If you work in recruitment, you’ve probably seen enough articles about how to attract candidates to make your eyes bleed. Similarly, you’ll have read about how recruitment is like speed dating so many times that it’s enough to send you into a light snooze. Want to know how to engage candidates? Write a job advert? Ask the right interview questions? Never fear, there’s enough articles out there to stock a small library.
Now, that’s not to say that the majority of these articles aren’t valuable and even necessary. Some are thought-provoking, well-crafted and offer actionable insights. Many are as engaging as they are intelligent, with new and interesting things to say on age-old topics. Others, however, (and sadly these are more common) are dry, poorly written rip-offs which regurgitate everything that’s been said before in infinitely more boring ways.
And amazingly, these regurgitated articles seem to pop up regularly in every recruitment website and publication across the globe. It’s the Groundhog Day of content: we’re trapped in an eternal limbo of repetition. Have we really got nothing new to say? In an industry as fast-paced and ever-evolving as recruitment, are we seriously doomed to read the same old articles about candidate attraction for the next decade?
Recruitment content needs a refresh. We’ve got to break perceptions that recruitment lacks innovation, and we won’t do it with thousands more blog posts about how to source effectively using LinkedIn. There’s no definitive, unequivocal solution to fix recruitment content, but there are ways to ensure that it’s not dry as jerky.
Less is more
Talk is cheap, and so too is today’s content. In a fiercely competitive digital world where articles are pushed out for SEO rather than to actually add value, quantity has rapidly outstripped quality. Second rate rip-offs are the result of recruitment consultancies scrabbling for search engine visibility, but in racing to push out quick article after quick, inferior article, brands are being damaged.
You’ve all heard the old adage: if you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all. When it comes to recruitment content, this can be adapted: if you have nothing valuable to say, don’t say anything at all.
Before you publish your next recruitment article, ask yourself why you’re publishing. If it’s a transparent bid to drive traffic to your site, don’t bother. You’ll only write something sloppy and hackneyed that will do you more harm than good. If we collectively only released content when we had something engaging to share, the boring old clone articles would die a slow death. And what a fine world that would be….
Think outside the box
It may seem like an astonishing concept, but recruitment content can actually be fun. Yes: fun. If you feel limited with regards to the relevant recruitment topics you can write about, you’re not thinking outside the box.
Nobody would ever dispute that industry advice articles aren’t useful resources, but they aren’t the be-all and end-all of content options. You can share your opinions. You can tell stories. You can get creative. You can have an inside laugh on recruitment and its ups and downs. You can use infographics, video, quizzes…whatever the deuce tickles your content pickle.
By all means, share your expertise on traditional themes – but do it with a punch. Seriously, shake it up a little. The industry isn’t dull, so your content shouldn’t be either.
Don’t be a rip-off
Okay, we can’t all be innovators. Content recreation is inevitable in any industry, but it doesn’t mean that you have to be a shameless rip-off. We’ve all seen examples of compelling and original recruitment articles which have garnered great feedback once published. We’ve also seen how rapidly these kind of original articles are reproduced and republished in (very) slightly different guises.
Taking inspiration from an article is great. Rewriting the content to exactly the same end… not so great. It’s simple: rip-offs are lazy and bring nothing to the table. Rather than being a copycat content creator, take the ideas you like and use them as a springboard to put your own unique spin on a topic. And…shock horror…that means no more identical articles about recruitment being a lot like dating.
Pepper your articles with content enhancers
Too many perfectly valid recruitment articles are cursed with being boring to read. They make useful points, but they do so in a way which is uninteresting and thoroughly forgettable. In an age where recruiters are also evolving to become marketers, writing compelling content is now becoming a key skill.
Be critical of your own articles. Do they sound dry? Dull? Do they inspire shares? If not, you’re sending your work straight to the stockpile of tired recruitment content, and that’s no use to anyone. Add some spice with content enhancers.
Try including some interesting or amusing quotes from thought leaders. Pack a punch with statistics. Use real anecdotes for a touch of humour. Insert pictures, audio, embedded Tweets. Again, this isn’t an exhaustive list, but it’s something to consider when injecting flavour to your work.
Out-write your predecessors
Recruitment content would receive an instant boost if its writers were more competitive about quality. Okay, you probably do need to write your own versions of the typical types of articles about social recruitment and candidate attraction. But for the love of all that is holy, at least try to be better/different than what has gone before you.
Let’s use a real example. The Harry Potter series wasn’t successful because it was a novel idea which had never been written about before – far from it. It was successful because it was written better than the many stories it borrowed from.
If J.K Rowling can propel herself to fame and fortune from rehashed content, you can at least try to make your content superior to its predecessors.
Come on. Let’s cull clichéd recruitment content and come up with some spark.