How does a company with over 90,000 employees prove to candidates that they won’t be just another number or another cog in the machine? That they’ll be heard, supported and have the opportunity to thrive in their roles?
This was the question that eventually led us to launch “Be You. Be UPMC” in 2021 in support of careers at UPMC, a leading health care provider and insurer pioneering groundbreaking research, treatments, and clinical care.
The careers blog campaign, which featured a series of articles spotlighting individual UPMC employees, was intended to help candidates see that UPMC is not just a large company powered by faceless employees, but rather people just like them: parents and friends, leaders and innovators, dreamers and go-getters.
Fast forward to today, and we’re thrilled to report that “Be You. Be UPMC.” proved to be a huge success. Through 27 blog posts, the campaign generated 200% more traffic to our careers blog in 2021 compared to 2020, which landed us the Best Careers Blog award at this year’s Rally Awards!
To help guide your own careers blog strategy, whether you’re creating one for the first time, wanting to upgrade what you already have or anything else in between, we wanted to share our approach to our “Be You. Be UPMC.” campaign and general careers blog strategy.
Let’s dive in, starting with the most important aspect of any careers blog: the content!
The goal of our careers blog content, including the posts belonging to our “Be You. Be UPMC” campaign, is to tap into the amazing stories of our 92,000 employees to get to know more about them, their career journey, why they chose their field, what sets their facility apart and other details relevant to candidates considering a career with UPMC.
We also want to show that, while details may differ from story to story, there is one common thread that runs through them: that UPMC is a workplace culture that values:
- support and encouragement
- growth and development
- teamwork and collaboration
- recognition and respect
To create these stories, we interview employees (in person, by email, over the phone or through video calls — whichever is most convenient for our colleagues), ask them to provide photos of themselves and then turn their responses into a blog. While we may change some basics (i.e. grammar or sentence structure), we strive to preserve each employee’s unique voice and personality in the editing process to ensure our employees are featured genuinely and authentically.
Here are articles from our careers blog in support of each of the four pillars above, as well as a blurb from each article lending to the pillar it’s supporting:
Support and encouragement
“To me Be You, Be UPMC means that I can bring my whole self to work. It is a place I can be an educator, bow tie aficionado, and athlete. My differences are celebrated and appreciated. The work that I do is valued and I know it is having real impact and making real change. I love that at UPMC I can be who I want to be and be part of something great!”
Growth and development
“I’d like to get to the ICU eventually, and I figure this is a good stepping stone,” Matthea said. “I definitely feel like there’s good opportunities to get there. When I came here, it was kind of like, ‘We see you as a great nurse. We see that you have potential to do something more than this.’ Hearing that, you know everyone roots for you, and I love that.”
Teamwork and collaboration
“Tom… cares deeply about empowering the team around him to see their potential. As a Team Lead, he loves to help his employees understand that while their roles may be entry-level, through hard work and dedication they can take their careers wherever they want to go. He tells his team that if you see something that you want in your career, ‘that should be the motivation to go figure out how that person got there and what you need to do to get there, too.’”
Recognition and respect
“Being yourself—flaws and all—is a lost art these days. Being yourself means being genuine. We all have things that make us different in unique ways. I believe that being able to express yourself and your ideas in a positive way is how we keep this world moving forward. I remember I had my whole cubicle decked out with horror movie pictures. In any other scenario that might be strange, right!? That small part of me that I brought to work made me more comfortable in that environment to do my best work. Everybody wins when you can genuinely BE YOU!”
While content is king, an often overlooked aspect of successful careers blogs is page design. The right design can make for a smoother, more consistent candidate journey that allows you to better convey what your employer brand is all about, drive more candidates to check out your content and, ultimately, apply to more jobs.
Below are the elements of page design to consider.
Logo and navigation
The more we can do to eliminate any chance of confusion along the candidate journey, the better. That’s why we include our logo at the top of our careers blog. As simple as it sounds, this helps make sure that, when candidates click to our blog from a social post, search engine, email or any other source, it’s clear that they ended up where they wanted to be and don’t leave right away.
We also implement a well-organized top navigation bar to make it easy for candidates to quickly find the content they’re looking for on our site. In this navigation bar, candidates can choose:
- Career Stories
- Life Here
- Tips & Advice
- Apply Now
As they scroll further down on our careers blog, candidates can also either see all latest posts at a glance or click on whichever topic they’re interested in and instantly see all of the latest posts related to that topic. They can also search for posts through a search bar.
This organized site structure also helps with SEO, making us more likely to appear in the first position on search engines like Google when candidates search relevant search terms (i.e. “nursing careers”).
Bold image, headline and short introduction
Window signs and highway billboards: they’re often the first interaction people have with a brand, which is why they need to clearly set expectations. The same can be said about header images on your careers blog.
The second candidates land on our blog, we want them to know what we value at UPMC. Currently, candidates are greeted by an image of a woman holding up her daughter smiling. Overlaying this image is the headline, “Be You. Be UPMC”.
Directly below our header image is a very short, two-sentence description that introduces the content that candidates can expect to read below. Altogether, to onlooking candidates, these elements paint a picture of UPMC as a company: one that is supportive of and filled with relatable, authentic people.
Being a careers blog, most of the page real estate is taken up by the actual blog content. But nestled in at the bottom, below the posts, is a dedicated career opportunities section.
This section entices users to click to learn more through a small header image and short paragraph describing the many different career opportunities available at UPMC.
The motivation behind this section is that our careers blog can be a high-intent area; after getting to know the people that make up UPMC through our content, candidates are more likely to want to learn more about careers at UPMC. We want to try to leverage these inspired moments by ensuring career opportunities are always just a click away.
At the top of the page, in the middle and at the bottom, we ask candidates to take specific actions through calls to action (CTAs).
For example, “Apply Now” is one of the top navigation bar options, “Read More” is placed under every listed blog post and “See All Blogs” is placed at the bottom of the entire blog. Most posts are also concluded with an “Explore Careers at UPMC” CTA.
These CTAs are also strategically placed on top of a dark button that stands out on the page’s white background, helping to bring more attention to them. Their simplicity makes it clear to interested candidates how to explore our content or check out our jobs.
Rally note: To learn more about designing effective careers blogs and careers sites in general, download our Best-Practice Careers Site Design Template!
By the end of 2021, our careers blog produced the following results:
- 27 blogs (compared to 16 in 2020)
- 118,145 sessions (compared to 37,907 in 2020, a 211.7% increase)
- Organic traffic become the top source of traffic to UPMC’s careers site
We also learned which content categories best resonated with our talent audience, as shown here:
The top performing content categories ended up being:
- Career family spotlight (i.e. 5 Things You Never Knew About SWAT Nursing)
- Culture (i.e. Meet Our Dignity & Respect Champions)
- Employee career story (i.e. New Nurses, New Unit, Forever Friends)
Through designing a useful, conversion-optimized page layout and sharing authentic stories of UPMC’s people, we’ve created a careers blog that attracts more talent, helps them more accurately decide if UPMC is the workplace for them and makes it easy for them to learn more about career opportunities at any time.
Hopefully, in applying some of the principles that worked for us, you can see similar results at your own organization!