Imagine the window display of a store that never changed. Or a shop that didn’t have anything to help customers find what they want or help them make a decision. That’s what a careers website could very quickly become without a regular supply of content. And that’s why content – or ‘content marketing’ is a term you’ve probably been hearing a lot recently.

This article is all about what content marketing looks like for recruiters. We’ll cover why candidates want it, the different formats and how to share it. In no time at all you’ll be your very own content marketing specialist – a very useful skill to have. So, let’s kick off with a look at what content marketing is and why candidates find it so important in their decision making.

What is content marketing?

There is no shortage of definitions about what content marketing is. We’ve picked two from well-known sources:

“Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.” The Content Marketing Institute.

“By cultivating a conversation and a relationship with your audience through content marketing, a business stands out, delivers value, and builds trust. It’s simply the best way to nurture leads, engender customer loyalty, and build brand reputation.” WordPress.

Thanks WordPress, we couldn’t have put it better ourselves.

Content marketing is about attracting and engaging with a defined audience (your candidate types), delivering something of value (content) and building their trust so that they take action when they are ready to buy (or apply).

Recruitment marketing content includes LinkedIn posts and other social media posts, your LinkedIn company page, careers site blog articles, videos and increasingly, podcasts. We’ll go into a bit more detail below.

Why good content matters to candidates

Just like any customer, candidates have priorities when they are searching for a role or an organisation to join. They have needs to be satisfied and are seeking to find a fit with their values.  We’ve picked a few candidate related stats; content has the potential to influence opinion for all of these.

  • 75% of job seekers consider an employer’s brand before even applying for a job (LinkedIn, 2021)
  • 60% of the public will choose a place to work based on their beliefs and values. (Edelman Trust, 2022)
  • More than three-quarters of candidates (77%) would consider a company’s culture before applying for a job. (Glassdoor 2023)

Your careers-based content will guide your candidates to forming an opinion and taking action. They may visit your careers site or see your posts on LinkedIn several times. The content they see at each touchpoint is likely to reassure them that your business, people and culture are going to be the right fit.

Recruitment content – formats and topics

Content comes in many formats but, when planning, it’s really important to think of your candidate and how they discover your employer brand. As with any customer journey, it’s likely to start with small interactions. Bite sized snippets of information are likely to get noticed and read – like a LinkedIn post, a Tweet/ X post or a short video. Only later, when there is some level of interest, will they want to go into the detail that a blog might deliver.

This means you need to think of a variety of formats to match the time they might have and the stage they are at. And don’t forget that every piece of content should have a purpose and be relevant to the target audience you want to attract.

The topics you could cover will depend on your organisation. The only ‘set rule’ is to be helpful to your candidate. You could consider these:

  • Short posts about people and the work you do on LinkedIn
  • Posts or videos of team events
  • Blog articles on different types of roles – perhaps a series on a different department
  • ‘A day in the life of’ articles on current employees
  • Sharing a virtual tour of your offices and on-site facilities
  • Profiling your leaders and what engages them in your business
  • Looking at your values and purpose – why your people do what they do

All of the above have multiple opportunities to be posted and re-shared. Don’t forget that only a small percentage of your target audience will see a post each time – so don’t waste your content by only posting once. Repetition creates familiarity just as long as you don’t run the same post every day.

How to promote your content

Here’s where the marketing part of ‘content marketing’ comes into play. As we’ve suggested above, there is a process to this and it means you need to keep your content present, which requires consistency.

LinkedIn is a whole topic of its own. It’s the platform we all use, a thriving community of potential candidates and customers of your employer brand with 37 million users in the UK alone. We wrote an extensive piece on LinkedIn, and we suggest you read it for tips on what content to include and how to create the perfect LinkedIn post. Here it is: Promoting your employer brand on LinkedIn

LinkedIn isn’t the only channel of course. All of your content, in its fullest form, needs to live on your careers site so it creates a really interesting portal into your organisation and culture and shows people doing the roles they love. When your candidate is ready to find out more, it needs to be there for them to see in all its glory. One of the content features we strongly suggest you have is a careers blog within your careers site. It allows the people who know you best to tell their stories and this is the content that your candidates really want to see.

We’ve written a full article on how to produce a careers blog. It covers what you can include and most importantly, how to get it done. Here’s the link: The careers website blog. Your employer branding secret weapon

Finally, don’t forget to engage the most powerful voice you’ll have in promoting your content – your own people. Our own strapline is that ‘Every employer has a story to tell’ and it’s your people who can best tell it. When you have created your careers content, it’s really worth investing in a strategy to develop your very own employer brand champions to promote it. We’ve covered this in more detail in another article to help you form a content marketing strategy. Employer brand champions. How to get your people to share your story

Getting it all done

To be seen when your target audience is looking, you need to show up with regular fresh content in the right platforms. While producing content can be very rewarding, not everyone has the time or resources to do this in-house. If you’d like to develop more recruitment and career content as well as a strategy to share it, take a look at our new content marketing page which also contains a number of case studies of our work.

Content marketing: Sharing your employer story

Need a little help?

We hope this article on content marketing has been helpful. If you feel that you’d like some help, support or even a little chat around content or any aspect of your employer brand and talent attraction strategy just drop us a line. After all, much of our best work has started with a cup of tea and a Zoom call.