How to Recruit Top Talent Using an Inbound Framework
By Daniel Doan
Inbound marketing is all about building a relationship with prospects before they make a purchase. So what is inbound recruitment?
Like inbound marketing, inbound recruitment relies on attracting candidates with blog posts, social media, videos, and webinars. Potential future employees can learn about your brand from this content before a position even opens.
Once there’s a job that’s a good fit, engaged candidates that already know about your company apply for positions. Find out how this recruiting strategy combines the best marketing principles and recruiting methods to help attract top talent.
Table of Contents
- What is inbound recruitment?
- Inbound Recruiting vs. Outbound Recruiting
- The Benefits of Inbound Recruiting
- How to Get Started With Inbound Recruiting
- Inbound Recruiting Best Practices
What is inbound recruitment?
Inbound recruiting is a mix of recruitment marketing and employer branding. The methodology involves building your employer’s brand to boost its appeal to potential applicants.
This type of recruiting helps increase your chances of attracting top job seekers to your organization while increasing the number of applications.
Inbound recruiting involves four critical steps:
- Attracting and sourcing top industry talent using content marketing, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and social media.
- Converting the talent into applicants.
- Hiring the right candidate.
- Regularly engaging with the applicants and motivating them.
Companies like Beamery have already been using the process to attract the right talent, enhance the candidate’s experience, and promote the brand.
Inbound Recruiting vs. Outbound Recruiting
Inbound and outbound recruiting are typically used together when companies search for talent. These two methodologies offer distinct approaches that go hand-in-hand. Here are the big differences you need to know.
Different Candidate Journey Stages
Inbound recruiting is a passive approach that relies on talent finding your business or an open position. The methodology prioritizes employer branding, and recruitment marketing efforts in hopes talent will apply for vacancies.
The stages of the candidate journey are awareness, consideration, and interest.
Outbound recruiting is a proactive approach to talent acquisition. Instead of waiting for candidates to find you, you go out and find them. The goal is to find talent, jump into the application stage, and offer a job.
Inbound recruiting is a long-term solution that will help advance your hiring strategy.
This strategy aims to create an employer brand that grows a pool of talented applicants. While inbound recruiting requires time, the quality and cost of hiring improve dramatically.
Outbound recruiting is a short-term hiring resolution because you only need it when the need arises. The strategy makes it easy and fast to bring in a new hire.
Perspective on Pain Points
Inbound marketing helps customers figure out their pain points by reading relevant content.
Some recruitment pain points include a bad cultural fit or a lower-than-desired salary. Candidates discover a pain point by reading your blog, employee testimonials, and company news.
Outbound recruiting allows the recruiter to find a candidate that might be a good fit. The recruiter then calls the candidates to find out if there’s a pain point. Unfortunately, most candidates don’t know if they have a pain point or won’t admit to one.
The Benefits of Inbound Recruiting
Both recruitment approaches are different, but one offers specific benefits for the recruiter or hiring manager.
LinkedIn research shows that a massive 70% of the workforceis passively looking for a job, while only 30% are active. Therefore, your success as a recruiter depends on bringing in passive talent.
Here are more reasons inbound recruiting is an excellent choice.
There’s less upfront effort.
Using the inbound recruiting framework means you don’t spend many hours communicating with each candidate. You also do not require strong scouting skills.
However, an inbound framework requires some investment. This is especially true if you’re engaged in a long-term campaign. You must develop and improve brand messaging, place ads, and create an online application platform.
You can access a wide talent pool.
Inbound recruiting allows you to sample a larger pool of candidates. Well-known brands attract hundreds, if not thousands, of people interested in working for them.
Adopting an inbound framework gives you a wide range to choose from and more opportunities to find the ideal employee.
Effects are lasting.
Setting up your inbound recruiting strategy will bring you candidates for as long as it’s running. The long-term nature of this strategy means you have new people always coming in.
Many people will be interested and ready to work whenever you have an open position. You don’t have to start from scratch when a position opens up.
You’ll have a wide range of communication channels.
Social networks are a vital resource for potential candidates. You can find people who know your business through what they share, and you can track their profiles as well.
An inbound recruiting strategy efficiently uses channels such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn. These platforms can help you segment the audience, creating a satisfactory experience for candidates and your company.
How to Get Started With Inbound Recruiting
Creating a repeatable inbound recruiting strategy includes understanding your ideal employees and increasing brand awareness and conversion opportunities.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to getting started today.
1. Create candidate personas.
Buyer personas are an integral targeted marketing strategy. A buyer persona gives you a picture of the ideal client, so you have the information required to create an effective plan.
You also need to do the same when recruiting talent. Know who you want when there’s an opening. The persona looks into what the hire will look like beyond the job title and description.
Next, develop ways to attract your ideal employee and the content they might find useful. So, how do you do this?
Here’s a simple formula that can help create your ideal candidate persona.
- Review the current processes.Confirm if you’re attracting quality talent, how you connect with relevant candidates, and the social media platform you use.
- Define the company culture. How are you helping employees succeed? What skills are valuable to you? What personal traits are critical? A survey of employees and other stakeholders in the hiring process can help you get this information.
- Create a personal narrative.Use your new company culture script to create the ideal candidate’s persona. Each new role requires a different persona, but all have some common traits.
