How to Develop an Effective HR Content Strategy

When people in a company speak of content marketing and strategy, they often refer to the marketing department. With good reason. Content creation is typically associated with engaging buyers and generating sales.

However, some fail to realize that carefully curating content can help facilitate other business goals, too.

An effective HR content strategy, for instance, makes your employer’s brand more appealing to 75 percent of job seekers. A content strategy also gives your team increased visibility to top candidates and talent who aren’t actively searching. With HR content, you also get other net positives for the company like building PR by showcasing company culture and attracting external partners.

Want to reap the benefits of an effective HR content strategy? Here’s how to craft one and implement it for the best results.

1. Develop a Distinct Brand Voice

HR content can reinforce the true value of your brand to employees and potential candidates.

But for HR-influenced content to be anywhere near as effective, you must set yourself apart with your employer brand voice. Your employer brand voice is how you communicate your value proposition and mission to prospective and existing employees. A unique brand voice allows job seekers and employees to connect with you, so you ultimately increase your chances of talent acquisition and staff retention.

For example, Airbnb has a warm and inviting employer brand voice. You can see this in their job postings and all over their Careers Hub, like the example below from their University recruiting page.

Airbnb - HR content strategy example

Microsoft, on the other hand, has a more professional and aspirational employer brand voice. See how it highlights the company’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, global reach, and impact on the world with this paragraph in its job descriptions.

Microsoft - HR content strategy example

To develop your employer brand voice for your HR content strategy, do the following;

  • Review your organization’s mission statement, brand values, and culture.
  • Determine your tone of voice based on these. Will it be bold and professional, or quirky and laidback?
  • Perform a content audit on current brand messaging materials and take note of consistent themes and tones. Incorporate these into the tone you determined you’d use.

Ultimately, a strong brand voice sets the right tone for an ideal employee experience and does the heavy lifting of convincing prospective employees to buy into your company’s mission and vision. So, you need to get it right.

2. Understand Your Target Audience

Your target audience needs to be front and center of your HR content strategy. The primary purpose for this is engagement. If you don’t tailor HR content to the preferences or interests of the specific audience who’ll consume it, you’ve already lost.

Define who these specific target audiences are based on current goals. Let’s say your goal is to increase employee retention with your HR content. Then your target audience in this case would be your current employees.

Create an audience persona, or a fictional representation of your target audience, that can serve as your guide in HR content creation.

Whatever your HR content strategy goal is, an HR team typically has three audience personas. Apart from your current employees, you may want to reach out to job seekers and new hires.

Here’s an example of a current employee audience persona:

Employee persona


You can get the data you need for your audience persona from your HR employee documentation and internal website and social media analytics, among others.

By and large, all of the three audience personas we mentioned above have a general concern — they want to feel valued and supported by their employers. But each audience group has specific concerns, too. So, as part of knowing who your target audience is, send them surveys to ask them what these are.

Once you understand your target audience’s general and specific concerns, you can tailor your HR content strategy accordingly.

3. Choose the Right Communication Platforms

Choosing the right communication channels to reach your audience is critical to an effective HR content strategy. How can you reach your audience if you’re using a platform they don’t frequent in the first place?

Internally, the right communication channel can be the company’s intranet, email, or the company’s bulletin board.

Externally, it may be social media platforms like LinkedIn and industry Slack groups, depending on where your target audience hangs out the most. Also, note that 52 percent of job candidates will check a company’s site to learn more about the employer.

Just like in eCommerce or SaaS content production, your best bet is to use a variety of channels. But as you generate more data on HR content engagement, you should be able to identify which platforms are the most effective for reaching your target audience and zero in on these. This way, you won’t have to waste HR resources on platforms that don’t yield the engagement and results you’re looking for.

4. Build a Comprehensive Content Roadmap

Now, it’s time to create your content. You’ll have to go back to your audience personas and your goals to determine the types of HR content to create.

Let’s assume you want to cater specifically to new hires, who, based on your data, have difficulty settling in. Based on their feedback on the onboarding process, you find they have a problem understanding internal processes and the company culture.

So, in this case, to address their general and specific concerns, you might create more comprehensive employee handbooks and an onboarding guide. You might also decide to create other HR content forms that can help them adjust to the workplace environment. Tutorials and infographics, for instance, can also come in handy.

Once you’ve determined all the HR content forms to create to reach your HR content goal, craft your roadmap. The content roadmap helps you organize your HR content creation and dissemination so you can achieve your goals. You can create one manually or use content roadmap templates.

Here’s an example of a content map crafted to address issues in the onboarding of new hires.

hr content strategy roadmap

The more detailed your content roadmap, the better. You can also include in it the deadlines for the creation of each piece of HR content and the schedule of their publication. Specify the people in charge of the same as well.

5. Implement and Monitor

Let’s assume you have all your HR content ready. Now all you need to do is implement your HR content roadmap to the letter.

However, your job doesn’t end after implementation. You’ll still need to monitor every aspect of your campaign.

For instance, for our sample scenario above, you’d need to check your email marketing software to see how many engaged with your onboarding email newsletter. Also, look at your social media analytics to determine engagement with your company-related posts.

But don’t just rely on these engagement values. You’ll still need to see if your HR content was effective in onboarding new hires in the first place. So, you’d also need to seek your new hires’ feedback.

If your new hires tell you the HR resources provided to them helped them adjust to the workplace, then your campaign has succeeded. If they tell you the HR resources didn’t really help them, then ask them how you can improve the content to help the next new hires during the onboarding process.

Effective Content Strategy for HR Teams

HR should assume a proactive role to ensure the company attracts and onboards the best employees, and keeps them. That’s why it needs to have an HR content strategy in place.

You learned how to develop and implement an HR content strategy that works with this article.

Develop a distinct employer brand voice, understand your target audience, and choose the right communication channels. Then build a comprehensive content roadmap. As a final step, implement your roadmap and monitor your campaign to ensure the achievement of your content goals.

Follow these steps and you can expect the best HR results.

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