Launching a careers blog is a big project, and while it’s one thing to create content and have the blog up and running, it’s another to get that content in front of prospective candidates. At Giant Eagle, our LinkedIn strategy was incorporated with our careers blog goals right from the start, along with a focus on our Team Member stories and hearing their experiences in their own words.
We were honored to be recognized for our careers blog in the 2021 Rally Awards and wanted to share our experience, lessons learned and tips for other Recruitment Marketing professionals.
It’s not just our everyday stories. It’s so much more.
That’s our careers blog tagline and that’s what we aimed to do with launching the blog — tell the backstories of our Team Members, how they’re unique and what makes them proud about their work.
A testimonial quote on a LinkedIn post can only capture so much, so one of the goals of the careers blog was to add the context to provide a holistic picture of our people at Giant Eagle.
It’s easy to say in key messages what your employer brand is, but we wanted to show it through our Team Member experiences. In addition to our Team Member profiles, we also partner with our Business Resource Groups to find a variety of stories such as event recaps from special occasions like Pride and Black History Month, diversity and inclusion initiatives and personal and professional Team Member milestones.
To step up our careers blog content, here’s what we did:
- Increased the frequency of our blog posts with valuable and compelling content to 6-8 times per month, and promoting on LinkedIn.
- Featured content highlighting our various internal departments multiple times per quarter.
- Featured awards and other significant achievements by implementing an internal system to alert our team to achievements across the Company and setting up a program where Team Members can nominate peers to be featured in content.
- Grew our presence and followership on LinkedIn by featuring careers blog posts.
Through our careers blog posts, we’ve been able to share career journeys, such as new hires, retirements and career growth within the organization both organically and through our structured Team Member Development Programs. We’ve featured Team Members with significant tenure to illustrate the potential career longevity that is possible with Giant Eagle.
In addition to career journeys, we’ve also been honored to share both professional and personal milestones of our Team Members. For example, we ran a month-long campaign featuring Team Members who were graduating from high school or college during the pandemic and celebrating their accomplishments during such a trying time.
Through the blog, we’ve been able to walk through life changes and obstacles and support each other along the way. We also created filters on the blog so candidates can choose what department and topics they want to learn more about.
LinkedIn strategy: Find what resonates and amplify it
We quickly realized consistency is key when it came to posting on LinkedIn. We created a weekly #TeamMemberTuesday series where we linked to our careers blog Team Member profiles.
There’s a variety of content topics on our careers blog, but by far the Team Member profiles resonated with our audience and performed the best. We continuously mix up who we feature from different departments, lines of business and levels of the Company and it is so heart-warming to see customers, and Team Members’ family and friends comment on the posts with messages like “so proud!” and “check out my son and his work!”
After a blog is published on the site and posted on LinkedIn, I send the links to the Team Member being featured so they can share in their networks and that extra step has resulted in a lot of engagement and greater reach.
To help amplify our efforts in the beginning, we invested $200-$300 per post to boost some of our Team Member spotlight blogs, but saw a lot of engagement organically. It goes to show with Team Members as your ambassadors, you don’t need a huge budget to grow your LinkedIn following!
We were thrilled with the results we saw in our LinkedIn and careers blog metrics, as well as seeing more employee engagement and interest in creating content.
- LinkedIn followers increased by 85% since our careers blog launched in 2018, with an average of 5,000-6,500 follower increase each year.
- Nearly 30,000 unique pageviews to the careers blog since June 2019.
- Increased employee engagement in re-sharing posts with their networks and nominating colleagues to be featured in content.
We’re continuing to experiment with different content topics and have learned the importance of measuring along the way to determine what’s performing well and connecting with our target candidate audience.
My top 3 tips to enhancing your careers blog and social media strategy
If you’re building out your careers blog and LinkedIn social strategy, here are my top tips:
- Get buy-in from leadership by showing the value and ROI
This was and still is Giant Eagle’s first blog of any kind, so it was crucial to build the business case with clear goals, like improving our employer brand, increasing applicant flow and helping us hire for hard to fill positions.
- Know your audience and experiment to see what resonates with them
We have a broad audience in terms of who we’re trying to reach, from candidates for hourly warehouse roles to corporate support jobs to leadership positions. Our content strategy includes a variety of posts to reach these different audiences. We knew candidates or Team Members in every department wouldn’t relate with every post, but that was okay because we knew who we were trying to reach. Get clear on your audience and try new formats and topics to see what performs well.
- Keep employee stories authentic
We see our role as proofreaders when it comes to Team Member spotlights, not writers. It can be tempting as a marketer to re-write quotes, but the point of sharing these stories is to be as authentic as possible. We ask meaningful and impactful questions and copy edit, but leave it as their words and the pen in their hands.
There were many lessons learned along the way, so I hope sharing about our process is helpful for others in the Rally Recruitment Marketing community! We were honored to be recognized amongst many other outstanding company careers blogs, so if you’re interested in learning more here’s 5 Careers Blog Tips from Rally Award Winners.