December 2, 2010   view past issues

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Recruitment Blogging That Works

To paraphrase Saul Bellow, It’s not enough to blog. You have to have something worthwhile to say. That, of course, is the central challenge facing all writers, whether they’re novelists or bloggers. What should you say in a recruitment blog that justifies the time it takes for you to write it down and for others to read it?

Unfortunately, many recruiters blog as if they’re writing a corporate memo. The tone is business-like, the vocabulary is business-speak, and the topic is business as usual. The end result is about as interesting as reading a cuneiform tablet.

So, what should recruiters blog about and how should they do it? Well first, it’s important to recognize exactly who it is you are writing for. And second, it’s equally as essential that you understand what you’re trying to do with your blog.

The Target of Your Blog

Unlike a novelist, you are not writing your blog for a general audience. Unless that’s who you want to recruit. If, on the other hand, you’re trying to reach and engage “A” level talent, then you have to write for that specific population.

What do the best and brightest in the workforce want to read? Not a cuneiform tablet filled with hard sell huzzahs about how great your employer is. Quite the contrary. According to research by the Recruiting Roundtable, the single topic that “A” level talent most want covered is the reality of what’s it like to work in their field in your organization.

That means your blog isn’t a sales document – your job postings perform that role. It is a guided tour of the employment experience of an “A” level performer’s peers in your organization. They want to know:

  • what does a typical day look like?
  • what kinds of challenges would they typically work on?
  • what level of support would they typically receive on-the-job?
  • In short, “A” level talent want your blog to open a window on your employer. They want to see its foundation – the bedrock of culture and values set in place by its leadership. And, they want to look into its superstructure – the figurative room in which they will work in the organization. The best of recruitment blogs, therefore, are rich in detail, centered on human interactions and always, always honest.

    The Purpose of Your Blog

    The best talent is usually employed. For that reason, they can’t be recruited unless you can convince them to do the one thing we humans most hate to do: change. You have to convince them to go from the devil they know (their current boss, employer and commute) to the devil they don’t know (a new boss, your employer and a different commute).

    How can your blog make such a case? Not by reading like a cuneiform tablet. Instead, practice the Golden Rule when writing your blog: treat the reader the way you would like to be treated if you were reading the blog. Make sure:

  • your topic is engaging, but not fictional;
  • your word choice is spunky, but not contrived; and
  • your tone is upbeat, but not saccharine.
  • Equally as important, a blog has to be persuasive by indirection. It shouldn’t make declarations such as “Our employer is the best place for you” or offer such opinions as “You should come to work here.” In effect, a blog must have its effect without the reader even realizing that it is.

    For example, don’t talk about the awards your employer has earned; instead, describe the challenge a specific employee overcame to help win the award for your employer. That way, the reader can see themselves having similar success on-the-job and be attracted to that opportunity.

    Whether it’s done well or not, a recruiter’s blog represents an investment of time and effort. It only makes sense, therefore, to write it so that it works – so that your blog attracts and captivates the “A” level talent you want to recruit.

    Thanks for reading,


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