Content marketing is a core component of Recruitment Marketing — and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon!
But publishing captivating content that attracts talent doesn’t just happen by accident. Over the past 7 years that I’ve been working in the Recruitment Marketing space, I’ve developed a tried-and-tested approach for improving our recruiting content on an ongoing basis and building a content calendar that supports our Recruitment Marketing strategy.
In this blog post, I’ll share my approach to help you create a better Recruitment Marketing content calendar, plus I’ll answers some of the Recruitment Marketing questions I received when I spoke recently on the Rally Webinar: Create Your 2020 Recruitment Marketing Plan.
If upgrading your Recruitment Marketing content strategy is on your to-do list for this year, I hope my approach and the info in this blog post will prove helpful for you!
Step #1: Review past content performance
My number one tip for improving your Recruitment Marketing content is to go back and reflect on your past content on a regular basis to identify what is and isn’t working.
I perform a deep dive on our content plan and results on an annual basis. I’ll typically block off an entire day to pore through our data across social channels and our careers blogs to see which content performed best for us.
To do this, I’ll filter our social posts on each channel for a given date range and then sort from highest to lowest engagement to gauge performance. I then note our best performing content by month in the following template in a PowerPoint deck:
This slide provides a nice visual format that I can later use to discuss content with my team.
Step #2: Identify your best content themes
After determining our best and worst performing content, I like to map out the overarching themes that I’m observing to help shape my content plan moving forward.
When considering themes, I’ll take a number of factors into account, such as:
- The topic of the content: What are we showcasing in our top/worst performing pieces?
- The medium we’re using: Are images, blogs or video working best on a given platform?
- The targeting criteria: Are we making a given post visible to all followers or just a specific segment?
- The day of the week and time of day the content was posted.
To give you a more concrete idea of what this looks like, some of the things that I noticed recently when I did my 2019 content review were that content about awards we’ve won as well as remote job opportunities perform really well for us.
Additionally, when we’re sharing content that’s particularly relevant to one of our offices (like an in-office employee event recap), we’re better off targeting the post to our followers in that geographic location rather than globally.
Step #3: Create a content series
Once you have a sense for what’s working well, it can be really helpful to create a few weekly or bi-weekly content series and experiment how they perform for you.
This has been an effective strategy for Stryker because it makes the content planning process a lot easier. With this approach, you don’t need to create an entirely new content calendar with unique ideas quarter over quarter, but can instead just build out creative concepts within the framework that already exists.
More importantly, this approach is a content form that people crave today. It turns your social posts into “episodic” style content that people will want to engage with in the same way they want to binge watch their favorite Netflix show. Followers know what to expect from you and can tune in to learn more about your company’s story over time.
To give you an idea of what this looks like, some of the content series that we use include:
- Monday motivation posts
- Job family spotlights on Thursdays
- Office location features on Fridays
We also have content planned around social media holidays too, like national intern day, spouses day, siblings day and more. If you’re looking for a list of social media holidays you can tap into, Sprout Social has put together a great resource. Rally also has a great list of social media holidays to help with your Recruitment Marketing campaign.
Step #4: Build out your content calendar
Once you’ve identified your best themes and created a few series, it’s time to actually create your calendar.
There are many different approaches you can take when it comes to content calendar creation. However, I’ve found that when I’m still in the “ideation” stage, it’s really helpful for me to take my first crack at this on pen and paper!
I print off a calendar and write out the content that we’ll publish on each day for the entirety of the upcoming year.
A year might sound like a lot, but having an advanced game plan keeps us well organized — and we can always revisit, adjust and add in topical content on an ongoing basis.
Once I’ve done all my creative thinking on paper, I like to transfer everything over to a digital project management tool like Asana, Trello or Microsoft Planner. This type of software also allows me to see everything at a glance and stay aligned with team members.
Here is a look at the digital content calendar we’ve built out within Microsoft Planner:
We can see all of our upcoming content at a glance, create tasks that are associated with each piece of content and tag team members to jump in and help out.
When I tag a member of my team, I can assign a specific task, date and add a description or attachments:
This approach to our content calendar creation keeps everything organized and in one spot for us to be able to create content efficiently at scale while staying connected.
Step #5: Use a social media management tool to schedule your content
The last step in our content approach, of course, is to actually schedule content into our social media management tool, Hootsuite. This is an important step because we schedule content in batches in Hootsuite, saving a lot of time for our team. Rally also provide a list of free content tools that can be used in Recruitment Marketing.
However, we don’t use Hootsuite for the actual content calendar as we’re able to have more task assignment and collaboration functionality outside of the platform in Microsoft Planner. That being said, depending on the size and complexity of your team, you might be able to input your content calendar right into Hootsuite.
Hootsuite also has some great tools and features that help with our content performance — like a scheduling tool that automatically picks the time of day where your content has the best chance of performing optimally.
