One click glance online will show you the sheer volume of distractions for candidates. If you want their attention, you have to earn it.
Recruiting content, if done right, can be a great way of cutting through the noise and making a connection with people that are slipping through the net, particularly passive candidates who are unlikely to look at your existing job ads.
Anyone who has dipped their toe in the content pool knows that the blank page is no joke. Even the most prolific authors struggle with writer's block and getting their ideas down on paper.
Occasionally it's easy. You've got a fully formed idea bursting out of you. It's a subject you're passionate about and you're pretty sure it's going to be a hit.
Most of the time though, figuring out what material will resonate with candidates and then taking the idea all the way through to fruition is hard graft.
You might not normally be able to shake it like Shakespeare, but with these free recruiting content tools you should be able to able to get pretty close.
What is Recruiting Content?
A quick disclaimer. We're all already creating recruiting content, even if we don't actually realise it.
Job descriptions, company career sites, email, social media posts, job ads and blog posts - it's all content and it's all crucial to recruiting.
Our tools will help you plan, research and create these different types of recruiting content, and start standing out to top talent.
If getting more email responses from passive candidates is your main goal with recruiting content, enroll in our Free 5-Day Crash Course on Mastering Cold Email.
Planning: Making sure you have time to write
Recruiting content could be the key to attracting highly qualified applicants, it could help you build a powerful employer brand and become an even more desirable place to work. The problem is, you only have a finite amount of time to dedicate towards content
The problem is, you only have a finite amount of time to dedicate towards content. You have KPIs to hit and candidates to speak to. This makes planning your output crucial.
One of the best ways to deal with an overwhelming schedule is to block out time in your calendar for the tasks, like content creation, that you haven't found time to get round to. It's a simple technique that is proven to boost productivity.
Just log into Google or Outlook Calendar and block out slots when you want to work on content. It could be to craft a new job advert, to schedule an update for LinkedIn or to put out a blog post. Whatever it is, protecting the time slot in your calendar is one of the best ways to ensure it gets done.
Planning makes perfect.
Trello provides a neat visualisation of your content process. It has a card-based format that makes it easy to track the progression of every piece of content that your team works on.
We use it to make sure that every blog post gets reviewed and so that everyone gets a chance to contribute ideas and discuss possible topics. See below for what our Trello Board currently looks like.
If you're interested in doubling down on content, a project management tool like Asana can make a real difference to your team's efficiency and make it easy to collaborate.
You can use it for pretty much everything (it's highly customisable), but we've found that the comprehensive tagging system makes it easy to juggle different projects.
It might come in useful if you're tasked with a range of different content tasks or if you're constantly working on new job ads, employee testimonials and blog posts.
Research: What does you audience care about?
Why should someone care? That's the question you need to ask yourself every time you sit down to pen a new piece of content.
There's so much noise online with every company screaming for candidate attention - if you're not working on the kind of content that candidates actually want to read then you're in trouble!
Your deadline's approaching, you've told your boss that you've got the perfect piece of content to lure in new candidates but you've got nothing. We've all been there.
Fortunately, you don't have to suffer through that ever again. Buzzsumo is the ultimate source of inspiration. It gives you a snapshot of the most popular content on the web for your chosen topic or vertical.
You'll see exactly how many times it's been shared, as well as the other sites that have linked to it so you see the kind of people that find your subject interesting.
Here's an example of a quick search on popular articles on "recruiting content" that I ran before starting to write this piece.
Another great option for anyone on the lookout for the kind of content that people actually care about. Similar to Buzzsumo, Ahrefs will tell you the most shared content for any given topic.
The only key difference is that you'll have to register for a free trial to make use of this one.
Every great article is grounded in solid research, adding facts and extra detail to your writing is one of the easiest ways to boost credibility.
Evernote Web Clipper is a great tool to help you collect and categorise information. It lets you save entire pages, ebooks or snippets directly from web pages. Highlight interesting sections to make it easy to find key points when you're reviewing the saved content later.
Want to ask questions about your job ads or the style of your social media posts? Interested in direct feedback from world experts?
If you haven't discovered it already, Quora might make a huge difference to the way you work. You can 'ask' questions to the community and receive answers from leaders in your field.
If you're feeling shy, you can browse the questions and answers that are already live on the site, (believe me, they're extensive!) This makes it easy to improve your writing ability and to take your skills to the next level.
You can also flex your creative muscles here, see below for the answer to a question about Darth Vadar's job description!
Inevitably when you finally have a spare moment to do some content research you're forced to rely on spotty wi-fi or weak signal.
The ultimate 'read it later' tool, Pocket lets you save content offline so you can catch up on it later, (for example on your commute), and avoid this situation.
They say that "good artists copy, great artists steal"! If you're struggling for ideas there's no harm in taking a look at other blogs or websites.
Google's 'site:search' function makes this process pretty simple, you'll be able to see all content on the site you choose that covers a specific topic.
Make sure you don't borrow too much though, you need your brand and content voice to be distinctive if you want to differentiate yourself to candidates.
Here's what this search looks like for the Beamery Blog:
10. Google Analytics
What better indication of the things that people are interested in than data on what the things that they've been looking at previously.
Talk to your marketing team about getting access to your company's website analytics (or install this tracking script to add it to your site if it's not there already).
You can then use Google Analytics to check which pages of your Careers Site and which jobs are receiving the most online attention. If you want more information on getting started with Google Analytics, check out this resource (it can be tricky initially).
Use metrics like "average time on page" to judge how engaging your content is. You should try mirroring the style of your most popular pages with future content - this is probably the style of content that resonates with your audience.
