports journalist at the time — and blogging was the future (hey, this was 2007). So, I created a site on a little-known platform called Blogger. The whole thing was forgettable, which explains why I saw about 50 pageviews a year.
Fast forward to 2010, when I decided to take a second crack at web development using a newer, cooler platform called WordPress. This time, I was writing about my follies as a new dad raising twin girls. And this one was a much bigger success: 100 pageviews per month, and only 65 were from my parents. #Winning.
From Bad Blogs to Beautiful, Custom Websites
I don’t share those experiences to shine a spotlight on my failures as a web developer (you can google my old sites to do that). I do it to segue to another topic: publishing platforms and content management systems (heretofore known as a “CMS”).
For many marketers and recruitment marketers, this might be a common acronym. But for everyone else, a content management system is simply the back-end powering a website, or in recruiting parlance, a career site. It’s the system that’s supposed to make your life easier (or harder, depending on the tech) when it comes to building and updating websites.
We’ve come a long way with CMS platforms. When I first started dabbling in websites, “WYSIWYG” was more likely to be confused with a Harry Potter character than a CMS feature (FYI, it’s an editor that enables you to see the site content as it would appear live). And there was no such thing as “drag and drop” in early-day CMS platforms — unless it meant dragging HTML into a box and dropping to your knees to pray it didn’t screw everything up.
But today, anyone creating a website expects to see these features in a CMS because they expect simplicity. The non-technical among us (raises hand) can thank tools like Squarespace, HubSpot, Wix, and others for removing that friction from website creation.
SmashFly’s Quest to Bring Sanity to Career Site Madness
Of course, the CMS platforms above were designed to be marketing technologies. And marketers are lucky that we’ve had over a decade of progress and innovation in this type of technology — we’ve been building branded websites a bit longer than those in talent acquisition.
When I was messing around on Blogger in 2007, nearly every talent acquisition organization was focused on the hottest asset they had: jobs. And with it, came focus and budget on LinkedIn, Monster and other job boards. That focus continued for a decade until the very recent hype around candidate experience, employer brand, and recruitment marketing.
So there’s a reason why elite, marketing-grade content management systems haven’t made their way to mainstream talent acquisition yet — there wasn’t an urgent need to make things simpler and easier for in-house TA teams at organizations that had:
- No career site at all
- One page where a bunch of unstructured, unsearchable, unorganized job listings lived
- An agency relationship that did the job, albeit at a high cost and relatively slow turnaround
It’s why SmashFly saw an opportunity to initially shake things up a few years ago— offering our first Career Site solution to help companies own their employer brand by bringing most of the career site management in-house. And it worked out pretty well for the last few years. Today, several of the world’s biggest employers — including Sprint, Ticketmaster, Nestle Purina, and Staples — rely on our platform to tell their employer brand story.
Meet SmashFly’s new CMS
Back then, giving TA teams the freedom to simply add new pages, edit copy on the fly, and change images was unique and different.
But as recruitment marketing and employer branding continued to grow, so too did the presence of actual marketers (and marketing-minded recruiters) in talent acquisition. And with more marketers came an expectation that career site technology should look a whole lot more like all of those great Squarespace and Wix commercials.
So, we started to think through what a next-generation recruiting CMS might look like. Today, I’m thrilled to finally reveal the result of several months of hard work and customer research:
What’s so “new” about it?
Kinda everything. But for starters, it’s a true marketing-grade content management system that gives talent acquisition teams the power to create an experience as unique as their brand. Imagine being able to create a new page in a couple of hours, instead of a couple of days. Or being able to add maps, video, recommended jobs, and other widgets in a matter of a few seconds — to any page. Imagine being able to drag page elements around without living in complete fear of breaking everything. That’s all possible with our new CMS, which will power every career site we help our customers build.
Here are some of the new features I’m most excited about:
- A template library that removes the anxiety of creating pages from scratch
- Drag-and-drop editors that make building, editing, and updating pages a cinch
- Visual editors that let you see what your changes look like as you make them
- A tool to easily personalize content on any page based on a candidate’s geographic location, profile, behavior, and other factors — assuming they’ve opted-in to cookie tracking, for all you GDPR fans…
- A media library to host all of your corporate-approved images, logos, and videos for easy access
- A widget tool to easily customize your site with dynamic content — like maps that help candidates search for jobs by zip code or commute time; a personalization widget that can tailor job recommendations based on a candidate’s LinkedIn profile; a “favorite jobs” widget that allows candidates to save jobs to review later; and much more.
- Simple multi-lingual support to easily search for and add new language translation to any site
Honestly, as a marketer, I can’t wait to build a career site with this tool.
If you’d like to learn more, we’d love to give your team a full demo of the new platform (our head of sales would’ve roasted me if I didn’t throw that line in here). If you’re ready to check it out, shoot us a note by clicking here.