Corporate Website Redesign

Part
01
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Part
01

Hypothesis - Large corporate websites primarily focus on talent and investors.

The content on the official websites of 10 major companies was analyzed to determine which key stakeholders these companies mostly target. This was done by analyzing both the information content and the layout of the websites. The purpose of this research was to prove or disprove the hypothesis that large companies are usually primarily focused on talent and investors on their websites.

general electric (ge)

The company website of GE has 4 menus on the main page; GE business, investors, careers, and news, with the current stock price at the far end of the website. In addition, there are links on the main page that has further information for investors as well as acquiring talent. These include; GE reports, job search, stock information, leadership program, sustainability reports etc.

While its clear that GE has given a higher priority to investors on its website, there is also a focus on and talent with career and leadership related information and initiatives.

Unilever

The main focus of the website of Unilever is sustainable growth. Within the main page, there is a breakdown of links for 2 main business areas to enable easy access to further information. These are; company news and performance, and career. The information given under the main categories include; share price information, press releases, about the Unilever future leaders program, job vacancies etc.

Hence, it is apparent Unilever has focused on both its investors and talent on its website. While the hypothesis is proven correct, Unilever's main theme of sustainable growth on its website is likely to attract the attention of all forms of stakeholders; from investors, talent/employees, customers, government etc.

Johnson & Johnson (j&J)

The official website of J&J contains information on a broad scope and is not specifically focused on investors and talent. Among others, the website contains information targeted at its customers such as articles on health and wellness, Separate menu with investor information, societal impact, and procurement, and also a menu with career-related information for potential employees.

Like Unilever, the J&J website is focused on a broader range of stakeholders, with a lot of information on its societal impact, and giving back initiatives. However, there is a higher focus on investors than talent.

Citi Group

The Citi Group website has information targeted at its customers with separate menus for consumer businesses and institutional businesses, and a menu for investor-related information. There is also a smaller menu for jobs and alumni. However, based on the website layout, the company is more focused on its customers and investors than acquiring talent.

Mars

The official website of Mars is primarily focused on its investors with menus such as; press center, science and innovation and sustainability plan. Mars also has information on its main page related to talent such as the Mars Ambassador program, news on celebrating its employees, and career opportunities. However, the information targeted at talent is not very clearly highlighted since it's under menus such as "Mars news" and "Map anniversary". Therefore, the hypothesis is not entirely correct.

Diageo

The website of Diageo is mainly focused on its investors with separate menus titled "investors" and "our business". Even its menus on brands, impact on society, and news and media are primarily directed at its investors. The website also focuses on talent with career-related information as one of its main menus. However, there is more focus on the investors of Diageo than talent on its official website.

BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY

The official website of Berkshire Hathaway is clearly directed at investors with a list of links which include; A Message From Warren E. Buffett, Annual & Interim Reports, Link to SEC Filings, Corporate Governance, and Annual Meeting Information. While there is a link to Berkshire Activewear directed at its customers, there is no evidence of its focus on talent. Therefore, the hypothesis is not correct in this case.

PepsiCo

The PepsiCo website is primarily targeted at its investors with a separate menu for investors, newsroom, and sustainability. There is also a menu focused on its customers with information related to its brands and products (which is equally useful to investors). There is no clear focus on talent, although there is a smaller menu at the bottom of the website on career information. Therefore, the hypothesis cannot be proven correct.

Coca-Cola

The Coca-Cola global website has primarily focused on its investors with information on sustainability, products, press center, and an investor menu (on the main menu to the left). There is a menu for career information as well, but is not highlighted due to most of the information being directed at investors.

The Coca-Cola US website is mostly focused on its customers within the region, with information on its products, rewards etc. Overall, the hypothesis is proven incorrect.

BMW Group

Similar to Coca-Cola, the BMW Group website is mainly targeted at its investors with information on investor relations, brands and services, corporate responsibility and innovation. With only one menu (career) targeting potential employees, the focus on talent is relatively less.

The BMW international website is mainly directed at its customers and contains detailed information on its products such as specifications, features, performance, models etc. They have also published articles targeted at their customers on their website with driving tips etc. Considering both these websites of BMW, the hypothesis is proven incorrect.

conclusion

In conclusion, it was found that Unilever was the only company that had given high focus on both investors and talent on their website. All 9 other company websites analyzed contained information that was primarily targeted at its investors more than other stakeholders. Both Coca-Cola and BMW had focused on investor relations on their main/group website, while targeting customers on their regional/international websites.

