Help Me, Wanda! #8: Why is My Recruiting Content Not Leading to More Applications?

Help Me, Wanda! #8: Why is My Recruiting Content Not Leading to More Applications?

Dear Wanda,

Even as Fortune 100 Company, we’re having trouble finding the right candidates for our jobs. We were told the solution was to invest in content that tells our employer story. So we wrote stories about our offices and our tuition reimbursement program. We invested our time and money, but in the end, the content didn’t translate to an increase in applications. What gives?


Hustled by a Storyteller

Dear Hustled,

Have you heard the one about a pig named Wilbur, his companion Charlotte, and her famous web? To summarize, Charlotte (the spider) weaves words of praise for Wilbur into her web to save him from being slaughtered (Spoiler Alert: Wilbur’s life is spared). In this scenario, you are Wilbur, and content is your Charlotte. You may not see the benefit now, but it’s what will keep you from getting slaughtered down the line.

Using recruiting content to tell your employer story thoughtfully is a goal in and of itself – don’t consider it a means to an end. If you think telling your employer story will increase the number of applications, you’ve misjudged the purpose of content.

Still not convinced? Here are the two things you need to know about how content works:

1. Content Creation Is a Continuous and Evolving Practice

There’s no magic number of stories you can tell before packing it up and calling it a day. Just think about brands like Coca-Cola or Pepsi that continue to invest millions into recruiting content for consumers despite being some of the most recognized brands in the world. Why is that?

This truth is now being recognized by those in the Talent Acquisition space. Being on the Fortune 100 list or gaining a “Top Employer” award is no longer enough. Guess what: there are 99 other companies on that list with you, and a qualified candidate needs to know what sets you apart from them. Even if you are the “Google” of your industry, you need to break down what that means to an employee. Access to an unparalleled level of data? A cool office space and relaxed culture? Figure that out and then build content that shows off what makes you special.

2. Recruiting Content Gets You Better Candidates, Not More

And trust me, that’s what you want. Content works best when it lowers your application-to-hire ratio, and this is where we can draw the line between strategically built content that is thoughtful and content that is just loud. If you’re looking for more applicants, invest in the latter – this is your click bait type story written to tantalize and attract attention. But if you’re looking to engage candidates who are aware of their needs as an employee and driven by research, you need to invest in content that speaks to their motivations and compels them to ask, “Knowing what I now know about X position at this company, will I be a good fit?” Content that gets a candidate to this point is successful – regardless of their answer.

So where does that leave you? You’ve already invested in content, which is great – now start analyzing how users are engaging with it. When are they making it part of their journey? What is the quality of a candidate who has interacted with content versus someone who has not? Take the time to answer these questions and you’ll be a step closer to creating the type of content your candidates are looking for.

Happy Hiring,


Have a hiring question you’d like Wanda to answer? Tweet using the hashtag #HelpMeHire and your question could end up in a future “Help Me, Wanda!” column.


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Written by Wanda

Wanda has spent the past 20 years in the recruitment marketing world, using her no-nonsense approach to hire the best talent for companies in need. She is a huge Montgomery Biscuits fan and craft beer aficionado. When not dispensing career advice, Wanda loves traveling the globe with her Chocolate Lab, Cooper. She currently resides in St. Louis but hopes to one day live on the moon and start her own improv training center.

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