How to Create a SMART Content Strategy That Helps You Recruit
By Emily Ceskavich ● August 2, 2017 at 10:14 AM
Creating original content on your website or blog can be overwhelming. When you have limited resources and need to fill a class of 20 insurance sales reps by the end of the month, the last thing you want to do is set aside time to write content for your candidate audience. And isn’t that marketing’s job?
The truth is, recruitment and marketing both have the same goal: Connecting.
Marketers connect customers and brands.
Recruiters connect candidates with jobs.
You need to know who your market is, what they want, how to catch their attention, and how to motivate them to act. The traditional tenets of marketing are becoming mainstream in recruitment, but don't let that intimidate you. Chances are, you have had some experience with content marketing already.
The key to a content strategy that requires minimal maintenance is taking the time to set up goals and processes that will make it easy to run, maintain, and fuel your strategy with resources you already have in place.
Align your content marketing with recruitment priorities by setting SMART goals.
Specify your goals and audience.
Prioritize your goals according to your recruitment needs.
- Who do you want to attract and engage? Who is successfully engaging them (your competitors, social media, etc.)?
- What do you want them to do once they begin engaging with and responding to your content?
- Where do these candidates spend their time?
- When are they the most likely to engage? When are they off work?
- Why would this success matter to your recruiters?
- Which tools, resources, and people would add value to this process?
Say you work for a staffing firm that sources and recruits nurses, healthcare professionals, and healthcare assistants.
You might set your sights on engaging newly graduated students, employed nurses, and current healthcare assistants to build your candidate pipeline for the type of jobs you plan to be recruiting for in the future.
After doing some digging, or pulling from your own experiential learning as a recruiter, you come to the conclusion that many of the nurses and medical professionals you want to recruit find their next job through referrals and word-of-mouth.
To take advantage of the popularity of word-of-mouth among candidates who may not be actively searching for employment on job sites, pivot to social media.
In addition to broad channels like Facebook or LinkedIn, consider niche healthcare communities as well.
Measure your progress
When measuring your progress, a good goal to start with is to set up tracking for any pieces of content that you either host from your website or want to drive to your website.
One way to do this is to tag your blog articles with utm (tracking) codes that reflect the promotional channel you used for that piece of content. In Google Analytics, you can see where the readers of your blogs and responders to your ads go when they convert from your content to the landing destination you would like them to go.
When looking at paid promotions, measure the performance of your organic sharing and promotion first, before advertising or promotion. This helps build momentum and it often results in significantly high organic reach as the paid promotion begins.
The most useful recruitment insights to be gained from post-performance is usually in the events that have “peak” and “valley” effects on your timeline. Be careful not to become too granular with your post analytics. Focusing on changes that will bring the biggest impact..
Is it achievable?
Good recruitment marketing puts recruiters in the best position to sell and conditions candidates to be responsive to the environment the marketing creates.
Attempting to do that without a strategy that incorporates your recruitment goals can be a pricey recipe for disaster. Is it realistic to sustain, given the resources you have?
As a recruiter, your time, team, and technology are the most important resources to be cognizant of when setting the scope and expectations for your goals.
Key considerations to plan:
- Who will create the content? Are there any in-house experts on a particular subject?
- Who will promote this content? When?
- How much budget will you allocate toward each test and channel?
- How much time can you dedicate to each step? Can you leverage your technology or recruitment systems to make your content marketing machine run more efficiently?
Make your content relevant to your goals and candidates
There are two key points of relevance that you should consider when creating your content and the strategy you use to amplify it with promotion or advertising.
Is the content relevant to your goals as a recruiter?
Align the highest-level priorities of your content marketing with the biggest communication gaps in your recruitment process or approach.
What do you wish you had more time to coach candidates on? Do you wish clients understood something that would make your ability to work with them easier?
Ask yourself what kind of content you need. Then, create content that helps you bridge that gap in the most effective way.
This could be an FAQ video that you pop on YouTube and send as a link to candidates. It may be a note that you add to your social media that addresses a common misconception or pain point for candidates.
Is the content relevant to your candidate’s interests and priorities?
How is the content relevant to your candidates’ lives?
Graduating from college, work anniversaries, the beginning of the year, and the return after a holiday break are all common triggers that prompt people to re-evaluate their careers.
If your candidate is frustrated by not hearing back from employers after they’ve applied for a position, they will be more responsive to a recruiter who is sharing their perspective as the gatekeeper rather than an article that would help them narrow down opportunities.
Understanding the context in which your message is received by a candidate will help you engage them through your content in a way that moves them to respond.
Create time-bound benchmarks
Setting parameters around your time is paramount to building a content strategy that you can reliably and consistently execute.
What are the results you’d like to see in 1 month? 3 months? 6 months?
If your strategy doesn’t show any progression within the first 3 months, then it would be smart to go back to the drawing board and try a different approach or channel.
Finally, a strong content strategy supplements and enhances the recruitment strengths and marketing assets you have. It goes beyond blogs. A well-formed content marketing strategy for recruiting and staffing considers the whole picture from the top of your candidate funnel to conversion.
Before you start thinking about doing anything else with your content, do three things:
1) Apply to a job via your careers page, job boards you use, and any other direct application channel. Can you apply if you don't have your resume handy? If not, what other options does a potential candidate have to communicate interest in the position or firm?
2) Follow the conversion paths you have currently set up on your website. Is everything working and tracking? Any technical issues that need to be fixed?
3) Set up Google Analytics on your website or blog hosting on a platform like Medium.
The goal is to identify the points of friction that might hinder or distract people from your apply process. Smooth the rough patches you can see first.
Topics: Recruiting Strategies
Updated April 24, 2018