Based on the findings, it can be concluded that the hypothesis that large company websites are usually primarily focused on talent and investors is incorrect. The key focus in order was investors, customers, and talent.
Part
02
of nine
Part
02

Millennial Job Seekers and Sustainability

We found ample evidence that supports the position that social and environmental sustainability are important to millennial job seekers. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) matters more than the bottom line as a rule, with 75% of Millennials reporting they would accept a pay cut to work for a responsible company, compared to the national average of 55%. Furthermore, 76% of Millennials want to share photos, videos and other information about their company's social responsibility efforts on their social media channels.

Below you will find our support for the assertion that Millennials value social and environmental sustainability when job seeking.

methodology

We located the SustainableBrands report early in our search and used that as the foundation of our support for the view on Millennials, CSR, and job-seeking behavior. This choice was motivated by the strong statistical data included in that article from a study performed in 2016. However, the data did not represent a global perspective, so to address point we located and included 2 articles published by the Telegraph in the UK, both of which relied on global data. We also included an article from Forbes that addressed the issue with a call to action for companies looking to engage Millennials.

Paycheck vs purpose

Multiple studies have been conducted both in the United States and globally that support the view that CSR matters to Millennials when job seeking. In an article on SustainableBrands, the results of a 2016 study on Millennials employee engagement were decisive. In that study, 76% of Milllennials consider a company's social and environmental commitments when selecting an employer and 64% indicated they would not accept a job offer from a company that lacked strong CSR. Furthermore, 75% would accept a cut in pay to work for a responsible company, as compared to the national average of 55%, and 83% state they would be more loyal to a company that helped them contribute socially or environmentally.

Millenial job seekers do not just want their work to pay the bills, they want it to make a difference. A study by LinkedIn found that 74% of Millennials viewed a good salary as important, but so was performing a job that made a difference. Other key elements within the workplace found to draw and keep Millennial workers are a positive environment and culture and employers that recognize and reward their employees achievements.

Not only do Millennials want to work for a company with strong CSR, they want to share about it on social media. Cone research found that 76% of this generation want to share their employer's CSR activities on social media, a result that is 25% higher than the average across all age groups.

Impact

The response of many companies could be considered the best evidence that Millennials prioritize CSR when making decisions about potential employers. Many organizations are implementing programs and policies which answer the desires of Millennials as discussed above. For example, Forbes presents one company which supports waterway conservation and allows employees to take time off work to attend company-hosted waterway clean-ups.

This and other examples of corporate response are unsurprising given that, by 2020, Millennials will constitute 50% of the workforce and, by 2025, that percentage jumps to 75%. Given that, companies likely need to prepare or face serious problems in the future. These problems are not related to Millennials as employees alone. They are also consumers, and a highly sought after demographic. According to Cone Research, 76% of Millennials will research the stance of companies on various issues, such as immigration, climate change, and LGBTQ rights, to ensure that company is authentic, compared to the national average of 65%.

Additional evidence of the belief held by leadership in a plethora of companies can be found in several places. One such example of CSR is the Annual Tech Gives Back event by the non-profit organization Technology Underwriting Greater Good. The last instance of the yearly event, the 7th to date, involved more than 90 companies, including Wayfair and WeWork, and approximately 1,500 volunteers. The day of service found volunteers in more than 50 volunteer sites, including urban farms, Habitat for Humanity, and Big Brothers Big Sisters. All companies involved allowed their employees to take the day to volunteer, either as a group or as their beliefs directed them, depending on the company.

Conclusion

We found enough evidence to convince us that Millennials value social and environmental responsibility when job seeking. This is evidenced by surveys which indicate that 76% of Millennials factor CSR into their decision on where to work and 64% would turn down a job from an employer without strong CSR. Another key support concerns the fact that 76% of Millennials want to share their employers socially responsible activities on their social media pages.
Part
03
of nine
Part
03

Investors and Sustainability

This response focuses on finding evidence that proves or disproves the hypothesis that sustainability is an increasingly important criteria for junior investors seeking long-term investments into public companies. There is increasing evidence that social and environmentally sustainable investing is an increasingly important criteria for junior investors seeking long-term investments into public companies. You will find a deep dive of my research findings, as well as how I came to this conclusion.

Millennial Values

Millennials have a different set of values than those from older generations. This is because of the life experiences that they grew up in during the 1980s and 1990s were different from those from previous generations. This includes the awareness of problems that they knew as they were growing up was in need of solutions. One of those problems that were facing increasing public awareness was global warming and the things that were causing this. This included pollution and the opening of the ozone layer in Antarctica. These things have certainly shaped the values of millennials.
For those reasons, millennials are more likely than any other generation to do more recycling, reducing there carbon footprint and giving to causes that they believe in. This also means that millennials are more likely than previous generations to be aware of the social and environmental impact in what they invest in. In fact, a report by Morgan Stanley showed that 84 percent of millennials are interested in sustainable investing. The same also suggests that compared to the overall investor population, millennials are almost three times as likely to look to work for a company and almost twice as likely to buy from one because of its social and/or environmental practices. Proponents of sustainable investing are hoping that the millennial generation will eventually make sustainable investing part of the mainstream.

