October 24, 2019

Stay Top of Mind: Using Content Marketing to Cultivate a Talent Pipeline

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All candidates have a personal checklist when looking for an ideal employer. They likely want daily responsibilities that won’t make them go insane, a schedule with tolerable hours, and an ambitious and empathetic manager.

However, above all of these criteria — and perhaps the source of their preferences — is the desire to work for a company they trust, a company with values that align with their own.

But how can candidates understand a company’s culture without being a part of it themselves? Everything from positive Glassdoor reviews to awards the company has won can help convey the organization’s image, but it’s up to the company to present itself as a value-driven entity.

In other words, employer branding-focused content marketing is key to building a strong talent pipeline.

Content Marketing Creates a Two-Way Interview

Our head of HR at Influence & Co. recently gave one of our interns some of the best advice I’ve heard about interviewing. She said that when you’re looking for a job, remember that you are interviewing the company as a prospective employer the same way the company is interviewing you as a potential employee. Do your research and make sure you want to work for that company and that manager.

Smart candidates don’t just interview companies in literal, face-to-face interviews. They’re constantly researching what their prospective employers stand for. They’re investigating how each company operates before committing to 40 hours a week in an office they could potentially dread going to each day.

Content marketing should convince applicants the 9 a.m. journey up your elevator every morning will be exciting instead of agony-inducing. Rather than relying on vague talking points on your website, content marketing should robustly communicate how individual people shape the company. Something as simple as reading an executive’s opinions on a current industry issue could show an applicant that this company gets them in a way no other organization does.

For more expert recruiting advice, check out the latest issue of Recruiter.com Magazine:

Using Content to Cultivate a Pipeline

Arguably the biggest mistake you could make is to post your company’s core values on your office walls and call it a day. This tactic merely reaches those who already agree with your mantra and fails to utilize your external messaging channels.

The goal is to promote and nourish your employer brand, and with the right strategies, doing so can lure the best candidates to your door.

1. Use Guest-Contributed Articles to Humanize Your Company

Applicants don’t just want to learn what your values are. They want the story behind how you came up with those values in the first place. They want to know why the CEO decided to quit her day job and pursue her passion.

A guest-contributed article is a great way to tell this story. Instead of droning on for 1,000 words about what your organization believes in, paint a vivid picture of how two college students started the company in a garage. Pieces like these may seem like they’re meant for other entrepreneurs, but they can educate candidates on the history of the company, how leaders in the company got to where they are, and how the company makes key decisions.

2. Share Your Lessons Learned on Your Company Blog

Talented candidates understand that everyone is constantly learning, and they want to work for a company that feels the same way. Your company blog is your platform for proving that you’re immune to plateauing. It should be chock-full of the lessons you’ve learned in the past week, month, or year, and it should articulate how you’re perpetually striving to better your organization.

Like your guest-contributed content, the company blog shouldn’t simply be a list of your core values. Anyone can write that. Instead, share anecdotes to illustrate your observations of your industry or your own office. Maybe you had a meeting with a client last week who gave an executive an idea for streamlining your day-to-day operations. Maybe one of your interns made an insightful comment in a breakout session that’s worth sharing with the public. Seemingly simple stories like these solidify your image as a company committed to learning and fighting complacency.

3. Attract Passive Candidates With Downloadable Content

It may help to see potential employees as potential clients. After all, you’re selling them on the idea of your company and trying to move them along a version of the buyer’s journey as they research the competition. Downloadable content on your careers page can help facilitate their journey toward your organization instead of another.

For instance, you might write a whitepaper about your company’s philosophy on training and development or some other relevant topic in your industry. Give your website users access in exchange for their email address and permission to contact them. Then, you can include them in a drip campaign that sends emails every week or month about job openings.

A process like this keeps your company top of mind with prospective employees. They may not be ready to apply just yet, but now that your brand is squarely in front of them, they’ll think of you when they’re back on the job market.

All of these strategies are especially important in the current employees’ market. With unemployment down to 3.5 percent, employees have their choice of places to work, making it a chore for employers to attract and retain remarkable talent. By creating engaging content that aligns with the values of potential employees, you can build an effective talent pipeline to tap when you need it most.

Kelsey Raymond is the cofounder and CEO of Influence & Co.

Kelsey Raymond is the cofounder and CEO of Influence & Co., a content-marketing firm specializing in helping companies showcase their expertise through thought leadership. Influence & Co.'s clients range from venture-backed startups to Fortune 500 brands.