- Create content relevant to the persona. It’s time to consider each persona’s unique requirements, values, and challenges to find the content type that’s best for them.
- Share the content. Look for forums where your persona hangs out and share new content. The platform depends on what you are looking for, from Instagram to online programming forums.
Candidate-specific content provides an inside look at your business, its culture, and its mission to attract high-quality leads to your site.
2. Prospect and fill the funnel.
The modern sales team depends on the steady stream of leads from the marketing department. The relationship is a foundation for online businesses generating customers and revenues.
Your sales team requires an influx of leads, and the marketers fill the funnel’s top with interested people. However, the pipeline is also an effective tool for effective recruiting.
Modern candidates are interested in where they apply. Your job is to attract them and make them interested in learning more about your brand. Start a relationship with each candidate who hasn’t applied to build a pipeline that offers the same predictability as sales.
For example, you can invite candidates to a scheduled Google Hangout with your team members. For example, one company hosts a monthly Google Hangout of engineering candidates and the head of engineering.
Candidates can ask questions within the 30 minutes and get insights into what it means to work with the company. They also feel like they are getting special treatment. The strategy has worked to increase application rates and talent quality.
3. Have opportunities for micro-conversions.
Many people coming to the career page on your website are not ready to apply — at least not yet. Applying for a position is an enormous investment. Some candidates want to know about your organization and learn about opportunities relevant to them.
Make sure the information is ready and available for consumption. Consider presenting related blog content, providing opportunities to sign-up for the latest info on future openings, and pointing prospects to more company resources.
A good example is the Lockheed Martin Talent Network. The parent company is a global security, aerospace, defense, and advanced technologies player.
Their talent network offers candidates a chance to join their community — even when they’re not ready to apply.
With the portal, Lockheed Martin has access to an extensive talent pool. Potential candidates submit their contact information, areas of interest, and desired geographic location. This strategy allows the company to pick the right prospects for positions.
4. Turn leads into applicants.
Once you have captured the candidates’ contact information, you need to sell your organization to them and convince them to apply.
Email marketing is 40 to 45 times more effective than Twitter and Facebook, making it an effective tool for customer acquisition.
Timing your email right is ideal for nurturing new hire leads. Use emails to keep candidates updated on new opportunities that match their skills, relevant events, and important company news.
However, make sure you have targeted communication. For instance, sales candidates should get updates about the sales department.
Here are some effective message examples that will work.
- Share newsworthy information. Let your customers know when your company appears on the news or releases a new product. After all, the best talent wants to work at an organization perceived as a success.
- Share your company culture. An appealing company culture is a motivating factor for many candidates and one of the biggest reasons to want to apply. Many prospects see your culture and brand as a critical consideration.
So, top talent considers nurturing emails more valuable than providing a bunch of job links.
5. Optimize and iterate your efforts.
Test multiple ways to connect, and experiment with diverse career page designs to attract top talent. The process requires leaning on marketing software or Google Analyticsto track how prospects find your content.
For instance, LinkedIn makes it easy to dig into the data and see if candidates click through to your website and convert into new leads or applicants. Use an analytics platform to see which content is more effective at turning your prospects into applicants.
Use the information to improve on your less effective content for better results. Also, ask applicants how they found your company and why they apply. Get this information through a short application form or during the first interview.
The key to optimizing your inbound recruiting strategy is identifying a repeatable model. When you find content types that help you connect with talented prospects, produce more of it.
Inbound Recruiting Best Practices
Fortunately, there are things you can do to make your inbound recruiting strategy more effective.
Monitor performance of job postings.
Most job hunters use Google to search for open positions, but only 0.78% of them click on the second page of results. So, you must follow SEO and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) best practices to appear on the first page.
Quality candidates will not see your posts if you are not showing up. An applicant tracking system can monitor the total job seeker views to help improve your SEO and SEM tactics.
Building a strong recruitment network takes years. It will take time for your business to create a site that attracts quality candidates.
Creating and dumping a lot of content on the internet in one day does not mean candidates will roll in the next. Quality content takes time to build and bring in talent.
Make the application simple.
Application abandonment is a major undetected leak when recruiting, but many companies ignore it. Your application process should be a tool, not an obstacle. You must know where in the process candidates abandon applying.
Some automated applicant tracking systems have built-in abandonment reports that will help you identify the problem. Other niche applications allow companies to track a candidate’s experience. Remove the issue immediately, so it doesn’t trip future applicants.
Create a strong social media presence.
Some candidates never consult Google when looking for information about a business. Instead, they will turn to social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, or TikTok.
However, each platform attracts different prospects. TikTok is a good place for entry-level positions, while LinkedIn and Facebook are attractive to more experienced talent. Therefore, consider employing a multi-channel strategy.
Ready to Recruit Top Talent?
Your inbound recruiting strategy is your company’s direct reflection of its culture, so tell an authentic story about what is happening behind the scenes. The strategy gives you access to many candidates and attracts people who may ignore the recruiter’s call.
The inbound framework isn’t much different from what you use to attract clients. Translate marketing tactics to bring in top talent.
Start with engaging content and personalized content to build a pool of quality candidates today and become the most attractive employer brand on the market.
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