Sustainable Investing

It is important to understand how millennials conduct sustainable investing since it is different from the way older generations went about with investing. We must understand the broader discussion of what sustainable investing means.
Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) can be used to cover everything from divestment from companies seen as doing harm, to limiting investment to companies that do measurable good (impact investing). One of the things this means is investing in companies that practice environmental sustainability. It can also mean divesting in companies that do harm to the human health, such as tobacco companies. In fact, US Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment, a lobby group, estimates that more than a fifth ($8.7 trillion dollars) of the funds under professional management in America is screened on sustainable and responsible investment criteria, up from a ninth in 2012.
In addition, millennials are more likely to invest in Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) funds than any past generation. These are funds that invest in stocks and bonds that adhere to specific ESG guidelines. The funds have different investment criteria, but they all invest in companies that promote issues like supply chain transparency, a reduction on reliance on fossil fuels and a safe and fair workplace environment. These have been able to deliver a competitive return for investors.

In fact, a study from the Institute for Sustainable Investing examined performance data from 10,228 open-end mutual funds and 2,874 separately managed accounts over seven years and found that investing in sustainability usually met, and even exceeded, the performance of comparable traditional investments. ESGs also showed lower median volatility for the funds and tend to be less vulnerable to negative headline risks, large-scale lawsuits or environmental risks.

Finally, at a global scope, it is the Europeans that lead the way with sustainable investing. That is because European institutional investors see sustainable investing as part of their fiduciary responsibility. European companies on average scoring best on sustainability data reporting and ranking. European pension funds, with large asset holdings, long-term horizons, and frequent state backing, have been major market drivers for sustainable investing.

About $13.6 trillion was invested in sustainable assets in Europe compared to $6.6 trillion in the US. In Europe, 58.8% of investments were sustainable compared to 17.9% in the US. At a global scale, $21.4 trillion was invested globally in ESG assets in 2014, 60% more than in 2012. This meant that 30.3% of global professionally managed assets were invested in ESG assets in 2014, up from 21.5% in 2012.

Conclusion

In conclusion, there is increasing evidence that social and environmentally sustainable investing is an increasingly important criteria for junior investors seeking long-term investments into public companies. This is due to millennials becoming aware of the problems that needed to be addressed while they were growing up in the 1980s and 1990s. Those problems included global warming, the environment, and health. This has shaped millennials as they were growing up and the values that they now have. They recycle and lower their carbon footprint more than any past generation. These values have also impacted how millennials invest their money, where they are more likely than any generational group to invest in social and environmental sustainability.

Moreover, the evidence is also shown in the performance of ESG-tied mutual funds and managed accounts, where they can perform as good if not better than the broader market. Globally, the Europeans lead the way in sustainable investing, where they invest twice as much in sustainable assets compared to the United States. Overall, the entire world is investing more in sustainable assets than ever before.
Part
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of nine
Part
04

Is Localized Information Key to the Performance of a Global Website

A review of the available evidence suggests that using localized information is extremely valuable in securing user engagement with a global website. The strategy of using localized branding is extremely common among high-profile global corporations, as shown by a survey of multiple third-party analyses of the approach.

Examples of companies who have succeeded using these tactics include Hyatt, McDonald's, Coca-Cola, Nike, and Starbucks, as detailed below.

The evidence suggests that these global corporations are able to use their diverse market footprints to gather large amounts of data about the local markets they are involved in throughout the globe. They are then able to leverage this information to alter their website branding as needed to appeal to consumers in each of the regions in which they operate.

There are three major avenues that successful companies use to localize their global websites. These are language choice, brand targeting, and catering to regional culture.

Language Choice

A study published by Common Sense Advisory indicates that offering information in a variety of local languages raised the likelihood of consumer engagement on corporate websites. For example, the study showed that 72.1% of people surveyed said they spent most, if not all, of their time on websites that were presented in their native language. The report also indicated that 72.4% of people felt more inclined to buy a product when it was described in their own language.

Furthermore, the study suggested that the level of localization on a website, particularly as it applied to language, could be more influential than price for a majority of those surveyed. Specifically, the data showed that 56.2% of consumers indicated that obtaining information in their own language mattered more to them than finding the optimal price.

