I’m hitting a landmark in my career. For 10 years now, I’ve been working “adult” jobs. I’ve also been known to call them big girl jobs – the kind that come after college and have benefits, regardless how terrible they are. It was a badge of pride to have one of these big girl jobs within a week of graduating college in 2007. 10 whole years of work. I know there are people with far more years rolling their eyes right now but I’m not doing that millennial complaining thing. Stick with me here.
Since then, I’ve done a lot of different jobs for companies in a few industries. Yet regardless of my job title, blogging has consistently fallen into my duties. That timing usually directly aligns with a lull in posts on this site. I only have so many words a day.
Blogging has come of age since 2007. When I started out doing sales at a recruiting site, it was all the rage to write blog posts to attract customers. Web 2.0, pre-bubble burst. When I moved into marketing, the inbound marketing movement began. We had to write a blog for SEO. Leads! Then, when I started writing for recruiting, the whole “marketing is recruiting” thing was really big. Everyone wanted to know the top five marketing tactics that translated into recruiting.
I know, I did that speech probably 15 times that year.
To this day, a lot of recruiting professionals are still trying to make that one to one connection between marketing and recruiting, applying it everywhere from engagement to candidates and everything in between. Our beliefs from 2009 are still the commandments of 2017 and I can’t help but wonder how the strategy hasn’t really evolved. Recruiting departments are still spending time on writing a careers blog when most can’t answer this one simple question: Why? Just because every speaker isn’t talking about blogging on your careers site doesn’t mean there aren’t a legion of people who are still writing blogs for their careers page. And they just might be wasting their time.
So, is a careers blog still a thing? Should it be?
For SEO purposes, totally. In general, long form articles are seeing a rise in popularity among certain sectors and demographics. If you dominate the educational space for your industry and you write content that appeals to education, not just an inside look – sure, keep blogging. In engineering circles, a well done tech careers blog can absolutely be positive to employer brand and attraction. Or, in the middle of Missouri or Tennessee for people without college degrees. People that we forget about when we talk about employer brand and recruiting.
Now, stop to think about the content you’re posting now. I highly doubt you fit this criteria.
You’re not alone. I can’t think of one company that actually does this well. Is it a big deal? No. In reality, a blog is a check box – not something that fundamentally changes culture. It’s something that some, not all, candidates will look at. That’s the reality for all social media in the candidate experience. You’re taking advantage of an opportunity that very well may have zero ROI.
The real impact is when your story is so good employees want to tell it themselves on their social media channels. It’s called employee generated content when employees post something positive on their social media sites with no prompting at all from you. When they talk about how much they love working for your company boldly, without some manufactured hashtag. There’s nothing worse than content shared with the same enforced message by employers. Our BS meter is high when it comes to work and most know when a post feels fake or contrived.
So next time you’re working on some social media campaign, stop to ask yourself, “why.” If it feels fake, don’t do it.
Katrina Kibben is the Founder and Principal Consultant of Three Ears Media. For most of Katrina’s career, she has been a marketer living in a recruiter’s world – listening to both sides of the talent equation to understand the real issues and find solutions for engaging and hiring better people. Today, she uses her technical marketing know-how and way with words to help both established and emerging brands develop and deliver content that fuels smart recruitment marketing that makes the right people apply.
Katrina has written for Monster.com, HR.com, RecruitingDaily and many other digital publications. She is a recognized leader in recruiting and employer branding who speaks regularly at conferences around the world.