February 16, 2016

4 steps to getting better candidates with inbound recruitment.

Tips on how to enhance your inbound recruitment strategy.

by Ieva Melke

It doesn’t much matter whether you are chasing after a unicorn, a purple squirrel or the perfect candidate. It’s exhausting. It’s expensive. And it is never easy.

Now more than ever, the recruitment process has evolved, and companies are coming to terms with the fact that not only candidates are competing for jobs, employers are competing for candidates too. HR, look to your marketing department to develop that much-needed edge to your recruitment strategy. Rooted in the efficiency of inbound marketing, let’s consider inbound recruitment.

Inbound recruitment is based on 4 simple steps: Attract, Convert, Engage, and Optimise. Drawing on some tried-and-tested marketing strategies, you can start to get your ideal candidates finding you instead of the other way around. After all, wouldn’t we all want to stop using our time on outbound talent scouting and focus more on the actual selection process?

“69% of people would not take a job with a company that has a bad reputation, even if they were unemployed.” /COMMIT!Forum

Inbound Recruitment

ATTRACT.

More and more job seekers are turning to search engines and social networks to begin the hunt for a new job, so it is essential that you are being found. And, once you are found, you’ll need to consider how your business is branding itself on these channels.

Any business wants to attract candidates who share the same values as the company itself holds. It’s important that you convey  enough information about what is at the heart of the company – your core values.

If you haven’t already, now is the time to build closer relationships with your marketing department. Sit down with your colleagues and talk through what the company is currently doing to showcase the company’s culture and personality.

“7 out of 10 millennials believe that their company and them should share the same values in order to have a successful long-term employment.” /Deloitte

Depending on what is already readily available from the marketing team, consider adding the following to your online presence:

  • Careers section on your website. For some further inspiration see Clearlink’s website. Clearlink not only lists open positions, but also provides employee testimonials  and company perks.
  • Social profiles based on the happenings in your company. You can easily show off office life through Instagram, Facebook or Twitter updates on your company’s official account, or create a dedicated account just for that. Check out how Hootsuite has its own Twitter page, @HootsuiteLife.
  • Blog posts from employees on their roles and what it’s like working at the company.
  • Video content showcasing what the company is at its heart and what employees feel passionate about within their positions. For example, in this video, Starbucks has managed to capture employee passion for providing excellent customer service. “It’s the connection, the people. It’s all about my customers.”

Remember, this is a path that you will be taking together with your marketing department, so I suggest you go through the materials together and see what can be added by each. Have a clear vision on the type of candidates you want to attract and how you want to keep in touch. Consider whether they would be interested in following your social channel accounts, sign up for monthly newsletters, or subscribe to hear about the newest job openings.

CONVERT.

Utilizing an inbound recruitment strategy means building relationships with candidates from a much earlier stage. When they are ready to go out there in the wild and look for new job opportunities, you want them to consider your company first. So in essence, keep in touch.

Use different channels to keep the wheel running: email, social channels, company community pages. This means that you can’t disappear from their radars. Stay on it and be persistent. For most companies, the marketing department oversees this task. Make sure to work in your input on what kind of content would resonate the best with your ideal candidate. And consider if you’d like your department to take over the communication to the candidate pool.

The Convert stage within inbound recruitment means getting that audience of potential candidates that you have cultivated to apply for a job at your company. Produce your job ads together with a designer and copywriter. The adverts should represent the same values, and be as on-brand as any other content piece you’ve made available for candidates.

You want to choose the channels that are best for reaching your target audience. Besides your website, consider distributing the advert on relevant social channels, your newsletters, and even post it to online job boards, if applicable. I’m sure you’ll be getting more than enough applications, but if you don’t, consider running paid advertising to boost the numbers.

The advert should have a clear CTA (Call To Action) button, for example Apply here, Read more or See this vacancy. You need to ensure that candidates understand how the process works and what the next step for applying is.

Tens Sunglasses used Instagram to advertise an open position while remaining on-brand. Interesting idea about tagging a friend.

ENGAGE.

Hurray! Your inbound recruitment strategy worked. You have converted potential candidates into applicants. Ideally you have a good bunch – now you can assess them based on personality, expertise, and culture-fit.

“Great people don’t work for jobs, great people are sold on jobs.” /Jessica Livingston

This stage is crucial not only for you, but for the candidate as well. As I mentioned earlier, employers are competing for candidates, not just the other way around. Look at this as a stage where you have to win the best candidate you have. Keep them all updated about any changes within the hiring process. Follow-up after each step, and be clear about the following steps. You are setting expectations of what your company as a whole is like, so you can’t afford to be sloppy.

The candidates at this stage will most likely be researching your company very heavily. Offer help by sending them some relevant company materials.

It should be an informed decision from both sides whether the final-round candidate should come onboard. Most companies make the mistake of only on getting to know the candidate, and not ensuring the candidate has gotten to know the company better too. After all, you are both getting signatures on the dotted line.

OPTIMISE.

Inbound recruitment strategy won’t be developed and implemented overnight. Make sure you reflect on this new process after a recent hire has cycled through, and consider whether there are ways to optimise and reach talent with higher qualifications and better culture-fit.

I suggest you assess the process and run analytics on your employees. If you know what sort of people are more likely to perform well and grow within the company, you should use this to your advantage. Gather data to support your next hiring decisions. Predictive hiring has become a part of the recruitment process, and you should take an advantage of it and make data-driven decisions.

In order for your inbound recruitment strategy to be moving to the next level, you’ll want to encourage your employees to be the advocates of your company. Think of employee branding and advocacy programmes that could be relevant for you. Encourage them to share content showing your company and culture. This way you’ll be able to leverage your employees’ networks to attract even more talented candidates to your company.

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