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10 Features Every Career Portal Should Have Today Murch like making your next hire, choosing career portal solution needs (and demands) careful analysis.

By Muhammad Younas

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Since hiring is an unavoidable activity for every business and organization, everyone is always on the lookout for ways that maximize results and minimize costs. After all, businesses must get every cent of their investment's worth to justify the spending in the first place. Among the many hiring solutions out there, having a dedicated career portal for your company can appear like a big upfront investment. But with the right software and features, your return on investment is most certainly going to be worth it.

It is important that you perform a thorough analysis of the software's utility to reach an informed decision regarding the future of talent recruitment in your organization. We at recommend that you keep in mind the following 10 features when considering a career portal solution to ensure you derive maximum value out of it.


Your organization is unique, and how you hire may not only differ from other organizations, but might even vary internally from one department or geography to another. Your requirements can drastically change depending on the scale of your organization, your target industry and the career levels you are planning to hire for.

As an example, you might have a simple recruitment cycle for entry level positions including phone screening, one assessment, one interview and subsequent hire. Whereas for managerial positions, the process might involve several more stages. It's important that your Applicant Tracking System (ATS) has the ability to adapt to multiple recruitment workflows. But in all cases, your system must offer at least these features to streamline the hiring process:

> Easy development of job requisitions and approvals

> Multiple means of talent sourcing

> Candidate screening and processing

> Tools for talent management and monitoring


When announcing a job to a community of fresh talent, it is important to be mindful of the organization's brand image being portrayed. Since candidates tend to be far-sighted regarding their career, they focus more on the organization than the job itself. In fact, the Ideal Workplace in the Middle East Survey showed that nearly half of job seekers (48%) say company culture "is a determining factor" when considering a new job opportunity.

Your career portal should offer a window into your work culture rather than plainly listing down all vacancies. Coming across as agile, growth-focused and employee-centered through your portal for example can make a huge impact on the kind of talent you attract. Therefore, a lot of value can be added through a solution that focuses on correct branding by fulfilling at least these three aspects. Here are a few employer branding features you should look for:

Portal design Validate if your provider offers a host of templates to choose from whilst also offering a fully tailor-made solution.

Brand conformity Your career portal should look like an extension of your website. You do not want a job-seeker to think that they've been routed to another website after hitting the "Careers" tab.

Multilingual capabilities If your organization operates in or sources talent from a region where English is a second language, your portal should allow an easy switch between languages of choice to keep hurdles out of the application and recruitment process.

Mobile support Since more and more people are beginning to rely on smartphones to do their work, your portal should run seamlessly on mobile screens. The enhanced responsiveness and interaction brought about by this feature provides an additional medium for your company's branding and makes job seekers rank your employer status more favorably.


Here's the reality: job seekers don't like filling long and complicated forms. Therefore, it's critical that you verify the variety of options the software provides to capture applicant information with minimal friction. Here are a few features that are key in achieving this ease-of-use and structured data collection during recruitment:

CV creation options This is the first step applicants come across, and so, it must be accommodating for them to move forward. Career portals need to offer multiple means of CV posting such as direct upload, import from popular job sites, and CV building within the portal.

Intuitive job search Once CV creation is out of the way, the solution should enable applicants to search for jobs using intuitive filters based on keywords, job descriptions, location and job roles.

Application flow Career portals must reward job seekers with complete profiles through a one-click job application facility. This feature should promptly submit their profile for selected jobs without additional processes, unless the applicant opts to make changes prior to submission.


Not only are career portals useful for collecting applications, they also help organizations achieve seamless HR processes. Here are some very critical areas your system should take care of on its own.

Applicant tracking According to the Hiring Practices in the Middle East Survey, nearly one third of employers in the GCC (31%) use an applicant tracking system. These systems are very useful because they allow a quick snapshot view of the number of candidates that lie at a particular stage in the hiring funnel. Similarly, the recruiter uses them to drill-down to any stage to scan through all candidates present there. This streamlines the whole process by providing real-time feedback on talent profiles and identifying bottlenecks in the process.

