This September, Stories Inc. sponsored and hosted the inaugural Rally Recruitment Marketing Content Workshop in Washington, D.C. and the first stop on Rally’s tour of the US. Lori Sylvia, Rally’s Founder & CEO, led the workshop and our own Lauryn Sargent presented to the room of talent acquisition, recruitment marketing, and employment brand professionals.
As a newer Project Manager and Content Strategist at Stories Inc., I attended the workshop as a practitioner. The hands-on format welcomed open discussion amongst the attendees. Everyone’s enthusiasm and willingness to share provided real-deal insights that were invaluable to someone newer to the industry such as myself.
I left the workshop with useful concepts and practical tactics (and some great new industry contacts!). Here are four of my main takeaways:
Create a candidate persona
In order to create targeted, relevant content, you have to understand your desired candidate and their motivations. What are their demographics, background, job preferences and behaviors? Where are they in their candidate journey?
Lori recommended conducting persona research interviews with recruiters who regularly recruit for the role, hiring managers who know who they’re looking for, employees who are already in those positions, and candidates who are your ideal targets to guide the work.
Lori reminded the group that the majority of workers are open to new opportunities if the right one comes their way. Between passive and active job seekers, there are so many potential candidates who could interact with a company’s content, and that content can make or break their candidate experience. The work is in making it reflect your organization and answer a candidate’s questions–while they’re open to new opportunities and may be researching your company.
That way, when candidates visit your careers site and consume your content they feel as if you truly understand and are speaking directly to them as a person and candidate (creating a “you know me” experience).
We applied this persona creation to our Sales and Client Development Associate search. When thinking about our ideal candidate, we thought about where they currently worked. We determined they didn’t need exact experience in our space.
What companies in our area had great sales training? What experience is our ideal candidate seeking that we are able to give? We settled on a persona entitled “The Savvy Salesperson.” Our ideal candidate persona will dictate what content we create in hopes of attracting the right fit.
Four content categories
The workshop helped me think about creating every piece of content with a purpose. Lori explained that content needs to serve one of these purposes:
As you think about your recruitment marketing and employer brand content, remember that content shouldn’t be produced just for the sake of it (plus we’re all strapped for resources, so who has effort to waste?). We should ask, what’s the goal of the content? Is it to make a candidate laugh, teach them more about the company, engage with us, help them ascertain if they are a good fit, or get them to accept an offer?
Whether it’s an instagram post of the company picnic or a culture video on the careers site, everything should be deliberate and answer candidates’ questions. For our internal sales search, we can use these four categories to tag every piece of recruitment marketing content. If there’s no clear purpose, we can rethink why we are putting it out in the world.
The power of employee stories
Lauryn spoke about the power of employee stories in recruitment marketing content. She showed examples of content that Stories Inc. has produced for clients, and some of the questions the Stories Inc. team uses when we interview our storytellers (crowd favorite: “When did you know you met your best friend at work?”).
The goal of each story is to provide insight to candidates and communicate what the company offers to their employees. Stories should provide authentic insight into the team member experience and can communicate both universal and specialized hiring needs. Across various channels and formats, a storytelling approach is the best recruitment marketing approach.
Click below for Joanna’s story, which shows more about her employer, BAE Systems, than simply the career site stating, “We care about inclusion.”
This same approach applies to our own recruiting, where we use our own employee stories to share insight into our unique culture. We won’t just tell our Sales and Client Development Associate that our Stories Inc. values are ownership, authenticity, and thoughtfulness. We’ll show them through story-based content that brings these values to life (for example, a story about our Germany trip).
Lori explained the benefits of repurposing content (save time, publish more, and emphasize your message!). By using this approach, you can maximize your effort to create content, take advantage of new channels and break your content into bitesize chunks. Stories Inc. does this very well for our clients! Learn more about repurposing content and making the most of your employee stories.
Lori guided the group through an exercise where we took one piece of content and repackaged it 20 ways. We heard great ideas from conference participants from WeddingWire, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Norfolk Southern Railway, CareFirst, and Veeco.
These are just a few of many takeaways from the workshop. We appreciate Lori and Lauryn speaking and sharing their wisdom, and we are excited to be able to apply these lessons to the search for our next Stories Inc. sales hire.
Recruitment marketing doesn’t need to be intimidating. Through this one-day course, you can learn from the experts and walk away with tactics and templates to apply right away. The workshop is headed to San Jose on Sept. 24, Boston on Oct. 4, and New York City on Oct. 22 . The workshop in DC sold out, so sign up now to reserve your spot!