HR Marketing: How to Attract People Who Are Not (Yet) Searching for a Job

Ondřej Pokorný

In Czechia, only 16% of employees are thinking about a change of jobs. Only 14% are actively looking for a new job. When building your HR communication solely on job ads and performance campaigns, you’re missing out on the majority (70%!) of people. Embrace various content formats to attract passive job seekers!

Job Ads & Career Sites For Easier Acquisition

The numbers above are from LMC and the JobsIndex survey (2022) and indicate that the job market in Czechia is waking up. That’s a good sign for HR managers and recruiters — posting a job ad, putting up posters, and targeting people on social media will likely lead to more CVs landing in your inbox.

The better your recruitment communication is, the better fit the people you reach will be and the higher chances you have of filling a vacancy. I’m talking about:

  • Job ads with specific job descriptions, salary, and your company’s vision. Show your colleagues and potential bosses.
  • A career page that answers all the questions which job seekers have on their minds.
  • A well-targeted campaign that brings good matches to the job ad or your career site.

Build Brand Awareness: How Not to Miss Out on 70% of the Market

Call me a pragmatist, but I consider selling vacancies quite the same as selling goods or services — in HR marketing, though, it is better not to promise the moon (with products and services, it’s expected).

“A customer must hear about the seller at least ten times before ordering anything.”
Joe Pulizzi, Marketing Strategist

To get people to send in their CVs, you need to engage with them, remind them of yourself from time to time, and nudge them here and there.

Recruitment communication is a long-term activity. Building a reputation throughout your target group works much better than just displaying banner ads and posting job ads. It attracts people not looking for a job. Or at least  — not yet.

Building brand awareness is essential because:

  • you establish a relationship with potential job applicants,
  • little by little, people get to know your company — what you do, how you do it, who your clients are,
  • they learn about your colleagues and bosses,
  • you educate your target group — and/or entertain as well,
  • people can assess themselves whether they would strive at your company or not,
  • candidates come to job interviews well prepared,
  • and they might reach out to you on their own (so you save resources on performance ads).

Content Works Like Magic in HR Communication

Brand campaigns target passive job seekers perfectly. That said, you should always consider how immune your audience is to advertising, what results are likely to come out of it and whether you can measure it.

Then there’s content marketing. A powerful tool for building your brand awareness among those searching for a job.

A rule of good HR content marketing: Consider the type of people you want to attract. Students in their last year of university react to different content than experienced pharmacists or Python developers. Adjust the way you think about HR marketing and switch from classic content (think job advertisements and career sites) to other formats, types and channels.

Blog As a Part of Your Career Site

A company blog is an excellent tool for strengthening your authority in the eyes of your customers — i.e. both actual and potential job seekers. You can put your company culture on display, tell stories of your people, showcase your successes, and come up with a fun infographic here and there. 

I often hear from our clients that they can’t come up with more than 3 topics to write about. Don’t worry; all it takes is asking a couple of questions, and clients leave the meeting with a pile of ideas for the whole year.

My recommendations for creating a company blog:

  • Set a realistic goal — for example, publishing two articles a month.
  • Come up with a few different categories. Categories make it easier to think about topics.
  • Find ambassadors among your employees. They can help you with topics, contribute with their quotes, and create articles of their own.
  • The output doesn’t have to be a typical article; try interviews or concoct some infographics in Canva.
  • Simply get started.
Kiwi works hard on their content.

Writing short stories about your employees and revealing your company culture is the type of content that works long-term. Source:

Kiwi, an IT company from Brno, is running its blog as a part of its HR marketing. Readers learn details about employees, the company’s story, and what’s currently going on. As a copywriter, I appreciate that Kiwi treats each blog post as a landing page — and takes readers to open vacancies at the end of each post.

Podcasts To Introduce Your People & Show Your Offices

A podcast is an underrated content format in HR marketing. We came up with a podcast for PKV, energy consultants, and recorded the episodes with the owners Jiří Pech and Ondřej Vaňek. In 5 episodes, they describe how they started off, what the company is about, how they approach their company culture, and what‘s next for them.

Thanks to those podcast episodes, job seekers get a clear idea of the company — and actually come much better prepared for job interviews.

Make podcast a part of your HR marketing strategy.

Recording a podcast as a video shows your work environment — job seekers appreciate that greatly. Source: PKV.

In Deloitte, they invite their employees, clients and inspiring people from the business to their podcast called dCast. From students’ point of view, dCast reinforces the perception of Deloitte as an ideal company to join after graduating: “Up until now, I’ve only heard about these people, and now I can work with them”  — a student might think.

My tips to kick off your podcast:

  • Buy a decent microphone and consider getting in touch with a rhetoric specialist.
  • Start with audio. Post-production is quicker, and many people are camera-shy at first.
  • Don’t settle with the podcast. Pick and highlight the most exciting bits in an article or your newsletter.

Teaching People Skills & Creating (Your Own) Experts

If you are looking for specialists who are insufficiently available on the job market, train them yourself. No strings attached. They might not work for you immediately, but they will remember who helped them. And one day they might come back — or recommend a friend.

