Before you read this article, I’d like to lay some ground rules first.

If you thought you were going to read a check-list of what content you should have on your careers website, that’s not what this is. Why? Because the examples below may not be right for your audience. 

The golden rule to remember in content marketing is ‘Create content that your audience needs, not what you want’. This means adding value to their experience by understanding their needs and interests first, then aiming to solve their problems and questions with content. 

To make sure this golden rule is adhered to, it’s best to first create users personas of your target audience - hypothetical representations of your target audiences based on real data, research and interviews (ideally with new starters or even better, the talent you want to hire).

Once you’ve built your personas you can then start planning your content strategy, ensuring it meets the needs of the personas. At this stage it’s also important to know how you’re planning to test, measure and refine your content so you can understand what’s having an impact on conversions and what’s not.

With all that said (admittedly in the tone of a primary school head teacher), let’s now look at some particularly nice examples of content from some of world’s most-loved employers. 

1. Realistic job preview

What is it?

Realistic job previews (RJPs) are designed to give a flavour of a role before a prospect applies for a job, and doesn’t usually count towards an official assessment.

RJPs can be executed in a variety of formats, from simple scenario-based Q&As to interactive videos, like Thales’s 'The Trip' game, and NATS' series of mini-games for trainee air traffic controllers

Why we like it?

RJPs are a great way for potential applicants to see if they're the right fit, helping them self-select out as much as confirming if they think they're right for the job, which ultimately will contribute to employers’ optimising their conversion rates.

Thales' The Trip Interactive Video

2. Corporate social responsibility (CSR) focus

What is it?

Many employers cover CSR on their careers website or link to a dedicated microsite / corporate website, but it's often nothing more than a few words on a page and a missed opportunity.

The role CSR plays when candidates evaluate and compare employers cannot be under-estimated. In fact, it's often cited as a critical decision-making factor when choosing a new employer.

Law firm, Linklaters does a great job of sharing their story, specifically around their social mobility initiative, by unveiling the story as users read through the content.

Linklaters' Realising Potential Social Responsibility Initiative

Why we like it?

In a World where it's becoming harder to attract talented individuals, telling a compelling social responsibility story can be a sure-fire way to differentiate and stand out. Demonstrating initiatives through interactive storytelling and your people is a great way to bring to life a boring web page that actually has a lot of value too add.

3. Employee generated content 

What is it?

Empowering your employees to generate content can be an efficient and effective part of your content strategy. But not all employee generated content is created equal. And the focus of it can vary considerably too, from the likes of Sky’s #LifeAtSky social campaign showcasing company culture on Twitter and Facebook to Accenture’s Click blog, which shares digital thought leadership, insight and opinion. With the right direction, tools and story to tell, your employees can be the most valuable source of content when it comes to authentically communicating your employer brand.

Why we like it?

Employee generated content can hook in passive talent very easily as it paints the most honest, representative picture of a company, and executed with the right strategy, tools and technology, it can have a massive impact on an organisation’s ability to attract talent. And your employees are the key to amplification too. Collectively, they have a much greater reach than most employers will ever have.

4. Project case studies

What is it?

Stories about projects are a great way to promote yourself as an employer, but in a slightly different, more subtle way. It’s something at the heart of the wonderful Microsoft Stories blog - a great example of employer brand journalism. 

Accenture also adopted this approach by creating three case studies to raise its profile and broaden its appeal as an employer, by highlighting the great work they do and the amazing people behind it.

The #UnexpectedAccenture campaign featured three project case studies: the first about the RBS 6 Nations App it built, the second promoting its work and thought leadership in the financial services sector, and the third showcasing its critical involvement in the YouView project.

Why we like it?

This type of content is very effective in attracting certain types of specialist passive talent, particularly those in the STEM space. This broad talent pool is constantly learning from what others have done and said by reading blogs, watching videos and listening to podcasts. It lends itself well to organic discovery and getting employers on the radar of talent that are not yet considering changing employer. 

5. Candidate-employee Q&A

What is it?

The importance of treating candidates (and even employees) like customers has been well-documented in the last few years, especially with the often-referenced 'rise of the consumer candidate'. And that’s now starting to shine through in the candidate experience for some employers, who are enabling employees to have direct conversations with prospective talent through discussion-board style Q&A forums. 

M&S have around 20 employees from different departments and backgrounds on-hand to answer questions from those interesting in joining them. Users can browse employees with similar profiles or backgrounds, such as the job category, specialism studied or the university they attended to select the most relevant employee to engage with, or browse previous conversations that have taken place on the site.

Why we like it?

We love three things about this type of content and technology:

  1. It provides extremely valuable and authentic answers to the user 
  2. It engages both candidates and employees
  3. It provides evergreen content and helps inform the future content strategy. By understanding what your audience wants to know, you can create highly effective content. 

6. Location focus

What is it?

Sometimes, employers are faced with a geographical challenge. That might be that it’s a very remote or unpopular location, or competing with another more attractive destination. This is where something more than just a dot on a map is needed. 

Take Simmons & Simmons ‘Keeping it Bristol’ microsite, which does a great job of showing what Bristol has to offer as a place to live and work.

In addition, consider adding location maps to your job descriptions to help users understand where your office is located and what’s nearby. 

Why we like it?

Location and proximity is a big part of where people choose to work. It’s unlikely that your office is located perfectly for everyone, so providing all the information you can to help them make the best decision is key. 

7. Fit-finder / job matching tool

What is it?

A fit-finder or job matching tool helps users find the most relevant jobs or careers for them. 

They can either be path-based tools, like Linklaters’ Find a Scheme tool or can leverage social media profiles, like Three’s Skills Match tool, which scans the user’s LinkedIn profile and matches them to the current live jobs in the database. 

Why we like it?

Anything that can help users find what they need in a quicker way must be a good thing. The latter of the two examples above is also great for people who have no idea what their job title might be at your company or which function / business area their skills may sit in. 

8. Career path profiles

What is it?

Overviews of current employees, what their career has looked like and sometimes where they plan to go in the future. 

Three’s Many Faces of Three feature highlights employee profiles and an interactive career path timeline

Why we like it?

It can help users see where different people have come from and where they’re going. It can show what training and development they can get, as well as what previous experience might be helpful (or even that previous experience might be irrelevant, depending on the role). 

BONUS: Add salaries to your job descriptions

One of the most frustrating things for job seekers is not knowing what the salary for a job is, or at least the range that it’s in. 

Take a role like a national account manager. The salary difference between two different roles with the same job title could be £50k. Adding salaries won’t just help your candidates it will help save your recruiters time by not having to field unnecessary questions.

And here's the proof. Google is constantly trying to provide answers to users' search queries. In the example below, we can see that it's pulled in what might be some helpful results based on the search query - a strong indicator that people are interested in this information.

Director of Digital Strategy

Nathan helps organisations optimise their recruitment marketing strategies by leveraging technology, creativity and data. In his role at employer marketing agency AIA Worldwide, Nathan has played pivotal roles in developing content marketing and social media strategies for large multinational corporations, as well as being a driving force behind a number of careers website projects and hiring strategies powered by the agency’s proprietary automated recruitment marketing software, TalentBrew. Catch him on Twitter, where he tweets all things digital marketing, branding and tech.