HR Turns to Content Marketing to Attract Talent

HR Turns to Content Marketing to Attract Talent

There she is: your ideal candidate. The right experience, the right attitude, she’s got the behavioral profile to succeed in the role and is a strong match for your culture. Now, how do you get her attention?

She’s not looking for a job. She’s not on your website or seeing any of your job postings. Who knows if she’s connected somehow to one of your employees? According to a recent global recruitment survey, a lot of HR professionals are turning to a marketing strategy that’s all the rage to get her attention.

In our 2016 Global Talent Recruitment Survey, we asked HR professional from around the globe what they were doing to attract talent.

About 70% of respondents are using social networking sites in their quest to find candidates. That’s not news, but of that 70%, more than a quarter (27%) have adopted a content marketing approach to get the attention of their ideal candidates.

“27% of HR pros using content marketing to attract candidates” Click to Tweet

What is content marketing? Well, in a nutshell, it’s when you market to an audience by publishing content that you think they’ll find useful. It could be an article, a blog post, a whitepaper, a video. The goal being that your target audience consumes it, thinks, ‘hey, that was good information. I like the way they think.’ And that association carries to your company and creates awareness of your brand.

When it comes to recruiting, we’re talking about your employer brand and the content you create makes them think that you understand them, and have something to offer. That way, when they are open to a new role, you’re on the list.

In marketing, this strategy has become a dominant channel and it’s a tremendous opportunity for HR. This will become an increasingly important way to use social media for recruiting as companies look to engage with passive, A-level candidates.

The McQuaig Institute has gone as far as creating a template for our customers to help them create an Employee Persona, which is a key step in developing an effective strategy for engaging candidates online in this way.

More Stats on Social Recruiting

In this year’s survey, 30% of respondents said they’re not using social media as a recruitment strategy, this is up about 5% from last year. I don’t think that marks a trend of abandoning social recruiting, but it’s interesting to see how large a segment isn’t using it yet.

Social media usage is highest in the US and Canada, where 78% of HR professionals said they’re using it. The least active region for social recruitment was Australia, with just 57% saying they used this channel.

North Americans highest users of social recruiting (78%); Australia the lowest (57%)” Click to Tweet

Better Leaders Leads to More Social Recruiting

As part of our survey we asked our respondents how effective their leadership was. When we break out the results based on who had strong leaders and who didn’t, we found social media usage was much higher in companies with effective leaders (81%) versus those with ineffective leaders (62%).  We also found differences in how they were using social media (see chart).


Social recruiting is most effective as a long-term strategy to engage passive candidates and build your employer brand with top performers. That is much easier to pursue when you have leaders who are engaged and admired and that’s why these numbers don’t surprise us.

You can also see that those companies with effective leaders are more likely to use a content marketing approach and post content to build employer brand than the total and much more likely than their counterparts with ineffective leaders. They’re also more likely to enlist employees to promote the company in their own social channels, expanding their network and raising awareness of the employer brand.

What do you think? Are you using content marketing to build a talent community?

Photo courtesy of Flickr CC and Ed Yourdon


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Kristen Harcourt
Kristen Harcourt

I am so glad it resonated with you, Leigh! Thanks for the kind feedback.

Lwigh Lightfoot
Lwigh Lightfoot

Great article

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