STRV Academy in Prague is a perfect example of using education in HR marketing. The company offers regular free courses on Android, iOS, data science or product management, which are held offline — so that attendees can get to know STRV Academy premises as well as their employees in person.

Attract job seekers from IT with by organising online and offline trainings.

Sharing your know-how for free is an effective way to attract programmers looking to advance their career. Source: STRV.

At Obsahová agentura, we use education as a recruitment tool as well. Our copywriter Klára enrolled in a copywriting course taught by our CEO Martin Brablec at university, and now she writes for us. The same thing happened with our copywriter Monika thanks to our unique Course for Advanced Copywriters.

My recommendations for creating a training course:

  • Creating a high-quality course takes a good chunk of time — make sure you have enough of it.
  • Let your people run the course — so that attendees get to know their potential future colleagues or bosses.
  • Include networking and let participants soak up the vibes of your company.

Organise a Lecture or a Talk

Creative Dock staví firmy na zakázku. Díky tomu má firma přesah do spousty oborů od finančnictví, datovou analytiku až po technologie. Své know-how a kontakty využívá při pořádání Creative Talks.

These talks take place on the premises of Creative Dock in Prague, and the number of tickets is limited, making the event quite exclusive.

Organising events is a well-thought part of HR marketing of Creative Dock.

This talk is sold out. No worries, though. Another event is coming up. Source: Creative Dock.

If organising an event seems challenging to you, consider going online. You won’t get to show your offices to the attendees, but you can aim at selling your expertise. A good example is Virtuální svět Skupiny ČEZ (Virtual World of ČEZ) where the company ČEZ outlines their plans for the future of energy, and targets students, professionals and the general public — don’t get confused by this, such a big company can afford broad targeting like that.

Find inspiration for organising online events at ČEZ.

Who else should talk about the future of power plants than the biggest company that runs them in Czechia? Source: Skupina ČEZ.

With this online event, ČEZ fortifies their position as a big player on the energy market, and reminds job seekers that the company is here and ready — all you need to do is to send them your CV.

What I recommend for events as a part of your HR marketing:

  • Film the event and recycle the content as much as possible. Use it for your social media, reels, articles…
  • Create short introductions of all the speakers — in text or in a video. 
  • First and foremost, focus on the contents of the event — you’re not trying to make it into Hollywood.

Career Newsletter: A Quick Way to Reach People

When putting all the effort into content creation, make the most of it and tell people about it. Collect their contact details and send out a regular newsletter.

EY is doing newsletters really well. The global leader in consulting shows its readers the backstage of working at EY in articles and interviews, shares tips and tricks, and invites them to events.

Newsletter by EY targets students a potential job seekers.

Once in a while, students learn what’s new at EY and what’s in it for them. Source: EY.

What to consider when using newsletters as a part of your HR marketing:

  • Don’t spam by sending out way too many.
  • Create a simple but distinguishable layout and keep on using it.
  • Think about the subject line and pick a unifying element to which a subscriber gets used to — like a square bracket [Hi from EY!].
  • Be mindful of advertising vacancies. Treat them as a spice in the long-term HR communication. A job ad here and there is fine. Nevertheless, focus mostly on educating your readers and ensuring they enjoy your content. 

Gamification: A Mobile App or a Game

The consulting firm KPMG uses a mobile app as a part of its long-term communication with students. Thanks to the app, the target group gets to:

  • test their analytical skills and their level of English,
  • compare their results with other app users,
  • understand the role of different teams at KPMG.
Gamification spices up HR marketing, this is app by KPMG.

Compare your numerical, logical and verbal thinking and English skills with others. Source: KPMG.

Gamification makes sense even when your line of business isn’t that attractive. For example, if you are a shared service centre that prevents the financing of illegal activities, why not create a simple game — a jumping arcade with agents on a secret mission?

Users will have fun, and within a few minutes they will discover that the hero isn’t an undercover agent but an IT guy working in that big glass office just around the corner. 

What to consider with apps and games:

  • Don't develop the app just because you can — there needs to be a reason behind it.
  • The app should always benefit the user.
  • Don't push the vacancies too hard in the app.

Start With a Simple Strategy 

“Great, now I have dozens of content ideas to choose from!” you may think. While appointing students as your ambassadors might work well, writing a PR article sharing your colleague’s journey could bring even better results. It depends.

I recommend creating at least a simple strategy to:

  • define what you want to tell people in your HR communication long-term, 
  • and what content formats, types and channels make the most sense to start with.

A strategy can be a 2-page document giving you direction and preventing decision-making paralysis.

Content Marketing Helps with HR Communication, but…

  1. Creating content takes time, and it’s not for free — whether creating it in-house or outsourcing it.

  2. Overnight success is unlikely. It’s always a good idea to keep a portion of your budget for performance campaigns and target those 30% of active job seekers. Think of the content as a dividend. Once you invest, the outcomes are there — and won’t disappear once the campaign ends.

  3. Put together a basic strategy so you don’t drown in endless possibilities.

Fingers crossed!

You won't be the first one getting into content — but it will pay off. Only a few of your competitors are currently addressing those 70% of people on the market. Make the most of it while you can.

  • Want to boost your HR communication? Get in touch, we‘re happy to help.