The Common Sense Advisory report also gives an example of Hyatt.com, which has on its website a functionality that allows users to choose their preferred language. The various language versions of the site have similar branding but the images presented are tailored to the selection.

Hyatt is not alone in this approach. Other high-profile companies using this tactic on their website include McDonald's, Coca-Cola and Nike.

Website Branding Adjustments

A number of major global brands tap into local markets by making small branding adjustments on their websites. These take the process of localizing web presence beyond the obvious step of localizing the language.

For instance, Coca-Cola changes its usual color branding on its website in some countries. Japan is an example of this. The beverage company, known in the U.S. for its iconic red branding, concluded that too much red might be risky for its Japanese website. This is because in Japan, red is associated with the concept of life, but is also associated with the negative concepts of anger and danger. So for its Japanese website, Coke de-emphasized red and relied more heavily on blue, which in the Japanese culture symbolizes everyday life.

Nike, meanwhile, has stepped away from images of some of its more revealing sportswear when it presented its website in more conservative countries. In Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates, for example, the company's website uses images with conservatively dressed women instead.

Websites Catering To Local Culture

Another avenue of localization for global websites is to have pages cater to regional culture.

In this case, a good example comes from McDonald's, which is generally aggressive in its attempts to cater its offerings to a local market. For instance, the fast food giant offers Ramadan promotions on its website in predominantly Muslim countries, like Pakistan, Malaysia and Kuwait. In Saudi Arabia, customers can visit the McDonald's website to print out a Ramadan lantern template, complete with a golden arches brand.

Another example is Starbucks, which is currently engaged in an aggressive expansion into Asia. This has included a push into India, but the early drive has not resulted in significant market penetration, with the company only opening 75 stores in 3 years. However, the company has changed its approach to the market recently, introducing its Teavana brand of teas, which might have more appeal to the tea-drinking Indian population rather than Starbucks' traditional coffee-heavy offerings.

Website Design

There are aspects of the design of a website that can maximize a customer's sense of localization. According to Byte Level Research, there are four major aspects of this:

Global Reach: This includes the specific language targeting exemplified by Hyatt.com.

Global Navigation: This includes the ability for customers to find their local webpage from within the global website. Nike has been cited as a good example of this ability, with an intuitive design and easy access to local sites.

Global/Mobile Architecture: This aspect calls on the site to be as consistent as possible on a global basis, while retaining its flexibility for localized content. Coke's ability to alter its website branding in countries like Japan plays into this.

Localization & Social: This takes into account the cultural initiatives noted in a few examples above, with McDonald's being among the standouts in this category. Beyond targeting local cultural events, like Ramadan, McDonald's maintains a local social media presence in many local markets.

Beyond the four major items listed above, there are smaller localization steps that companies can take. According to QuadLock, these can include things like currency matching and changing the products available on the website to match regional shopping behaviors.

Conclusion

Localized presentations of global websites are a useful way to drive user engagement. The strategy is widely employed by large global companies who have operations in diverse parts of the world. Three common aspects of this approach are to target local languages, adjust website branding to local preferences and include website features that cater to the cultural needs of the target region. As noted, these tactics are widely used, but some global companies that have received recognition for their efforts in this area include Hyatt, McDonald's, Coca-Cola, Nike and Starbucks.

Part
05
of nine
Part
05

The Importance to Consumers of Brand Portfolio on a Global Holding Company's Website

The availability of brand portfolio information on a global holding company's website is not vital, however it is relevant to consumers. An analysis of user behavior on existing global holding company websites illustrates the relevance of brand information through search keywords. While "brand" composes of a small share of search keywords, overall there is still a share of consumers interested in learning about the brand portfolio.

what online traffic reveals

While there's no precompiled data that maps the importance of brand portfolio on a company's website compared to financial and career opportunities, checking the website analytics data of big companies exemplifies the importance of brand information through search keywords. Consider the following examples.

UNILEVER
The corporate site Unilever shows the following search terms ranking for organic search:
Unilever - 33%
Unilever careers - 5.7%
Unilever brands - 1.5%
Unilever annual report - 1.28%
Unilever jobs - 0.9%

Analysis
The data shows that while "brands" is only specified in 1.5% of searches, it is less popular than "careers" but still more popular than "annual report."
GE
The corporate site GE shows the following search terms ranking for organic search:
GE - 16%
General Electric - 13.5%
GE careers - 5.3%
General Electric careers - 1.4%
GE digital - 1.2%