Mass communication Promptly reaching out to applicants is paramount to keeping them actively engaged with their applications until you make your final hiring decision. In fact, as the poll, Communication at Work in the Middle East, showed, six in 10 job seekers expect companies to always communicate with them, even if they are rejected from a job. Your solution should tend to this requirement through standardized templates on statuses like application acceptance, interview invitation, offer and rejection letters. Having the ability to share these mass emails without switching to an email provider can save a lot of time and effort.

Related: Seven Ways To Make Your Employee Referral Program Successful

5. INTEGRATED INTERVIEW SCHEDULING Your career platform should support easy scheduling of interviews where applicants and interviewers can agree on a mutually suitable time without the need of manual setup via call/email coordination.

6. FOCUS ON RELEVANT TALENT Without a dedicated career portal, there is a high chance you'll end up with numerous irrelevant CVs. Therefore, having a solution with a strong filtration system can save a lot of time for recruiters allowing them to focus on good candidates who can quickly be furthered through the hiring cycle. Here are some features that can come in handy with securing more relevant talent:

Auto-screening Often times applicants need to be filtered out based on various criteria before shortlisting. You need to ensure that your system automatically does this for you by filtering out irrelevant candidates based on criteria set by the recruiter.

Powerful CV search Being able to sift through CVs based on candidate's previous job experience, job role, industry and company profile are all very important features that your system should provide. Additionally, having the option to go into advanced searches like keyword search can be critical to finding relevant talent when databases grow large.

Questionnaires and tests Psychometric tests are growing popular in organizations as a necessary component of hiring. In fact, 42% of employers who responded to the Hiring Practices in the Middle East Survey said they use preemployment tests. A good score on these tests ensures that the candidate is a good fit in the organization's culture and has the necessary skills to excel in the role. Having the option to create customizable questionnaires can be a huge plus when you have thousands of CVs to sift through and very few interactive methods to judge the candidate's personality before the interview.


Recruiters commonly use multiple means to source good candidates when filling a job vacancy, such as job sites, social media, partner sites, referral, etc. Your solution should give your recruitment team the ability to centralize all their recruitment efforts into one consolidated pool of talent, while giving them powerful tools and insights to gauge which source of candidates is working best for your organization.


To accurately gauge whether your chosen career portal solution added value to your organization, it is important to have means of measuring its ROI in quantifiable metrics. Therefore, your chosen platform should provide succinct reports that allow you to measure:

> The number, diversity and quality of candidates reaching each stage of recruitment

> The sources that helped your organization reach them

> The activities of the recruitment team

> A breakdown of the performance of recruitment agencies that were onboard with you


Search Engine Optimization is important if you plan to reach job seekers when they search for career opportunities in your industry, company or vacant job roles. After all the effort of implementing an ATS, ensuring its visibility on popular search engines is crucial. Being present within the first few search results can be the difference between you capturing or losing great talent. Be sure to validate that your chosen solution offers SEO compliance to boost visibility on Google search results.


A comprehensive ATS can be quite a lot to digest especially if your company is switching from a legacy system to an automated one. With so many tools and features to manipulate, it is easy to get confused if you don't have substantial training in its use. Therefore, ensure that your provider offers responsive and reliable customer support that can tend to queries coming from beginners, as well as those who have grown fluent in the system's use.

Finally, keep in mind that switching to a new ATS is a major decision and a thorough cost-benefit analysis can be crucial to realizing its success. Since this shift will affect every department in your organization, it is important to loop them all in when making the decision. With so many career portal solutions available in the market, you have the luxury of choosing the most suitable recruitment partner from a wide variety of competent systems. However, you are more likely to reach a terrific ROI yielding solution that fits your needs like a glove if you develop a clear checklist of requirements before you begin your search. There is a lot that an ATS can offer, and a lot that you can demand from it- so ensure that there is an overlap between the two when choosing your ATS provider.

Related: Seven Reasons Why A Career Portal Solution Needs To Be Your Top Priority

Muhammad Younas

General Manager, Talentera

Muhammad Younas is General Manager at Talentera, the #1 ATS Provider in the Middle East, and a product of Talentera powers more than 250+ companies’ career portals in the region. Younas can be contacted at
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