How to Use Content Marketing to Target Candidates on Your Career Site

You’ve probably heard the saying that content is king. When it comes to digital and the internet, content drives traffic, makes your website sticky and increases brand recognition, loyalty and sales. With the recruiting function looking more and more like marketing, it’s no wonder that what works for marketing pros could work for our industry too. Content makes sense in marketing and there’s no doubt that it can also help drive qualified candidates to your company career site, engage them and increase the likelihood that they’ll ultimately apply to apply for a job posting.

Why Not Your Company Career Site?

Many in the talent acquisition industry know how important a career site is, but still focus on their web presence outside of the company career site — missing an opportunity to create engaging candidate content. I’ve said before that the heart of your recruiting efforts is your company career site: 76% of candidate prefer to apply directly on the company career site. What you may not realize is that it’s more than a place to share open positions and use employment branding. It’s a destination where your candidate will commit the ultimate buying decision — applying for your job posting. You, as the talent acquisition leader have the power to make your company career site a place where candidates want to spend time and revisit. It’s already the center of your recruiting universe, but good content can elevate it and make it a dynamic, ever-changing entity that candidates don’t just visit once.


The Challenge of Content in Recruiting

Like most marketing efforts, content is a long term, qualified candidate strategy. To really differentiate yourself, you have to create three types of content, including 1) company information, 2) keyword heavy content, 3) and differentiators that resonate and effectively reach your qualified candidate audience. If there is one thing I’ve learned in my 9+ years of writing and blogging on the internet, it’s that content is a long term strategy and, when it comes to your career site, involves mix of education and resources that speaks to your company culture and employer brand.

Content takes time to build. It’s the reason that internet marketing is so challenging and why companies in the HR and recruiting technology space spend millions of dollars developing interesting content in multiple mediums just to have the opportunity to reach and resonate with you in the smallest way. Because that small connection garners trust and trust is the key to any type of relationship, whether it’s seller and buyer, or company and candidate. The key to creating content that resonates with candidates is leveraging your company’s most trusted subject matter experts on the employment process and experience — your employees.

According to the 2016 Edelman Trust Barometer, employees are the most trusted representative of any organization. They are looked on more favorably than CEOs or journalists. It’s important to weave their personal experiences and stories into your content strategy, which should use multiple mediums including video, graphics and long form content like blogs to reach candidates in different ways.


How Content Reaches Qualified Candidates

In recruiting, lead generation happens when candidates sign up for your job alerts or email newsletter, apply for a job, attend a career webinar, or become a member of your talent network or community. You can make all this happen by simply providing content that people need.

Your content strategy for increasing traffic and leads should cover three important areas.

#1 – Provide Resources Anticipating Candidate Questions and Needs

First of all, it should be content that candidates want and need. If you know what candidates are searching for, you can make sure you’re on the other end of that search. This means providing resources that don’t directly serve your interests such as a job search guide, resume tips and interview tricks. Or it could be answering common candidate questions in a series of short, Snapchat-style videos. Your content strategy should use mediums that are familiar to candidates. This will help you build trust in addition to anticipating their needs. 

#2 – Timely and Consistent Content

Secondly, your content should be timely and consistent. The most effective way to continually drive traffic is to continually produce content. This might be a weekly podcast or a twice a week blog on your career site. Ideally, you’d have two to three blog posts a week, a new job-seeker resource monthly, and supplemental resources such as videos, webinars and podcasts bi-weekly.

#3 – Leave Your Candidates Wanting More

Finally, your content should be sticky and convert your readers or viewers. It should leave them wanting to know more, so they’ll venture over to your job search page after consuming your fresh content. Always include some type of call to action, but keep it natural. Don’t have forced request to view open positions.

Content is a powerful force. Make the most of it and use it to increase the impact of your company career site.

You don’t just want any web traffic. You want the right traffic. And while probably have plenty of candidates applying for roles, most of them are unqualified. That’s the real secret of creating targeted content — it’s designed to drive a very limited number of web visitors, rather than the masses.

You want to engage a small and very specific group of candidates and great content can do that. 

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Jessica Miller-Merrell

Learn more about Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource, and the host of the Workology Podcast. More of her blogs can be found here.

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