If you have somehow reached this page but haven’t read the first part of this post yet, I urge you to do so for better overall context. To give the “quick recap of last season” montage that we’re used to seeing on Netflix or HBO Max, the main goal of the first post was to highlight examples of how Capital One has been successfully building career site pages with content that lives “around the edges” of a job search, but doesn’t necessarily appeal to the very direct “JOB TYPE in LOCATION” type of search query that a user may enter into a search engine.
For this post, I’d like to take a deeper dive into that strategy, talk a little bit about how to accomplish it operationally, and get into their performance a bit.
Listen to Hiring Managers, Answer Candidates’ Questions
Let’s first look at how a historically consistent interview-to-hire process goes:
- A Candidate finds job opportunity from a variety of options and may do some research/read some Glassdoor or Indeed reviews, then applies.
- A Candidate waits to hear back from company. A phone interview is scheduled, and then occurs.
- If all goes well, the candidate is brought in for an in-person interview (at least in pre-COVID days). At that point, they receive questions from the hiring manager, and can ask some questions themselves.
- If all goes well, maybe they’ll come back in for subsequent interviews with other levels of management and/or team members, again giving the candidate opportunities to ask questions and gather information.
- At that point, a job offer is extended if all goes well.
It’s a rather involved and sometimes exhausting process on both ends. If you’ve been on either side of that table, think back to the questions that you’ve received. Questions around salary, benefits, work-life balance, responsibilities, career path, etc. How many times has an amazing candidate self-selected out based on certain information gleaned from those Q&A sessions? Perhaps even as deep as step 4?
Questions are extremely valuable in any transaction, but it’s also important to optimize the flow of information for both parties. If you’re able to listen to some of the common questions that hiring managers ask candidates, those are amazing nuggets of content that a recruiting team can answer on the career site. Consider the great candidates that may Google similar questions, but have slipped through the cracks since they weren’t able to find information from the company on their search.
In the long run, the goal should be to provide enough information to desirable candidates for them to opt-out (in the case of the highly desirable candidate who was turned off by something late in the interview process), and to also bring in highly desirable candidates who may not have enough information about the company before applying. Over time, you should see the quality of candidates improve, while gaining efficiencies from having certain candidates opt-out of the hiring process earlier on, saving valuable time for recruiters and managers. Giving candidates enough information to make better-informed decisions upfront helps everybody out in the end, and can persuade those on the fence.
Be Timely, Authentic
This is where I think Capital One really succeeds in their career blog. Yes, they answer some questions that candidates may ask, but they also create timely, relevant career site content in an authentic manner. The articles may not target a specific question, but they do target contemporary concepts effectively. Think back to the posts about changing backgrounds for Zoom meetings, or even applying to a job during COVID.
Diversity & Inclusion is as important to candidates as it is to a company, and a company’s commitment to it authentically comes through in their posts and employee profiles. Students and Grads are another important audience for them, and they’ve built a topic in their career blog that speaks directly to candidates. Other key topics include Benefits, Career Development, Culture and more. Each topic builds on itself over time and cements Capital One’s employer brand throughout these areas in the process.
Make Content Creation Quick and Easy
The main advice that I want to give here is to not overthink things too much. Don’t stress about how it may not be successful. As long as you feel like the page provides value of some sort to a candidate, current employee or even ex-employee, what’s the downfall of creating the page? It may naturally perform tremendously, or it may receive little traffic. Some of the most viral videos and memes tend to take off out of the blue. I’m not saying that a page of career-related content will speed around the global internet millions of times over like baby Charlie biting his older brother’s finger, but don’t overanalyze things into the ground before creating them.
Going back to the Capital One example in my last post: they provided value to visitors about how to create a custom Zoom background, and they were naturally rewarded with strong organic search engine traffic. Highlighting them as an employer to prospective candidates and exposing open opportunities are a fantastic benefit that comes alongside that. Imagine if this idea was shot down in a weekly staff meeting? Just roll with it and create content!
