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How to be an inbound recruiting pro

Elle Wong

January 02, 2024

Consider this Reddit thread which invites candidates to apply for open roles in the company:

I am the CEO of New Culture, we make real dairy cheese with no cows required. Ask me anything!
byu/supercaz inIAmA

Compare it to Microsoft's 1983 hiring ad in the Seattle Times:

Microsoft 1983 hiring ad

Clearly, a lot has changed since 1983.

75% of job seekers consider an employer's brand before applying for a job. This underscores a fundamental shift in the world of talent acquisition.

Imagine Sarah, a top-tier software engineer. She's not actively job hunting but stumbles upon an article about your company's cutting-edge engineering projects. Intrigued, she follows your company on LinkedIn, engages with your content, and, a few months later, applies for an open position. This isn't luck; it's effective inbound recruiting. In this guide, we dive deep into the art of inbound recruiting.

What is inbound recruiting

Inbound recruiting is a strategy that shifts the focus from actively seeking out candidates to creating a framework where they come to you. It's a methodology borrowed from the marketing world, specifically inbound marketing, and it’s about making your company attractive to potential candidates.

  • Traditional recruiting (outbound) often involves direct methods like job postings and headhunting.
  • Inbound recruiting, in contrast, uses a magnetic approach, drawing candidates in through appealing content and an attractive company culture.

The core concept of inbound recruiting is to create an appealing employer brand and engaging content that attracts candidates to your company. It’s about positioning your company not just as a place to work, but as a desirable career destination.

A significant aspect of inbound recruiting is its ability to attract passive candidates. These are individuals who are not actively looking for a new job but would be open to switching if the right opportunity presents itself.

Content is king in inbound recruiting. This includes job postings, company blogs, employee testimonials, social media presence, and any other form of communication that conveys your company's values, culture, and the benefits of working there. The content should be authentic, engaging, and reflective of what it's truly like to work at your organization.

History of inbound recruitment marketing

Inbound recruitment marketing is a strategy that emerged from the broader concept of inbound marketing, which focuses on attracting customers through relevant and helpful content, rather than traditional outbound marketing methods like cold calling, email blasts, and advertising. Here's a brief overview of its history:

Origins in Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing began gaining prominence in the early 2000s. This approach was a response to the changing behavior of consumers who were becoming increasingly adept at blocking out traditional, interruption-based marketing methods. Companies like HubSpot were pioneers in promoting inbound marketing strategies.

Transition to Recruitment

As inbound marketing proved effective in attracting and engaging customers, these principles started being applied to recruitment. The core idea was the same: attract candidates to a company, not through aggressive outreach, but by creating an engaging presence that would encourage potential candidates to approach the company themselves.

Rise of Digital Platforms

The proliferation of digital platforms and social media played a significant role in the evolution of inbound recruitment marketing. LinkedIn, for example, became a critical tool for recruiters to build networks, share content, and engage with potential candidates.

Content and Employer Branding

A significant part of inbound recruitment marketing is employer branding and content creation. Companies began to invest in developing content that showcases their culture, values, and the benefits of working with them. This includes things like employee testimonials, day-in-the-life videos, and detailed insights into company operations.

@kim_johns0n A day in the life of a Googler 🤓 #foyoupage #foryou #fyp #google #work #worklife ♬ Vibe (If I Back It Up) - Cookiee Kawaii

Technology, Data & Analytics

Alongside the content, technology and analytics have become increasingly important. Recruitment marketing platforms help companies distribute content, manage candidate relationships, and analyze the effectiveness of different strategies and channels. In recent years, there has been a push towards more personalized recruitment experiences. This involves using data to understand what potential candidates are looking for and tailoring the recruitment marketing efforts to these preferences.

Impact of Remote Work and Global Reach

The rise of remote work and global teams has further influenced inbound recruitment marketing. Companies are now not just competing for talent locally but globally, making an effective inbound recruitment strategy more crucial than ever.

Tips for using social media to attract inbound applicants

Social media and content marketing are invaluable tools in inbound recruiting. They allow you to showcase your company's culture, values, and opportunities in a way that's both engaging and accessible to a wide audience.

@cloudstaff Explore exciting work-from-home morning shift roles at Cloudstaff! Take advantage of this opportunity! Apply now through the link in our bio. #cloudstaff #1workplaceeverywhere #1workplace #bestcompaniestoworkfor #bpo #cloudstaffers #cloudstaffer #cloudstaffph #wfh #workfromhome #workfromhomejobs #morningshift #morningshifts ♬ Cake DC by Techno Tronic Reborn - Techno Tronic Reborn
  • Your content should tell a story about your company. Use social media platforms to share company news, employee stories, and job openings. This includes blog posts, videos, webinars, podcasts, and infographics. For e.g. blog posts about industry trends, employee experiences, or "a day in the life" at your company can be compelling.
  • Remember to tailor your content to the platform you're using. What works on LinkedIn might not be suitable for Instagram or TikTok.
  • Encourage your employees to share their experiences and insights on their personal social media profiles. Employee-generated content can be more authentic and relatable. It showcases your company from the perspective of those who know it best. You can consider developing a program that makes it easy for employees to share company content on their networks.
  • Use analytics tools available on social media platforms to track engagement (likes, shares, comments) and adjust your strategy accordingly. Monitor the traffic to your career site or job postings coming from your social media channels to understand their effectiveness in attracting candidates. Experiment with different types of content and posting schedules to see what resonates most with your audience.

