Recruiting and dating are more similar than you might think. To be successful at either endeavor, you need to attract the right people – but relying on a barebones dating profile or a generic company website to perform that function leads to the same result every time: a flood of weirdos. So how do you woo star candidates away from other suitors in the world of business? With a healthy serving of quality, that’s how. With dating, that might require you to learn French, to train as a masseuse or to take a cooking class. When it comes to online recruiting, the answer could be as simple as improving your writing.
Quality Content Leads to Quality Recruiting
Esse quam videri. It’s a Latin phrase meaning “to be rather than to seem.” What does it mean for your company? Think about this: most businesses have a website of some kind, but a good number of those sites are sort of like Potemkin villages – simple facades with no real substance. Here in 2012, every Internet user knows what a low-quality company website feels like. The keywords and the the link-stuffing jump right out at us. But when a business puts in the time and the effort to create unique, well-written content, that company sets itself apart from its competitors.
When web surfers stumble upon an article that’s insightful and engaging, they comment on it, tweet about it and share it on all of their favorite social networking sites. Not only does this get your business’s name in front of potential investors, consumers and recruits, it also boosts your site’s search engine rankings, making it even easier for industry experts to find your website and check out your company’s open positions.
But quality content does more than just draw qualified recruits to your homepage. It keeps them there. Relevant articles invite visitors to continue to browse and to read. Even well-written mission statements and bios act as recruiting tools. They inform with real information, but they also give visitors a taste of your company culture.
Defining Quality Content
So how can you be sure your web writing is having a positive effect on your company’s recruiting and talent hiring? By striving for quality content on every page. To do that, ask yourself these questions:
- Is the content actionable? Does it provide information and advice that visitors can actually use?
- Is what you're saying actually worth saying? Articles and blogs that rehash and repackage the same sort of filler material you'll find on other sites pretty much announce that “no one's home."
- Is the content targeted? Would potential clients, investors and recruits be interested in this information?
- Is the voice strong and authoritative? Make clear points, write with passion and cite the experts.
- Has the writing been double-checked for errors? Is the writing good?
- If you were visiting the site for the first time, would you want to share the articles that you find there with your friends and associates?
Online recruiting success and online content are intimately linked. A poor company website is like an unbaited hook in the water: only the most desperate fish will check it out. But a good site serves as an online front porch for your organization. “Welcome,” it says. “Hang around. Join the discussion.” When you strive to create a place that's worth visiting, people linger. Jaded Google robots start telling their friends. Your web traffic and talent hiring will both improve, and that's reason enough to think about the effectiveness of your web content.
But it goes beyond that, too. Some things are simply worth doing, just because they are.