Company blogs are not new, but according to a recent survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, only 19% of employers reported using them in the past year. These organizations found only “somewhat effective” results with blogs, favoring Internet job postings and social networking sites as technologies for recruiting.
A blog is inarguably more time-intensive than other forms of social media and web-based communication. But, as so elegantly described by Blogger.com “your blog is whatever you want it to be. There are millions of them, in all shapes and sizes, and there are no real rules.” So why not take advantage of this kind of flexibility and ownership to attract potential candidates?
Whether your company already has a blog or is thinking about starting one, here are a few tips to consider as you prepare to connect with future applicants:
1. Communicate your culture: Your blog can serve as an extension of the company’s brand, sharing not only vision and mission but also your organizational culture. How would you describe working there? Does it come across online? While your website may be more formal, the blog format permits a conversational approach that allows readers, and prospective employees, to get to know your company a little better.
2. Link to job details: Add ways for readers to quickly access your current job listings, application instructions, and human resources contacts. Your blog posts can help educate people on your preferred processes and serve as a central hub for all of the company’s employment-related information. Think of ways to include interviews with your staff and application system tutorials into your content in ways that encourage stellar candidates to see the fit and take the next step toward applying. [Editor’s Note: Check out the SmartRecruiters WordPress Plugin to easily list your jobs on any WordPress blog.]
3. Start a conversation: Move beyond merely providing static information by inviting readers to share their perspectives, opinions, and suggestions about a range of topics relevant to your organization’s work. What are the common concerns and latest issues in your industry? Blogs can be quickly updated with brief posts that allow you to react to new events, and a forum for presenting crowdsourced comments gathered through other communication tools like Twitter and Facebook.
4. Look for blogging partners: Keeping a blog current in terms of topics and frequency of posts can be challenging, but you aren’t alone. Reach out to college career centers, many of which have their own blogs, to discuss a possible guest post exchange. Connect with student organizations, such as honor societies and clubs in academic disciplines focused on topics and activities relevant to your current needs. These groups may also be interested in contributing to or in being interviewed for posts on your blog.
5. Promote on-ground activities: You’re likely involved in more than just online recruiting. Use your blog to announce upcoming job fairs, campus visits, meetups, and conference expos. Provide information about your hiring needs in advance and encourage those who are planning to attend to introduce themselves while they are there. You can also report on these events after the fact, highlighting your in-person interactions and providing general tips for job seekers.
It may be time to rethink your organization’s approach to blogging and renew the initiative to reach a wider audience. This versatile platform can become an effective recruiting tool with a few new strategies focused on outreach and two-way communication.
Melissa A. Venable, PhD, (@Melissa_Venable) is a contributor to OnlineCollege.org where she writes from her experience as a course designer, instructor, and career advisor in higher education.
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