As the internet has transformed our purchasing habits, it has also altered the way in which job seekers consider your organization for employment. If you won’t try a new restaurant without vetting it on Yelp first, then it’s no surprise that the average job seeker won’t invest time in your application process without a perusal of your website (and any other available resources about your organization).

Welcome to the ZMOT for recruiting. And if you don’t make it a priority to showcase your employment experience in the digital realm, then top talent will move on to the next employer, one that does curate content for employment conversion.

Inquiring Job Seekers Want to Know

Your best candidates will know all about you before they even apply (or choose not to). They source information about your employment practices, company culture, salary, and benefits from social media, word of mouth, GlassDoor and other review sites, and anywhere else they can get it. You can’t always control the information available about your recruitment culture in these media; however, you can supplement third-party content with a steady stream of your own resources.

The key to success is to approach content topics strategically and to meet potential job candidates where they are, both in terms of physical location and progression through the application and interviewing processes.

Answer with Persona-driven Content

In your search for the silver bullet content format, you’ll sort through which storytelling approaches work for your organization. But to move the process along more efficiently, define personas for your targeted job seekers before creating recruitment-focused content.

Then think about how each of the personas’ preferences will shape how they respond to hiring-specific content. Experiment with a variety of delivery formats to test which media resonate in different places within the hiring funnel. Use your results as a guide to map content marketing efforts to each stage of the process.

Ready to get started? Here are some employment-centered ideas and examples to try.

Anticipate Job Seeker Questions and Create FAQs

A site-hosted careers FAQ section is a fantastic way to provide potential applicants a self-service option for interview preparation. This employment content can help net stronger applicants who are typing employment culture keywords into search engines. In other words, find the job candidates who are investing time to search for their next career—not just the individuals who are looking for their next job. The mindset is different, so reserve a place to answer questions like:

  • What makes your organization different from your competitors?
  • What is the most surprising thing about your company culture?
  • Describe the employment application process.
  • How many steps are in the hiring process?
  • What is your policy on using social media to connect with applicants?
  • Should I expect to hear back from your organization…one way or another?

Take your Q&A section to the next level by answering each question with a video series featuring different employees you regard as your employment brand ambassadors.

Bring Attention to Positive Employee Testimonials

While it’s great to have a dedicated employee testimonial page where interested job seekers can seek out the smiling faces of your happiest employees, to really leverage the power of social proof put teammate testimonials near calls-to-action (CTAs) on your career site, too.

Here are some location suggestions:

  • Next to “apply now” buttons or forms asking site visitors to subscribe to future job alerts
  • On your most heavily visited career pages
  • Within job descriptions

To maximize the impact, seek contextual relevance by aligning the content of the testimonial with a page on a similar topic. For example, put a benefits-focused reference on your employee benefits information page.

Use Outbound Email to Promote Employment Brand

To get more mileage out of the myriad email messages your organization’s employees are sending every day, insert banner images linking to career-related topics such as job openings, an invitation to an upcoming employment open house, or a blog about the top reasons to live in the city in which your organization operates.

You can create a home-grown version of your email signatures, but to streamline the process try a provider like Sigstr.

Email Signature Employment Content

Offer Virtual Tours

If you’re fortunate enough to have an energetic, inspiring, and/or comfortable office, then let it sell itself to potential future employees with a panoramic video walking tour of the space. MOBI does a great job of highlighting the beauty of their office in this video.

Embed it on your careers site and upload it to Facebook and LinkedIn with a prompt for your employees to consider sharing it within their own social networks. While you should never require your employees to share organizational content, you can incentivize the behavior by offering a rich employee referral program.

What if many or all of your employees work remotely and an office video is off the table? No worries. Create a video montage of various remote workers shooting scenes on their smartphone to illustrate the flexible nature of your workforce.

Be Candid About the Hiring Process

So many organizations leave candidates in the dark about how long the selection process lasts, how many stages are involved, and whether any actual rejection message will be sent in the case that it’s not a fit. Consider how refreshing it would be for your content to include specific details about how many stages are in the process, what they include (e.g., screening interview, assessment, in-person interview, job shadow, etc.) and an affirmation that everyone will receive an actual response—one way or the other.

