The more time Americans spend on the web, the more important it is for unions to be strategic about their online presence.
Currently, around 81% of Americans use the internet every day. Roughly 28% report that they're constantly online, according to the Pew Research Center, and that figure jumps to nearly 50% for adults in the U.S. ages 18-29 — up nine percentage points from when the survey was last conducted in 2018.
Consequently, a carefully crafted website is one of the most effective tools for union recruitment. Whether you're updating your current site or building one from scratch to attract members, consider the following five tips to help your website reach more people.
1. Show Why Your Union Is Unique
To draw in new members, your website should show what makes your union special. Build excitement by talking about the group's mission, values and culture. How do these elements differ from other organizations'? What benefits and perks do members get from joining? How exactly does your union help members? Do you offer members any benefits that they can't get elsewhere?
Put together a list of bullet points outlining the most valued perks you offer, and place the list prominently on your website. Depending on your budget, it might also be worthwhile to make a video about the union's culture.
2. Spotlight Members
Prospective members want to see people like themselves among your ranks. To this end, videos can be a great, engaging way to showcase your current members and tell their unique stories. Videos have earned a place as a popular marketing tool — to the point that videos are expected to make up 82% of all IP traffic by 2022.
Consider filming members of different genders, ages and cultural backgrounds to reflect the full range of diversity the union has to offer. If your budget is low, you can ask members to make their own testimonial videos and give them guidelines directing them toward questions to address.
3. Create a User-Friendly Career Page
A major reason members may come to your website is to browse new opportunities, so design a career page that's easy to navigate and contains useful, detailed job descriptions. Advertise your careers page prominently on your website.
Searching online for relevant jobs can be time-consuming and frustrating for members. When you do the work for them and post relevant jobs in a central location, you're actually providing a valuable perk.
4. Make a Mobile Option
The average American adult spends nearly three hours on their phone every day. What's more, 58% of job seekers on Glassdoor use their mobile devices to search for jobs. Put together, there's a good chance that at least some members and potential members will head to your site on something other than a laptop or desktop.
It's easy to lose a prospective new member who visits your website on their device if pages won't load correctly or features don't work. These errors make websites look clunky on mobile. As you develop your site, test it on various mobile devices to ensure it renders well.
5. Engage Recruits
Once you've caught the attention of potential new members, the next step is to engage them and encourage them to join your union. If you have a digital union newsletter, your website is a prime spot to include a form where people can sign up.
If you're worried that visitors to your site will be left with lingering questions, write an FAQ section to address them. You might also add an option to leave questions and messages for union board members. This gives prospective members the option to directly reach out to you and your fellow board members.
When you build a user-friendly website that showcases your unique culture and outlines exactly what the union offers, it's easy for prospective members to see themselves as a part of your group. And since new members who find you online have the potential to act as ambassadors, directing more potential recruits to your website, a strong online presence can be a huge boon to your union recruitment efforts.
With 15 years' experience writing for publications including The Wall Street Journal, Barron's, The Christian Science Monitor and Newsday — Deborah Blumberg specializes in business and finance and health and wellness. She writes about topics including corporate communications, financial markets, real estate, renewable energy, cancer, health education, nutrition, supplements, the microbiome and functional medicine. She was a Knight Center fellow and a Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism fellow. Her time working in marketing and communications at JPMorgan Chase taught her how to best tell a company's story. She's adept at turning complex ideas into compelling copy. She's also an officer of the American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA) and a Women in the Visual and Literary Arts board member, and she is fluent in Spanish.