Did you know that according to Microsoft’s 2021 Work Trend Index, 41% of employees globally are considering leaving their employers this year? Think about that. Forty-one percent of the entire workforce is ready to leave their role in the next 12 months. So where will they go? They will look for the right opportunity at the right company. If you are a business leader, a talent professional or someone who wants to watch your business grow – it’s your job to show them that you are the right destination.
For the past 5 years, I have worked at LinkedIn consulting with clients on how they can use content marketing to reach the best talent. All companies want great talent, and as a result, there is an ocean of content out there talking about unique opportunities, company culture, great perks, days-in-the-life and much more. One of the biggest issues we face is that as we market to candidates, we fall into the trap of following competitors, committing the greatest sin in advertising: failing to be remembered.
Fiverr’s “Not Another Talent Recruitment Video” content describes the situation all too well.
So, the big question is how do we break through? How do we sail through this ‘sea of sameness’ and make an impact with great talent? There is no easy answer, but there are tips that I have found will lead to exceptional talent marketing content. Here’s what I’ve learned:
Tip #1: Tell Your Employee’s Stories
If you want candidates to believe you, they need to hear it from their peers. The research backs this up – the London School of Business found that people only remember 5%-10% of the statistics they hear but 65%-75% of the stories they are told. So, we need to ask ourselves, how can we help our employees to tell their stories?
BHP, a resources company based in Australia, manages to do just that. They give the microphone to their employees and in doing so highlight the diverse nature of the organization. Some of the stories include the kind of work that people do day-in-day-out and the impact the company has had on its employees.
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Tip #2: Create an emotional connection
So, if employee stories are a great way of reaching your audience, what is a great way to connect with them? The answer is to create an emotional connection. Time and time again, in talent branding and in B2B branding, companies are guilty of forgetting an incredibly important part of creating ads: We create ads for people. Not for organizations, and not for talent pools, but for real-life human beings. And people are inherently emotional. Unsurprisingly, the data backs this up. LinkedIn’s B2B Institute has found that emotional strategies consistently outperform rational strategies in B2B advertising.
And so, our task as marketers and recruiters is to create content that goes beyond the standard employee value proposition. For example, if you want to highlight your workplace’s flexible working arrangements, ask yourself these questions: What does flexible working mean to employees? What does it allow them to achieve? What does having a diverse and inclusive culture actually mean for our people? How has it allowed them to grow? These are the questions your emotional content should be answering.
An example I love is Netflix and the emotional connections they create with audiences through sharing their employee stories (tip #1) and bringing emotion to the fore (tip #2).
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Or the older GE campaign, that answered the question: How do you connect with tech talent, as a 125-year-old company competing with startups and established tech companies?
Tip #3: Showcasing your Employee Value Proposition (EVP) authentically
Your EVP, which is your employee value proposition, is very similar to your USP (your unique selling point). It’s what is different about you in the eyes of a prospective candidate. Being authentic is incredibly important and it goes beyond simply creating effective content. If you create and run content that doesn’t hold true to the employee experience, you run the risk of increased attrition or employee turnover. An Employee Benefits News report in 2017 estimated that turnover can cost employers 33% of an employee’s annual salary. Multiplied across an organization, that can be a crippling expense.
So how do we avoid this? We lead with authenticity. LinkedIn, for example, thinks outside of the box with this one and gives the power to employees. From orientation on, employees are asked to use the hashtag #linkedinlife when posting about the company. The result? A searchable hashtag, across platforms, that recruiters can direct candidates to in order to get an insider’s perspective on the culture.
And finally, I love the way McDonalds gets creative and is authentic about the people they look for.
Through my career working in this intersection between the world of talent and marketing, I’ve seen a lot of content that has worked. And a lot that hasn’t. If you are hiring people in the coming months, my advice is to start early. To think about the content or the frameworks you can put in place now that will reach candidates in the future. And remember:
Be employee-story led.
And you will create content that breaks through.
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