A content approach to talent acquisition

Here is a new perspective on content marketing that you may not have considered.

One of our Directors, Melanie Unwin recently attended a talk by LinkedIn’s employment branding experts Megan Speelman and Ryan Rutledge, on how best to use content to communicate your talent brand to the market.

It got her thinking about some of the work we do for Australian IT companies. For most, their primary objective is to create compelling content to attract leads. For others, they also want to create content to attract the best talent. They know that if they have the best people, they will do the best work.

Content – your talent magnet

When you think about it, why should marketing to attract talent be any different to marketing to attract new business? Rather than these being different strategies, perhaps they are part of the same cycle of value building.

After all if you can create a successful talent brand, and get the best people working for you, then customers will want to work with you too. Creating content can be a key component in building both these aspects of your business.

The importance of content marketing is well established now. Marketers know that interesting, relevant, personalised content will go further in attracting and retaining customers than just product promotion alone.

So if we translate this approach to HR, why not consider creating interesting, relevant and personalised content to prospective employees, rather than just advertising the role? And of course an important aspect of content marketing is to distribute the content on digital channels such as LinkedIn.

There was a common factor among the success stories that were presented at the LinkedIn presentation. Producing good quality content can play a key role in establishing relationships with candidates and enhancing their perception of your company. It has the potential to help candidates professionally, build trust, and create positive feelings toward your company - basically that warm, fuzzy part of marketing!

But don’t take our word for it, there is research that backs up the importance of talent branding. LinkedIn quotes the findings of a recruiter study:

“A strong talent brand can translate into 50% savings in cost per hire and 28% lower turnover rate.”

(Source: 2011 Lou Adler/LinkedIn survey of 2250 corporate recruiters in the US).

A reminder of content marketing “rules”

Whether you’re using content marketing to attract customers or to attract talent there are many similarities:

  1. The same values apply:
    • Educate rather than sell - tell them something useful and interesting
    • Know your target personas and tailor your content to gain their attention
    • Be authentic
  2. The principles of a marketing mindset also apply:
    • Build ongoing conversations and trust over time – it’s not just about advertising the job and pushing it out thereOLD VS NEW FOCUS.jpg
  3. The “buyer journey” applies here as well:
    • In content marketing, the buyer journey – or as Mogrify call it – the buyer RACER are the cognitive steps a buyer takes before and after purchasing a service or product.
    • In talent acquisition, this is the employee journey – how does the prospective employee consume your content before and after they make enquiries to your company, and after they are hired?

Another buyer journey model, shared at the event by LinkedIn was Core Logic’s “Influence along the path to hire”:

Prospect > Aware > Familiar > Interested > Applied > Hire

What all these models have in common is that you need content at each stage to attract talent – to help drive people to the end point of their journey (either taking a job with you, or becoming a customer).

Some challenges to keep in mind

As you start applying content marketing to recruitment it’s likely you will encounter some obstacles. Like sales and marketing teams, there tends to be cultural differences between marketing and HR. Sometimes it seems as though these two areas speak different languages, so the prospect of working on a shared project together may not be encouraging!

Siobhan Savage who heads up Talent at WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff spoke about her challenges with this and how the two teams ended up working together and winning a recruitment award.

Siobhan said that for the content strategy be successful, the leadership team must be willing to buy in to this new way of acquiring talent. But with recruitment fees so high, and the task of finding talent like a full-time job, there is much in favour of implementing an approach where the right type of talent approaches you. It saves a huge amount of money too.

Casting your expanded content net

Content marketing can be addressed from two perspectives: lead generating / nurturing and talent acquisition. If you want to start pursuing the talent angle, then your content needs to be interesting to people at different stages of their job search.

It’s also important to position your company authentically. You wouldn’t miss-represent your services/products so be sure that you present your business to prospective employees in a way that captures your true vision and values. You may have some discovery work to do first – to find out what those visons and values actually are.

Talk to Mogrify today about our Content Marketing-as-a-Service and start promoting your brand to the people you want to attract to your business.

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"Vision without execution is just hallucination."

- Henry Ford