With more than 900 attorneys in 21 offices, Foley & Lardner LLP provides award-winning business and legal insight to clients across the country and around the world. The Am Law 100 firm has long been recognized by clients and the legal market for its team-based approach, innovative technology and focus on value and client service. As such, Foley is consistently challenged to recruit the best and brightest, ranging from law students participating in the firm’s Summer Associates Program to professional staff and laterals looking at greener pastures. The information ‘gateway’ for most job seekers is Foley’s Careers site, a recently enhanced and re-tooled web presence complete with FAQs, videos, case studies and an array of dynamic, tailored content.
Though Foley maintained a dedicated online Careers presence for several years, the decision to re-visit and enhance the site was based on the challenges associated with merging ‘siloed’ content, being able to push the envelope with video, creating brand identity for the main Foley site while not neglecting the career content and, most importantly, upgrading the technology architecture to better accommodate the consumption and usage patterns of the firm’s core recruiting audiences.
Prior to launching the new Careers site in April 2013, the firm carefully surveyed new hires to determine how they had first heard about Foley and how they used the Careers site as well as the firm’s general website as part of their fact finding and information gathering process. While over 56% of those surveyed rated the recruiting site as ‘very valuable’, and 65% visited the site more than six times throughout the recruiting process, a decreasing percentage stuck with the site as the need for more information and more in-depth profiles grew. The survey also revealed there was some confusion about where to find online career info and that users’ use of mobile devices and remote means of accessing information was a top priority.
THE RIGHT STUFF
Foley partnered with One North Interactive to develop an entirely new strategy and interactive design for the Careers site. The challenge for the project included creating a consistent user experience while migrating all disparate career-specific content into one content management system, under one main website brand (Foley.com). The idea to leverage the main brand and create a rich user experience with career content was also accelerated by the reality that merging sites and CMS systems would amount to cost savings on the hosting and maintenance side.
As with most successful website projects, the entire effort was a truly collaborative process, involving various departments within Foley and led by Scott Kilburg, Foley’s Chief Marketing Officer, and Kelly Villasuso, the firm’s Director of Marketing Communications. The team worked hand-in-hand with One North on developing the overall content strategy. Foley’s HR, Recruiting and various operations teams as well as firm directors and partners also provided input and critical buy-in regarding the new site’s look and feel, functionality and content. The team set an aggressive project completion timeline based on when the summer associate recruiting would commence. The April 2013 launch capped off a four month, beginning to end, project including a 10-week planning phase and roughly six weeks spent on content development and overall site feature/function/navigation development.
CONTENT IS KING
Developing new and valuable content for the Foley Careers site was one key objective, as even the most interactive of websites will not inspire engagement if it lacks strong content. Integrating video clips and case studies throughout the site as well as customizing content and context based on roles ranging from students to experienced laterals were other ways the firm looked to improve the user experience. Foley’s team used a well thought out content development and execution strategy, all captured within a detailed editorial and content spreadsheet, to keep these efforts organized and on time. They led a team of copywriters, designers and a third party videographer to create new content, including the taping and video shoots for 22 firm executives over the course of two days. As a result, the firm was not only able to use short video clips throughout the Careers site, but it also amassed so much high-quality footage that new videos and content will continue to be added periodically.
Based on Foley and One North’s collaboration efforts, Foley’s new Careers site includes many cutting edge and user-driven features and functions:
Role Based: The site caters to Foley’s three core recruiting targets – students, laterals and professional staff and features unique content for each user group.
Single-Page Design: The intuitive design allows for easy single-page navigation, eliminating the need to click away from the main page or scroll ad nauseam to access desired content.
Simple, Yet Varied Navigation: Though the single-page design greatly simplifies navigation, it does not translate to less features or functionality. Users can access ‘I’m Interested in’ drop-down menus prominently displayed on the main page and ‘dig deeper’ if they want to drill down to current openings, benefits, training or want details on the application and interview process.
Rich Media: Foley has long been recognized as a technology innovator and is always pushing the envelope when it comes to incorporating innovative technologies into the legal practice and its interactions with clients. Foley was one of the first firms to incorporate video into its marketing efforts and client communications. The Careers site continues that tradition with an expansive video library that can be accessed directly from the site or via the firm’s YouTube channel, which provides a broader selection of related firm videos.
‘No Commitment’ Engagement: Interactivity is built into the site and various content offerings, so getting to information, drilling down and sharing it across various social platforms and tools is easy and non-committal.
Touch-Friendly Design: With an increasing percentage of legal professionals, from law students to partners, accessing all of their news, information and real-time content via smartphones or tablets, designing the Foley Careers site in a mobile-friendly manner was a default requirement. In fact, much emphasis was given to making the site extremely touch-friendly so iPad and other tablet users can quickly navigate and find what they are looking for.
The new site allows users to take control of their journey and find succinct and digestible content – tailored to their specific interests and needs – through a dynamic and engaging interface. Since its launch in April, the feedback has been phenomenal, with new hires, external recruiters and global media praising the simple navigation and content-rich approach.
In December 2012, the firm’s Recruiting team conducted a comprehensive survey of new hires and summer interns to establish how they found Foley, interacted with the website and asked them to rate their overall recruitment experience. The results revealed many opportunities for improvement, many of which were incorporated into the new Careers site. The 2013 survey should reflect many of these enhancements and new features, all culminating in a richer ‘first impression’ with Foley & Lardner.