Besides Hootsuite there are other social media management tools you might consider, including Sprout Social, Buffer, Loomly, Sendible, Social Pilot, Meet Edgar… really the list goes on and on, so take a look around and choose one that works best for your team’s needs!
I hope hearing about my team’s process for building out our Recruitment Marketing content calendar and how we create our content plan is helpful for you!
Q&A on 2020 Recruitment Marketing Planning
Now as promised, before signing off, I also wanted to share answers to some of the questions from the recent Rally webinar, Create Your 2020 Recruitment Marketing Plan.
Question #1: How long were you in a Recruitment Marketing role before adding team members to help you with social media and content creation?
Shelby: I have been working in Recruitment Marketing for 7 years. At Stryker, we’ve been building out our Talent Attraction team for 3 years and over the past year, we’ve added a Labor Market Data Specialist, a Talent Brand Manager for EMEA and a Digital Strategist to manage our video production and strategy. This is great because it shows that there is support from leadership and an understanding of the importance of talent attraction and Recruitment Marketing!
Question #2: How can Recruitment Marketing teams improve relations with Marketing teams?
Shelby: Build relationships with members of the marketing team by grabbing coffee or lunch together. Focus on building more of a personal relationship with them (and not being in the same location as them is not an excuse – grab a virtual coffee over video chat!)
It also helps to have monthly or bi-monthly check-ins with them and share what you’re working on to keep them involved and to understand what they have going on as well. Staying connected in this way is also helpful to ensure your content calendar is optimized!
Question #3: How do you manage expectations when recruiters from different countries all want content from their regions prioritized?
Shelby: If we have regional specific content that we want to share, then we target our audience for that post. For example, if our team in India wants to share a post about an event, we will just target our followers in India. This prevents an overload of content that is being sent out to all followers.
We also set relatively strict guidelines in terms of what we will and won’t post (i.e. the images need to be high quality). We will push back on content that we receive if it doesn’t meet our standards.
Lastly, we create a content cadence where we have specific days for different content series we share (Wednesdays are for CSR and diversity-related posts; Fridays are all about our locations, etc.) so we can easily slot the regional content into the calendar using our series framework.
Question #4: When you feature employees in your content, do you ask for volunteers or hand pick people?
Shelby: It depends on the type of content we’re trying to collect. Most of the time we will ask for volunteers by reaching out via our company intranet. On occasion, we will hand select individuals and ask them if they want to participate. For example, if we’re running a series on our former NFL players, we will reach out to those individuals specifically since the size of the pool is much smaller than for a series around women in Sales.
Question #5: Can you share an example of a campaign or content that worked especially well?
Shelby: National Spouses Day! We have many employees at Stryker who are married and we celebrate them on National Spouses Day in January and that post always performs really well.
Question #6: Do you post internal content for hiring managers to share or do you create any content to help them deliver on a great candidate experience?
Shelby: Yes! We have a hiring manager toolkit which provides them with all types of resources, like creative ways to share their jobs on LinkedIn and how to sell Stryker as an employer of choice.
Question #7: With Facebook ads, how do you target your audience for $3/day?
Shelby: Facebook ads are very inexpensive and have a wide reach. If you log into your Facebook ad account from your Facebook business page, it will prompt you to run an automated ad where you can set the daily budget to whatever you’d like it to be.
Question #8: Our “create a job” page on Facebook has disappeared – have you heard of this happening?
Shelby: I heard about this being an issue but I believe it has been resolved. If you’re still not seeing it, check your settings and make sure the jobs tab is turned on.
Question #9: Have you seen success with Facebook Events or Facebook for Jobs?
Shelby: We do not see success from using Facebook events so we no longer use that feature. Unfortunately, we are still in the process of setting up our tracking links and are unable to track the success of Facebook Jobs at this time, but since we have 2,000+ jobs posted at any given time and you are unable to filter by role type, keyword, etc., on Facebook Jobs, I can’t see it being overly successful for us.
Question #10: How do you work with your marketing department when it comes to social content in terms of scheduling and managing posts. Do they review to make sure it is aligned with your company’s style guide?
Shelby: Our team (Talent Attraction) owns our social media pages and if something needs to be posted from corporate, they just email us and we add it into our content calendar. We are “brand champions” meaning we are trained on the brand and therefore we do not need approval to post to our channels.
Question #11: How do you decide what to keep in house and what to outsource?
Shelby: We try to do as much as we can in-house to stay consistent and ensure that teams aren’t running off to do their own thing. However, there are times where we are unable to meet the needs of the team, and in that case, we will recommend a preferred vendor that they work with and ask them to keep us in the loop so that we are aware of what’s happening.
It also helps to determine what’s in scope vs. out of scope for your team. We have a project request form that we ask the team to fill out when they need a marketing strategy and if it doesn’t fall within our Tier 1 or Tier 2 scope, then we will push back.
Want more tips to create your own Recruitment Marketing Plan? Get the 2020 Recruitment Marketing Planning Guide and Template.