5 Reasons Why People Love Airbnbs Career Site

Post by
Brian Mooney
July 29, 2020

I’ve had countless conversations with people ops and talent acquisition professionals about career sites. Not every career site is created equally. The different types of content and design are what shape the candidate experience. That said, there is one career site that almost every new customer will reference - The Airbnb career site


The Airbnb career site has been featured on blogs by Greenhouse, SmartRecruiters, KRTMarketing and more. There’s no denying Airbnb is a household name at this point, but what makes the AirBnB career site the most referenced career site? We’ll dive into the five things I love (and the three things I hate) about the AirBnb career site, but first, there’s something we need to agree on.

Most people focus on the design of a career site because they want it to look amazing. It’s natural. Think about it, we spend thousands of dollars trying to make our front lawns look great, but we don’t spend any time on them. Design typically takes precedence over functionality. When designing a career site you need to focus more on functionality than design because the purpose of your career site is to engage and convert the right traffic. Design is important but it will not be the most effective tool in converting career site traffic into applicants.

With that understanding, let’s take a look at the 5 Things I Love About The AirBnb Career Site

1. Subdomain: If you’re not familiar a subdomain is a separate domain to your main company site. For example, Airbnb is www.airbnb.com. The subdomain used for the career site is careers.airbnb.com.



It’s important to control the candidate experience. A lot of companies choose to keep the career site on the main corporate site, but at NextWave Hire we always recommend that companies create a subdomain to host the career site. There are several benefits to doing this:



Navigation: Corporate sites have a lot of pages. Having your own navigation makes it easier for candidates to access landing pages and/or sections that are important to them.

Control pop-ups: I cringe every time I see a discount pop up or a sales chatbot on a career site. You should be trying to convert candidates into your applicant tracking system, not your sales funnel.

Analytics: Having a subdomain makes it easier to access analytics because you can set up a google analytics dashboard specifically for the subdomain. 


  1. Mission & Values Are Above The Fold: Airbnb is trying to inspire candidates with their mission and values. This shows that they are engaging candidates with values and mission first. A lot of site visitors will not make it below the fold. To make them go beyond the fold they are using their values. This is good because as much as you want the right candidates to apply for your jobs, you don’t want the wrong candidates to apply.



  1. Clean Design: Airbnb has always been minimalist in it’s design and that’s no different for the career site. The photos, the icons, and even the colors are all simple. While I like clean design in general, it’s especially important for career sites because it makes for easy navigation which directly ties the design into the functionality goal of making your career site easy for candidates to navigate. The less job seekers need to hunt for the information the faster they can answer the question “to apply or not to apply”.

  2. Landing Pages: Also known as microsites, landing pages are used to dive deeper into a particular topic and speak more directly to candidates with a particular interest. They included landing pages about engineering and diversity & belonging at Airbnb. These pages are pretty in depth. I always recommend choosing the most important and evergreen topics to start with. Another great way to get these pages live quickly is to get your employees to create the content to fuel these pages.


  3. Embedded Job Ads: You may still call them job descriptions or job postings, but make no mistake - these are advertisements. Job ads are the perfect tool to convince or compel the career site visitor to complete your application. It is far too common for companies to link their career site to an external job board with a bunch of job descriptions. This is not a great experience and actually drives traffic away from your career site. Having a branded page with embedded job ads will keep candidates on your career site longer. The even have a dedicated page that hosts all of their job advertisements for anyone who wants to skip the career site altogether. 



3 Things I Don’t Like About the AirBnb Career site 


Even with all of these great things, the Airbnb career site is not without its shortcomings. There are several areas that could use improvements to create an even better candidate experience.


  1. No Employee Stories

Your career site is the hub of where candidates go to learn about your company culture. The best way to demonstrate that is through the stories of your people. There are some images of a few people in the office, but it's hard to get a sense of what the culture is like without any specific content from current employees.

Pro tip: this doesn’t need to be high-quality professional videos. You can absolutely use an iphone video quality or even zoom. If you want to add some structure to this process check out Altru



  1. No Search Capabilities

Some of your career site traffic will be job seekers who are looking for a specific job or type of job. That means it’s crucial to optimize your job search section to make it easy to find jobs in a specific department or location. Filters and search bars are highly encouraged! 



  1. No Talent Community 

Talent communities are the lowest hanging fruit in the recruiting game. They are so easy to implement and provide tremendous value. You have organic traffic coming to your career site and only a small fraction of those people are actually going to complete an application. The rest of that traffic is a huge recruiting opportunity. Adding a talent community gives you a chance to connect with this audience and convert them into applicants. Talent communities are easier to integrate with your career site than most chatbots or AI assistants because you don’t need to write scripts. 



Crafting the perfect career site can be a daunting task. Different types of candidates, with different expectations and companies with different resources and expertise. The good news is marketing has spent billions of dollars over several decades experimenting how to convert viewers into customers. Building an effective landing page is just like building a career site. We are fortunate enough to steal their knowledge and ideas and bend them to fit our talent acquisition and employer branding needs. The best thing you can do is to consider the candidates perspective, stay focused on employee generated content, and start small. If you want to leverage your career site into your best recruiting tool but don’t know where to start then grab some time on my calendar here.