Employees and consumers are the same people, just in different roles. It stands to reason, then, that if you can use content to attract potential buyers, you can also use content to attract potential employees.
But just as you can’t publish an overtly promotional article not-so-subtly telling readers to “Buy Now!” and expect thousands of leads to roll in, you can’t publish content that only talks about your company perks and expect top-notch candidates to knock down your front door.
Branding yourself as an employer that the best of the best are eager to work for requires a certain kind of content that’s created, published, and leveraged in a certain way. That means your branding efforts should extend beyond employee spotlights on social media and one-off write-ups about your latest office amenity.
To build a brand that attracts amazing, talented potential employees, you need thought leadership content that demonstrates your expertise, communicates your values, and humanizes your team’s leaders. Here’s how it works.
Build Your Brand With Content That Future Employees Will Love
Every organization needs employees who believe in the company’s mission and contribute to its ability to achieve its goals. If you don’t produce content that reveals who you are, what you believe, and how you’re leading your industry, those potential matches are going to have a hard time finding you.
That’s what makes content such a valuable brand-building and recruiting tool. It gives you the opportunity to share your knowledge and expertise, which helps you demonstrate your industry leadership. And because it’s coming from you, potential employees will get a better idea of who you are and what you believe as a company leader.
Values-oriented content has a much longer shelf life than a lot of other standard culture content or bland job postings, and it speaks to your audience in a more meaningful way. Pair it with consistent content that you and other key employees write for your company blog, major publications, and niche sites, and potential employees will get a clear idea of who you are, what you do, and where you’re going in your industry.
[Related: How to Build Company Culture Through Content]
3 Steps to Using Content for Brand-Building and Recruiting
Before you produce any content for defining your brand and attracting talent, it’s a good idea to develop personas for your ideal candidates, just as you do for your ideal customers.
Who are your ideal applicants? What are their skills? What are their personalities like? Where do they go to consume content about your industry? These answers will help you create content that’s as beneficial for your brand as it is for attracting top talent.
With a persona in mind, it’s time to create content that positions your leaders and your company as the experts in your industry and the go-to place for the best talent. Here’s how to get started:
1. Always start with a strategy.
If you jump into content without a plan, you’ll never know whether it’s achieving the results you want. Start with that ideal candidate persona, and develop content that appeals to people who fit that description.
Work with the members of your HR team to make sure your content is aligned with their recruitment goals, and keep marketing in the loop so they can help with content creation. Set goals together for increased applications (or whatever your metric might be), and track your efforts.
2. Publish content where applicants will see it.
No matter how great your content might be, it doesn’t matter much if no one sees it. Publish consistently on your company blog and share via social media and your email newsletter to give potential applicants a better impression of who you are.
Take it a step further by pitching to online publications that speak to your target audience, and share your industry expertise via guest content. Findings from “The State of Digital Media 2018” — a report my team produced based on surveys of publication editors — confirm that editors are looking for expert commentary, fresh ideas, new perspectives, and unique experiences in their guest content.
Create that content, and you can position your brand in front of potential employees right where they already are online. Whether that’s on Huffington Post or Forbes or a more niche site specific to the responsibilities of the role you’re after, establish your company as a leader on key topics to attract people with matching priorities.
[Related: Employee Engagement Checklist and Calendar]
3. Use content throughout the hiring process.
Lastly, don’t stop using content after a potential employee hits the application stage. Instead, vet candidates by sending them content to read before interviews to ensure you have the most productive and illuminating conversations possible about your industry and the role they’re applying for.
And when you do make your hiring decision, provide your new hire even more values-centric, company culture material to make his or her transition into the new role at your company as easy as possible.
Content is essential to building your brand as a leader in your industry, and continuing to use content in your recruiting can transform your hiring process from guesswork into greatness. Don’t let other companies steal all the best people by owning the discussions in your industry. Follow these tips to develop a content strategy that builds an unshakable brand and leads the top candidates straight to you.
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