Case Study:

How a leading specialty retailer increased career site conversions with Clinch

About the Client

A leading specialty U.S. retailer, founded in 2000 and headquartered in Atlanta.

The Challenge

With 100 stores across the U.S., the company is growing rapidly. In 2017, its talent acquisition team was on the lookout for a recruitment marketing and CRM solution that would enable them to promote the company’s employer brand and generate a healthy volume of qualified candidates to support its growth as a result.

The Solution

After considering multiple options, the retailer chose Clinch — the software platform that leverages machine learning and marketing automation to bring you a more intelligent career site and higher conversion rate. In making the switch, the client leaves behind a legacy jobs.net site on their own domain.

Why Clinch?

The client places a strong emphasis on employer branded content, and believes in the benefits of engaging candidates creatively.

Says its Head of Talent,

“We find that creating a visually- and content-rich experience is very beneficial to receiving a healthy volume of qualified candidates to support our growth.”

As such, it was imperative that the client company purchase a system that offered a high level of creative flexibility and functionality when it came to its career site and related jobs pages.

Beautiful confident hispanic business woman

The career site is an extension of the company and we want each individual who interacts with us to have a very positive experience. Over the past two years we’ve worked very hard to remove the unnecessary aspects of the view and apply process to our jobs and are continuing to work on providing rich content to engage the candidates.

— Head of Talent at the company


Clinch had the retail company’s new career site live in under 30 days.

Clinch promised technical and graphic support during our implementation and we were extremely pleased with the level of detail the team offered up during our implementation. Staying on brand standards is very important to us and the Clinch team met every expectation in this area. There were also some great deliverables by the Clinch team in regards to functionality.

— Head of Talent at the company


Highly visual, the company’s new career site uses Clinch’s auto-branding and templating capabilities to ensure a consistent look and feel across all jobs and landing pages, incorporating the company logo, font, and color scheme, as well as a complete header and footer.


Putting the landing page feature in Clinch to excellent use, the company created microsites that showcased the different career areas available within the company, as well as offering information to niche candidate groups, such as “Students & Grads.”

Vanity URL

The Clinch-generated career site also benefits from a “vanity URL” — a unique web address that in this instance, for the purposes of recruitment marketing, puts the company’s name front and center: careers.retailer.com.

Not only does this clearly brand the career site, the vanity URL also impacts positively on SEO and increases the likelihood of Google for Jobs looking favorably on the associated jobs pages.

People, Person, Brochure, Flyer, Paper, Poster, Face, Portrait, Smile

Jobs pages: built automatically, fully responsive

With the ATS integration in place, all jobs are automatically pulled into Clinch and a branded, rich-media, fully responsive job page automatically generated for each one. The jobs pages are dynamic, meaning that, through machine learning and AI, they update to show content the system deems as being relevant to each individual candidate based on their previous browsing habits. This functionality works in harmony with Clinch customization features such as “Add to Favorites,” and “Similar Jobs” for a more personalized candidate experience, ensuring that the client’s new career site is fully optimized for candidate engagement and conversion.


Utilization and Results

Since rolling out its Clinch career site in June 2017, the client company has seen an increase to 51% in its views-to-starting application conversion rate, outperforming industry averages of 8.5% by 500%.
At the time of writing, the team has welcomed 236,000 new candidates into the Clinch CRM. Of these, 232,000 went on to start job applications. To date, the client has hired 2,292 employees through Clinch.


views-to-starting applications


new candidates



We were very surprised at how quickly our applicant flow increased after launching Clinch. While we were doing well prior to Clinch being implemented, we are now getting more traction beyond my expectations. It’s a phenomenal vehicle.

— Head of Talent at the company

The company is confident that it is building strong relationships with candidates at all stages of their decision journey. Session length continues to
increase (currently 1.5 minutes) and applicant drop-off continues to decline ( ~31%). Returning visitors now account for 24% of all career-related traffic and monthly average users (MAU)  now number over 25,000.

The retailer attributes this to a number of factors directly relating to Clinch’s feature set, including:

  • A more visual, content-rich career site
  • Customized jobs lists (powered by AI and Machine Learning)
  • Automated “nudge” emails that remind candidates about incomplete applications
  • A more personalized candidate experience (“Favorite Jobs,” etc.)
  • Automated candidate nurture (e.g. using Workflow to trigger emails)

Talent network

In addition to the rise in the number of applications received via the new-look jobs pages, the site’s prominent “Join our talent network” call-to-action feature has played a major part in driving conversions and growing out the clients’s talent network.
Its Head of Talent explains how being able to tap into a robust network of engaged candidates is beneficial to her
recruitment team:

This has become a very important platform in allowing the talent acquisition team to engage with our network. We’ve leveraged this network for special needs; for new store openings, for hiring events and the like, and we really enjoy having such a large group of people to engage with.

— Head of Talent at the company

Candidate experience

Its Head of Talent also spoke to the importance of giving candidates an additional means of demonstrating their interest in a company —beyond the typical job application:

We may not have a need that exactly matches the candidate’s skills today, but we want to keep that relationship, that connection, with the candidate.

— Head of Talent at the company

She believes that giving the candidate a quick and easy way to join their talent network —as facilitated by Clinch’s fully customizable calls-to-action— creates “a positive experience that is a big part of that relationship.”

Marketing automation and relationship building

The company has also leveraged to great effect, marketing automation features in Clinch. After composing personalized email templates using the platform’s messaging feature, the team built and activated a Workflow that automatically sends an acknowledgement email to each and every candidate who fills out the talent network call-to-action.

In an effort to gauge the effectiveness and ease of their application process and to calculate the Net Promoter Score, the team use the same tool to request feedback from all those candidates who proceed to the “Apply” stage of the recruitment process. Overall, the feedback has been extremely positive; since deploying Clinch, the team has been delighted to see its top-of-the-funnel NPS increase steadily to where it is now, at 78.

You can see a visualization of the client’s candidate feedback in the word cloud.


Not only does the implementation of this automated messaging feature contribute to a more rewarding experience for each individual candidate who interacts, the use of Workflow in Clinch reduces recruiter chore, giving the team more time to invest in more manual tasks and increasing productivity overall.

Looking Ahead

The company will be doubling down on employer branded content creation in the months ahead, rolling out video and still photography that they believe will resonate with the talent they need. Using Clinch’s intuitive page editor tool, the team themselves will be empowered to update the career site as and when they wish, without having to rely on the specialized skills and expertise of a technical team as is so often the case when it comes to career content.


Understanding the pivotal role played by career sites and jobs pages in the candidate journey, the client set out to find a solution that combined content management capabilities with candidate relationship management for a first-class candidate experience.

In just 30 days, Clinch delivered a new-look career site optimized for conversion, and in the months that followed, has proved its potential as a recruitment marketing platform through which a busy recruitment team can successfully guide the candidate journey from beginning to end; from “attract and engage” to “nurture and convert” — from first touch to apply.

Having a CRM platform for recruiting should be on every Talent Acquisition leader’s strategy board. We are moving along with the digital world that we live in and having the ability to reach our candidates and engage them is top of the list in our strategy. Clinch makes that possible

— Head of Talent at the company