Birds of a Feather: Vulnerability in Recruiting Content Marketing

Once upon a time, the good people at CareerArc handed Misty Walsh and me the reigns to an episode in their popular recruiting webinar series. Their only requests were that we chat about content marketing and our unique relationship.

Content marketing was easy. Misty and I were both big fans, leveraging it for business development and recruiting respectively.

And so was chatting about our unique relationship. In a world where recruiting and marketing were often at odds, we were actually bona fide friends.

So we gave them that. But because we are both suckers for a good theme, we also gave them a bunch of obnoxious bird puns. (The CareerArc people did not ask for that, and probably have since written a “no birds” clause into their speaker contracts.)

Because the world needs more good content marketing, good friendships and good bird themes, this is the second in a series on those topics. For even more goodness, I also encourage you to check out the webinar recording.

With that, let’s “take flight”….

Vulnerability… “Be a Sitting Duck”

Before the marketing and talent acquisition teams can launch a recruiting content marketing campaign, they must first build a relationship. Building relationships of any type is hard work. Building relationships with a colleague who lives is a different time zone is even harder work.

Misty Walsh, who leads Centric’s marketing team, lives in Chicago while I reside in Cleveland. We only see each other a few times a year. Yet, we managed to build a solid business relationship and, even more importantly, a strong friendship.

For us, the key was vulnerability. Or, to keep the bird theme going: We needed to be sitting ducks.

Fairly coincidentally, Misty and I started with Centric about the same time. We were also the first ones to serve in our respective positions within the company. Before Misty, there was no marketing department so when she joined she comprised the entire marketing team! I was a little luckier as we already had several experienced recruiters working in some of our locations. However, there were no coordinated efforts across the company, so I became the first nationally focused person on Centric’s talent acquisition team.

We were both vulnerable in our roles – not sure what to do and who to do with it. However, we soon found each other. We started sharing our respective uncertainties, successes, and failures. By opening up to each other, we had a better understanding of the other’s position and became mutually invested in each other’s goals and outcomes. Soon we were a dynamic duo, ready to collaborate on joint initiatives that benefited both of us – including content marketing!

As mentioned earlier, Misty and I live in different cities and do not have the luxury of walking down the hall to bounce ideas off of each other. Remote working relationships require deliberate and consistent communication. Here are a few of the strategies we incorporated:

  1. Regular One-on-one meetings:
  • Share successes and failures
  • Discuss personnel issues on respective teams
  • Collaborate on projects
  • Set common goals

2. Text Messaging:

  • Quick updates
  • Words of encouragement
  • Funny anecdotes

3. When we finally meet up:

  • Wine 🙂

Building a relationship between the marketing and talent acquisition departments takes time and work. But it is fundamental to a successful recruiting content marketing campaign. Be that sitting duck, vulnerable but deliberate in your communication, to build deep, trust-filled relationships with your colleague on the other side of the pond.

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