Just so you know what this should look like, here's a screenshot of the most popular pages on our Blog over the last few weeks.
Writing and Editing: How to craft content that gets results
The perfect plan means nothing without execution. We've collected a range of different tools that make writing and editing content simple.
Whether it's job content, blogs or career site material that you're working on, these 8 tools will turn you into a writing pro.
If you're in the market for a single tool to centralize notes, research and drafts, Evernote might just be your best bet.
It syncs across all your devices, so you can start piecing together a new blog post on your computer, add the final touches on your way on your phone and then edit it on your tablet.
At Beamery, we use it to keep a running list of content ideas, manage "to-dos" and collect interesting research to help us build our content calendar.
12. Google Docs
For anyone unfamiliar with Google Docs will be pleasantly surprised by what is essentially Microsoft Word's free younger sibling.
It's totally free, syncs to the cloud and can be shared with team members. This all makes it a great place to draft your content, collect feedback and edit your work.
Named after the famous author of "The Old Man and the Sea", this nifty little app will decipher your writing and tell you exactly how readable your work is.
Whether it's a job ad, an email or a new blog, you need to engage your reader and avoid over-complicating your writing. The app is perfect for this, highlighting words or phrases that could be problematic, making it easy to edit and improve your work.
Want to know something scary? Only 62% of people that click on an article actually read past the title. If you don't hook someone in at the top of the page, it's more likely than not that they're gone.
So how do you know what makes a great headline? Well, you can spitball potential titles with your friends and colleagues and try and fit the right fit OR you can try the free Headline Analyzer tool from CoSchedule.
This tool scores your headline quality and rates its ability to drive social shares, traffic and SEO value.
Take a look at some of the feedback that we got when analyzing the headline of this article...
Reliant on Word's "spell check" function? Maybe you should move on. This nifty little Chrome Extension spots (and corrects) 10x more mistakes than your word processor.
The beauty of Grammarly is that it checks anything and everything. Use it on your social media posts, emails and job descriptions and make sure you don't let any small errors slip through the net.
Find the need to hide yourself in an empty meeting room while writing? You could be hurting your productivity. will the right amount of ambient noise has actually been proven to boost productivity.
Research shows that the right amount of ambient noise actually boosts productivity. Coffitivity taps into this phenomenon by recreating the ambient sounds of a cafe to boost your creativity and help you work better.
If you're short of inspiration and have money to burn you can always turn to a freelancer.
Upwork makes it easy to connect with a range of different writers that will work for hourly rates at a moment's notice.
This can be a good short term move, but if you want to build your company brand and achieve long term success with content we recommend writing most content yourself and creating your company's own unique voice.
Anyone looking to write on the wild side will love this new app.
With "The World's Most Dangerous Writing App", there's no time to lose inspiration or slow down, if you stop writing for more than 5 seconds, all of you work will be deleted. Pretty brutal. Give it a go, but don't say that you haven't been warned!
**Adding Stunning Visuals: Tap into the candidate brain **
The majority of humans are pretty lazy. We all prefer to look at a picture than read text. Research backs this up, suggesting that coloured visuals increase someone's likelihood to read something by over 80%.
Images can spice up anything from a job ad, to a blog post. Here are our favourite tools for making your work beautiful
The human brain remembers images 6x more effectively than text. If you can incorporate visual elements into your work you'll have a far higher chance of success.
Canva makes it simple to create infographics and beautiful images for social media, blog posts, or your website. They have a huge range of templates and icons already, but you can upload your own images and icons to make sure images are branded.
Anyone new to visual content should also check out their Design School which will get you up to speed on everything from titles to typography.
Need to annotate an image or draw extra attention to something to get your point across? Skitch has a range of annotation options and lets you add shapes and sketches to images.
This can be extremely effective on social media when you're trying to emphasise a particular idea or highlight part of a job description for your audience.
Research is great to add extra credibility to your writing. The only problem? No one likes to wade through mountains of facts and figures.
Fortunately, you can use Infogram to create stunning charts and infographics to visualise your data and make it easy for readers to digest.
Your data doesn't need to sit still either! Infogram will let you create moving charts that are proven to increase engagement.
Nothing brings a piece of content back to earth faster than a run-of-the-mill stock photo. You know the kind of image I mean - a collection of enthusiastic looking employees in suits in an imaginary discussion!
Luckily, there are a few different sites that offer fantastic free stock photos, (here's a great list). Unsplash is the one we use at Beamery.
You'll find reams of beautiful photography, all available for free for you to use on your site, to add colour to job ads or to spice up blog posts.
PlaceIt is a tool with a very specific use case. It lets you input your own images inside stock photos of iPhones and laptops.
This is usually a pretty tricky task that requires a designer, so it should save you a lot of time.
Final note - how to define success
It's important to remember that every writer has their own distinct voice though. While you can take tips from your favourite blogger or colleague, it pays to develop your own style (for both your company and personal brand).
Before you embark on your new, well-equipped writing adventure, the one thing that is essential is that you define what success looks like for you.
If it's a job advert that you're creating, you should be looking for a measurable increase in applications. If it's an email, more opens, clicks and replies. If you're starting a blog, monitor your traffic and social shares.
These 'measurables' can start off as low as you like, the key is that they exist and that you're tracking them. This way you can chart your progress, improve and start nailing recruiting content.
Recruiting Events - The Complete Playbook
Talent teams of every size can find value in this ebook, but it is especially targeted at sophisticated teams who want to leverage the technology and candidate data at their disposal to create highly effective event programs. It contains an exploration of the different types of events and how to best use them, checklists for event set up, project management tips, collaboration, event follow-up, not to mention metrics and best practices for measurement.