Content Marketing as a Recruiting Strategy

As I look through my emails, I notice a scary trend-email after email from some of my favorite brands. Unlike the normal “salesy” emails, most of the brands I follow capture my interests with their content. It’s made me go all in on content marketing as a recruiting strategy.

First, if you don’t know what content marketing is, it’s loosely defined as a type of marketing that involves the creation and sharing of online material (such as videos, blogs, and social media posts). The primary goal of content marketing is not to explicitly promote a brand but to stimulate interest in its products or services.

Successful recruiters do content marketing by default. For the high valued targets on your recruiting lists, you may send industry articles or share valuable content occasionally as a way to stay on the recruit’s mind. All I am suggesting is to make content marketing a permanent, planned part of your recruiting strategy.

How to use content marketing as a recruiting strategy

The task can seem daunting at first but once you set up the framework, it can run like clockwork. A successful content marketing recruiting strategy will be engaging your high valued candidates while you focus more energy on developing new targets and adding them to the list. Influencers like Gary Vee and Arianna Huffington are masters at developing content weekly, if not daily, that informs their base while consistently driving them to buy into their brand.

So how do you do it?

Develop your list

Start first by developing your list of prospects and getting them into a marketing platform like MailChimp or HubSpot. These tools are great for not only storing your contacts but also helping to develop content in the form of template newsletters and other email templates.

Both platforms offer you the ability to develop landing pages for candidates to self-select in to your marketing program. This is a great way to help the list generate more leads for you by asking for referrals from your top prospects.

Create your content

Remember-the goal for content marketing as a recruiting strategy is not to put on the hard selling tactics normally used. If you have a list for data scientist, share articles from other companies or publications with value insight into the industry.

You can start by creating something simple like a once a month mailing showcasing the top articles of the month and build your program after you gain experience. Be sure to insert an article from your current firm if you can find one that is relevant. Essentially, you will allow candidates to see your firm’s publication alongside industry leaders. This tactic will encourage your candidates to begin thinking of your firm as those industry leaders you’ve included in the piece.

Compared to the constant phone calls from recruiters, content marketing allows candidates to engage with you and your brand on their terms at a time they choose.

Schedule ahead

Another valuable option platforms like HubSpot and MailChimp offer is the option to schedule content in advance. This helps maintain some consistency in your schedule. It also helps you dedicate one to four hours a month putting your content together to be scheduled.

Typically, I dedicate one day a month to develop content and then work on the schedule. Creating this discipline has helped me be able to spend less time developing awesome content and more time engaging awesome candidates.

If you create and maintain a schedule, you’ll also condition your candidate pool to expect content from you.

Use the metrics

You will never know if your content marketing is effective unless you utilize metrics. The two platforms mentioned previously offer such metrics as open rate, clicks, shares and many more. If you are spending the time to evaluate content marketing as a recruiting strategy, you’re measuring what works and what doesn’t.

There’s no use in doing all this work if no one is engaging in the content. Dig into the data to see what candidates like to read and produce or find more similar content to share. This is where the gold is in this strategy.


Leveraging content marketing as a recruiting strategy can be overwhelming at first but if you stick with it, you may find yourself having more fun with it than you thought you would. It’s a great way to get in the mind of your prospective candidates which can also help you with your more traditional recruiting strategies.

Brands who do content marketing well stay at the top of mind of its target clients. They engage their clients in a way to help them continually come back to them for purchases, not because they’re always selling something but because they’re always providing value.



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Why Some Recruiting Strategies Suck

If you find yourself wondering why you are not seeing the right candidates or any candidates at all, there’s a good chance your recruiting strategy sucks! The good news is that you can make some quick adjustments to get everything back on track and find that rockstar employee.

Know what you’re looking for

In my previous posts, I’ve spoken at length on the importance of a good job description. The job description is the marketing add for the role you’re essentially selling potential candidates. Before you even get to that step, you have to know what you are actually looking for.

Start with a list of top 3-5 skills that will serve as “the price of admission” for consideration of candidates. Be realistic about your expectations and spend as much focus on the acumen of candidates as you do on the minimum qualifications.

Know your market

One major reason why your recruiting strategy sucks is being unaware of the talent market. When I work with hiring managers, I spend time providing market research to help manage the expectations. Variables such as the depth of the candidate pool, competition and compensation expectations are all important items to consider to avoid later realizing your recruiting strategy sucks.