Analysis
Keyword "brands" does not appear in the top 5 search keywords, however careers does. Again, it shows that careers is more popular than "brands."
Pepsico
Pepsico's corporate site shows the following search terms ranking for organic search:
pepsico - 30%
Pepsi - 6%
Pepsi co - 2.3%
Pepsico brands - 1%
Pepsi brands - 1%

Analysis
This shows that while "brands" is only specified in 2% of searches, it is searched more than "careers" or "financial" pages.

consumers and corporate websites

Despite the emergence and ascent of social media, a published report indicates that consumers still prefer to "connect with brands through traditional methods such as corporate websites, email, and word-of-mouth." An analyst commented that "company websites are the best at making consumers feel valued and facilitating trust, consistency and relevance." Companies are encouraged to use corporate website, community site, and earned media such as Facebook and Twitter, as part of an integrated marketing strategy. How? By using social media to drive traffic to the company's website.

What are the recommended strategic options for corporate websites? 1) To sell products and services, 2) to generate leads, and 3) to establish credentials. Whether the brand portfolio contributes to establishing credentials will be a good question to ask to determine if the brand portfolio should play a key role in the corporate website.

master brands strategy

Some brands like Hershey and Coca-Cola have switched to a master brand strategy. For example, "instead of promoting ... Hershey’s Syrup, chocolate bars, and Hershey’s kisses separately, the company is running an advertising campaign that unites all Hershey branded treats in a single commercial, emphasizing the corporate brand name over individual product lines." Why is this strategy deemed more attractive? There are several benefits offered:

1) Efficient impact. Promoting a single brand with a single advertisement naturally "makes for a more efficient marketing spend." Moreover, it is commented that "an advertiser can ... maximize the exposure [a brand] generates in a single media channel by spreading it across multiple brands and products."

2) Customer retention. With master brand strategy, companies can build longer-lasting relationships with customers. When a customers' preference toward a brand diminishes, he may shift to another offering in the master brand portfolio.

3) Increased flexibility. "When costs, demand, or other factors change the strategic importance of the products and brands in its portfolio, a company can delete, modify, or combine them with less risk of confusing customers or losing market salience."

4) Brand equity. Master brands make the introduction of new sub-brands easier "by conveying credibility, quality perceptions, and familiarity."

5) Competitive strength. Master brand strategy "creates strength in numbers and establishes a competitive moat of sorts around the smaller brands in the corporate portfolio."

6. Stakeholder appeal. Stakeholders "tend to form relationships and derive value from master corporate brands vs. individual product brands, so a master brand strategy can facilitate stronger stakeholder engagement and appeal." Retailers also tend to carry a company's full portfolio of brands because of company's promotion of the master brand.

Conclusion

While there's no precompiled data that maps the importance of brand portfolio on a company's website compared to financial and career opportunities, there are indications that a share of consumers are interested in learning about the brand portfolio. The availability of brand portfolio information on a global holding company's website is not vital, however it is relevant to consumers.


Part
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of nine
Part
06

The Importance to Consumers of Governance Information on a Company Website

It's clear that while certain topics that fall under the corporate governance umbrella like leadership and corporate social responsibility are important to job seekers, they are not considered to be top priorities. Job seekers focus their attention on salaries, growth opportunities, benefits, and work flexibility. Information on the impact of corporate governance on job seekers is limited, however, we have been able to identify the general importance of corporate governance details on company websites. A detailed outline of our methodology is provided below along with a deep dive into our findings.

METHODOLOGY

Unfortunately, there is not any specific information available that discusses the importance, or lack thereof, which corporate governance information has for job seekers, nor were we able to find specific examples of the corporate governance page of a website attracting additional job applicants.

While there is estimated data on visitors to websites, that data is not broken down by the page visited, nor is it possible to tell which, or even how many, of the visitors to corporate websites, are there looking for jobs. This is likely due to the fact that it's not possible to track the goal of a website visitor without having access to private corporate website analytics. Analytics could track a visitors journey through a website via their clicks and could estimate how many visitors viewed corporate governance pages before submitting online applications on corporate websites. However, even with this data, this would exclude users who apply via other channels. On the other side of the equation, we have reviewed a range of surveys of job seekers on reputable media and industry reports. None of these sources discuss corporate governance information on corporate websites.

