How Recruiters Use Content to Gain More Business

Posted : June 18, 2018

Word Count: 2489 

( 8 Min )

In this article

Great content, be it on your recruiting agency’s blog, a monthly newsletter sent to job seekers, or social media posts, is a fantastic way to connect with your readers and offer educational, interesting, and, thought-provoking information about your industry and your business. That’s all fine and good, and it’s an important part your marketing plan for running a successful recruiting firm, but when it all boils down, how exactly does your content serve you? In other words, how do recruiters use content to gain more business?  That is, after all, the real reason behind publishing the content that you do, so let’s dig in and look at some specifics on how your content marketing strategy actually plays out. We’ve talked with some of the recruiting industry’s biggest players to find out the ins and outs of how they use content to earn more business.

Building and Promoting Your Brand

A strong brand is one that stands out in job seekers and clients’ minds. If your agency’s personal branding is working, prospective candidates and clients will know your firm’s name and will turn to you with their job placement needs. Derek Zeller of Engage Talent understands the importance of leveraging your firm’s personal branding as a way to connect with candidates on a broader scale than limiting yourself to working in-person with your immediate network. He says:


“Personal branding proves to candidates that you are a real person, a human being, not a bot sending spam. You have a voice and hopefully, some knowledge to share. I have routinely heard from candidates on our first call say to me, ‘I love reading your quotes online, sometimes they make my day!’ These are people I have never met.”
Will Thomson, President & Founder of Bulls Eye Recruiting, credits the success of his entire business on the strength of personal branding and how it’s relayed via content marketing. He says, “Without writing our blogs and building our personal brand, Bulls Eye would not be where it is today.” Starting as a daily blog in 2012, his focus was on publishing content to provide job search assistance for recruiters and candidates. Since then, he tells us that, “Bulls Eye has won 24 global awards for best career website and is now internationally known. 100% of our business comes from referrals and social media presence.”

In Will’s case, hunkering down and producing actionable content has served Bulls Eye well, to say the least. Can you glean similar results with the content that your agency is producing?

It’s important to note that using personal branding to create your content isn’t necessarily a guaranteed slam dunk. Christie Cordes, founder of Ad Recruiter, a firm with a niche market of recruiters working within the advertising industry, cautions recruiters against using their agency’s branding the wrong way.


“The big thing I think recruiters need to be careful of is “brand-conscious content” in that it’s a term that can lead to a slippery slope of in-authenticity. People are hyper-aware of what brand promotion is. If the brand is selfish – no amount of targeted content will overcome that truth. People are super smart. Recruiters are typically after the really smart people.”
Providing Value for Clients and Candidates

We all want to create content that is meaningful and useful for our readers, but how exactly does that happen? What does valuable content look like, and how do you go about creating it rather than just writing words than fall short with your audience?

Tony Restell, Founder of Social Hire, a company that provides social media management to recruiting firms, shares his insights on how exactly to create content that sticks, and for him, it’s all about focused information:

“The first and most important aspect of creating new blog content is research. For the target audience we wish to engage, we want to understand – using tools like BuzzSumo – what types of themes have been generating the greatest interest on social media. Why guess what content is likely to generate social shares and buzz when the hard data is there to validate your choice of topic before you’ve even written the first word?! The second aspect, linked to this, is devising a headline for the post that is likely to drive social shares – and then ensuring that the content of the post delivers on the promise of that headline.”

For Tony’s success at Social Hire, it all boils down to data and facts, rather than posting willy-nilly on things you think are important. Trust the research and do your homework before writing about something that you think your readers care about.

Sharlyn Lauby, speaker, writer, and consultant, is perhaps best known for her work on HR Bartender, which has been awarded the honor of being ranked on the list of the “Top 5 Blogs HR Pros Love to Read” by the Society for Human Resource Management.  As author to three books for recruiters and HR professionals, she knows a thing or two about creating content. According to Sharlyn, it’s not about you. Instead, she says, “While I knew when I started the blog that it was possible to monetize, I wasn’t really focused on that. My focus was on writing good content. My goal in writing content is to give HR Bartender readers a takeaway.”

Christie also believes that content should not be self-centered. She says, “As a recruiter or recruiting firm ask yourself ‘what is my end-goal for being an outstanding recruiter?’” In this case, Christie believes and tells us that your content is more than just an interesting read, but it’s a tool that can, and should, make you better at your job.

Derek echoes the importance of providing value to your candidates through your content, saying, “I have had many people tell me blindly that they read my content, which is pretty cool. I also have people with varied skill sets reach out all the time for job seeker advice even outside my industry.” In other words, your content can broaden the scope of the net that you cast, in ways that you could never do through networking alone.

