Job seekers interact with an average of 18 pieces of content before deciding to apply for a job. Everything from your career site to your job postings, from LinkedIn Company Pages to Glassdoor reviews, is a piece of content that can influence a job seeker’s decision.

How can recruitment marketers optimize these opportunities? Spamming them with job postings is not the way to win them over. You must optimize your recruitment marketing content so it connects with the talent you hope to attract.

Understanding Your Audience

It starts with understanding the people you’re trying to reach, and the top things that today’s candidate cares about are purpose, culture, and values, according to a 2019 survey from Glassdoor.

Purpose:

  • 89% of candidates say it’s essential for a company to have a clear mission and purpose. 
  • 79% will consider that mission before applying.

Culture:

  • 93% of Glassdoor reviews mention company culture, which shows you how influential culture is to employees.
  • 77% of job seekers consider a company’s culture before applying for a job.

Values:

  • 73% of job seekers will not apply to a company unless their values align.

Knowing all of these factors are important, your team needs to develop an employee value proposition (EVP) to explain to current and future employees what they will get in exchange for their talent and time. 

Defining Quality Recruitment Marketing Content

According to “Everybody Writes” by Ann Handley
Quality Content = Utility x Inspiration x Empathy 

Utility 

Content that has utility helps shoulder their burdens, ease their pain, or make a decision. At each stage of the candidate journey, consider what your candidates are trying to do or decide. What questions do they have? How can you help them at that point in their journey?

You can create a monthly formula that outlines helpful content that maps every stage of the candidate’s journey. Have a plan in place.
According to A Lookbook for the Candidate Journey, “Content can help advance the right-fit people to the next stage in their journey by aligning on what matters to them at the right time.”

Inspiration

Share creatively inspired content. Boring stock photos and corporate jargon just don’t cut it. Share content that is fresh, well-produced, and beautifully designed. Tell stories that show how you are different from similar employers. That’s inspired content.

You don’t have a lot of time to grab someone’s attention. Therefore, you need to make it very easy for somebody to quickly consume your recruitment marketing content (on a small screen).

Use your content to show candidates how you’re different from similar employers. Illustrate those key differentiators to make your content and company stand out. 

Empathy

Put yourself in the candidate’s shoes, obsessively and relentlessly. Show them empathy.
“Good writing serves the reader, not the writer,” says Ann Handley. “It isn’t self-indulgent. Good writing anticipates the questions that readers might have as they’re reading a piece, and it answers them.”

What questions can you answer for your candidates in your career site, job postings, candidate outreach emails, LinkedIn, etc.? Across your content ecosystem, answer those frequently asked questions, so they don’t even have to ask. 

The goal for high-quality recruitment marketing content is to take the candidate’s point of view, make them the hero of your story. Rather than a company-centric point of view, shift your language to replace “I” or “we” with “you.” Do this in your job descriptions, social media posts, and everywhere else you have content. Speak to the candidate directly.

Mapping Your Content to the Candidate Journey

With your target talent and EVP in mind, it’s time to create and curate your recruitment marketing content. Use the candidate journey as a map to influence your content: 

1. Align your content to every stage of the candidate journey.

Determine the high-quality content that has empathy, is useful, answers their questions, shoulders their burdens, etc. This content should exist at every single stage of their candidate journey.

2. Audit your content. 

Identify the content you already have that fits the bill. Then, look at your gaps. This will help you determine what you need to reimagine from existing content and what to create from scratch.

3. Create a development plan. 

Now that you identified what you need to create, devise a strategy for getting this accomplished. Who will create it? What resources will you use? What is your timeline?

4. Design your distribution plan. 

Then, identify what channels you will use to get your recruitment marketing content to the right talent at the right time. Consider internal and external channels to distribute your content.

5. Establish your KPIs

Every content piece has a job to do, whether that’s driving awareness, traffic, applications, or something else. Match each piece of content to its KPIs. 
The content mapping process will help you prioritize which recruitment marketing content to create or curate first to earn top talent.

Now that you have all of this useful, inspiring, and empathic content that maps to the candidate’s journey, how will you activate that content?

Inspiring Employee Advocacy

Make your content-centric recruitment marketing strategy more impactful by arming your employees with content and encouraging them to share it with their networks. You can provide a steady flow of high-quality, candidate-centric content to your employees and encourage them to share it on social media.

An employee advocacy program equally benefits candidates, your company, and your employees. Candidates will get information from their trusted peers, rather than just your recruitment marketing team. Your company content will reach new audiences and perform better. Employees will share high-quality content, helping to build their networks, and elevate their personal brands.

Before you start an employee advocacy program, audit your status quo. Host focus groups to ask employees and recruiters why they aren’t already sharing high-quality company content today. It could be because they…

  • Don’t see the value of sharing content
  • Worried about saying posting the wrong content 
  • Don’t have time to find or write content
  • Don’t know how to post content

Once you identify your employees’ pain points, make sure your employee advocacy program addresses these reasons. Teach employees and recruiters how to speak in a candidate-centric way on social media and share that quality content. Teach them how to be content marketers!

For every job posting they share on social media, they should share five other pieces of content focused on anything else, such as the employee experience. 
Your employees will be inspired to continue sharing content once they get the hang of it. Then, if you share the results of their efforts, you can build a culture that encourages all employees to use their voices and share their stories.