Human resources professionals are the backbone of our organizations. They take on the tasks that keep the lights on and the wheels turning smoothly—but that takes a lot of time and effort. And for smaller businesses looking to grow, access to the knowledge and expertise of a battle-tested HR professional is incredibly valuable.
That’s why HR content is a much-needed resource, but not just anyone can create content that’s up to the industry’s very high (and ever-changing) standards. If you find yourself struggling to create content in this niche, you’ve come to the right place to find answers.
We’ve collected the six biggest issues facing human resource content creators, as well as how they deal with these issues in their own experience. Now, it’s time to share! If any (or all!) of these hit close to home, we at Verblio would love to help out.
1. Lack of Sufficient Expertise to Write Quality Content
“When it comes to working for medical, healthcare, and human resource department clients, the biggest challenges are finding writers with the necessary knowledge base to write authoritatively on the subject matter in a timely fashion and at a cost that is scalable. You typically have to pay a premium for such writers as, if still employed, they will have packed schedules you need to work around. In addition, the writers with more availability may well be retired and already losing a little bit of touch with industry trends and developments so that is something you have to be cognizant of.
Our tried and tested solution is to recruit a pool of freelance writers with long-term experience in the industry. It’s better to position your client as an authority on the subject rather than outsource the writing to someone with only passing knowledge of the topics, as industry professional target audiences will see straight through that and it will reflect badly on your client.
As such, we will typically look to have a pool of writers that are 2x the monthly content requirement. That way, if one of your go-to experts is unavailable you have a backup at all times.”
“Like any business or organization, Venngage has to create a wide range of content that solves problems our audience (and active users) face.
Since we have tons of competitors trying to do the same thing, we need to create a lot of content on many different platforms/publications that’s nothing short of exceptional. The challenge here is scaling the volume of content we create without compromising on the quality. Volume is important because it helps you secure mentions, and signals to search engines that you’re an authority on specific topics.
One solution that works for us is content repurposing. This could mean taking one blog post, breaking down into its many parts and then writing about those parts as new blog posts (in more detail, with more supporting research). Or we take a blog post and turn it into a really great infographic, a webinar, a YouTube video, or something else. Both approaches help us create more content that’s still relevant to our audiences. It’s an effective way to reach different demographics too, and build topic authority. You save a ton of time, when you’re constantly building on what you already have and repurposing it, instead of starting from scratch each time.”
“In my experience, human resource professionals and recruiting firms rarely focus on marketing their own company online. It’s mostly a factor of them not possessing the domain knowledge required for quality content marketing. If they’re producing blog content, it’s typically self-promotional content, and not content that would help them get found by businesses that need their recruiting services.
I’ve found that recruiting firms still need a lot of technical and messaging direction in their attempts to outsource writing projects to content agencies. They need help communicating the specific keywords and topics that would help them get found. Beyond that, ongoing SEO would be of great value to recruiting firms.”
2. Difficulty With Regulations
“We have recently been helping our HR client raise awareness about upcoming employment law changes in the UK by writing and distributing educational content both on and off site. Understanding the complex employment laws has been the biggest challenge, as well as communicating them in a way that is easy to understand for the average reader.
However, we have overcome this challenge by working closely with our client when it comes to creating content. We have facilitated a streamlined process by which we can quickly have their in-house team suggest changes, we can rapidly make these amends and content can ultimately be signed off without unnecessary delay. To achieve this, we have established a project management platform with the client, created a content calendar for the quarter, and have regular catch-ups to discuss forthcoming steps.”
Daniel Sarath—Senior Digital PR Executive at Click Consult
“Creating content for HR can be a cumbersome job if you’re looking to create a comprehensive guide of a larger size: the rules and regulations change way too often to keep track of them all.
Stats are challenging to extract, and HR departments are usually too busy handling their tasks to be able to provide comprehensive materials for content creators.
There are still great topics to be explored when it comes to HR content creation. HR teams often work on employee engagement by sending out surveys. Surveys are a great source of inspiration for the content.
In my experience, healthy, long-term communication with an HR team is a plus when it comes to content creation. And there are always external resources to turn to for content ideas and more general stats.”
3. Writer Availability & Timing
“I worked as an in-house digital marketing consultant for one of the UK’s leading recruitment agencies. Spent 5 years pulling teeth when it came to content.
