Brand New Year. Same Old Recruitment Content?

In each of my many years working in and around the recruitment industry it’s always been the same old story as you put the Christmas presents away and turn your attention to all the different things you resolve to do in the new year – recruitment businesses in almost every sector dust down the ‘New Year, New Career‘ message.

It used to be print adverts, created in October and November and booked to appear in the first issues after Christmas. Then it was by email – actually I still got a few of those between 27th and 31st December this year. And now it’s on social media channels thanks to hashtags like #NewYear #NewCareer.

More of that later, because now we also have #MassiveMonday – the first Monday of the New Year when record numbers of people supposedly visit job boards and other digital recruitment sites. And hasn’t this hashtag taken a hammering this year – here’s just a few minutes worth of Twitter…all summed up with the ‘are you getting bored yet‘ tweet from an award winning digital marketing recruiter. Great message to their community!

So where does #MassiveMonday come from? Certainly in my years as a billing recruiter there was no surge in applications on the first Monday of the New Year. In fact the main things bothering recruiters straight back from a Christmas break were usually – Which clients are recruiting now? Who’s looking to interview straight away? Have the new starters all started? Has any client or candidate changed their mind over Christmas?

A quick search of Google to trace the origin leads you to a press release from as the primary source of all the #MassiveMonday stories in the print and digital media. They usually get more traffic on the first Monday of New Year. Not surprising really as in recent years that’s been the day on which most of the main job boards have started TV campaigns…which is the reason they get increased traffic.

No new insight, nothing of any real interest to candidates – they want an increase in job openings not CVs!

So what about #NewYear #NewCareer??

Well, what is a career?

An occupation undertaken for a significant period of a person’s life and with opportunities for progress

Now this can be a vocation or trade, or it can be a series of roles (possibly all in one or two companies) which should attract increasing levels of responsibility and rewards at each stage. Sorry guys, people don’t spend their Xmas break planning a new career.

A quick look at Google shows that the tumult of recruitment firms and sites that are gratuitously using this hashtag are clearly not attaching them to any roles that seem to imply progress, development or skill enhancements.

Of course people rarely change careers but they do change jobs. Now #NewYear #NewJob may not have the same ring but may be more accurate. After all, we call them JOB seekers and JOB hunters, not career seekers.

Amongst the plethora of New Year predictions for social business, the one constant was that 2014 is the year of story telling and content. The year of effective content that energises and engages, enchants and enlightens. The year where all businesses (and that includes recruiters) ask themselves what their candidate journey is, what are the pain points, where can they add value? What problems do their candidates have and how can they solve them.

Content is a big issue for recruiters this year. As the REC says in it’s 2014 industry forecast:

The challenge in many managerial and professional markets is the growing shortage of skills and talent…we are re-entering a candidate driven market. Successful recruiters will need to develop content that attracts this scarce talent whilst building meaningful relationships that keeps the talent close.

And what do you need to think about when producing meaningful, engaging, shareable content?

  • Quality content is what your clients want to read, not what you want to tell them
  • Content that gets highly shared is content with heart
  • Take time to engage with your online community

So recruiters, let’s get 2014 off on the right footing. Let’s engage our candidates and job seekers with what they want to know and read about. Stuff that addresses their concerns and doubts. Stories that they want to share and be part of. Let’s stop selling them nonsense like #MassiveMonday and #NewYearNewCareer because it adds nothing to their search and says very little about your understanding of their situation.

Fact is, if you got to ask them if they’re getting bored…then they most probably are…

…and there’s no such thing as a boring industry…just content creators who aren’t very creative


If you want to find out more about what good content looks like and how recruiters can use it to source and attract the best talent through social channels then book your place on this one day workshop when ace social recruiting trainer Katrina Collier and myself will tell you how

2 thoughts on “Brand New Year. Same Old Recruitment Content?

  1. Good stuff Merv, and 100% in agreement with most of this.
    I have no idea what the thinking behind #MassiveMonday was – who is going to search for #MassiveMonday when they search for a job on Twitter?? – really? – as you point out, it’s creating content to shout, rather than content that people need.
    Reed & the rest of them probably thought they were being *really* clever!!! 😉

    By the way, Social Content isn’t a 2014 trend (though Disposable Content might be), it’s a 2013 trend that the recruitment industry *might* catch up with in 2014. The good news on that, is that there is a lot of live case studies of success and failure to learn from – and evolved thinking to glean from.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s