Content marketing for recruiters

Share, Share, Share

We’re not telling you anything new about the importance of social media for recruiters. Any successful recruiting agency already knows that, and is likely active on several different channels as a way of reaching clients and candidates as well as sharing information about their business. However, social media is also a powerful vehicle that should make up a significant portion of your agency’s content marketing strategy. If anyone believes this, it’s Christie, who says that, without a doubt, recruiters,

“…need to be on social media as ambassadors, identifiers, and attractors. I have found from recruiting at the genesis of social media, that exceptionally talented people want relationships with people who care about what they care about, not relationships with brands. For Ad Recruiter, it’s building long-term professional relationship with highly gifted talent. Social content helps us connect to extraordinary talent and build relationships with that talent. I believe all recruiters need to ask themselves what is their purpose for being social to begin with?”

Indeed. As she points out, being social isn’t just about making friends and sharing content for the sake of it. It’s to make your presence known and ultimately, to get more business for your agency, plain and simple.

Sharing content goes beyond simply tweeting and posting on Facebook. If you think that’s all there is to it, you’re selling yourself, and your firm, short. As Tony puts it, there are myriad ways that recruiters can leverage content that goes beyond basic blogging or posting on social media. To give you an actionable item on how to get more business for your recruiting firm, he brings up another way to share – the guest post:

“We’ve found the guest blog on our site to be a tremendous way of reaching new audiences and generating win-win for authors in related fields. By trading our ability to generate huge social sharing volumes for each new piece of content published, we give authors a social reach that most couldn’t hope to achieve on their own blogs. We, in turn have a more diverse and frequently updated blog. This works wonders for generating increased engagement with our readers and social media followers alike.”

Tony also speaks to the importance of promotion, after you’ve created the content for your audience.


“The single biggest mistake I see recruiters and HR professionals making in getting the balance wrong between investing time in the writing of content and then investing in the promotion of that content. There’s so much great content out there that has really been done a disservice by then not being promoted and shares as much as the quality of that content warrants. Once you’ve produced something great, you then shouldn’t sleep until you’ve exhausted every avenue to get that content shared and seen!”

Content marketing for recruiters

Find Your Niche

Niche marketing lies at the core of any successful content strategy. If you’re writing content to appeal to everyone and their dog, you’re not going to find the type of talent you want because you’re looking too broadly. To hone in on the candidates your clients need to fill their coveted positions, it’s critical to consider your target audience in a very specific, well-defined way.

Tony believes strongly in appealing to your niche market through the content you create, saying, “strong niche content helps recruiters reach passive candidates through social sharing and implied endorsement of industry peers. It can similarly keep recruitment businesses front of mind with their existing prospective client base.”

As he describes, knowing your niche is critical in appealing to their wants and needs as well as to reaching a larger group of talent – people that might have never discovered your recruiting agency had it not been for the shares that your content gets. To get those shares? Narrow it down and make your content meaningful for a specific subset of job seekers and clients. Christie agrees with this tactic, stating that, “if your ‘why’ is authentic, transparent, and powerful enough, the right people will respond and you will be successful.”

Success is what we’re all after, isn’t it? That’s why you’re reading this article and that’s why you’re always on the lookout for garnering new business for your agency. Recruiters are only as good as their candidates are, making it hyper-critical to use your content to find the best talent and draw them in. With strong content, this can continually be happening, long after you write a blog post.

Putting it all Together

Let’s review. As our panel of experts unanimously agree, content has power beyond what we can imagine, and the ways in which you can use it to recruit talent and grow your business are seemingly endless… if you do it right. The foundation of successful, meaningful, and shareable content is targeting the right niche and dazzling them with information, advice, and industry insights that they can’t live without. Make it specific, make it unique, and make it valuable, and you’re golden. These experts have done it brilliantly themselves, but not everyone is a unicorn in the world of content marketing like they are.

If your agency struggles with creating content based on these principles, or your strategy needs a new game plan, consider working with a team of professional writers. Expert writers know content inside and out, have seen it all, and know what works. Partnering with a company that excels at what they do can help you check all the boxes in your strategy so you can get the exposure, likes, shares, and candidates that you’re after with your content. When you hit the sweet spot, your content will act as a catalyst to turn readers into candidates, clients, and new business for your agency, making your end-goal a reality and your firm more successful than ever. Get in touch and we’ll work together on creating content that wins more recruiting business and captures the corner of the market that your firm deserves.


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