10 Tips for Creating Great Employer Brand Content

October 6, 2014

Remember the first time you saw an ALS Ice Bucket Challenge video? I’ll bet a few stuck out for you.

Former President George W. Bush, purporting to sign a donation check, while he gets ambushed with water by his wife Laura. Bill Gates, on his dock, hilariously re-engineering the Challenge. Oprah’s unfiltered reaction of pure shock at the ice chill.

Think of the effect these videos had: showing a well-known person, in casual clothes, often at home, letting their guard down – all for a good cause. It humanized them, giving you a glimpse of who they are. And, likely, increased your goodwill toward them.

Why creating this type of content matters

Marketing pros will tell you that great online content like this can positively influence perceptions of a person, organization, or brand. So, imagine what a little humanity could do for your company’s employer brand.

As a talent acquisition leader, you’re actively pushing out content to candidates, from job openings to campus events. Sure, it’s useful information but after a while your audience may learn to ignore it; just another email, tweet or post about a job.

On the flip side, fresh content can add value, surprise and delight, intrigue, engage – and build trust and positive feelings toward your brand. That, in turn, increases your talent acquisition effectiveness: a strong talent brand can translate into over 50% savings in cost per hire and 28% lower turnover rate.[1]

Rules to live by when creating employer brand content

With this in mind, here are 10 top tips from marketing pros for creating engaging content that humanizes your talent brand.

1. Stop selling. Start sharing.

Good content is a subtle way to warm up candidates, blending in with their daily information streams. Good content also skips the hard sell; case in point, the Zappos career website – which isn’t a career website at all, but rather a sneaky peek inside the company’s culture.

2. Stop talking. Start conversing.

Good content adds value to your audience and gives them useful information. It should not be a one-way conversation about your brand.

3. Stop trying so hard. Start being yourself.

Great content matches the tone and spirit of your culture, whereas off-brand content is worse than no content at all.

4. Stop picturing a faceless audience. Start envisioning your ideal candidates.

Tailor your content to the audience you’re trying to reach, for maximum impact. A great tip: create hypothetical personas – give them faces, names and jobs – and picture them when you author content. Would this interest that recent grad you’re trying to recruit?

5. Stop spraying content all over, without a strategy. Start planning ahead.

Develop a content calendar to help you stay organized and assure that you will post frequently enough to stay top-of-mind. This will help you visualize the amount and type of content you post, and make it easy to assign team members and pick outlets for publishing your posts.  Here’s a great example of a template you can adapt:

recruiting editorial calendar

6. Stop wracking your brain for ideas. Start curating.

Even well resourced organizations rely on content they didn’t create themselves. In fact, 42 percent of HP’s content in May 2014 came from external sources. They pulled from a wide range of outlets, from international news, to industry publications, to blogs. Oh, and don’t forget to add in links – they can drive twice the engagement of posts, compared to posts without them.

content mix

7. Stop being predictable. Start having fun.

“Not another blog post from that recruiter,” your candidates may be thinking. “Give us some color, sound, life!” Try new formats. Create an infographic. Share a photo with an inspirational quote [Did you know posts with images generate 98 percent higher comment rate than posts without?] Post a behind-the-scenes video of employee life at your company, as Comcast did. Show your company’s personality.

8. Stop limiting your audience. Start promoting your content everywhere. 

Generating quality content is only half the battle: getting it in front of the right audience is equally important. Check out pages 18-20 of our recent content marketing e-book for top tips on when, where and how to publish content online [for example: the peak hour of activity for YouTube is between 12 and 1 pm}.

9. Stop going it alone. Start asking for help.

Your employees are an extension of your brand, and your best advocates. Ask them to share your content with their own networks. Encourage them to follow your company pages on Linkedin, Facebook and other networks. And don’t forget the corner office: get senior leadership to promote your content and lead by example.

10. Stop wondering if it’s working. Start measuring.

Monitor metrics such asfollower growth, impressions, engagement and click-through ratesto better understand the impact of your efforts. Do more of what’s working well. Learn from what doesn’t work. Try new things. Here are some key metrics to pay attention to:

recruiting content metrics

How creating content impacts the people you hire

This scenario posed by the Harvard Business Review captures the power of great content to positively influence impressions of a brand:

Imagine that the ideal candidate finds an article that you published in an outside publication. As she reads the article, she develops a deeper understanding of your industry niche.

“Clicking through to your social media presence, she finds herself immersed in your team’s content. Your blog posts, LinkedIn discussions, and tweets come together to create a clear picture of what it’s like to work at your company. The candidate feels a sense of connection to your corporate culture and decides to send in her résumé.

“At the interview table, she proves herself knowledgeable about your business strategy. She understands the industry and has a clear idea of how she can contribute to growth. While other interviews were stiff and formal, this one is conversational and exciting.

“The candidate gets the job. Because she has access to all of your digital content, much of her training is self-directed, and it begins immediately. This new hire is ready to add value the moment she joins the team.”

Think about your own newsfeed or inbox. What content stopped you in your tracks recently, caught you off guard, humanized the sender, and positively influenced your impression of a brand?

[1]  Source: 2011 Lou Adler/LinkedIn survey of 2250 corporate recruiters in the US.

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content marketing for talent acquisition