To a certain degree, every company has inbound recruiting. The shame is that not every company has a coherent inbound recruiting strategy. It may sound counterintuitive at first, but inbound recruiting can help you make better, more efficient and effective hires at every level of your company.
Inbound recruiting, in short, can be defined as drawing in applicants – but there’s much more method to that madness. Inbound recruiting also refers to the practice of attracting and engaging job candidates by creating awareness of your organization and its employer brand. In most cases, inbound recruiting leverages content or activities relevant to prospective candidates to create positive initial impressions and stoke ongoing engagement. The idea is to show off what makes your organization a great place to work to the greater public.
Most recruiters probably think this only happens through direct outreach. After all, we spend most of our time tracking down, engaging and cajoling hard to reach, passive candidates. So of course it’s hard to fathom that there are quality hires out there who would actually want to join an organization without being wined and dined first. But here’s the thing – great people will want to join good organizations, and a good inbound recruiting strategy is your best bet to make it as easy as possible for them to do so. Here’s how to make it happen.
Audit your existing inbound recruiting channels.
Even if no one at your organization has ever uttered the phrase “inbound recruiting”, you’re still benefiting from it. Every application that comes in, whether from your careers page or job boards or referrals, is all part and parcel of inbound recruiting. Before you begin a total revamp, it’s helpful to get a good sense of how your existing channels are performing. Then you can figure out how to improve, rework or optimize them.
There are several facets of inbound recruiting, including your career page, job boards, social networking, recruitment and marketing emails, content marketing, and search engine optimization (Google search). Each of these channels are ways that people find your website and find out that you’re hiring. In fact, research from the Talent Board found that 78.6% of job searchers become aware of jobs through social media, so it behooves your organization to make sure that you’re set up to capture people searching for jobs.
Establish your employer brand.
Effective inbound recruiting doesn’t happen without a good employer brand. Beyond nurturing happy employees, your employer branding comes down to how your company tells its story to the public. The thing about employer brand is that it’s far more legitimate to candidates when they don’t just have to take your word for it. You could talk about how amazing your company is until you’re blue in the face, but the proof is in the pudding. That’s why your organization’s public persona is so important.
If you’ve got a great culture already, but aren’t sure how to show it off, here’s a few tips. Always post photos from company outings or activities on social media. Work with employees to write blog posts about cool things they are working on. Sponsor or host relevant Meetups for your industry. If you’re not getting a ton of traffic on your website, consider posting content to sites like Medium and linking back. These are each opportunities to establish your organization as a place where happy, smart and talented people work, which is what makes other people want to work there too.
Know who you want to work with.
Think about this: Who makes the best coworkers? Do they have certain skills and aptitudes? Do they share your values and passions? This is what you need to know before you craft your inbound recruiting strategy. In this case, your target audience is your target hire. Imagine what qualities you would want every single person in your organization to have, no matter their role. One way to isolate and hone in on those qualities is to sync up with your entire team, including recruiters, hiring managers, and other stakeholders.
The thing is, the best hiring takes place when recruiters are in lockstep with hiring managers, and the same holds true here. If you know exactly who you’re looking for, it’s far easier to know when you’ve identified a good fit candidate. Figure out what matters to those people and how your organization can appeal to them via social media, job reqs, blog posts and other media. Finding the right people is often the hardest part of sourcing and recruiting, and it’s not different with inbound recruiting. Figuring out your target personas ahead of time is a priceless component of any effective inbound marketing strategy.
Build a team of company ambassadors.
The best inbound recruiting leverages people from different teams and parts of your organization. It’s not just about recruiters. It’s about engineers, and marketers, and operations all pitching in to talk about your organization and they work they do at every opportunity. The more people in your organization who take ownership over their own particular aspect of your inbound recruiting, the more success you’ll see. For example, engineers can share the latest project their team is working on, while marketers can tweet about their company’s latest blog post or an upcoming conference they’re attending. These fascinating stories, their social media presence, and ability to sell your company without resorting to crass marketing or advertising are all valuable assets for inbound recruiting.
There’s no silver bullet in recruiting, but an effective inbound recruiting strategy can be one huge part of successful recruiting. Even better, the ancillary benefits of inbound recruiting like stronger employer branding, brand awareness, and a better, more optimized website, in general, make for a true win-win.