Study: 23% of Employers Have A Blog Specifically for Recruiting
There is a fundamental belief among digital marketers that content can influence the decisions people make. Of course, that belief has been validated many times over in the world of eCommerce and B2B marketing. But it’s a relatively new topic of study and discussion in the world of recruiting.
The overt similarities between the buyer journey and the candidate journey have led many in talent acquisition to start capitalizing on the creation of content as a means to attract, nurture, and convert candidates. One of the main avenues for publishing that type of content is a recruiting blog or an employer branding blog.
Our recent study, 2016 State of Employer Branding, surveyed nearly 300 HR professionals on all things employer branding. The study was heavily focused on the use of digital marketing techniques in order to improve, amplify, supplement, and sometimes replace conventional recruiting strategies.
In one question, we asked whether or not employers were leveraging a blog specifically for employer branding or recruiting purposes. This question intended to exclude employers who were perhaps creating content but publishing it on their main blog used by marketing.
We found that 23% of respondents reported having a blog specifically for recruiting or employer branding purposes.
This is actually an amazing figure, considering how relatively new the concept of content marketing is in talent acquisition. Whether you’ve already started a recruiting blog or you’re just thinking about it now, let’s talk about some best practices.
Step #0: Know Your Audience
Some people have discounted the idea of personas for recruiting but we think it’s an exercise worth doing–at least once.
Personas are a tool used in both engineering and sales/marketing to understand who typical users or buyers are, respectively. Creating personas is an exercise that requires research and interviewing. In sales/marketing, for instance, a persona is based on interviews of current, past, and lost buyers.
Imagine creating a profile for your current and past employees (one that digs into their demographics, ambitions, wants, needs, etc.). It may be obvious what types of people are attracted to your company, but taking the time to really understand them can reveal some interesting things. It can also be a good exercise for coming up with new content ideas that will feed your blog.
We’ve got a lot more information on creating candidate personas here.
Give Job Seekers What They Want
From a marketing standpoint, you should always be trying to meet the intent of your readers. In other words, the better job you do at giving them what they want when they come to your site, the higher chances of a conversion.
A study from The Talent Board showed the top types of content candidates want to see during their research process. As shown below, values, product/services information, employee testimonials, and answers to “why” people want to work here top the list.
A recruiting or employer branding blog could be a perfect medium for delivering this type of information. Of course, you could host various types of content directly on your career site as well, but there’s only so much room there.
From a search engine optimization (SEO) perspective, having more webpages with quality content is always a good thing, too. Imagine someone typing into Google, “life at xyz company.” If they chose a blog post written by, perhaps, one of your employees on the great experiences they’ve had, that could have a significant impact on their decision to apply.
Here’s more information on recruiting content topics.
Optimize for Candidate Conversions
Attraction via your recruiting blog means little without intentions to convert job seekers. If we steal some more best practices from digital marketing, this means adding calls to action (CTA) to your blog posts and other pieces of content.
CTAs are meant to provoke users to take some type of action. But as we said, meeting user intent is very important. Not every job seeker will be ready to apply right away, so you’ll want some middle-of-the-road options like a talent networks or subscribing to career newsletters.
You should be leveraging your employer branding blog to build recognition with your employer brand, grow your database, and ultimately get more candidates. But remember, conversion optimization is an art and science. It requires A/B testing, experimentation and time, as well as continued monitoring and calibration.
Here’s more information on improving candidate conversions.
Think Long-Term With Recruiting Content
If you start a recruiting or employer branding blog, you’re not going to see results overnight. In truth, you probably won’t see much results for months.
The thing about digital marketing is that its impact builds upon itself over time. If you start creating good content now that resonates with your potential applicants, optimize for conversions, and repeat this process, you will see movement in the right direction.
Creating an engine that attracts candidates is no easy feat. Sticking with this type of recruiting strategy takes time, maybe 6 months, maybe even a year, but you will see results. And these are the types of results worth waiting for.
Want more research? Get the new eBook, The 2016 State of Employer Branding. This eBook is key for companies both starting or well into their employer branding journey: