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Attracting talent with content

By ZoomInsights staff

Want to attract strong candidates for your open positions? Stop sending job postings! OK, don’t stop sending them entirely, but several experts told ZoomInsights that you’ll have greater success if you publish more content than job postings.

Your marketing department probably creates and shares content like Web articles, blog posts and even microblogs (Twitter tweets) to engage potential customers. The idea is not to directly promote products. It’s to engage people by providing information useful to them. In the same way, a content recruiting campaign can engage people before they’re looking for jobs.

Artisan Creative, a niche agency in Los Angeles that places talent in creative and marketing roles, saw a significant difference in the way it was finding new candidates after it launched a blog. “We immediately noticed increased traffic to our website,” Jessica Bedford, Artisan’s director of marketing, told ZoomInsights. “Today, second only to our home page, our blog page is the top entry point for visitors to our site.”

Relevant content = relevant candidates

What you choose to publish affects the type of talent you will attract. “Put out relevant content that will attract the attention of relevant candidates,” suggested Bruce Morton, chief marketing officer, Allegis Group Services.

That’s exactly what Andrew Schrage did. As co-owner of Money Crashers Personal Finance, a small Web publishing business, Schrage recruits freelance writers by using his company’s website to post interesting, creative, and high-quality content that’s relevant to freelancers. Examples include articles about commonly overlooked tax deductions and how to set rates for freelance work. “I’ve actually hired two writers who I initially discovered via their comments on published articles,” Schrage told ZoomInsights.

Of course, you want people to find your content. Create items that people will talk about and the content will go viral. If you have the appropriate sharing buttons, it takes just one click for readers to share your content with friends. And people do, if the information is compelling.

“Creating content that is praised, reviewed and shared only builds your reputation,” said Lorne Epstein, director of recruiting for a Washington, DC-based company and author of “You’re Hired! Interview Skills to Get the Job.”

Don’t go it alone

For sources of relevant, interesting content, tap your employees. Many have interesting things to say. And not everything you publish must be original. People value content curators. Search the Web daily for stories that will interest the type of candidates you want to attract. When you find one, write about it and link to it.

Whether you’re blogging or tweeting, balance promotional and non-promotional content. Morton said Allegis Group follows a 70/30 rule. Seventy percent of its tweets is about interesting stuff, 30 percent is about job openings. “If you tweet mostly about your jobs, people will stop following your tweets,” he said.

If creating content for recruiting seems daunting, consider getting help from your company’s marketing department. In fact, in some companies, marketing and HR are merging. But it’s important to understand that in today’s world, recruiters need new skill sets.

“The old-fashioned recruiter made so many phone calls a day,” Morton said, “Now, recruiters must be marketers.”


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