As previously mentioned, we have found general information about the importance of corporate governance information on company websites. Moreover, we have researched job seeker priorities more generally and found that while things which might be discussed under the corporate governance section of a company website, like leadership and corporate social responsibility, are important, they are not top priorities for job seekers. Instead, they tend to focus on salary/benefits, opportunities for advancement, and flexible working arrangements. The fact that corporate governance is not a top priority likely contributes to the lack of available data on the impact of this topic on job seekers. Without this information, it is not possible to prove or disprove that job seekers don't care about corporate governance. At this stage, we can only determine that it is not a high priority but we can not go as far as to say that it is not a consideration at all.

corporate governance information

The main significance corporate governance information seems to have is for investors. A survey by McKinsey and Company found that the vast majority of investors were willing to pay a premium for a well-governed company, and more to it, most investors also felt they would avoid investing in a company that did not have good corporate governance at the core of its organizational strategy and growth plan. Hence, corporate governance information clearly has a large impact on the trust investors are willing to place in a company.

job seeker priorities

One way of trying to discover how important corporate governance information might be to job seekers is by looking at what's important to them generally. We do know that 61% of job seekers now visit a prospective employer's website before applying for a job. While unfortunately, no data exists on what pages of a company's website they visit, if social responsibility and leadership are important to someone and they are visiting the company website anyway, it might make sense for them to visit the corporate governance page if the website has one. On the other hand, if those things are less of a priority generally, then information about them on the company website will probably be less important as well. Unfortunately, hard data would be needed to confirm or deny this theory, and it simply does not exist. However, we can still look at employee priorities more generally.

There is some indirect evidence to suggest that job seekers are looking for the sort of thing which might be discussed in corporate governance sections of company websites, though these are not mentioned directly. For instance, Mandy Gilbert, the founder, and CEO of creative Niche writes in Inc that the top way of attracting employees is leadership, not salary. Moreover, a survey in the UK found that 42% of respondents wanted to work for a company that made a positive impact on the world, a figure that jumps to 62% among millennial respondents. In the US, 50% of millennials say they would be willing to take a pay cut for work that matches their values. All of these are things that a job seeker might be able to investigate on the corporate governance section of a company website.

However, while job seekers in general and millennials, in particular, do look for companies being run in a way which aligns with their own values, this is not their top priority. Predictably enough, pay and benefits remain the most important factors when people are looking for jobs, and when they're considering leaving them, regardless of age. We may expect this to be less of a factor for millennials, however, Deloitte surveyed job-seeking millennials all across the globe and found that salary was by far the most important factor in each of the 29 different markets they covered. After salary, the most important factors were a good work/life balance, followed by opportunities for advancement, and then job flexibility. The impact the work had on society ranked seventh. Hence, while it may seem like many people, and especially millennials, are very concerned about the governance and values of a company they are considering working for, it remains a relatively low priority. This suggests that while potential hires may care about a company's corporate governance, such information is not crucial.

Conclusion

Unfortunately, there is no specific information available about the importance of corporate governance pages to people seeking jobs. While there is data on people visiting company websites, it is not available by page visited, and it is impossible to know which of the many visitors to large corporate websites are there because they are seeking a job. On the other side, no surveys of job seekers ask or discuss corporate governance pages of company websites. However, we can look at job seeker priorities more generally. When we do this, we find that while leadership and social responsibility are important, they are not top priorities for people seeking jobs. Instead, the most important things they look for from potential employers are a high salary and good benefits, the potential for advancement, and flexible working arrangements.
Part
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Part
07

Job Board vs. Corporate Website

Several surveys from the past three years, 2015-2017, provide evidence that people prefer job portals and third-party platforms versus corporate websites when applying for a job. We usually focus on sources from the past two years, but went back further to 2015 to provide a sense of how applicants have consistently been using job portals in recent years. A 2017 report from JobVite found that 52% of applicants use job boards to submit applications and 34% use career sites, 86% in total.

Research Strategy

We prioritized proving your hypothesis that people prefer job portals and third-party platforms over corporate websites. That said, we quickly confirmed that people do overwhelmingly prefer online job boards and career portals due to the ease of identifying multiple positions and applying to many at once through such platforms. Many resources focus on people using these online platforms to find jobs, but we focused as much as possible on the application process itself. The most useful resource that specifically mentioned applicants was JobVite's 2017 Report.

We also researched the counter-hypothesis that people prefer corporate websites when submitting an application, but found no evidence to support that idea. However, we did find that people are much more likely to be hired by a company when an existing employee has referred them to a position. Similarly, job seekers are more likely to open communications directly from a company, which could include job postings, when they already know someone who works there.

FINDINGS

Over the past three years, surveys from different market research entities have determined that overall job seekers prefer job portals and third-party career sites over third-party corporate websites when searching for and applying to jobs.

