recruitment marketing

Should content be part of your recruitment strategy?

By January 6, 2015 No Comments

Short answer: yes. But then I would say that. Let me expand…

The start of a new year is always a time for predictions, and it’s always the time that people start looking for a new job! The UK economy is expected to strengthen further in 2015, albeit perhaps not as much as was previously forecast, and, along with it, the permanent recruitment market. Market research company Key Note estimates recruitment will see growth of 16.3% from 2014 levels until 2018, mostly driven by the private sector.

Organisations are boosting their HR departments in preparation for increased hiring

I also picked up on an interesting tidbit from LinkedIn at the end of last year – it published the most in-demand skills in the UK in 2014, based hiring and recruiting activity on the professional network. Coming in at number 17 was ‘recruiting’ – a sign that organisations are boosting their HR departments in preparation for increased hiring in the coming year.

Along with all this is the continuing and well-documented skills shortage in certain areas – most notably in STEM careers – plus, the perennial issue of attracting the wrong type of candidates, which slows up the recruitment process.

Competition for the right people is going to be fierce in the coming months and recruitment is now a dynamic environment where online search, social media and even the device employees are conducting their job search on all come into play. Long gone are the days of the ‘spray and pray’ approach – putting ads in newspapers and hoping the right people applied. Even online job boards, that for some industries still have a role to play, are now only part of the process.

Like consumers looking into a big purchase, candidates will have done their research online. A recruitment content strategy means that when the talent you need are ready to embark on a job search, you are already on their radar.

Recruitment content marketing: what sort of content do you need?

Content isn’t just words on a page or a website. Communicating your employee value proposition (EVP) can be done across a variety of mediums: text, images, infographics, video, or social media posts. Content ‘types’ could include case studies about people already in roles that you are hiring for; blogs about company culture; or thought leadership articles from senior management. You’ve also got to bear in mind that these days, candidates aren’t always sitting at a PC when they’re conducting their job search. According to Enhance Media (Dec 2013):

  • 7 out of 10 people have already searched for jobs on a mobile device
  • 72% of jobseekers want to receive career information via their mobile device

Someone searching via their smartphone may not want to read through a text article, but may stop to view a video case study about a job they are interested in.

Start with strategy

Every content marketing campaign needs to start with a strategy – simply publishing articles or uploading videos without any thought behind who might be seeing them and how they tie in with your recruitment objectives can be a waste of resources.

Long gone are the days of the ‘spray and pray’ approach

A strategy starts by defining a clear vision of what your recruitment strategy goals are and the EVP you want to communicate. This is key to building the right content for your recruitment marketing.

The next vital step is to identify the sort of candidates you want to attract – your ‘personas’. The process of creating your personas is a chance to explore the sort of candidates you want to attract (there will be more insights into how to create your candidate personas on our next blog).

Recruitment content marketing that works

Taking our client Shell as an example, since January 2014, Southerly has
 worked on the design and implementation 
of a content strategy with two key goals: to improve the strength of Shell’s brand among job seekers; and to attract previously unengaged, passive candidates. A key objective is to attract top graduates.

To date we’ve published 31 stories on a range of themes that focus on highlighting Shell’s people and the impact they make. In particular, the message to young job seekers is that they will be doing real work from day one and making a difference.

Our content and overall approach has increased traffic numbers to the feature story section of the careers page, and more importantly, driven engagement. Compared to 2013, the Shell careers site bounce rate has dropped by 20%, while the average number of pages visited has risen by a third. They are more engaged on the website which means they are more engaged in Shell. Applications have remained strong, while members of Shell’s ‘Talent Community’ – an online database of interested candidates – has grown through persistent engagement.

Measurement is key if you are using content as part of a recruitment strategy. Ultimately, you want to attract the right people to apply for your vacancies. But are there other interim steps you want them to take in order to keep your company front of mind for when they are ready to look for a new position, such as subscribe to your company blog or sign up for your talent community? Goals such as this are measurable and can form the basis of your KPIs to measure the effectiveness of your recruitment marketing campaign.

We’ve got lots more coming this month about the nitty gritty of recruitment content marketing. If you want a fresh approach for your recruitment efforts in 2015, stay tuned!

About Southerly

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