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Talent Marketing and Recruiting Content for Startups (At Least for Now)

Most leadership has NFC about this stuff. They want optics—things that make them and your company look good. That’s not what produces recruiting results. Pragmatism and transparency are.

1-minute read

If you’re involved with recruiting at a startup and find yourself struggling to make sense of what talent marketing and recruiting content are in 2022, this is it:

Inside baseball. How the sausage is made. Documenting. A behind-the-scenes look at…

Whatever you want to call it. That’s it.

Here’s the framework:

Talk about your work in what, why, and how format. And do it at the team level.

We spend the vast majority of our working hours with our fellow team members—not with our entire company. Therefore, team content is much more relevant and relatable to hard-to-hire candidates when they’re evaluating and comparing new opportunities.

Loom, Zoom, Notion, Slack, and Substack or Medium are the tools you need in order to pull this off. All are either free or cheap.

I’ll keep saying it: This type of content at the top of the funnel wins. It’s fast, inexpensive, and easy to share in outbound messages and in social feeds.

The days of fancy videos, long production times, and unscalable, high-priced projects are largely irrelevant at the “what-does-it-take-to-start-a-conversation-with-a-qualified-person” stage.

Seriously, this stuff isn’t complicated. You just need to stop thinking that you need value prop exercises run by overpriced agencies and consultants, a fancy careers site that consumes countless dev hours, and overly-strategic initiatives that require scoping and budget proposals in order to put stuff out into the world.

The types of candidates that you’re recruiting don’t care about any of that. On the other hand, things like how team leaders think, what and how you build, where their role ranks in terms of importance to your mission, and oh yeah, how you pay, matter a lot to them.

If you only take one thing away from this post, this should be it:

Most leadership has NFC about this stuff. They want optics—things that make them and your company look good. That’s not what makes people want to talk to you. Pragmatism and transparency are.

This approach will fundamentally change the way that the highly-skilled people you’re trying to recruit feel about your company. That shift in feeling increases trust. And trust de-risks your startup’s opportunity.

P.S. If you only answer one question in your marketing content, it should be this: What do you make, who is it for, and why do they care? You can ask that question to three different teams and get three different perspectives. It's pretty cool.

P.P.S. If you’re looking for examples, check out Before You Apply. There’s lots of ‘em :)

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