Recently a close friend's daughter was moving into their first apartment in London, and I wanted to get a gift delivered. I figured that a beanbag would be useful. Besides, she'd already been given an Amazon Echo.

I started searching online retailers, and quickly I was spoiled for choice. But what was most striking was the overall experience that online retailers are delivering to encourage sales.

Pretty much any major online retailers have a ton of content on the page to entertain and excite buyers, using an empathetic approach to selling. Product pages incorporate detailed imagery, descriptions, information about materials, and how-to-use instructions. Some even feature a reel of photos from previous customers who've bought a particular product, showcasing it in their homes.

When you then factor in the full delivery and returns information on retail sites you've got an outstanding experience capable of charming almost anyone into clicking "buy". It's this savvy combination of rational and emotional drivers that propels consumers on the path to purchase.

This great experience got me thinking: How come careers website are still so far off the pace when it comes to "selling" a major decision that will shape the course of someone's life? Let's explore the anatomy of an e-commerce product page versus a typical careers page, and how it can help every other entrepreneur.

You need to trigger emotion.

The aim of a modern product page is to build brand affinity through considered and thoughtful content, designed to elicit a genuine emotional attachment to what buyers are interacting with. In a world where great content reigns supreme, the best product pages have evolved into contextualized hives of information that jump off the page straight into the customer's mind. 

In comparison, most careers websites are basic and boring. Brands need to put their employer brand to work and use emotive storytelling to unlock candidate engagement in the same vein as retail product pages.

The candidate needs to be triggered to engage and immerse themselves in the company's offering. Features could include a live chat to ask questions, videos of line managers answering hot topics, or a video of the department head selling the vision of the business. These work on an emotional level.

Make things clear, simple, and fun -- human emotion will always play a dominant role in the application process. Stories and testimonials of current team experiences, achievements, and general satisfaction can also be an influential and informative tool in gaining candidate trust. Use emotional triggers to pull candidates in and empathize with their situation.

Delight candidates with details

Careers websites that incorporate powerful emotional triggers must also convince candidates with concrete rationale. Brands need to think about the logistics of a new job and how best to outline these benefits.

So imagine a careers website that mapped your door-to-door commute, displayed the easiest places to park, listed the best local spots to eat and drink, or even detailed the most cost-effective route to work. These details not only show candidates that you care and think about their needs but can allay fear of the unknown that often clouds the minds of prospective applicants.

Be clear about career progression and future opportunity. Provide a full list of benefits, incentives, and pay structure. Candidates who feel well-informed and clear about the tangible attributes of a new job are much more likely to engage with a brand.

While customer-centricity echoes across the offices of brand-side marketing departments all across the country, HR departments are still slow to join the race. 

Tick all the boxes.

Emotionally-stirring content and rational job descriptors create a full, 360-degree experience for the candidate. They answer questions, encourage engagement, spark curiosity, and make candidates feel more comfortable. Crucially, this content needs to tick all the boxes and get the candidate to really envision themselves in the role.

When brands identify the emotional and rational factors that drive candidates, it becomes much easier to design an effective careers website that not only dazzles applicants, but saves you money and finds you the best talent time and again.