Five Steps to Content Recruiting

by Carrie Kolar

Content recruiting is an application of content marketing that should result in an effective long-term talent acquisition strategy. Content marketing all about building and engaging your audience and making yourself into a trusted resource. The only difference is that instead of customers, content recruiting targets top talent, and instead of buying a product or service, the goal is to recruit your audience into your company. But how do you translate content into new hires? In this article, based on the RPOA webinar “Building Talent Communities with Content Recruiting” with Joel Capperella of Joel Capperella, LLC, we present a step-by-step answer to the question “how do you use content to attract top employees?”


Content that attracts top employees doesn’t grow on trees. Instead, it’s the result of a carefully crafted process, which Capperella calls an “editorial recruiting process.” The editorial recruiting process consists of five steps that take you from developing the core of your narrative to finding the best ways to get your content out where your potential candidates will see it. The five steps of content recruiting are: 

1. Plot pitch

For the plot pitch step, you need to decide the major dramatic themes of your content offerings, and make it simple enough to state in 20 words or less. Your plot pitch should be a story about employment at your company that is compelling to the marketplace and taps into potential candidate’s emotional drives, whether those are creating the life they dream of, improving the world or saving other people’s lives.

A plot pitch is "The major dramatic themes of your offerings SIMPLY STATED." 

2. Episodes

Once you have a plot, you need to develop a story arc, and like on TV, this is done through creating specific episodes. These episodes act as a roadmap for your story that over time offer insight into what you’re trying to communicate and who you’re trying to communicate to. For the best results, your episodes should be compelling and connect with your target audience on an emotional level.  

"Schedule  major and minor episodes  by QUARTER AND MONTH."

3. Imagination priorities

Once you have your plot and episodes mapped out, you need to create options for supporting and extending the narrative. This means allowing your audience view and engage with your content from multiple perspectives and channels. To maximize the benefit of this step, identify the channels that your target talent is active on and find a way to communicate your emotional narrative to them through that channel. For this piece of the process, the more ways to communicate the narrative the better.

4. Episodes Q&M

At this point we get to the more nuts-and-bolts pieces of the editorial recruiting process. Episode Q&M means scheduling your content/episodes out month by month and quarter by quarter. This creates consistency in your messaging and allows your target audience to anticipate when the next piece is coming. A useful tool for this step will be an editorial content calendar, which you can use to map out your content schedule.

5. Promo opportunities

As you schedule your content releases in the Episode Q&M step, be sure to leverage the promotional opportunities of scheduling them around industry event and align them to earned media opportunities. No matter what story you’ve decided to pursue with your content, you need to develop and release it in a way that pushes it out to the talent market.

"Opportunities to PROMOTE the narrative."

Content recruiting takes work, but it has significant benefits. Earning your audience’s time and attention instead of buying it lowers the cost of talent acquisition and gives you greater flexibility in recruiting, allowing you to course correct quickly if a particular strategy isn’t working. It also improves your employment brand and improves retention rates – new employees who have been following your content, engaging with your story, and learning about your employment brand are for more likely to be excited about joining your team, and therefore more likely to stay.

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