Candidate Journey Content: How To Make It Resonate
Creating compelling content is key to attracting top talent, increasing applications, and improving engagement rates. But it needs to align with the candidate journey to resonate and make an impact.
Last week on Talent Experience Live, Marco Abato, Senior Vice President, Employer Brand, Digital and Communications at Cielo Talent, discussed the power of authentic, timely content throughout the candidate experience — and how to get started.
Missed the episode? No problem. Stream it below, or read on to catch the highlights.
The importance of understanding the candidate journey
Most people think the candidate journey starts during the first encounter between a recruiter and a potential candidate. But, the candidate journey actually starts the first time a job seeker engages with your company — whether on your career site or social media platforms.
Potential points of connection look different for each company, which is why it’s important to assess what platforms a job seeker could engage with and what content you’re already publishing on each of those channels. After assessing existing content and potential candidate journeys, then your team can start creating content that effectively communicates your employer brand.
What makes content “relevant”?
First of all, when determining what types of content you’d like to publish on your career site and social channels, it’s important to keep in mind the importance of timeliness.
For example, if your HR team hosted an event for employees to celebrate mental health month in March, you don’t want to add that content to your channels for the first time in October. Updating your content in a timely manner is critical and can help your content resonate with the right candidate at the right time, effectively communicating your company culture, values, and employer brand.
Second, your content needs to be cohesive and engage the right-fit candidates, compelling them to stay connected with your brand throughout their journey.
So how does Cielo Talent — a global TA partner providing talent consulting and other services — approach content creation with its clients?
“Every organization is going to have its own story to tell. What may be relevant to that organization [should] resonate with the audience that they’re trying to attract,” said Abato, who leads Cielo’s client engagement team and is responsible for the company’s global and employer brand.
The right content will reflect the employer value proposition (EVP) and make it easy for the right candidate — not necessarily every candidate — to identify with your organization and become interested in exploring available opportunities.
When working with clients, Cielo first clarifies the organization’s EVP. Once that’s established, they develop content that’s tailored to various talent segments that the business is trying to target.
Should employers focus on region-specific, localized content?
The pandemic triggered a decentralization of the workforce for many organizations. The challenge: global companies need to speak to candidates on a local level, accounting for regional preferences and other location-specific factors.
This regional segmentation — “glocal” content, as Cielo refers to it — captures an organization’s global brand but filters it through the lens of a specific region, city, or country.
Using the right HR technology, businesses can create global and localized content while empowering different teams to make content changes based on their unique audiences, offering a more personalized experience for both internal teams and potential candidates.
“There’s a lot of ways that we look at talent — at a talent level, at a local level, at an audience level. The EVP will mean different things [in different places]. That’s when we get into content development and pressing that forward, getting the right content outbound to the user we want to attract,” Abato said.
How can you create more compelling job description content?
Job descriptions are universally known for slipping into corporate-ese. They need to have the right tone to resonate with the right candidates, but it’s difficult for recruiters and other hiring team members to write a job description about a job they’ve never actually performed.
“Where we’d like to take content from a job description lens is to have the person doing the job talk about the job,” Abato said. That means using employee videos to complement a job description that ticks all the necessary boxes from a compliance perspective and highlights the main components of the position in an attractive, engaging way.
It's also important to consider how job descriptions will transfer across various channels, Abato added — each description needs to be tailored to candidates from different talent segments and regions, for example.
To streamline this process, consider leveraging platforms outfitted with generative AI, like Phenom X+. Generative AI can create relevant job descriptions based on role requirements, past ideal candidates, and current high-performing employees, delivering a relevant and accurate description of each role.
How do you strike a balance between professionally created content and employee-generated content?
Today, anyone can be a content creator, including your employees. All they need is a smartphone and a story to tell about their work life. “The power in that is while it may not have the polish, it carries a high level of validity,” Abato said.
Employee-generated content is great to feature on career sites and is especially key in amplifying your brand’s presence on social media.
That being said, high-quality video and imagery produced by professionals also have a place in employer content marketing. Striking the right balance is critical and looks different for every company.
Here’s how Cielo is tackling this challenge for a current client: Their first priority is creating professional videos and photography using real employees. This will drive channel activation, website activation, and internal organization activation.
”And then what will come on the heels of that is the employee activation, and that’s where we’ll start generating the true employee story, where the content becomes much more powerful,” Abato explained.
Having professionally produced assets to use at career fairs or conferences, for example, makes sense. “But to really engage today’s audience, the authenticity of that employee content is so much more powerful.”
Bonus tip: Engaging leaders to contribute self-generated content is a highly impactful way to tell the organization’s story, Abato added.
Is it important to check out content from competitors?
There are two distinct competitors for your talent: employers in your industry and employers of the category of candidates you need to hire. For example, a healthcare organization is competing with others in the healthcare industry, but also with any company hiring for similar roles within IT, marketing, food services, etc.
Cielo emphasizes the importance of gaining insight into what both types of competitors are doing so you know how to differentiate your content. “The competition does help drive the outcomes because then we have a basis of what the competitive landscape looks like for both industry and talent,” Abato said.
Final thoughts: authenticity and the career site
Telling the employer story as authentically as possible is paramount for today’s job candidates who live on the internet and can fact-check anything within a few seconds.
“Authenticity has always been my biggest takeaway with content and channel strategy to deliver that content,” Abato said. He also emphasizes the value of the career site — and the content displayed there — as being the primary destination for all TA marketing. “Pushing everything back to that destination, whether it comes through social channels, email marketing, or paid advertising, it all comes down to authenticity."
Ensuring your EVP is consistent and authentic while driving potential candidates to your career site to apply is the winning combination that makes resonating with your desired audience easier, streamlined, and more compelling than your competition.
Join us for more TXL every Thursday at noon ET. Get notified of all upcoming TXL episodes here.
Kasey is a content marketing writer, focused on highlighting the importance of positive experiences. She's passionate about SEO strategy, collaboration, and data analytics. In her free time, she enjoys camping, cooking, exercising, and spending time with her loved ones — including her dog, Rocky.
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