The world of work is currently undergoing a major paradigm shift, caused by trends in technology and politics, as well as attitudes in the labor market.
A primary driver of this is the so-called ‘great resignation’. This theory suggests that workers today are more readily critical of their work environments, meaning they are willing to regularly switch jobs.
This has created both opportunities and challenges for employers. On one side of the spectrum, favorable employers can easily attract new workers, thus increasing their productivity margins. On the other hand, unfavorable employers may struggle to hold onto their staff if they do not adapt.
As such, many businesses are reforming their recruitment processes to drive long-term growth. To put it into perspective, a report from Monster found that 93% of employers are now hiring in 2022, up from 82% in 2021.
Are you wondering what the best strategies are for recruitment in this uncertain world? Well, this article will explain in detail what inbound recruitment is, why your business should use it, as well as top tips for the process.
What is inbound recruitment?
In simple terms, inbound recruitment is when employers cultivate a positive brand image, with the aim of job applicants coming directly to them. You can think of this as a blend of employer branding and recruitment marketing.
Normally, inbound recruiting follows a process of different stages:
Attract & source: This phase focuses on nurturing brand awareness, making it visible to a wide portion of your sector’s workforce.
Convert: The second phase is to do with the collection of data from site visitors. Landing pages and call-to-action forms will rack up many responses, creating a wide ‘talent pool’ of potential candidates.
Engage: The next aim is to approach these candidates and ‘sell’ the experience of working for your company. You may ask for interviews or further exercises at this stage. The best thing is that there is no pressure to necessarily engage with a candidate, unlike when a job listing goes live and your recruitment team is inundated with dozens of calls in queue.
Track: Finally comes the onboarding process. Here you will be training new employees and reflecting on the overall efficiency of your inbound recruitment operation.
Comparing inbound vs outbound recruiting
‘Inbound recruitment’ is a term often used in tandem with a contrary form of recruiting: ‘outbound recruitment’. Many people think of outbound recruitment as the more traditional of the two, but it remains useful to have a sound understanding of both.
- Focuses on attracting ideal candidates.
- Achieved by creating a positive environment and employer brand image.
- More passive, with results seen over a longer time frame.
- Attracts candidates from diverse backgrounds for a wide variety of roles.
- Focuses on going out and finding the ideal candidate.
- Achieved by advertising via job adverts and inviting applicants to interview.
- More active, with results seen in a short time frame.
- Attracts candidates for the specific advertised role.
Benefits of inbound recruitment
So, we’ve covered what inbound recruitment is and how it differs from the more traditional outbound forms of recruiting. You may be asking yourself: what is the point of inbound recruitment?
This next section aims to explain why you should at least consider inbound channels as part of your recruitment strategy. We argue the case that, even if your outbound channels are currently sufficient, inbound recruiting is a valuable tool that should be pursued at the same time.
You will attract quality candidates
A key advantage of the inbound recruitment method is that it incentivizes a wider pool of candidates to approach your business. With outbound channels, you are restricted to only receiving responses from candidates interested in a particular role, such as a virtual assistant vacancy.
Consider what you might be missing out on in the wider pool of job seekers. You have candidates with distinct skill sets and experience on offer, that may be an ideal match for your business. Sadly, many of these candidates will fly under the radar if they feel a job ad is not the right fit for them.
With inbound recruiting, you will gain a better picture of the candidates in your industry’s sector. This means you can approach them as and when a relevant position becomes available. Over time, as your ‘talent pool’ grows, you can shift away from relying on outbound channels to fill gaps in your team.
Receiving many responses from candidates also means that you can create a large database of candidate information. By using a SQL for analytics tool, it opens the door for your business to gain deeper insight into the recruitment process. For example, flagging candidates who have skill sets that are currently in demand could be a great way to notice and reach out to them before a competitor.
Your brand image will be improved
In order to achieve a large number of inbound applicants, you must first cultivate an employer brand image that is attractive to your site visitors. Just how you go about doing this will be covered in the next section, but the result is clear: your overall brand image will be improved.
Why? Well, the same things that appeal to site visitors and customers will also appeal to potential job applicants. For instance, a visually appealing site will advertise the services that you offer in an eye-catching manner, and a well-made landing form will generate a high percentage of leads.
What you need to think about next is how to distinguish between your customers and potential candidates. For example, you might integrate a call forwarding service to separate phone calls from job applicants and customers.
Tips for making the process smoother
Focus on your website’s SEO
The success of your inbound recruitment strategy depends on generating leads from site visitors. As such, it is crucial that you focus on driving up website traffic. This might be achieved with marketing efforts (as described later), but one thing is clear: you must not neglect your on-site SEO.
SEO means ‘search engine optimization’ and it determines where your website is ranked on a search engine’s result page. By optimizing your website through backlinks, keyword targeting, and topic clustering, your website will be seen as more relevant to search engine algorithms. That means that it will show up close to the top of Google, meaning you get more clicks than competitor sites.
Maintain a high-standard blog
Creating a positive brand image is not easy, but a blog is one of the best first steps that you can take. Here, you have the chance to ‘sell’ aspects of your company’s work culture. Guest posts from current or ex-employees are a fantastic way to highlight the benefits of working in your team.
A blog also allows you to talk about developments in your sector, providing insight into the technologies that will be integrated into working life. For example, a blog post on the future of metaverses in workspaces will signal to readers that your business is eager to adopt progressive work policies.
Pair with a social media content strategy
Traditionally, on-site SEO will be complemented by an off-site marketing drive. The focus here is on generating as many website visitors (and leads) as possible. You may find that social media content is a great way to reach a niche audience. For example, you might use LinkedIn advertising to specifically target workers in your company’s sector.
Simplify the application process
Hopefully, by now you have crafted an online space that is attractive to potential job candidates. The next step is to make it easy for that group to share with you their personal details for future correspondence.
You should offer multiple channels for the sharing of this data: uploading a CV, sending it as an email, or by phone call. Should you go down the phone call route, it will be necessary to integrate an IVR (interactive voice response) system to easily separate customers from candidates.
Create a ‘talent pool’
As the number of interested candidates slowly trickles in, the small group will transform into a ‘talent pool’ – a representative cross-section of working individuals in your industry.
Now it is necessary to divide your ‘talent pool’ into subsections. This means that you can search for candidates with specific skill sets as positions come available. To expedite the process, you may choose to integrate an HR software program to rank candidates on their suitability for a role.
Reach out to promising candidates
Even if a position is not immediately available, it’s still a good idea to reach out to your best candidates in the meantime and thank them for their interest. This will hopefully provide a memorable interaction, planting the seed for future correspondence.
An alternative method is to offer a limited role to a promising candidate. For example, you might send a PandaDoc freelance recruiter agreement to have a new recruit spend some part-time hours on a project. Then, subject to their performance, you may invite them to an interview for a full-time employment contract.
Finally, you must be patient with the process. Inbound recruitment is a time-consuming operation that yields results on a longer time frame than outbound channels. It’s important to trust the process and reevaluate your website/marketing efforts, so you may adapt as necessary.
Inbound recruitment is a valuable tool for employers in a rapidly evolving job market. By inviting candidates to share their details at any time, it gives you more freedom to select applicants from a ‘talent pool’ as positions open up. If done correctly, this will significantly boost your business’s response times to onboarding new staff.
Are you just getting started on inbound recruitment? You might want to stick to a hybrid approach, blending the usage of outbound and inbound channels to bolster your candidate selection process. This will give you time to focus on setting up your blog, social media content, and customer service systems.