JOBVITE: "RECRUITING FUNNEL BENCHMARK REPORT"
Most recently, in 2017, Jobvite's Recruiting Funnel Benchmark Report found that 52% of applicants use job boards to submit applications and 34% use career sites, 86% in total. However, despite people's preference for job boards and career sites, Jobvite found that these online portals and third-party platforms are relatively poor channels for actual hiring. Just 19% of applicants are hired through job boards with a slightly higher rate of 27% for career sites. This may be because such sites do not effectively screen candidates or accurately match their "qualifications to job requirements." That said, lower hiring numbers are so far not deterring candidates from using these portals. Jobvite's study had a robust dataset of "over 50,000 posted job listings, 15 million job applications, and 69 million job seekers."

OPINIONOGRAPHY AND BOND INTERNATIONAL SOFTWARE SURVEY
Research in 2016 of 1,000 UK office workers by Opinionography and Bond International Software had similar findings. 81% of survey respondents had used an online job site compared with 51% using a recruitment agency and 25% using social media to apply for a job. The survey does not mention the percent of those who go directly to corporate websites either because the survey didn't include corporate websites or because the findings were significantly lower than social media at 25%.

This survey is interesting, because it focuses on people who already have a job, indicating that even those already working, potentially in their field, overwhelmingly use job portals and third-party sites. In addition, 94% of respondents stated that they would use an online job site today to find a job based on their past experience and 68% of respondents found job boards the most helpful resource in job hunting. Bond International notes that it is surprising that social media is not playing more of a role in job hunting, given its exponential growth in society.

In addition to these recent 2016 and 2017 reports, two useful reports from 2015 corroborate their findings and indicate that people have consistently preferred job boards and online third-party career sites over at least the past three years.

LINKEDIN: THE ULTIMATE LIST OF HIRING STATISTICS
A 2015 report from LinkedIn Talent Solutions states that online job boards are the top channel people use for searching for jobs at 60% of respondents; however, it does not mention career sites or how job seekers apply. This report is written from the perspective of hiring managers using LinkedIn and indicates ways that companies can better reach candidates, given that they prefer to find jobs via online portals. The report points out that although candidates prefer job boards, candidates are more likely to open communications from a company, which could include a job posting, when they already know an employee at the company. Similarly, companies are most likely to hire candidates when they have a direct referral from an existing employee for that candidate.

RECRUITING DAILY: "THE STATE OF CANDIDATE EXPERIENCE IN 10 STATISTICS"
This 2015 overview from Recruiting Daily also indicates that candidates prefer to use job boards and career sites, with 64.5% of candidates finding career sites helpful when researching a company and candidates. 62% of candidates used third-party "job post aggregators" with 51% using CareerBuilder and 47% using Monster. 47% of candidates had "no previous relationship whatsoever with a company before applying for a job there" indicating that how a company appears on job sites may be an applicant's first impression of them.

REASONS FOR JOB BOARD PREFERENCE

Career Attraction provides additional detail into why job seekers' prefer using job boards and third-party platforms to apply for jobs. Specifically, they state that such online portals make it easy to identify opportunities based on field, salary, location including globally, and job requirements as well as to apply to multiple jobs in a short amount of time including posting a cover letter and resume. Career Attractions points out that the quick and simple ability to apply via job boards may also be a reason why they have a lower success rate for hiring due to the huge volume of applications that creates high competition from multiple candidates. Ironically, candidates preference for using online job sites results creates greater competition for jobs on them.

Conclusion

Several studies from the past few years corroborate your hypothesis that "people prefer job portals and third-party platforms versus corporate websites when submitting an application." The most useful source is Jobvite's Recruiting Funnel Benchmark Report that found that 52% of applicants use job boards to submit applications and 34% use career sites, 86% in total.

Part
08
of nine
Part
08

KPIs for Corporate Websites

Several important corporate website KPIs include the conversion rate, traffic, time before purchase, and new/returning visitors ratio. We have described the purpose of each KPI and included average values where applicable. Our findings are outlined below.

findings

We researched the most recent, trusted media sources and industry articles to determine KPI information. We focused our search on KPIs that are relevant to corporate websites, honing in on KPI metrics that are especially important to understanding the customer experience and sales generation. We will also discuss KPIs in terms of Google Analytics, as it is a free and very widely used platform for measuring numerous website performance factors.

TRAFFIC (NUMBER OF VISITS)
There is no standard benchmark for the number of site visits a website should be achieving, as every industry is different and every company is in a different stage of its development. Rather, a corporation should view improved traffic versus the number of visitors it had at the same time last year as its measure of success.

CONVERSION RATE
A website's conversion rate ("Goal Rate" in Google Analytics terminology) measures the website's ability to convert visitors into taking a desired action (such as buying a product online or subscribing to a blog). This is the most important KPI to measure website performance, as it gives an indicator of how well a website is meeting marketing and sales objectives.

