By Dave Mendoza, JobMachine, Inc. Partner, Master Cybersleuth
A Corporate Careers Blog is a significant tool to enhance the employment brand of a staffing organization and it can likewise promote functionality by business group, corporate function, etc, with keyword attract content. The goal is to innovate within a nascent yet proven platform, and the first of its kind within the semiconductor industry. The value will be to optimize Career site Search Engine Optimization (SEO) & user-efficiency to supplement or provide a key component of a remodeled career website.
Corporate Blogs are still in the nascent stages of development. The number one rule of leveraging Blog effectiveness is fresh content and the format theme which directs it. Essentially there are two format strategies, and a combination of both for consideration:
1) HR focused Blog: Oriented towards the Candidate Experience: “How to” get a job at â€œX Company,â€ do’s and don’ts in the application process, what to expect when applying/interviewing at the company.
2) Recruitment Branding Blog – Managed by recruitment organization. Focuses upon branding the various business groups and associated recruitment staff (’Day in the life’ of Jane Doe â€œX Companyâ€ Recruiter).
(3) A hybrid of both
** I found the hybrid approach best applicable to the Blog models to be discussed.
Other examples of effective formats are displayed for your consideration:
The Blog platform of choice is another component for consideration. JobSyntax recommends community server.org due to its extensive multimedia functionality. CommunityServer.Org offers the ability to host with podcast/webcast options via videos and audio clips to post. The license fee is $250 a year in comparison to SixApartâ€™s Movable Type platform at $100+. Six Apart apps are essentially productive options. The key issue, is how the various platforms fare in their ability to utilize multimedia applications.
Wetjello.com â€“ is an excellent example of a multi -media application to attract audience with edgy and impactful content. Wetjello provides online video recruitment solutions including recruitment campaign video development, video production and integrated web video solutions. Employers can leverage video on their corporate site to promote the value proposition of their products and key technologies, their financial earnings, work environment, benefits, and diversity.
Microsoft Blog sites were initially conceived as a training tool to leverage the influx of resumes but transitioned into a tool to attract passive talent. Candidate experience remains the fundamental association and the corporate brand itself is accentuated.
Microsoft’s Blog development was not conscious effort; it was a grassroots effort. The Vice President of Product Development realized that there was a cut-off among people who made products from their actual customer base and that the function was tightly controlled by their marketing apparatus. Product Development personnel initiated Blogs to improve where marketing failed. As a result, Blogging momentum became viral in nature, spreading among various corporate functions. Today, Microsoft has at least 8 recruiting staff members dedicated to consistent content development and over about 3,500 blogs on MSDN and at least another 1,000 blogs on other platforms where Microsoft employees participate in some capacity among associative Blogs.
SAMPLE: Microsoft JobsBlog Emphasizes Candidate Experience
In the interest of maintaining momentum in the discussion of new off-the-shelf formats and technologies, I took the initiative to interview Gretchen Ledgard, Managing Partner at JobSyntax, and former manager of Microsoftâ€™s JobBlog program.Microsoft Jobs Blog is a hybrid of both HR focused and recruitment Blog formats. Gretchen Ledgard and Zoe Goldring originally started Microsoftâ€™s JobsBlog in March 2004. Gretchen continued to manage JobsBlog in-house until she left Microsoft in April 2006.
JobSyntax offerings include integration of new media, such as Blogs, into corporate recruiting strategies â€¦ Blog set-up, strategy implementation, and managing it behind the scenes, if needed. Gretchen and Zoe know how to put metrics on a corporate careers Blog site. They come highly recommended, with a proven model that works, and hindsight on what could be improved in building the infrastructure.
Emphasizing the extent of what type of day-to-day management of a Blog effort is involved. JobSyntax consultative solutions offer a comprehensive, consultative package which would management of the discovery stage, strategic development; i.e. determining how many will post and how often, identifying the audience segment and type of content, and establishing goals within the first year. In addition, a more comprehensive approach would include a marketing aspect by niche. JobSyntax recommends the â€œhand-holdingâ€ approach for at least the initial year to provide corporate recruitment staff with the essential experience to proceed on their own, moving forward. The cost factor varies by degree of extent of reach, marketing of Blogs.
The essential solutions model would involve training the staffing organization on fundamentals:
â€¢ Content Ideas,
â€¢ Do’s & Don’ts,
â€¢ Identifying the â€˜right type of contentâ€™ to attract and meet company goals
â€¢ Editorial management
Blogging for Talent is most effective when the strategy emphasizes a seamless synergy, which optimizes corporate branding in general, and its respective staffing organizationâ€™s branding in particular. Integration is the essential component. Directly assimilating a corporate recruitment blog section with a corporate careersâ€™ website is the most effective way to raise its SEO presence and attract niche talent to the corporate brand and, above all, to available job postings. When corporations leverage their Employee Blogs independently of their corporate website, this can be self defeating. Too often independent, employee-oriented blogs collectively develop higher SEO than the corporate careers site itself.
Three components under review offer optimal branding both within a staffing and HR organization and a product marketing context:
â€¢ First, promote the candidate experience: educate prospective candidates on the application process (what to expect in an interview), enhance promotion of events such as Corporate Technology Forums, conferences, trade shows and job fairs.
â€¢ Second, gear the Blog format towards a profile scheme introducing each member of the staffing organization and their relation to the various business groups, promotional events, and detailing corporate internal cultural brand,
â€¢ Third, orient Blog content towards an overall corporate marketing perspective, associating the candidate experience and functionality of the staffing organization with corporate products, and educational material relevant to the industry as a whole.
Having satisfied the three aforementioned priorities, letâ€™s underline a too often under-emphasized advantage which can be directly affiliated, branded and coordinated within the scheme of a corporate blog: Heightening the intensity of your blog recruitersâ€™ networking initiatives and niche education inquiries. One to one interaction in real-time, between recruiter and his/her online audience, (via comments and email links) allows a talent organization to leverage online relationships in a scope as yet unseen until recent. In addition to finding and meeting prospective job seekers, corporate recruiters can Grow a referral network from the give and take of questions and answers posed between blog audience newbies and regulars. Encourage recruitment bloggers to take the initiative to educate themselves and ask (or answer) questions about organizations, associations and competitors and, in the process, exponentially enhance the competitive Intelligence research capabilities of your staffing organization.
Corporate Blogging for Talent is an ideal vehicle to broaden your outreach efforts by significantly enhancing talent pipeline communications. Corporate Blogging is your companyâ€™s employment brand itself, you are marketing your responsiveness to candidate inquiries and experiences, developing a buzz about the opportunities at your company and what a magnificent place it is to work there. An emphasis on candidate experience, priority fill-rate skill set keyword associations, and links affiliated with niche talent, Blogging For Talent can all work in tandem to improve both the volume and the quality of candidate leads. Increased visibility improves influence and effectiveness internally as well as externally. How you implement your talent blog strategy is the key question, and each corporation needs to find its own answers. Companies that avail themselves to meet the challenge of communicating to their talent audiences will customize their blogs within a marketing strategy driven to meet long term talent demands within the scope of their industry and internal corporate cultures, and in doing so, find a niche audience that is receptive to their efforts.