Cisco careers site
Back Story

Attracting the Best Talent

The war for tech talent is now in full swing, and a company’s careers site is on the front lines. Beyond attracting top candidates, a careers site is an outlet for highlighting the exciting work the company is doing and an opportunity to showcase its atmosphere, culture, and people – factors that are increasingly important in the current job market.

Over the past decade, we’ve worked with Cisco on a number of projects, including a recent brand refresh. In the course of that relationship, we learned that Cisco wanted to recruit and attract the best talent the tech world has to offer, but they realized that their careers site didn’t accurately reflect their culture or the compelling work they’re doing. External perceptions of Cisco as an outdated, stodgy tech company lagged behind the current reality, which is that Cisco operates like a startup and creates cutting-edge technologies. We set out on a yearlong project to rebuild their careers website from the ground up, researching user needs, streamlining user pathing, and implementing an updated visual design in a concerted effort to attract talent and increase applications.

Defining the Audience

To identify user types and behaviors, we conducted a roadmapping session and interviews with Cisco’s Talent Brand and Human Resources teams. The findings led us to prioritize a user experience that embraces the way people navigate the site, reduces the number of clicks to get to job applications, and creates clear search options. With these priorities in place, we held a multi-day workshop with our clients and a team of developers to tackle the challenge of creating the information architecture and content strategy for a site with dozens of job categories and multiple audiences.


cisco careers employees



Putting People First

Based on our brand refresh work, we knew that photography could be a powerful tool for conveying the company’s culture. To that end, we art directed a weeklong photo shoot that portrayed life at Cisco through images of actual employees. And because the Talent Brand team had already built a strong social media following through engaging content like employee photography and stories, it was important to infuse Cisco’s social channels throughout the site.


cisco careers user modes Explore and Engage



Inspiring and Engaging

Building a cohesive, user-friendly careers site for a global company with more than 70,000 employees is no small task, especially when the site in question requires working with two distinct components. Our project focused on both the marketing section of the site and the applicant tracking system (ATS). The former inspires users and allows them to explore and learn about cool work the company is doing, employee perks and benefits, and company culture, while the latter engages more proactive users and allows them to browse roles by position, apply for jobs, get notified of available matching jobs, and contact recruiters. The components have specific needs, but they share the same goal: to drive applications. For the new site to be successful, the two would have to work together seamlessly, inspiring and engaging users at the same time.


Working Together to Bring It Together

Throughout the project, we worked closely with a variety of Cisco departments  – Talent Brand, Talent Acquisition, Human Resources, Brand, UX, and Accessibility – to ensure that the entire company’s needs were met. The result of our collaborative efforts is a careers site that’s easy to navigate, accurately reflects Cisco’s culture, and attracts the type of talent they need to continue to be successful.


Carrers and ATS screens on tablets