What’s inbound recruiting and how can you do it?

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Guidance for Employers

Posted 16.07.19

inbound recruiting, technical recruitment

Many readers will have heard of inbound marketing but not perhaps inbound recruiting. In this blog post we explore what inbound recruiting is, what it can do for your company and how to do it. Read on if you want to learn how it could change your approach to recruiting.

What is inbound recruiting?

Like inbound marketing, this recruiting method is all about creating content that attracts candidates to your business; enables them to self-qualify themselves as a good fit for your job opportunities and company culture; and delivers high quality prospects to your door.

Targeted employer brand content is created using the same methods digital marketers employ using social media, videos, blog content, referrals and other digital assets. These are used to raise awareness of your employer brand, attract people to your careers site and convert them into potential candidates for when a suitable role arises.

What it can do for your company

Inbound recruiting can be used to drive prospects to a specific job description, but is more effective at building a talent pool of candidates who are engaged with your employer brand and then nurture them until the right opportunity comes along.

It’s particularly useful for recruiting candidates for hard to fill and high volume positions, as it builds a relationship with active and passive candidates so that when you have an opening, you already have high quality candidates ready to apply. It’s a great fit for the technology and construction engineering fields where skills shortages can make recruitment challenging.

Crucially, it also helps candidates self-qualify so that when an opportunity arises you have better quality and more engaged candidates in your pipeline. While you may still have some unsuitable candidates applying for jobs, if your inbound recruiting content is right these should be much fewer.

Candidates who are more engaged with your employer brand are also more likely to stay engaged throughout your recruitment process, so you’ll have fewer people dropping out before you get an opportunity to offer them the role.

Here’s how to do it

As with inbound marketing the concept is simple but there’s lots of detail that goes into the process. I’m going to keep it simple so you have an overview of how inbound recruiting can work, and then you can fill in the details that are most relevant to your company and recruitment requirements.

Stage 1: Attraction

This is the content you share that attracts prospective employees to your employer brand. It’s not necessarily about specific job opportunities, it’s more about engaging people and creating a desire to work for your company now or in the future.

Content that reflects your company culture and work environment is effective at this stage. This could be social media posts about your team, photos or videos of social events and company news that attracts prospects to your employer brand.

Stage 2: Conversion

Once you’ve got prospective employees’ interest you want to find ways to keep them engaged and for the best candidates to stay in your pipeline ready to apply should the right job come long.

At this point more content about your existing team (similar to the case studies you might have to convert clients) is really valuable. This content could be in the form of blog posts from your team about their jobs and career progression within your business. Identify the things that candidates want and that you do well – such as training, great progression, interesting work, prestigious projects etc. – and create content around this that’s aimed at them.

Convert these prospects with a call to action (CTA) that motivates them to share their contact details with you so that you can target them more directly when you want. That could simply be a CTA to sign up for a careers newsletter or a downloadable asset such as a guide or report. Match the CTA to the type of people you want to have in your business.

Stage 3: Nurture

At this stage you need to keep candidates engaged with your employer brand. Regular newsletters updating prospects about news and developments, more stories from your existing team sharing their wins, and content that provide insights into the workplace and company culture will keep the right candidates engaged.

Stage 4: Close

If your inbound funnel is working you should now have a talent pool of candidates ready to apply for suitable roles. However, once you start the recruitment process don’t stop sharing content. This is very important if your recruitment cycle is long, you need to keep engagement levels high.

Think about what content candidates need as they progress from applying to being shortlisted, from being shortlisted to going to interviews and job offers being made. What will ensure they stay in the process, especially if they’re also speaking to other companies?

Stage 5: Referrals

Inbound recruiting works best when you close the loop and turn your new recruits into employer brand advocates. Keep engaging all your current employees and provide them with content they want to share with their networks.

Your employees will be connected to potential candidates that could be in your talent pipeline. Think about all the things you do to retain and engage your existing employees and what type of content you can create that they’ll share. Taking photos at social events and away days provides shareable content. Posting on social media about an individual’s new qualification, award or other milestone is also engaging.

Also encourage staff to produce their own content. You may need to put in place guidelines or policies to protect company IP and reputations, but collectively your existing employees can help you attract more good quality candidates so don’t miss this opportunity.

Are you using inbound recruiting?

We’d be interested to find out how successful it is for your business so please share your experience in the comments below.

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