Why is a secure website important in recruitment?

Are you leaving your front door unlocked?

Since starting ContentApp, I have been amazed how many websites aren’t secure! Our social recruiting software only plays nice with secure sites, and we have no plans to change that; it is nearly 2019 after-all!

If you’re wondering what I mean by secure, it means having a certificate and routing all traffic through it. SSL secures the information that is shared between you and the website that you are interacting with. Any information that you normally submit to a website is sent as plain text and can be viewed if an attacker is able to intercept the information. SSL encrypts the information that is shared between the browser and the web server, so that even if a user’s information is intercepted by someone who is not supposed to have it they will not be able to read the data, this is often referred to a a man in the middle attack.

So, it’s obviously important. But what in particular makes it important for recruitment? Candidates, candidates & candidates.

Let’s talk about attraction first. Google now recommends securing websites with HTTPS, which means it is critically important for companies that want their websites to perform well in search. If you’re advertising your jobs on your website, it’s safe to assume you’d like them to come up in Google Searches (Yes, that includes Google For Jobs), especially as over 70% of jobs searches start from Google. Google will prioritise websites that are secure.

Getting the traffic on your website is just the first part, once there, you’d like them to apply. Applying for a job usually involves passing on confidential information such as your address, mobile number and email address.

Like anything in business, it is important to measure your conversion rates. If you don’t have a secure site, I’m sure you complain that your website never delivers you applications, or it used to but it isn’t performing as well anymore. That is probably because in July 2018 the Google Chrome 68 update means it now displays a “NOT SECURE” warning in the URL of HTTP sites (sites without an SSL certificate).

How would you feel about submitting your information on a site like that?

Exactly. Not having a secure website is seriously harming your ability to attract and convert candidates.

There is one other, small, tiny reason to secure your website. GDPR.

Although the GDPR does not specifically say that every website requires an SSL certificate in order to be GDPR compliant, if your site allows job applications then under the GDPR, you have a responsibility as a data controller, to keep this information secure and protected, which by having an SSL on your site you are helping to achieve this.

If you’re reading this knowing your website needs some TLC, feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn and ask me who I’d recommend. After a decade in HR Tech, I know a few good website providers who I know would do a good job for you (And I’m not on any commission!).

To summarise, when a user sees an SSL certificate, they can have confidence that their data is secure when it makes it’s way to your web server. An SSL certificate adds credibility and confidence to your website, will improve your SEO and your conversion rates. All of which are incredibly important for a recruitment brand in 2019.

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