One of the components of Sprint Recruiting is the 48-hour feedback loop recruiter provide managers during the sprint. If we spend the first 48-hours searching, only to find a shallow candidate pool with salary expectations outside of our budget, we quickly huddle with the manager to reassess our recruiting strategy.

As an industry professional, you should have insight to help your recruiting partner know where to search for the candidate you want and can afford.

Be ready to move quick

Today’s marketplace is all about speed. If your recruiter finds a candidate for you, be sure to honor appointments for interviews.  It amazes me how managers will blow off phone interviews or miss appointments with candidates who are interested in the position.  There are no words for what type of impression that leaves with a candidate.  And when you have met with them, provide feedback to both the candidate and the recruiter about next steps.

PULL THE TRIGGER!

So, you’ve interviewed several candidates, narrowed it down to the one you want… so what are you waiting for?  Many times, I will have had to endure constant requests for updates and hounding about a particular position only to have the offer negotiation process drag out for weeks.  If you know what you want, then you should know what you want to pay for it, therefore, you should be able to pull the trigger. 

This is the last place you want to appear indecisive. If you are the bottleneck, then you are the reason your recruiting strategy sucks! Own it and fix it before you lose out on a great employee.

Your recruiting strategy sucks because it isn’t a priority

One of the primary reasons why your recruiting strategy sucks is because you are not making it a priority. With all of the turbulence in the market and in every industry, excellence in recruiting can sometimes take a back seat. 

I would urge every leader to be wary of this common mistake. 

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Introduction to Sprint Recruiting

Traditional recruiting is sometimes the very definition of insanity. You get a job, you search for candidates, conduct interviews, place the candidate, they quit, and the cycle repeats. Numerous issues and landmines frequent the journey for the recruiters searching for the best talent. Sprint Recruiting helps prioritize the work, keep your focus and enables you to kick ass!

Unmanaged Expectations

Hiring managers can be unrealistic but in many cases, this is the recruiter’s fault. In an effort to please and dazzle our hiring managers, we rarely manage their expectations. Sure, it can be confrontational but if you are not defining the process with your hiring managers, you will fall prey to their expectations. 

Let’s not forget the job description of the purple squirrel that every manager dreams up. They want someone with all of these skills and experience with a budget that would barely afford a recent college graduate. Most of us kick into the “I’m going to rock your world” mindset and become hell bent on finding that elusive candidate.

Meanwhile, hiring managers wait like a disgruntled old person in the line at the DMV. Why?

Clear expectations were not set by the recruiter on the front end.

Talent Shortage

The truly sexy, in demand jobs are the toughest because there are usually ten firms looking for that talent. Recruiters are feverishly working to find the talent, engage them in the selection process and in some cases, convince the hiring manager the talent is actually the right person for the job.

There are some serious challenges ahead including talent shortages, skills gaps and location issues.  If that doesn’t stress you out then globalization should.  Companies are fighting for talent in a candidate driven market.  Candidates are now savvier and more educated about the companies they want to work for.   

Jobvite Recruiter Nation Report suggests that only 67% of the recruiters search for candidates with relevant job experience. There is a shift in many companies, including my current employer, to search more based on competencies and acumen versus relevant job experience.  Finding the right employee that fits the criteria makes the hiring procedure a daunting task if you are still recruiting using the traditional methodology.

The Process

I’ve worked for several medium and large corporations and one thing is true in all of them:

There’s no such thing as an easy hiring process.

Most of this is due to regulations, antiquated hiring protocols, untrained managers etc. The obstacles are real but rarely addressed.  After all, we have to be polite and not let anyone in the process get their feelings hurt right?

How Sprint Recruiting Helps

Sprint Recruiting brings the AGILE methodology to recruiting to allow for quicker and more efficient hiring. The sprints give the recruiting time to stop and evaluate the needed analytics to make hiring smarter and not harder. The Sprint Recruiting methodology follows 3 rules:

Our team has found that with Sprint Recruiting, we have more time to spend on the data analytics in recruiting that will make us the consultants our clients deserve.



If you would like to learn more about Sprint RecruitingClick here to join our mailing list. You’ll get premier access to:

  • Each chapter as it’s written
  • Resources including graphics, reports and training
  • Special Q&A sessions to learn how Sprint Recruiting can help you transform your Talent Strategy.