High candidate volume isn’t an excuse for shortchanging applicants on communication about their progress through the hiring funnel. Use email templates with personalization options within an applicant tracking system to send personalized thank you messages and updates on next steps in the process.

Candidate Communication Email Template ExactHire

Share Your Policies With Pictures

Traditional employee handbooks leave a lot to be desired when it comes to engaging employees. So you might be wondering why you should consider using one as an enticement for job seekers to apply.

A non-traditional handbook is the perfect vehicle for setting expectations with potential employees and exciting job seekers about your culture…if you make it a promotional piece that is filled with authentic imagery and values-driven content. Element Three has done a great job with theirs; you can read about their process for producing a killer employee handbook and check out their employee handbook below.

element three employee handbook example

Experiment With Contemporary Content Formats

If you want to grab the attention of the best job seekers, give them different options for consuming your content.

  • Memes: Incorporate memes into social media posts about your work culture to spark humor and also engage your existing employees. Consider which internal images and/or videos about your organization’s work life are appropriate to share and have the best chance of going viral among job seekers.
  • Podcasts: If your business is large enough, start a podcast that explores different employment-related topics, how your company handles them, and how your company maintains a positive employment brand. Invite different employees to be guests for each episode.
  • Vlog Series: Especially in a competitive employment market, many job seekers won’t sit and read all of your text content. So let them watch a recurring video series that shares examples of how core values are exemplified by employees on the job.

Celebrate Workplace Rituals With Imagery

Corporate traditions make your organization unique, and these rituals are (hopefully) cherished by employees. Share them on your careers site to paint a picture of what your culture is like throughout the year.

Embed photo streams of your annual picnics, holiday pitch-ins, and group goal achievement outings on your site. Create a series of animated GIFs or videos showing highlights of rituals that make your company special.

One of my favorite annual ExactHire traditions is our customer Thanksgiving card. As we have grown, it has evolved into a (lovingly cheesy) video card that shares our employees’ celebrations throughout the previous year.

Peddle an Interview Preparation Guide

If you’re concerned that giving away your interview secrets will make it simple for less-than-stellar candidates to move further into the selection process, then rest easy.

The best candidates will appreciate your consideration in setting expectations with them about the entire process. The mediocre candidates will likely not take the time to review the guide that you provide them, making their lack of preparation for your interview process painfully obvious.

In addition to featuring the guide within the pages of your career site, include a link to it in your email correspondence with applicants, and consider sharing interview tips from a recruitment-focused social media handle for your organization.

Microsoft has a very robust interview page that prepares students and graduates for their interviewing process.

Repurpose Content With Purpose

There are many ways to repurpose your career-related content across different media. For example:

  • Your new interview guide could easily be the topic of one of your podcast or vlog episodes
  • The transcripts of your vlog series could be packaged into an ebook
  • Portions of your video office tour could be made into separate GIFs to be published on social media

Test for Success

I’m confident that your journey to finding the right content for your organization will be creative and enjoyable, but not without some average results along the way. Don’t get discouraged, and do test which pieces capture the most conversions from job seekers (applications) and interview candidates (accepted offers).

Talk to individuals in your selection process about which content is most effective, consider paid options to promote your content (e.g., Google AdWords and Display Network, Facebook, and Twitter) and look at your data in analytics. Try remarketing to job seekers who bounce from your career site.

Involve your own workforce to stimulate their engagement in the process and inspire them to source content on your employer’s behalf. With the whole team involved, content curation becomes simpler and more authentic for a wider audience—and it’s more likely to help you snag the talent that you really want.

E3 Employer Branding Collection CTA

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Jessica Stephenson

Jessica Stephenson is VP of Marketing and Talent at ExactHire, a software firm that helps employers automate and improve the hiring process. Its Web-based software solutions focus on applicant tracking, employee onboarding, online reference checking, and employee assessments.

With a background in both marketing and human resources, Jessica passionately works at the intersection of content marketing and HR technology. She serves on the Board of Directors for IndySHRM, chairs the marketing committee for the annual HR Indiana Conference, and holds the human resources-focused SHRM-CP and PHR certifications. Jessica earned her B.S. degree in Marketing from Butler University.