Speaking from experience, I think the biggest issue was time and focus.. The company realized the importance of content but simply the people who knew best were the recruitment consultants / directors and in terms of priority content never made it to the top of the list, they had targets to meet, clients to service and unfortunately content never made the radar.
Don’t get me wrong, sometimes you would get an eager consultant but it would be more like a one-hit wonder, they’d produce one piece then assume the job was done and no longer needed to contribute.”
Rhys Jenkins—Social Media Consultant at SIXGUN
“One of the constant struggles of content writing is the sheer number of writers needed for a large agency. It’s not much trouble to find a handful of good writers, but scaling up to a large collection of different writers with different specialties is often very difficult.
For a marketing agency, the demands are even more steep. We will often find ourselves in need of writers in a highly focused topic. Industry specific expertise for content writing is what sets apart a good content strategy from a great one. Finding new people to contract out for content creation is a continuing struggle and building an apparatus to support that is easily the most difficult part.”
“The biggest frustration is getting the client to commit to developing high-quality content on a consistent publishing schedule. Often times they don’t understand that a consistent flow of content gets their website recognized by search engines and enhance ranking for targeted keywords. Failing to be consistent with content publication can result in missed SEO opportunities.
The other challenge is finding a reliable source for content development. While internal professionals have the technical knowledge, they are often unable to meet deadlines because of other work responsibilities, professional obligations and may even have underdeveloped writing skills. This makes outsourcing an attractive option but requires the company to provide a great deal of direction to get the desired content quality results. We have found working with in-house marketing teams can result in the production of more targeted content according to timeline goals.”
Brian Swanson—Owner and Chief SEO Strategist of Klatzkin & CO.
4. Communication & Buy-In With Stakeholders
“We’re a company with more than 22,000 employees across the globe, and no one is more invested in our marketing efforts than our leadership, BUT it can be incredibly challenging to get a response to media inquiries.
My solution: I don’t lead with ‘Can you please respond to media inquiry’ but rather something with something a little more unexpected and titillating, like ‘New Initiative: Project Eyeballs’ and then follow with the specific request. It works! My response rate is through the roof, which is beneficial to everyone at the company, especially when our pitches get us a media mention.”
“The biggest challenge for getting content from our HR consulting clients is nailing down the client to tell us about their business. They often can spout about various rules and regulations, and talk through HR issues. But when it comes to receiving written content of why their business is the best HR firm, they are often too busy to deliver that content. At most kickoff meetings, clients promise they will deliver the content, but it really is out of their level of expertise.
We find that getting in front of the client, asking pertinent questions related to the topic, and then writing the content for them is the best strategy. Also, giving the client a hard deadline before going live pushes them to review the content. If they don’t have the chance to review, we push live anyway, making sure the work we have done is live and can generate leads for the HR firm.”
“I have found showing the value of creating new content to get it approved as part of the budget to be one of the most challenging parts for getting the content written. Often companies do not see the value in having the content, especially before it is written and has started to show its value on the site. The hard part is convincing the company to make the content part of their budget and actually spending the money to create it.”
“The biggest challenge I’ve found is getting an HR expert to review and sign-off on the content I create. If the HR team is particularly busy, it can take over a week to get a blog post reviewed as they obviously need to prioritize serving our customers. However, with a complex topic like HR, where there are legal implications, it’s essential to get everything checked by an expert before publishing. This can often lead to bottlenecks in the content creation workflow, and some frustration from the HR team at the additional work we’re creating for them.
We’re trying to help smooth out the process by holding a monthly meeting with the HR team to discuss upcoming blog posts, so they’re aware of what’s coming their way, can flag any posts which they think might take additional work and select which posts they’d each prefer to work on depending on their particular interests and expertise. This is really helping to improve cohesion between the two teams and establish better clarity around expectations.”
Fleur Tucker—Content Marketing Manager at citrusHR
“Some of the challenges faced by content marketers in writing human resources content are:
Collaboration with HR: Content marketers do not have collaboration with the human resources team. So one can not know what positions the company needs to fill most, what type of persons are needed, and how much perspectives are needed. These things matter a lot for content marketers to write for.
Building recruiting as documented content: Recruiting is a crucial part of the company. The marketers who do not document their recruiting strategy are not effective. The content that is not documented can not reach prospective employees.
