Most people think the end goal of content marketing is either generating leads or driving sales. However, companies can also make their brand more attractive to qualified candidates through content marketing for HR.
In this article, you’ll learn how to build a content marketing strategy around your internal and external HR communications. We’ll also share with you great examples of content marketing from other HR teams.
First, let’s talk about how to make the case for having an HR content marketing strategy.
Why HR Teams Need A Content Marketing Strategy
75% of candidates will research a company’s reputation before applying for a job opening. You can keep your company’s reputation strong by building content marketing into your HR comms. Content around your company culture, diversity initiatives, and employee perks and benefits can also help you attract strong candidates.
Employee experience may also be a focus for your HR team. With a strategy in place, HR can drive content that continues to engage teams and potentially even reduces employee turnover.
Now let’s dive into the five steps needed so you can build a content marketing strategy for your HR team.
Step 1: Identify Target Audiences & Goals
Start by identifying the specific goals you’re looking to achieve. With human resources content marketing, perhaps it’s employee retention or reducing your hiring costs. A LinkedIn survey found a strong talent brand can translate into a 28% lower employee turnover rate and 50% savings in cost per hire. Rob Gold, a Talent Partner at Knotch, says this is because content makes the brand more attractive to qualified applicants, which in turn will make them apply and accept offers at a higher rate.
Next, identify the target audience for your HR content marketing. Many employer brands have three target groups:
- Current employees
- New team members
- Job candidates
Then you will need to gather information to help you prioritize different content initiatives through internal meetings and focus group interviews.
You'll need to find out:
- What departments will likely have the most open positions in the next year?
- What is most important that you need to communicate around your company's culture?
- From an employee or job seeker’s perspective, what will they want to know, and what would encourage them to work for your company?
- Where does your audience go for information regarding job opportunities or company happenings?
Note that the same content likely won't resonate with all candidates of various disciplines. For example, a developer and a salesperson may have contrasting interests and browsing habits. That’s why you need to segment your audience and create content for each type of persona.
The planning stages of your content campaigns may also be a great time to revisit or establish your company’s values. If establishing values for the first time, bring together tenured employees who know your culture well and leaders or directors who embody your team's core values. Brainstorm three to seven values. Then group together similar values to keep them succinct and true to your culture. Be sure to display these values prominently, especially on your careers webpage.
Gold says values drive culture and action at your company, and candidates care how companies define these before they apply. Therefore, it’s important also to define how your company operationalizes your values: how they play out each day.
You can look to other brands for inspiration on setting and communicating their core team values. For example, Airbnb uses short and precise statements to explain each value.
Step 2: Outline Channels
There are a ton of channels your employer brand can be showcased on, including:
- Your company career page
- Email newsletters
- Facebook and Instagram
- Company blog (public or internal)
- Hiring partner sites focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion such as Jopwell, and Mathison.
Keep in mind 35% of job seekers prefer to find job opportunities on a company's career page over outside sources.
Zendesk is a great example of a company that uses Instagram well to highlight some special aspects of their company’s culture.. One example is their Instagram post below of a volunteer project by their professional services team.
It's easy to get carried away with the number of channels you could use when launching an HR content marketing strategy. Keep it simple to start: begin with two channels that reflect your team’s goals, and establish KPIs to help you hit those goals. Then you can make a case for a larger marketing budget so you can reach ideal content marketing distribution.
Step 3: Collaborate Across Departments
Bring into your content the team members your target audience wants to hear from including:
- Your C-suite team
- Their potential manager
- Employees in similar roles to your active job posting
For example, Starbucks has a YouTube playlist of videos spotlighting different employees based on their target audiences. The video below shares the story of Bob, a semi-retired Starbucks team member.
Collaborating on this content can also keep your team united. Knotch team members worked together to write a letter to CEO Anda Gansca sharing why we’ll never give up on our team’s mission.
Your marketing team will also have content marketing experience you can leverage to help execute and ensure your campaigns stay on brand.