Use Google’s Search Results to Brainstorm
Thanks to the emergence of natural language processing and AI, the days of 10 blue links are gone. As we’ve seen with Google for Jobs, Google is getting closer to their stated goal of being the answer machine from Star Trek. One of the benefits of Google “thinking” more like a human is the fact that we’re able to interact with these results more like a human conversation, which provides us insight into what Google “thinks” around certain concepts.
Let’s try this concept, which would probably fall under the “Capital 101” topic. As you can see, Glassdoor and Comparably rank #1 and #2 for this query, which makes sense. This is precisely what those companies do, and they do it well. However, it may be possible for Capital One to outrank these sites, or leapfrog them via a featured snippet if they built out an engaging article that answers that question directly. Again, don’t overthink it, just create the article that provides value to prospects, move forward and measure the results later.
Beyond those top search results, we see a “People Also Ask” section. We know that people ask these questions, and Google is serving them up to us on a nice silver platter. I wouldn’t be worried about the exact number of times this question is searched each month, as there are a variety of ways to ask the same question. I would be more worried about answering these questions for candidates. Again, they may not be precisely looking for a job at the moment, but this could be what moves the needle and gets them to start applying.
Pro Tip: if you click into these questions, Google will show you the result, but they’ll also add more questions to the bottom. I’ve done that below, in case you’re wondering why I’m seeing more than you might for that search query. Strategically break these out and determine which you may be the most comfortable or able to answer.
Expand Beyond “The Team”
You may be thinking, “I have no idea how my team could do something like this,”and that’s fair. Resources are typically strained, and a lot of this may be easier said than done with a small team. This is the perfect time to expand beyond “the team,” whether that may be a formal Recruiting Department, a broader Human Resources group or a talent technology partner (like Radancy)!
One of the beneficial aspects of Radancy’s Content Management Systems is that we allow for various levels of permissions. For example, certain roles allow a user to create a page of content, but not publish it. That responsibility would fall on another user with higher permission. Having this hierarchy helps make the internal logistics of editing and publishing easier and helps avoid potential quality control issues. There SHOULD be a strategic and consistent flow of pages being published. Not just one “free for all” coming out from all angles with no clear direction. Plus, the smaller team managing the projects should have ultimate editorial control over what is published, in conjunction with the overall employer brand strategy.
I would say that this content creation strategy works BETTER if it’s expanded out to other various departments, since everyone has specific recruiting needs. As I had mentioned earlier, we want to answer the questions that candidates ask. Various department managers are best suited to know exactly what those needs are. Loop them into the strategy and leverage their capabilities to share information and answer questions, along with their copywriting manpower. Dedicating time and resources now may pay dividends down the road when they’re trying to fill open positions. (Feel free to spin it that way to them if you’d like, if they’re pushing back about taking this on).
What Does Capital One’s Data Say?
Let’s shift gears a bit and go back to the beginning of 2021 for these high-level stats, a time when Capital One had developed a good amount of the pages mentioned in my first post.
- All Pages = 15/50 all pages viewed
- Organic Search = 29/50 top landing pages
Considering that users landing on over 45,000 pages from organic search during this timeframe and viewed over 12 million pages overall, I would say that this content creation effort is a success.
It’s harder to directly quantify, but consider the actions that candidates can take after they land on these pages, and how that fits into the overarching goals that I have laid out. Think about all the natural navigation and link sharing that occurs from millions of pageviews.
Get the Ball Rolling
Trying to kick start an initiative like this may not sound easy. I think back to the saying, “How do you eat an elephant?” And the answer is: “One bite at a time!” Plot out a strategy, get the right team members involved and start building out one content page at a time. Your recruiters, hiring managers, and candidates will thank you down the line!
Radancy’s unified platform, augmented by rich data and deep industry expertise, is revolutionizing how employers attract and hire the talent they need. Want to see what we can achieve together? Connect with us today.
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