Photo by fauxels on Pexels

Ethnography of Talent Professionals

Role: Project Lead and Principal Investigator

Guiding Question: What types of content and learning resources to talent professionals need?

Shortly after starting on the Indeed enterprise content team, I realized a gap in our strategy: we were creating content for talent professionals, but only guessing at what they wanted. I designed and executed an ethnographic study of recruiters and sourcers to inform our approach, which involved three stages and methods:

  • Exploratory Research: I began by conducting exploratory research on available resources and content trends for our audience. To do this, I focused on competitors, trade publications/organizations, and general media coverage of issues relating broadly to HR and talent.
  • Semi-structured Interviews: Next, I created interview questionnaires to gather additional data from professionals in these roles. I conducted interviews with five Indeed talent professionals to learn about their needs, pain points, and interests on the job, as well as their preferences for content form, format, and tone.
  • Ethnography of conference: Last, I attended a national conference for recruiters, using ethnography and participant observation to gain additional insights. This helped me gauge how my earlier findings aligned with broader trends. I also used these data to develop audience personas, and coded my fieldnotes to identify keywords and themes for future content.

After completing the research above, I developed a taxonomy of audience needs and interests. I then used this make targeted suggestions for our content strategy reflecting my insights from professionals on the ground. I presented my ethnography of talent professionals to my team, and we used the findings to shape our future content strategy, adding more multi-media and shorter-form pieces, as well as targeted "how-to" posts and research-based articles showcasing original quantitative findings on timely themes in the industry.