So, you've decided to dip your toe into recruitment marketing in the digital and online sphere – welcome to the party! And you've decided that a blogging strategy is the right foot forward as you enter the recruitment marketing space.
Easy, right? You just simply create an account with a blog platform or content management system, open a new template within that system, bang out an article, click publish, and you're golden, right? Suddenly, your applicant tracking system is flooded with qualified applicants, and you have your pick of the top talent to fill your vacancies, grow your company, and emerge as a powerhouse within your industry.
It sounds good, but I'm sure you understand that's not quite how recruitment marketing in general (and blogging specifically) works. Strategies take time to develop and prove return on investment, content needs to be approached with consideration and care, and messaging and narrative should be carefully constructed to ensure potential candidates feel your company is authentic, honest, and operates with integrity for candidates to see themselves as part of your organization.
But how do you accomplish this? What principles or best practices should be aware of when starting a recruitment marketing blog? With these questions in mind, let's examine 6 seemingly simple (yet extremely powerful) tips for starting a recruitment marketing blog that will guide you on this journey and provide guidance in your recruitment blogging's early days.
Define your blogging goal
To define your recruitment marketing goal, examine your motivation to start down the blogging path in the first place. Are you looking to enhance your employer branding or drive more consistent engagement with the passive jobseeker? Are you aiming to fill current positions in a more dynamic way than merely publicizing links to online application portals? Or, are you hoping to establish your company as a thought-leader in your industry by leveraging in-depth pieces based on extensive research, experts within your organization, and gathered content from various sources outside of your organization?
Each of these impetuses for launching a recruitment market blog is valid and worth pursuing, but identifying one as the prime motivator will not only help provide an overriding direction for the content you subsequently populate your blog with (as well as accurately judge how successful your blog becomes), but it will help address each of the following points of practice we discuss.
Identify your audience
In any writing or content creation endeavor, you have to answer two basic yet critical questions: What is your purpose, and who is your audience? We addressed the point of purpose above, so now you need to identify your audience, both for your recruitment marketing blog in general but also individual blog posts. A passive job seeker needs to be engaged differently from the active job seeker. The candidate with 15 years of experience and in the middle of their career journey has different needs than the new college or grad school graduate.
Identifying who your content is for and what you want your audience to take away from your blog post is the heart and soul of basic marketing strategies and thus holds true for recruitment marketing and your blog. In order to demonstrate that you and your company understand what the job seeker values and desires in a place to work, you need to speak to them in a way that they can connect with.
Find your voice
OK, I'm going to come out and say it right at the top: finding the right voice and tone of your blog is something that will likely come as you continue to create, publish, review, and refine your recruitment marketing content. But if you take notice of our first two tips, you'll find that discovering your voice and your tone will likely chart its own course and present itself to you rather you have to go hunting for it.
That said, you can make some very considered and metered moves to help find and establish the voice and tone of your blog.
For example, take a very basic question: What industry are you operating in? If you're in the health care industry, a space where your employees, brand, and image literally hinges on people putting their lives in your hands, a more wistful tone or voice is not going to be the style you want to leverage your content on. On the other hand, if you're in the tech industry, a space that is rife with big personalities and innovative approaches to problems and challenges, perhaps a lighter, more candid-driven approach to tone and voice makes more sense, especially given the kind of talent you're trying to attract.
The bottom line with voice: You need to speak your audience's language – let that be your guide.
Think outside of text
Remember: a blog doesn't mean a 500-word article about your company culture or an informative piece about how X or Y passive job seeker with given credentials can be a good fit for your organization. While those certainly are worthy pieces to consider, it's essential to vary the content on your blog, and this means making an effort to incorporate video, audio, photos, dynamic photo presentations (slideshow), graphs, infographics, or other visual representations of data – especially given that much of your blog traffic will likely be from mobile devices where these kinds of content pieces are more readily received.
But within the realm of text, don't forget about the power of employee testimonials, profiles, or other narrative-driven blog entries that put your employees front and center and gives them a voice to help spread the gospel of your culture, brand, and overall candidate experience.
assume by now you've noticed how much of this blog entry is devoted to strategic frameworks or solutions to the problem of how to effectively manage a recruitment blog – we're not advocating just jumping in headfirst and seeing what happens. The same is true of how you roll out or curate content. This is where the concept of a monthly editorial or content calendar helps better strategize the kind of content you're publishing, when and how you're working to amplify your content, whether it's through automated email updates, social media posts, or other means of driving traffic to your blog.
Plain and simple, when conceiving your blog, don't just throw stuff at the wall and see what sticks – create a plan for your content and see that plan to fruition.
Recruitment professionals know: Data tells the story, and numbers drive decisions. With your recruitment blog, it's essential to regularly review the reporting and analytics (page views, shares, link clicks, bounce rates, and other integrated dashboard metrics) to understand better what is resonating with your audience driving traffic and engagement on your blog entries.
Don't be afraid to move off ideas, concepts, themes, or tropes that merely aren't engaging your audience in the ways you hoped or where the reporting isn't supporting the time and resources you're putting into the content. Similarly, do not turn a blind eye to happy accidents or opportunities presented by the data in terms of content you didn't necessarily envision as moving the needle but promoting robust engagement and hopefully, interest in your career opportunities.