In Recruiting, Content Is NOT King!

Something happened over the past five years. Content marketing, which is a brilliant way to connect with a customer base and build sales, became very fashionable in the recruiting space.  So much so, that I constantly read vendors telling in the trenches Talent Acquisition pros and leaders:

“In Recruiting, content is king!”

No. No, it is not! In recruiting, activity is king.  I think the confusion comes into play with people treating employment branding and recruiting as the same thing. They’re not the same thing. One build’s awareness of who you are and what kind of employer you might be, possibly you can stretch employment branding into awareness of your job openings as well.

Content in employment branding is important if you’re doing content recruitment marketing. Again, you don’t have to do this to do employment branding. Many organizations build their brand without content. If you have a great consumer brand, you are less likely to need content to build your employment brand.

I’m not against producing great content to build your brand, believe me! It can be super helpful, especially if you don’t have a larger consumer brand behind you.

The point is you can be awesome in recruiting and never produce a single piece of content. I see so many TA shops missing this right now. The question is why? Why are TA shops believing that the only way to recruit is to build content and build an audience?

Employer Branding is a huge business right now! Organizations are spending millions of dollars per year to build, maintain and grow their employment brand. For huge organizations, or organizations in highly competitive environments, this is very important. For many organizations, this is a complete waste of time and resources!

The noise in the employment branding space is so loud right now, most organizations are not going to be heard. In that case, why are you spending the resources? You’re doing this because it’s easier than picking up a phone and calling a candidate! That’s recruiting.

Recruiting are the activities you do to hire people for the jobs you have open. Included in those activities are not only candidate attraction but candidate interaction. Candidate interaction, the function of a recruiter interacting with a candidate, might be the most forgotten skill in all of Talent Acquisition.

The skill of interacting with a live person is lost on most talent acquisition shops. Sure you can connect with candidates via email, messaging, text, twitter, Snapchat, etc. Eventually, though, someone has to speak to a live person. Someone has to close this person on coming to work for you. We, the talent acquisition industry, continue to spend less and less time on this side of our business, and it’s showing.

Great recruiting organizations are activity focused and activity driven. Sales funnel. Candidates come in the top, and hires come out the bottom. It’s not difficult. It’s not art. It’s a process. It’s metrics. Teach your recruiters to be able to engage live people on the front side, and you will see a great return on that investment in more hires. No content needed.



8 thoughts on “In Recruiting, Content Is NOT King!

  1. Time to bring some TRUTH to the industry. I come across some many websites, Facebook pages, LinkedIn pages where employers invests tens of thousands of dollars to build an image, but haven’t mastered the art of collecting a lead, starting a conversation, and getting a hire. 9 out of 10 companies don’t even track the number of hires they are getting from Facebook/LinkedIn… Thanks for preaching the good word!

  2. Tim, in so many cases, content is the new coat of paint on a house that needs a tremendous amount of work. Content often obfuscates…

  3. As a journalist and writer who covers HR and HR tech, I’d love to see more companies spend their content marketing dollars creating information that helps customers understand and use their products, and less on generic material about job hunting or recruiting that exists 100 other places (and probably is better written). Quit trying to be a thought leader, and focus on doing what you do. I realize that’s the antithesis of what a lot of content marketing campaigns aim for – I know because I’ve worked on them. But the one thing that sets companies apart from the competition is their knowledge of their products and services. So use that. Okay, stepping off my soapbox now.

  4. Tim, you and I both know that recruiting is hard work. We also know that most people have no interest in doing hard work. The vendors that try to push content are brilliant, as they have mastered selling magic beans to people who want to believe that there are truly magic beans to help them get the results of hard work, without doing said hard work.

  5. Nicely said. About 10 years ago, I started applying a principle that I was not going to be loyal to an institution (read: Company loyalty, organization loyalty, vendor loyalty), I was only going to be loyal to people and individuals. And I make better business decisions because of it. Employer Branding only has value if the individuals you encounter reflect the what the branding says. The Wheaties in the box need to be what the Wheaties on the box are.

  6. Preach Tim Sackett..preach! I remember when I 1st cut my teeth as a recruiter working for Robert Half International. We didn’t even have computers and certainly no texts. We recruited using our rolodex and the telephone!

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