While conversion rates vary by industry and website function, in 2014 the average conversion rate across all industries was 2.35% and the top 10% of companies were delivering conversion rates of 11.45% and higher.

TIME ON SITE (TIME BEFORE PURCHASE)
While the conversion rate is important, the time it takes customers to purchase is also telling of a website's success. As the duration shortens and sales are converted more quickly, companies can be sure their marketing message is becoming more effective. Within Google Analytics, this metric is represented as "Visit to Purchase" and "Days to Purchase."

As a benchmark reference, 42% of site purchases take place within an hour of a shopper's first visit to a website, with the trend subsequently continuing downwards until 22-24 hours after a shopper's first visit, where 10% of purchases are made (suggesting that shoppers often return to a site during the same time the following day to make their purchases).

PAGES PER SESSION
Pages per session is the average number of pages viewed during a consumer's site visit. This indicator serves as a barometer for how engaged customers are in a website and how accessible they find it, as more pages per session often means that users are interested in exploring more of a website. The industry standard is 2 pages per session.

NEW/RETURNING VISITORS RATIO
The ratio of new to returning visitors is an important metric in tracking ongoing engagement and interest in a website. If a website sees an increasing ratio of new to returning visitors, it may indicate that the company's marketing campaign is finding success in bringing in new potential clients. If a company's ratio is leaning heavier towards returning visitors, it could mean that the website is useful and providing engaging content, although it could spell trouble if the overall quantity of visitors is decreasing and the ratio of new to returning visitors is falling.

The ratio itself is not so important and there is no benchmark of what a new to returning visitors ratio "should be." Rather, companies should drill down into the analytics involved in each of their channels to determine the driving factors in their new/returning visitors ratios and take appropriate actions.

conclusion

There are many KPI metrics that can be monitored for corporate websites, but a website's conversion rate, time to purchase, and new/returning visitors ratio are some of the most important KPIs relevant to the customer experience.
Part
09
of nine
Part
09

Top Five Website Information Pieces for Investors

OVERVIEW
In completing this request, we found various factors that junior investors would look up before they decide to invest in an organization. In order to decide the top five, we cross-referenced a number of sources to see which factors came up most often. Using this methodology, we were able to pinpoint these five, listed in no particular order: Financial Statements, Company Presentations, Company News/Press Releases, Analyst reports and Contact Information. All of these should be clearly presented in the company website.
Please find below a deep dive into why these are the top five and what each entails.
The Ontario Securities Commission which provides unbiased information to help investors make decisions divides the tools needed into those that can be verified independently and which information that the company alone can provide. As can be seen here, it mentions the entire top five. It places Financial Statements such as annual reports, material change reports, and other managerial information and prospectuses which it lists under Disclosure Documents. Under information that the company provides, it lists Relevant News and Press Releases on acquisitions, mergers and other finance related information. The news and information section should be kept up to date to boost investor confidence. This report backs up checking current financial report filings and reviewing quarterly reports as important elements to consider.

Further, collaborating with the above, this report put together by a financial journalist with 15 years investment experience. He gives the top three sources that aid decision-making as SEC filings and company website information. He adds a third source which we have added to the list. This is Analysts Reports. However, like website information, reports by analysts can be subjective. To counter this subjectivity, the report states that it may be best to listen to Buy-Side Analysts who work for institutional investors.

This journalist’s stance is substantiated by this survey which presents research on how important company websites are in making investment decisions. Slightly over Four fifth of those polled manage funds over £100million out of which 72% manage global equities. The survey result shows that nine out of every ten respondents say they go to company websites to find information that helps them make investment decisions. With 50% saying they visit websites once every week.
In this report by PWC, they stressed the importance of integrated reporting. This is the bringing together of all key factors mentioned earlier together in a Company Presentation. Investors can then assess these presentations through the company website. This 2017 report supports by providing a list of information that fosters investor relationship. Some factors mentioned are Shareholder Information, Annual General Meeting, shares and shareholder information, creditor relations, and performance reporting. These are information that will be integrated into company presentations.
Company Contact Information is another important factor that investors check before deciding to invest in an organization. Contact information goes beyond a listing of the address and phone number of the company but extends to the organization’s representatives being available for conference calling. They should also be available for earnings calls as soon they make their company finances public.

CONCLUSION
Companies need to make information available to enable investors make decisions. The first port of call for most junior investors will be the company website. Therefore, organizations will do well to put out information about the top five factors investors look out for in their websites. These are Financial Statements, Company Presentations, Company News/Press Releases, Analyst reports and Contact Information.

Sources
Sources