As the economy continues to grow, jobs are once again available by the dozens and job seekers can afford to be choosy. The days of accepting any job that's offered are over—companies and recruits are looking for the right fit, and that means rethinking your recruitment protocol.
Inbound marketing is a digital marketing methodology that leverages high-quality content, SEO, and lead nurturing tactics to attract potential customers to your brand and keep it top of mind as they are making buying decisions.
Relevant content shared across channels is the first touch point in your relationship with a potential candidate.
Similar to the ways in which businesses have transformed their traditional, outbound marketing processes to implement the inbound marketing methodology, recruiters have recently flipped the switch, too. Inbound recruiting, as many now refer to it, employs digital marketing strategies that engage targeted groups of job seekers at different phases of the “inbound recruiting funnel.”
Much like the marketing and sales funnel you’re familiar with, the inbound recruiting funnel employs a similar methodology as inbound marketing. Instead of moving potential buyers through the buyer journey, this methodology exists to move potential hires through the candidate journey. Prospective hires begin as strangers, and your inbound recruiting process should work to attract, convert, close, and delight as they become visitors who turn into leads, and eventually candidates who turn into advocates.
Did You Know?
According to Social Media Today, 79 percent of job seekers use social media in their job search, and 73 percent of candidates begin their search on Google. Regardless of where the search begins, your organization should seek to be present wherever and whenever these prospects start looking into new career opportunities.
The Inbound Recruiting Methodology
Developing an inbound recruitment strategy is the first and most important step toward hiring your next crop of talented worker bees. Hubspot said it best: “Inbound marketing is an effective way to jump-start your recruitment process, and is a proven way to attract talented, motivated individuals to your organization.”
There are several steps you can use to jump-start your recruiting process today, using the results-driven inbound methodology.
Whether your end goal is getting customers to engage with your product or service or getting prospective hires to apply to an open position on your team, creating personas should be the very first step in your new inbound strategy. Why? With personas, you can work to attract the right fit for your organization, not just from a work experience perspective, but from a culture perspective—which is just as important. Developing candidate personas helps you and your internal hiring team understand the traits you want new hires to possess.
As you begin to develop these personas, keep these questions in mind:
- What matters to them when researching career options?
- Where do they go for information and resources?
- What are their primary concerns and questions?
- What is their educational background and career experience?
- How do they evaluate the organizations they’re considering??
- What do they value, and how do they make career decisions?
Create Relevant Content
In order to begin attracting top talent, your online presence needs to communicate who you are as an organization and why you do what you do. Every time a prospect interacts with your brand, they should be able to easily identify what you do, why it’s important to them, and why it’s unique in the market. Remember: People are motivated by more than just money.
Prospective candidates want to work in an environment that challenges and supports them, has a clearly established vision, and—of course—employs great people. Implementing an inbound recruiting strategy will help your organization educate prospective hires on the ins and outs of your business; help them understand whether they are a fit for your business; and, conversely, whether your business is the right fit for them.
Influencing behavior and decision-making takes time, so you never know when your content will ignite a new relationship, or when that relationship will start to pay off. Invest the time now to ensure your inbound recruiting process pays off in the future.
STEP 1: ATTRACT
A prospective hire will first be attracted to your organization via digital content that is relevant to them. This content should answer the questions prospective candidates have as they consider whether or not they want to make a career move. Relevant content shared across the appropriate channels will serve as the first touch point in your budding relationship with a potential candidate.
Content that attracts visitors includes:
- Blog articles
- Social media channels
- Conference presentations
By using content to attract and entice prospects, talented individuals who are passionate about the work your company is doing will begin to flock to your site and, ideally, engage more frequently with your brand.
STEP 2: CONVERT
As you continue moving prospective hires through the recruitment funnel, you’ll need to convert them from visitors (i.e., those considering making a career move) into leads (i.e., someone ready to apply to an open position). In other words, help them become more than just admirers of the work you’re doing; use your content to encourage them to take the next step and apply to work for your company! To do this, you’ll once again need to develop content that meets their needs and showcases the benefits of working for your company.
At this stage in the recruitment funnel, this content includes:
- Job announcements
- Recruiter email blasts
- Sponsored ads
Step 3: CLOSE
Once a prospective hire has engaged with your organization by responding to a job announcement or getting in touch with your recruitment partner, it’s time to nurture them toward candidacy. A great way to continue nurturing the relationship is through targeted pieces of content, including:
- Personalized emails
- Promotional branded content
- Direct social media engagement
Since you already know this individual is interested in your company and what it has to offer, following up with an email is expected and, probably, anticipated. In fact, personalizing your email will likely continue to draw similarly qualified candidates to your company. Don’t be afraid to keep in touch with the candidates who didn’t receive an offer, too. Add their email addresses to your talent community so you can continue sending them meaningful content that may prove useful for them later on.
Additionally, implementing a CRM can strengthen your hiring process by helping you target the right candidates and weed out the wrong ones. CRM software, like Hubspot, will give you a better understanding of who is seeing your sponsored ads, newsletters, and emails, and how they’re engaging with them. “Content has the power to attract the right people, and a CRM has the power to optimize the process of finding them,” according to inbound marketing agency Weidert.
SteP 4: DELIGHT
Now comes the fun part. You've hired some great candidates and they're fitting in really well with their coworkers, but recruitment is never done. There will always be open positions, and the best referrals usually come from your employees' networks. So how do you turn your new hires into advocates for your organization?
To move candidates into the final stage of the inbound recruiting process, you’ll need to request their feedback about the hiring process and make sure they’re happy in their new role. Consider the following ways to engage with your new employees shortly after they’re hired:
- Company newsletters
- Workplace surveys
- Team-building experiences
Ask employees how they found your company; why they decided to work for you; and what they liked and dislike about the hiring process.
Inbound Marketing + Inbound Recruiting = Success
Understanding the benefits of inbound marketing is vital to your success as an organization because it attracts potential customers, turns them into leads, and, ultimately, drives revenue. To get even more bang for your buck (i.e., a bigger return on your investment), apply the same inbound marketing methodology to your recruiting process. Inbound marketing is a proven way to attract (and retain) customers—but that also makes it extremely valuable in recruiting, and keeping, talented individuals.