Step 4: Schedule HR Content
Mapping out a schedule isn't as simple as creating a job description and saying it will go up on a specific date.
Beyond content creation you need to factor in:
- Content promotion: Driving awareness to assets your HR team creates via social media, digital ads, and email marketing.
- Updating content: Adjusting content over time as policies or information changes.
- Allocating time for team members: Confirming with coworkers they can build time into their schedule to engage with candidates or other employees via one-on-ones, recorded testimonials, job fairs, and other hiring and onboarding initiatives.
- Auditing campaigns: Measuring the success of specific campaigns to improve on your results by identifying the right email marketing metrics and other KPIs specific to the channels you have content on.
Use a tool like Asana or Monday.com to help you project manage and schedule these tasks.
Step 5: Measure Your Results
Keep a dashboard actively tracking the metrics that align most with your HR goals. That way you can continually improve your HR content marketing campaigns. Tools like Cyfe and Datapine can help you set up a KPI dashboard.
You can also get a pulse on how your team and potential hires feel about the content you’re publishing. With Knotch, you can gather feedback on your internal newsletter and blog posts and review sentiment and the number of responses on any email or article.
There may also be opportunities to publicly share some of your initiatives. Twitter has a public inclusion report displaying their current team’s diversity and 2025 goals.
Great HR Content Marketing Examples
Now that you know how to create your own HR content marketing strategy, let’s look at brands nailing content marketing for HR. Here are a few employer brands you can look towards for inspiration.
IBM uses their career page as a central point to inspire job seekers. The video below shares why working at IBM matters and how new hires can change the world.
They also outline the application process and publish their Glassdoor ratings.
Bottom line: 86% of Americans believe transparency from businesses is more important than ever before. Try to find ways you can incorporate transparency into your HR content.
Zapier’s communication style and onboarding system is a springboard for many other companies — but it also helps them attract world-class talent. Zapier shares how they work effectively in a remote setting using asynchronous communication through their blog, podcast interviews, and virtual conferences.
Salesforce Careers Instagram profile shares team benefits and the company’s dedication to diversity. There you’ll see everything from maternity leave stories to Dia De Los Muertos celebrations.
McKinsey & Company
Your HR content marketing can also address issues happening right now. While not a traditional employer brand example, McKinsey’s annual Women in the Workplace report was particularly eye-opening due to the COVID pandemic.
Their study found women were more likely to have been laid off or furloughed due to the pandemic. Additionally, many working mothers are looking at leaving the workforce or downshifting their careers because of school and daycare closures.
On their Women in the Workplace website, McKinsey provides resources to help fight bias against women at work.
Through this initiative, McKinsey is actively trying to help solve problems in the workplace.Through their efforts, they’ve connected with great female leaders who may turn into potential candidates for future roles.
The report received over 4,000 engagements alone on McKinsey’s LinkedIn page.
Google wanted to know how their employees deal with work-life balance. They are undergoing a century-long study called gDNA to see how they can help manage that balance and other workplace challenges. They share the results for potential employees to view. This also shows job seekers they value their employees' well beings.
As a content intelligence company, we understand the importance of content across every function of the organization. Our HR team regularly creates content that promotes our values, comments on current issues, and celebrates the employees that make our company great.
We also recently commemorated National Boss’s Day by sharing a LinkedIn post that featured Knotchers expressing gratitude for their boss’s stewardship.
We create and share this content because we want to promote who we are as a company and what we believe in. The result is a highly engaged team, and lots of interest in new job opportunities.
Content Marketing for HR: Wrapping It Up
You don’t need the resources of a company like Google to nail your HR content marketing. By bringing out your team’s values and collaborating across the organization, you can:
- Engage new hires.
- Provide a window into working at your company for any job candidates.
- Actively contribute to a better employee experience.
Consider using tools like the Knotch Content Intelligence Platform to help you streamline content planning and feedback.Map out job candidate’s journeys to provide a more engaging hiring experience and provide useful information upfront on your website.
Learn more about how Knotch can help you. Request a demo today.