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Recruitment content marketing

Content marketing in recruitment can be a great candidate acquisition tool, particularly if you consider that just 30%* of your potential talent pool is actively seeking a new job. But as more and more companies pump out content at an ever increasing speed, how do you ensure your content stands out from the crowd? In this blog post we’ll look at the top trends in content marketing and what they mean for your recruitment content marketing.

First let’s look at what content marketing is. Often misunderstood content marketing in recruitment is a strategic approach that sees you creating and distributing valuable and consistent content to attract and retain talent. So if you thought you could simply produce a few ad hoc ‘blogs’ on your careers site about how great it is to work for you, it’s not content marketing that will attract talent to you. Built into your wider talent attraction strategy, rather than simply ‘selling’ your company and potential roles your content marketing educates or add values in some way to your target hires. So what is hot in the world of content and how do you reach your ideal candidates in a meaningful way?

Increased focus on content distributionJoe Pulizzi, founder of the Content Marketing Institute, predicts that while five years ago businesses were spending 80% on content creation and 20% on content promotion that today successful content marketers have switched that spend.

You can produce as much great quality content as you like but if it’s just stuck on your careers website, and not showing where your targets are looking then you aren’t going to reach anyone new. So when you’re creating your content plan don’t just look at what your targets are reading, but where.

For example are there forums where they seek advice from peers around the world, such as Github for developers? Or perhaps they turn to YouTube for video tutorials? As social media sites increasingly turn to algorithms to decide what their users do and don’t see, we’ll see the increasing importance of influencer and established channels. So whether you approach an influencer to collaborate, or publish careers content on a platform where you know your target audience frequent in the form of native advertising, make sure you do it in a way that makes sense for you and ultimately drives them to where you want them, whether that’s into your talent pool or to specific job ads.

Increasingly interactive contentIt’s no secret that visuals can help you stand out from the crowd, and draw people to read what you have to say. It’s also clear that companies are betting big on video, in fact you can read our recent post about video trends and our recommendations for video in your recruitment here. However, what is the one thing with bigger pull and more likely to convert? Interactive content. According to a recent report by the Content Marketing Institute 81% agree that interactive content grabs attention more effectively than static content, and 79% agree that interactive content enhances retention of brand messaging.

Interactive content gives candidates that two-way conversation they crave. This could be as simple as a fun quiz where they see how much the align with your brand values or 360 video tours of your offices. Allowing candidates to self-select in this way helps them feel more in control, improving their candidate experience (for more tips to improve your candidate experience read our recent blog here). So the next time you’re thinking about the type of content you want to produce, think about what you are trying to achieve, and what is the best way to do this? For example, when Hays came to review their graduate attraction content where attitude is potentially more important than experience, and education about what a recruiter actually does, that allowed candidates to self-select which was key, this is why we created an interactive video that allows them to experience a day in the life, but by asking them what they would do in each situation before they decide if they want to apply.

ROI and measurement is vitalMarketing like HR is under huge pressure to measure and better prove it’s return on investment. The same is being asked of content, it’s no longer good enough to simply say we had this many page views on our content. Just like you’d measure the performance of any candidate source it’s important you apply the same rigour to content production in your hiring, exploring not only the number of applications that are secured as a result, but the number that make it interview and that go on to join your company.

You never know if they’ve gone from a reader of your content themselves, and then started with you they could be your ideal next author! They know the kind of content your target hires because they are your target. Just keep in mind what you are trying to achieve when producing the content. For example, if it’s to engage a passive market and build a talent pool, or to raise awareness, candidate applications may not be the right measure.

Marketing automation creeps up the agendaMarketing automation takes traditional manual tasks, such as e-mail marketing, and as the name suggests, automates them. For example, companies are using tools such as HubSpot or Marketo to define the kind of person they are looking for, then applying an automated scoring system based on the basic factors such as job title, location, industry and then also the actions they take as they move through the different stages of the process.

These actions can trigger certain responses, for example if they view certain pages or blogs on your careers site, get so far through an application and then don’t apply, it may trigger a reminder e-mail about the deadline of the job they were applying for. Or it may be as simple as it auto-segments your applicants based on if this is the first time they’ve visited your careers site versus a returner.

Whilst it’s been around for several years, now it’s really beginning to take centre stage. In their Managing Digital Marketing in 2016 report Smart Insights respondents listed marketing automation as the third most important digital marketing activity to their business, with only big data and content marketing rated higher. This is a trend many companies are still getting to grips with, and requires significant investment both in the tools and plotting out the process. However, as the candidate journey becomes increasingly complex with multiple routes in, the amount of information and data available to use allows for increased insight, the potential to improve the candidate experience here is huge, and so definitely one to consider to give your content real conversion power.

So what do all these content marketing trends tell you?Whilst the widespread use of content is no longer an avenue talent acquisition can ignore, you shouldn’t run off and start creating your own blog about how great it is to work for you. Those who are truly winning at content marketing know the number one rule, it’s all about adding value. This means focusing on the kind of content that your target audience want to read, which might mean writing about content that’s not directly related to exactly what you sell. Struggling to recruit top developer talent? Why not get your developers to produce tutorials that help those learning to code on your blog? Allowing you to build a talent pool of those with a keen interest in becoming a developer before they have even begun their careers.

You need a strategy and a plan. One that revolves around understanding your different target audiences, what they see and where they want to see it. This could be as simple as reviewing your marketing team’s existing content plan and adding some trackable links to relevant jobs or your career site where appropriate, or it could include industry influencers and automation tools to serve the right content at the right time. Just keep it valuable, relevant and consistent.

*LinkedIn Talent Trends Report 2015 https://business.linkedin.com/talent-solutions/resources/recruiting-tips/talent-trends-2015 

Laura Clark, Global Marketing Manager

Laura Clark
Global Marketing Manager, Hays Talent Solutions
Focused on leading the planning and delivery of strategic marketing programmes to support the growth of Hays Talent Solutions globally, Laura works with our teams around the world to share our insight and expertise. 

Before moving to her current role Laura headed up the marketing for a third of Hays' UK specialisms, including Accountancy and Finance, Life Sciences and Financial Markets, developing our candidate attraction and client engagement strategies. Prior to joining Hays, and after completing a BSc in Management at the University of Manchester, Laura worked in a marketing agency as an account manager and headed up the marketing for a technical recruitment company and marketing consultancy, where she gained her Professional Diploma in Marketing.

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