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Content Marketing For Recruitment: The Playbook

Individuals who have spent any length of time in marketing circles will be familiar with the expression “content is king”.

Content marketing involves brands creating original content (e.g. reports, blogs, videos, social media posts) to educate their audiences and build relationships with current and potential customers. The idea is to create high-quality content that makes your prospective customer want to learn more and keep them coming back to your brand to consume more content (and hopefully, eventually make a purchase).

It’s central to the marketing process, and it’s a discipline that’s fast becoming essential for recruitment marketing. But for recruiters and talent acquisition (TA) professionals, the goal is to build relationships with candidates and eventually get them to apply for a role.

Why should recruiters care about content?

“In recruiting today, it’s not only recruiters who are doing the research. With 85% of job searches starting with a search engine, top talent is searching for a company the same way they would any other purchasing decision – which is why employer branding is so critical.” – Matt Charney, Executive Editor at Recruiting Daily

Research suggests it takes up to eight brand touchpoints to influence a consumer decision – people rarely arrive at your website ready to buy (or ready to apply) the first time.

Ultimately, candidates are consumers. And they are thinking about job applications in the same way as they consider buying decisions in other areas of their lives. They want to be able to educate themselves about your company before they apply. They invest time in researching your company, product or role before deciding whether it’s a good fit for them.

Content is extremely important during this awareness and education stage. It gives candidates the ammunition they need to learn about your employer brand and plays a crucial role in their decision to apply.

Education is not necessarily a linear process. Candidates consume content based on what they’re doing at the time, and what they enjoy reading – not how you draw it out on a storyboard. You need content for every eventuality to effectively move candidates through the various stages of your talent acquisition process.

Content topics: what should you write?

What content should you write? What topics will resonate most with your ideal candidates?

There’s no simple answer here – candidates find different pieces of content valuable at different stages of their decision-making process.

Effective recruitment marketing requires content that will appeal to candidates as they progress through the hiring process. People want to know different things at each stage (i.e. awareness, consideration, decision), and your content needs to reflect that.

Fundamentally though, your content should be tied to the candidate personas that you’re trying to attract. Every piece of content you create should have a target audience in mind and should be designed to help your TA team build relationships with the talent that you’re looking to attract.

For those of you who are looking for more specific examples of high-performing recruitment marketing content topics, take a look at a couple of these:

  • Descriptions of your company culture and benefits
  • Company values and mission statement
  • Stories, testimonials or “day in the life” features from current employees
  • Interactive chats with team members
  • Infographics that show career progression opportunities
  • Photos and videos of team events
  • Philanthropic or corporate social responsibility information
  • Monthly newsletter

Content creation: how to get started

Content can come in many different guises: emails, ebooks, webinars, whitepapers, web pages, blog posts, slideshares, videos, infographics, podcasts, social media posts, interactive content, surveys, quizzes... you name it.

Content creation though, is often touted as one of the key blockers for companies trying to roll out effective recruitment marketing programs. They understand the importance of content in the candidate journey but they don’t have the capacity to produce it efficiently or effectively.

Some of the most common issues TA teams run into around content creation are:

  • Generating effective and relevant content ideas
  • Lacking the capacity to consistently create original content
  • Supplying content to accompany candidates at every stage of the candidate journey

If you want to consistently provide candidates with relevant and timely content, you need to find a solution for reliably creating high-quality recruitment marketing content.

For organizations considering this for the first time, there are a number of good options:

Repurposing existing content

Most brands have a huge amount of existing content that recruiting teams can repurpose and make use of. Often this material can be edited and customized to appeal to prospective candidates as opposed to prospective customers.

Work with your marketing department

You may be able to get marketing support for mission-critical content projects. It’s best not to be reliant on your marketing department, though: unless you are tightly aligned, it can be difficult to get them to consistently support recruiting initiatives when they are already tasked with demand generation for the business. (The relationship between recruitment and marketing is something we’ll touch on in more detail later).

Outsource content production

Communities like Upwork or Fiverr make it easy to find and hire relevant freelancers in a matter of minutes. If this is the option you go with, make sure you have clear documentation around brand guidelines and tone of voice, and a clear content brief to steer the project.

Outsourcing may be a good option for you if your TA team either doesn’t have the bandwidth to consistently create original content, or if your recruiters simply don’t have the copywriting skills needed to create the caliber of content you are hoping to produce.

Content curation

For brands that want to dip their toe in the content pool, but don’t have the budget or headcount for full-fledged content production, curation can be a viable option. Find a few different reliable sources of content that matches the interests of your audience and share those resources on your social media or in your candidate newsletter, for example.

Hire a talent marketing specialist

While you may struggle to get the green light for this initially, hiring someone with marketing or copywriting capabilities directly into the recruiting team is the best long-term solution to your recruitment marketing content challenge.

Enlist the help of your employees

Leveraging employee-generated content isn’t a fix-all for your content operation, but it can certainly supplement anything that you put in place. First-hand accounts from your team are also viewed as more ‘authentic’, than company-generated content in the eyes of candidates – another reason to utilize your employees!

Content Promotion

Content creation is only the first step; now you need to make sure it gets read.

Candidates should be able to discover content easily on your careers site, but you also need to be proactive and promote your content to make sure it lands on the screens of the right candidates.

Here are a couple of easy ways to get started with content promotion:

Social media

Social media is currently one of the most widely used channels for companies looking to build their employer brand, engage candidates and attract applications.

It also serves as a great forum for companies to share content and connect with their target talent audience. Recent research reveals that 96% of companies have at least begun to use social channels to distribute careers content and 66% have dedicated social accounts for their employer branding efforts.

Social channels are pretty crowded though, so you need to approach them with a plan. Consider which social networks are best for showcasing different types of content (e.g. blogs vs. videos) and find out where your target candidates are likely spending most of their time on social media. For example, young talent might be spending more time on TikTok and Instagram than on Facebook.

Nurture campaigns

Nurturing candidates and building relationships are critical parts of any successful recruitment marketing strategy.

The key to successful nurture is understanding how to provide candidates with consistent value, without overloading them with messages and being overbearing or (even worse) spammy. It’s a delicate balance to strike!

Send out content that educates candidates on your employer value proposition (EVP), culture, and open roles.

One quick tip: make sure that you segment your database into different talent pools before you begin any nurture program. You need to make sure that your campaigns are targeted and relevant – otherwise, candidates will just tune them out.

A final word: Good content = better applicants

The longer a candidate spends in the ‘decision-making cycle’, the more time they spend engaging with your content, the higher the likelihood that they’ll be a standout applicant and make a great new hire!

Why does this happen?

Well, the candidate has had time to self-qualify your business and the opportunity. They actually understand your company, the role, and what you’re looking for!


The better your recruitment marketing strategy is, the better candidates you will likely attract. But there are other pieces of the candidate experiences that need just as much (if not more) attention from the TA function.

Learn more about how Beamery can help you hire top talent with the critical skills you need.