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CHOOSING IMAGES FOR YOUR RECRUITMENT WEBSITE




Images really make a website and they have the ability to transform your recruitment firm into an entity which is personable, relatable and accessible. They engage your users, they break up content and they make your site look awesome!


Choosing images for your recruitment agency website can be a time consuming and laborious task and it’s easy to lose direction, ending up with tens of different images with no common theme or link between them.


I’d always recommend, where possible, to use images that are directly associated with the business, such as professional photographs of the team, photographs of the office, social occasions, dogs, etc.! If you choose to opt for stock images, which are a great addition to a website then just make sure you spend some time looking for the right image and don’t rush into the selection. I would add, if you have the budget, then I'd always recommend opting for a professional photographer over using stock images.


The images you choose for your recruitment site can really influence your visitors' opinion of the site. We’re going to talk you through a few points you’ll want to consider when picking and uploading images to your website.


WEBSITE STYLE


Your recruitment agency’s website should have a clear design in place before you begin selecting appropriate images, illustrations and photographs for your site. Sit down with your marketing agency, photographer, UX/UI designer or graphic designer and make you both fully understand the design brief and are singing from the same hymn sheet. Think about the colour palette being used and make sure your images complement it. Is it a “minimalist” design, in which case you’ll likely need less images or perhaps you have gone for more of a “bento box” design, in which case you’ll likely need way more images. Does your website or brand have a specific tone? Is it formal? Traditionalist? Fresh? Modern? Select images that suit all facets.


TYPES OF IMAGES TO USE


It’s easy to get sidelined into just using photographs on your website, which I do recommend for the most part and it of course does work well for professional recruitment agency websites, however you do have a few other options too.


You’ll probably use photographs for team member pages, shots of the office and local area, landing page images and blog posts.


Illustrations are another option and work well with blog posts, infographics, hero and theme images, storytelling and so on.


3-D renders and graphics are a brilliant option but a high end one at that and you will need a specialist to put them together for you but they are great for landing pages and really do grab the visitors attention.


And my last suggestion would be a brand mascot, however I never see these anymore. These are prolific in other areas such as FMCG, retail, SaaS, etc but I don’t see many new recruitment agencies launching a brand mascot too. Create one and use it on your agency website!  





WHERE TO FIND IMAGES?


It really does depend on your budget. As mentioned if you can afford a professional photographer then I’d always say this is the best and my preferred option. If you don’t have the budget for a professional photographer then just use your smartphone. The majority of smartphones produce images that are of a high enough quality for your website. If you’re looking to use stock images then some options would be…



I would add that if you are using photo libraries then make sure your prompts are descriptive and in tune with what you want, otherwise you’ll waste hours sifting through unrelated images.


WHAT SIZE IMAGES TO USE?


It’s best practice to adjust the size of your images to the size you actually need. For example you’ll need two sets of image sizes for each image. You’ll need a mobile version of each image and a desktop version of each image. You can upload two sets and your website / the user’s browser will select the appropriate image size to use. This means a faster recruitment website and less strain on the users download capacity.


For mobile devices, full screen images will normally be around 750px to 1200px wide, general content, run of the page images will be around 350px to 600px and thumbnails can be as small as 150px to 300px wide.


For desktop devices, full screen images will normally be up to 2000px wide, general content, run of the page images will be around 700px to 1200px and thumbnails can be as around  300px to 600px wide.


Using the incorrect image size can make your images look blurry, out of focus, and may cut off a large part of the image.


IMAGE FORMAT? WHAT ARE THEY & WHICH TYPES ARE BEST FOR WEBSITES?


I imagine if you have a look through all the images on your laptop, they’ll probably be either JPEG or PNG. You can check what type the digital image is by opening “File Explorer” on your Windows device and looking at the “Type” column next to the image or you can right click on the image and select “Properties” where “Type of file: ” should be listed.

Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG) files are how many modern cameras store images. JPEGs go through a compression process to significantly reduce the image file size - making them easier to store and then subsequently load on your recruitment website. JPEG images can contain up to 16 million colours, which is simply mind blowing!


Portable Network Graphics files (PNGs) are compressible, just like JPEGs and can also handle 16 million colours. They’re mostly used for web graphics, logos, charts, and illustrations, rather than high-quality photographs. They typically take up more storage space than JPEGs.


Now both of these were invented decades ago - the JPEG was first introduced in 1992 and the PNG was invented in 1996. As we all know, digital images, computers and the internet have come a long way since then. And that’s why we have newer and more relevant image formats for our recruitment agency website.


I would personally suggest using two other types of image format, one is WebP and the other is AVIF, which are both specifically designed for website use.


AV1 Image File Format (AVIF) is an open source and royalty-free image file format specification for storing images compressed with AV1. It’s fast to encode and decode while providing the best quality at the smallest file size.  


My preferred option is WebP when it comes to images formats on websites. WebP is a modern image format, invented by Google, that provides superior compression for website images. It allows us to create smaller, richer images that make your recruitment website faster. WebP images are around 25% smaller in size when compared to PNGs.





HOW TO CONVERT MY JPEGs AND PNGs INTO WEBP?


It’s so easy you wouldn’t believe it. There are lots of websites out there that enable you to convert images free of charge but I tend to use CloudConvert. Simply navigate to the website, click “Select File”, choose your file when “File Explorer” opens. Then in the “convert to” box, select “WebP”, click the red “Convert” button and then download your new WebP image. You can find the downloaded image in your “Downloads” folder in “File Explorer”.


NAMING IMAGE FILES


Uh? Yes, you read that correctly I have a whole section dedicated to naming your image files. Let me set the scene. Let’s say you have a recruitment agency that focuses on recruiting for the engineering sector. You’ve found a stock image photograph you really like the look of, on a free to use photo library. It depicts a man sitting opposite a woman in an office. Maybe you decide to name it “candidate-page-photo-1” or maybe a slightly better name, “man-sitting-opposite-woman”. Both of these are terrible names! But why? Website builders try to provide search engines, such as Google with an attribute called “alt text”. If this isn’t manually specified by the uploader, then the website is likely to use the filename for this alt text and Google uses this to determine what the image depicts. Now “man-sitting-opposite-woman” is a good description but a more SEO optimised file name and description would be “male-engineering-manager-interviewing-female-civil-engineer”. Here we are still describing the image and with a little artistic freedom we have optimised your web page a little.


STYLE OF IMAGES


Try to source all of your images for your whole website all in one go. This helps you save time when it comes to context switching. It will ensure there is a consistent theme across all your images and ensure you end up making the best possible decision on each individual image. Also when selecting images try to think about their focal points and where buttons and text are located on the page. If you have some header text on top of an image, ensure the image’s lines and angles point your visitors directly towards particular messaging or call-to-actions. Also make sure images are lined up properly - as in centred within their container. For example with team member photos you’ll likely want consultants to be sitting or standing in the centre of the image, not off to one side.  


If you are struggling when it comes to sourcing images for your recruitment agency’s website then I’d always recommend speaking with a professional who can save you time and normally deliver a better outcome.







Guest blog written by Robert Garner


Rob has been working within the recruitment industry since 2006, selling recruitment advertising space, working within recruitment, running his own recruitment firm, launching job boards, working for in-house talent acquisition teams and creating enterprise level recruitment software. He now runs Abstraction Labs designing and developing websites for recruitment agencies.

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