The Role of Employer Branding

Employer branding plays a crucial role in in inbound recruiting, as it helps companies showcase their values, culture, and how they develop their employees. A strong employer brand can attract the best talent and create a positive candidate experience. Here are some ways employer branding contributes to inbound recruiting:

  1. Authentic representation: Employer branding provides an authentic representation of the company's working environment, culture, and values, helping potential candidates understand what it's like to work there.
  2. Attracting the right talent: An effective employer branding strategy helps companies attract candidates who align with their values and culture, ultimately improving the quality of hires.
  3. Long-term relationship building: Employer branding focuses on building long-term relationships with potential candidates, making them more likely to apply for future job opportunities.
  4. Candidate experience: A positive candidate experience is essential for inbound recruiting, and employer branding can contribute to this by providing clear communication, easy application processes, and a supportive environment.
  5. Diversity and inclusion: Employer branding can help companies promote diversity and inclusion, attracting a more diverse range of candidates.

Building a Talent Community

Creating a talent community is a strategic step in inbound recruiting. It's about nurturing a group of potential candidates who are interested in your organization, even if they are not currently looking for a new job. 3Here's how you can build and engage with a talent community effectively:

  • Identify Key Talent Segments: Focus on specific roles, skills, or industries relevant to your organization's future hiring needs. This targeted approach ensures the community is aligned with your strategic goals.
  • Leverage Specialized Platforms: Beyond LinkedIn and Facebook, consider platforms like GitHub for tech talent or Behance for creatives. These specialized platforms can help you connect with the right audience.
  • Create Exclusive Content: Develop content that offers real value, such as industry reports, salary benchmarks, career advice specific to your industry, or advanced notice of job openings.
  • Host Niche Events and Webinars: Organize events on topics that are highly relevant to your community. These could include industry-specific trends, skills workshops, or Q&A sessions with leaders in your company.
  • Implement a Referral Program: Encourage community members to refer others to the community with a referral program. Tap into your employees' networks for community growth. Employees can share their experiences and invite connections who might be interested in joining.
  • Interactive and Regular Engagement: Regularly engage with the community through interactive posts like polls, AMAs (Ask Me Anything) with company leaders, and discussion threads on relevant topics.
  • Feedback Mechanisms: Incorporate surveys or feedback forms within the community to understand members' needs and adjust your strategy accordingly.
  • Track and Analyze Engagement: Use analytics to track engagement levels, the most popular types of content, and the overall growth of the community. This data will help refine your approach.
  • Exclusive Job Access: Offer community members early access to job postings, giving them a feeling of exclusivity and insider status.
  • Regular Updates on Company Developments: Share regular updates about company achievements, culture, and changes, keeping the community connected to your organization's journey.

Top Tools for Inbound Recruitment

Inbound recruitment relies heavily on the right set of tools to streamline the process and make it more effective. Here are some top tools that are essential for a successful inbound recruitment strategy:

Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS)

  • Streamlines the recruitment process, from posting jobs to managing and communicating with candidates.
  • Popular tools: Top ATS tools include Workable, Lever, and Greenhouse. These platforms offer functionalities like resume parsing, candidate tracking, and integration with job boards and social media.

Social Media Management Tools

  • Helps in scheduling, posting, and analyzing social media content across various platforms.
  • Popular Options: Hootsuite, Buffer, and Sprout Social are widely used for managing social media activities, tracking engagement, and understanding audience demographics.

Content Management Systems (CMS)

  • Essential for creating and managing digital content, particularly useful for maintaining a career blog or recruitment-focused web pages.
  • Popular Options: WordPress, Ghost, and Drupal offer robust platforms for creating engaging content that can attract candidates.

SEO Tools

  • Optimizes your content and website for search engines, making it easier for potential candidates to find you.
  • Popular Options: Tools like SEMrush, Moz, and Google Analytics provide insights into keywords, website traffic, and content performance.

Recruitment Marketing Software

  • Enhances employer branding and candidate engagement through targeted marketing campaigns.
  • Popular Options: Phenom People and SmashFly provide solutions for creating personalized candidate experiences and nurturing talent pools.

Email Marketing Software

  • Automates and personalizes email communication with potential candidates.
  • Popular Options: Mailchimp, Constant Contact, and Campaign Monitor allow for creating targeted email campaigns and analyzing their effectiveness.

Employee Advocacy Platforms

  • Encourages employees to share company content, amplifying your reach and employer brand.
  • Popular Options: Platforms like Smarp and PostBeyond enable employees to easily share curated content, boosting your inbound recruitment efforts.

Assessment and Video Interviewing Software

  • Facilitates remote interviewing, making the process more efficient and accessible.
  • Popular Options: Adaface, HireVue, and Spark Hire are commonly used for conducting assessments and video interviews, offering a convenient experience for both recruiters and candidates.

Analytics and Reporting Tools

  • Tracks the effectiveness of your inbound recruiting strategies and helps in making data-driven decisions.
  • Popular Options: Google Data Studio, Tableau, and LinkedIn Talent Insights offer detailed analytics on recruitment campaigns and candidate behavior.
Elle Wong

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