Overload the wrong audience with job postings: The most common problem for a content marketer is using the content for job posts. If you have to post for a job, then one should have details regarding the job and the prospective employee. If the post does not provide valuable information for driving prospects, then the company can be affected by growth.”
5. Properly Targeting Keywords or Audiences
“Getting clients to write the content and write it well enough to enable it to rank for they keyword we are targeting is a key frustration with getting content created. Even when the requirements are communicated in a manner that outlines the key talking points, clients will frequently take liberties with the topic, go off-topic, miss addressing certain keywords, or fail to deliver a key takeaway.
Communication is key when the client insists on creating their own content. To be most effective use a continuous improvement cycle for content creation:
- Give client a detailed content creation guide that outlines headings and paragraph content focused around the target keywords.
- Educate the client on how following the brief closely will ensure it’s successful as an SEO piece.
- Give feedback to the client on what worked and what they could improve on.
Framing each point around how it will help their SEO campaign ensures continuous improvement of the content created and gets additional buy-in from the creator as they see the recommendations and feedback being made are improving their SEO results.”
Kyle Douglas—SEO Manager at Revium
“Our biggest challenge is often trying to find a good middle ground between what a client wants from us and what will bring about the best results.
As social media marketing experts, we KNOW what’s going to bring impressions, engagements, and conversions. However, sometimes a client has a particular method or wording in mind, and so we end up having to find a good middle ground that will work for everyone.
Sometimes finding a good answer is as simple as compromising with images or videos, and encouraging our own wording.”
“I am a content marketer with a focus on HR clients. I love the area and generally speaking, editors of HR publications are a delight to deal with. All they want is quality content that will provide real value to their readers. Previously, one of my biggest challenges was finding a way to get my client’s material in front of larger publications—nationals and leading magazines. Ultimately I found the best way of achieving this was by creating collaborative posts.
To do this, I’d reach out to CEOs and business leaders for opinions and insights on topical HR issues. My client would then put the comments together and we’d pitch them to larger publications, who were inevitably interested. After all, by providing publications with varied views from several C-suite executives across industry gives them, and their readers, a thorough and well-rounded insight into the topic at hand.”
6. Creating Compelling & Relevant Messages
“We revamped our hiring process for customer support analysts, and we started with analyzing the content of our job ads. Writing something in such a way that it makes a person want to act and commit is challenging, especially today.
Attracting millennials and generation Z to work for your company takes a lot of effort. You need to make sure that what you’re offering really stands out, and blasting them with good benefits, extended leaves, and other bonuses just won’t do it. You have to intricately weave words together to compel them to be a part of a global mission and that what they’re about to do, if they choose to, can have a massive impact. It’s the type of human resources content in which I want to excel.”
Shine Colcol—SEO Specialist at iAuditor by SafetyCulture
“Our challenge when writing SEO content for HR is communicating the key HR principles, yet doing so appropriately across a variety of different sectors and industries.
For example, if you are writing HR content, you’ll be aware that you need to cover areas such as payroll, staff engagement & well-being, grievance procedures etc. However, how does this advice differ according to your audience? You may be inclined to give blanket advice when actually, this isn’t relevant for, say, someone who manages a small catering business and, therefore, doesn’t have the appropriate resources to fulfill the advice you’ve given.
Similarly, the language you use in your content also needs consideration as you will inevitably write differently for different audiences. Consider producing HR content for a construction audience versus a finance audience: your tone needs to be accessible and engaging. Taking a ‘one size fits all approach’ will not suffice.
We would advise steering away from HR content that is generalized. Instead, research the specific HR challenges in your target sector(s) and produce tailored pieces for that niche. Similarly, you can navigate around this using a tight linking and tagging structure to make sure the right content reaches the right people. All HR content can be categorized according to its relevant industry, with an HR tag to uniform all HR content and then subsequent tags to signpost the reader to the most relevant articles for their industry.”
Jordana Hargreaves—SEO Content Specialist at High Speed Training
These challenges to creating human resources content shouldn’t be barriers. You still need content to grow, share your knowledge, and reach new audiences, and Verblio can help you do just that.
At Verblio, our writers view every challenge as an opportunity to create new opportunities and add value for every organization we work with. Sign up today and start your journey to stronger, more impactful human resources content!