Content marketing can show potential employees that your business is a great place to work.
Most companies focus their content marketing efforts on driving bottom-line business goals, such as lead generation and sales. And while that's obviously important, content marketing can also have a significant impact on other company functions such as HR and recruiting.
With a booming economy and low unemployment rate, companies can better leverage their content marketing efforts to find – and retain – the best industry talent.
The Economy and Jobs
The unemployment rate in the U.S. reached 3.9% in July 2018. In May, it was 3.8%, the lowest it’s been in nearly 20 years.
Still, many businesses are struggling to find and keep employees, especially in industries such as transportation, healthcare, and public service, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Many of these companies are losing out on business due to an inability to attract high-quality workers.
According to The Washington Post, transportation companies have gone as far as boosting pay, adding vacation days, and lowering requirement ages, but they still can’t find drivers. In the healthcare sector, hospitals are hiring “nontraditional workers” such as retirees to do entry-level and housekeeping work. Construction and electrical businesses are also having a tough time holding onto people. Even restaurants, manufacturers, and tech companies aren't immune. Seemingly, every sector in America has been hit with a worker shortage.
Meanwhile, a startling 13% of unemployed workers quit their jobs, a sign of confidence they can find new positions without worry.
Clearly, the economy is in a healthy place for the moment. There are more options for employees than there have been since the recession began in 2007. And while that’s great for job seekers, jobmakers have their work cut out for them when it comes to competing for the attention of potential hires.
How Can Companies Attract New Employees and Engage With Current Employees?
One of the top ways to cut through an increasingly competitive hiring environment is with content marketing.
Your online presence can’t just be attractive to potential customers; it has to be appealing to new hires as well. Here are several ways you can accomplish this with content marketing.
Create Compelling Content
Start with content creation on a company blog, if you’re not already.
It's important to create content about what's going on in your industry, but a company blog is also an opportunity to explain to potential new hires why they should consider working for you.
Talk about your company culture. Post employee testimonials. Give prospective hires all the information they need before they consider applying. About 84% of people trust online reviews as much as friends, so it's important to have positive online reviews of your business.
For example, Accenture created a social post about how working there helps “improve the way the world works and lives.”
Compelling content will draw potential employees to your business and show them why they should work for you.
Tell Your Brand Story
These days, it’s safe to assume job hunters are researching your company on employer-review sites such as Glassdoor, so remember to tell your brand story.
Who founded your company? What problem is it trying to solve? And where do you plan on taking the company? Prospective hires need to know their place of work has a long, sustainable future ahead of it.
Does your brand radiate trust? Are you transparent with your business practices? Ask yourself that because your main audience is likely millennials, the largest age group currently in the American workforce.
Nearly half of millennials are driven by morals, to the point that they would turn down a job if it clashes with their ethical standards. Make sure your company’s high integrity comes across because your company culture and its beliefs could put you at a big advantage over other brands.
Telling your brand story helps you appeal to potential employees.
Video is another powerful option for content marketers.
Discussing your company culture and employee happiness can take the form of well-produced, short videos.
A tour of your workplace can be a great way to display the great, safe work environment candidates can look forward to and give your brand the opportunity to show off its value with visual evidence.
Reading about how wonderful a place is to work is one thing, but seeing it? That’s far more powerful and far-reaching because social video generates 1,200% more shares than text and images combined.
For example, Deloitte created a video showcasing its employees and culture.
Instead of just telling prospective employees that Deloitte is a great place to work, the video shows it.
Streaming live video on Facebook and Twitter is another opportunity to catch the attention of high-quality talent.
A “live tour" and department interviews can generate shares and views and boost morale for current employers who get a chance to show off where they work and what they do with company pride.
Video will prove to candidates that your business is a good place to work.
Develop a Company Newsletter
To continuously engage potential hires, build relationships with them. Encourage them to subscribe to a company newsletter, which can include news about career opportunities, open job listings, or appearances at events such as local job fairs or your usual stream of industry-related content.
Creating a candidate funnel, just like you already do with customer leads, can help you cultivate a continuous pool of informed and engaged job applicants, especially when you keep them updated with a newsletter.
What Opportunities Are Most Brands Missing to Attract and Engage High-Quality Talent?
Many businesses lack a content marketing strategy that could appeal to potential employees.
Easy-to-Navigate, Mobile-Friendly Websites
Some company sites are difficult to navigate or to even look at, especially in technical B2B industries.
Many of these sites were built long ago and were never updated, and because many industrial companies rely much more heavily on existing relationships and referrals, a website update isn't always a priority.
That’s a problem, since more than half of internet traffic now comes from smartphones and tablets. Is your site updated to work on mobile devices?
If not, make sure your mobile experience is solid. Many job hunters idly read job boards and reviews on their smartphones during their commutes (or their current job), so ensure your site is mobile responsive.
Also, get rid of clutter. The trend now is to have clean, simple layouts with appealing color schemes.
Invest in a user experience so that it’s as friendly and seamless as possible. You want candidates to find job information without worry, and you want them to come back.
A mobile-friendly site, which builds credibility and ensures you will rank higher on Google thanks to mobile-first indexing, will make that more likely.
Related to mobile-first indexing, you of course want to use the same keywords and search terms your candidates will be using.
This is a content marketing best practice. If your audience is searching for positions like “Marketing Manager” or “Director of Digital,” be sure you use those words in your content, including your URL tags and image captions.
If you include keywords in your content, it is much more likely to appear on search engines.
Discuss Your Company’s Perks
If you have perks, then discuss your perks.
An attainable sense of work-life balance? Even better.
Companies that place these benefits front-and-center in their content will differentiate themselves from the ones that don’t.
What Marketing Channels Work Best for Hiring and Recruiting?
The marketing channels that work best for hiring and recruiting depends on your niche.
If you’re in media and publishing, most writers and content creators are on Twitter. In fashion and retail, potential employees tend to congregate on more image-heavy platforms such as Instagram.
And, naturally, there’s LinkedIn, where business professionals connect through blog posts and job listings.
Creating content specific for each channel will broaden your reach and result in greater visibility, as long as you tailor that content to each platform. For example, you may want to leave the animated GIFs and irreverent humor for Twitter and post more buttoned-up content on LinkedIn.
Use Content Amplification
One way to hit all your marks is with content amplification, a concerted marketing effort that combines organic traffic, paid ads, and earned media coverage.
That will get your company news, job postings, and job-related content out to every possible channel, including influencers and major publications.
Attract, Engage, and Retain High-Quality Candidates With Content Marketing
In a crowded job market, brands must separate themselves from the pack. This article presents a few different ways companies can adjust their recruitment strategy and offers some content marketing tactics that will attract, engage, and retain high-quality job candidates.
Each brand should use its own method that makes sense for its niche. For example, companies with great perks can use video to show off their cool workspaces, while businesses with interesting clientele can host a weekly podcast that signals to candidates that they, too, can work with fascinating people.
For improving brand visibility, the possibilities are as varied as the personalities and talents of job-seeking candidates.
For the best candidates, show off your company’s best side with high-quality content.
About the Author
Lauren Fairbanks is the co-founder and managing partner of S&G, a data-driven content marketing agency.