We have a lot of experience in recruitment marketing because it and content marketing share some very fundamental commonalities. One in particular is the ‘pull’ effect. We always say that content marketing isn’t meant to push a banner up in front of you to say ‘buy this’; rather it should draw in a pool of people that share your values and who can make their own informed decision on whether to become your customer. Well, the same is true in recruitment. What would it mean in terms of value to you and your company – both holistically and financially – to attract the right people before you’ve posted a job ad?

Recruitment marketing is simply content marketing with a twist. This time your product is your company and your targets are the new recruits you aim to attract that are a perfect match for your company. And this is why recruitment marketing isn’t about finding the one right person to fill a particular vacancy. It is about finding a large group of people who match and share your company values. Done well, those people will have formed a queue at your front door begging to work for you. And that’s before you’ve posted a vacancy.

Trust and culture

Creating an aura of trust around the place where you work, building a picture of company culture and disseminating brand awareness: these are all essential elements of content marketing and they’re exactly the tactics to getting great employees knocking on your door.

The first step to finding the right recruits is to identify their personas and create content that speaks directly to them. This is not a short-term goal; it should be part of your long-term employee engagement strategy because the potential for staff retention is as important as the recruitment part. It’s no good in having the perfect CFO in place for just a couple of months, or worse a terrible one for two years.

My colleague Toby tells me he had a boss who would neither hire anybody that was taller than him (he was 5ft 9in), nor one that supported a football team in a higher league position than his club, Crystal Palace. While the desk that he ran was contented, his recruitment efforts did not match the value of the large international corporate business we worked for – and it showed! So apparently, short men who support ne’er-do-well football teams should perhaps not form part of your employee personas.

Promoting happy workers

An employee retained, of course, is an employee engaged. And an employee engaged is a happy one unless you work for the Ministry of Misery. So it’s time to ask yourself some probing questions about the sort of people you want to attract – those that will ultimately fit well within your team – and how to present a company culture that makes them tick.

Here are a few questions you should be asking of yourself in order to produce the content that gets them knocking at your door.

Who are they and what do they do?

Demographics of the perfect pool of recruits will be a good place to start, and of course whether you’re looking for creative people or management, the kind of workplace and people you portray could be very different.

What educational background do they have?

Are you expecting a straight-A student and will they be enticed by a diligent or fun workplace, or somewhere they can progress quickly?

What are their career aspirations?

What sort of aspirations do these people have? Moreover, can they achieve these within your company? Would they be hesitant to leave their current job because of potential future developments, and can you offer a similar promise?

What sort of everyday experience can they expect from your company?

Do you need people that thrive in a fast-paced, slightly chaotic environment or is the opposite true? How can you show this?

Who do they work well with?

This is an important question, and one that is distinctive of recruitment marketing. You may have an idea of the perfect person to attract, but do they play well with others? The perfect person doesn’t just have to be good at what they do, they have to fit well with your team. This means projecting an image of your team’s personality that resonates with potential future employees.

What are their pain points?

Are they unhappy in their current job? And why? What does their current position not offer them that you can? What are the current industry issues that might affect their jobs or the likelihood of them leaving, and can you produce content that diurectly addresses this?

Recruitment is your chance to gain a set of employees that reflect the company culture you have worked hard to build. Hiring someone who does not reflect your company’s values can be very costly. This is why we have taken the bold step of looking more closely at recruitment marketing and how to create an image of irresistible company culture that will have the right people come to you, not the other way round…