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The Ultimate Guide to Inbound Recruiting Part 1: A 5-minute Introduction

September 1st, 2020 7 minute read
Peter Van Neste
Head of Marketing
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Whether you need to attract better candidates, make faster hires, or reduce recruitment costs, inbound recruiting is the future of hiring.

We’ve captured everything you need to know about inbound recruiting in this special five-part blog series. It’s designed to help you get up to speed with the power of inbound recruitment quickly, as well as provide you with practical pointers you can start using to transform your current recruitment processes right away.

But first of all, let’s spend a few minutes setting the scene with a five-minute intro to inbound recruitment…

You are who you hire. Simple, right?

Unfortunately not – hiring is hard.

We hear it all of the time:

  • You’re struggling to attract quality applicants.
  • Candidates are accepting offers from your competitors.
  • You’re not retaining your best talent.
  • You rely on expensive recruitment agencies – you might try posting on a job board or in a local or industry publication too, but are still struggling to find the right people.
  • You want to reliably attract, hire, and retain more of the best talent directly, but you’re worried about extra headaches (and additional costs).

This means that:

  • You’re spending lots of money, but aren’t getting consistent results.
  • You’re only getting your employer brand and vacancies in front of a fraction of the total candidate market (often missing the crucial passive candidate market entirely).
  • You’re not building your own talent pipeline or learning from previous hiring cycles.
  • Critically, you’re not able to hire enough of the right people to support your business growth and, out of desperation, you’re spending too much money on recruitment agencies.

Q. So how do you solve these challenges?

A. Inbound recruiting.

What is inbound recruiting?

Inbound recruiting is a recruitment methodology that enables organizations to attract and hire the right talent, at the right time, consistently.

Inbound recruiting:

  • Enables you to consistently attract and hire the right candidates.
  • Improves your candidate experience.
  • Empowers the people you hire to succeed in their roles.

It means you can stop worrying about where your next great candidates will come from.

Inbound recruiting vs. outbound recruiting

The world of recruitment has changed.

There’s an increasingly competitive market for the best people and candidates are becoming more like consumers—doing their own research before they speak to your recruitment team.

To attract and hire the best candidates you need to help them access the information they need to make an informed decision about whether you organization is the right fit for them.

Getting your opportunities noticed by the right candidates is no longer just about cold email, organic social posts, and cold LinkedIn messages—it’s about a careful blend of inbound and outbound tactics that attract, engage, and convert.

Inbound hiring is all about tailoring your approach to target today’s new breed of highly informed candidates. Only then will you attract, hire, and retain the best talent.

Inbound recruiting is about attracting candidates to you.

  • Social media
  • Job board advertising
  • Programmatic digital advertising
  • Reviews and social proof
  • Opt-in email
  • Referrals
  • Events
  • Careers site content

Outbound recruiting is about searching for candidates then reaching out to them.

  • LinkedIn messages
  • Cold email
  • Cold calling
  • Headhunting
  • Cold job board messages
  • Rented candidate databases
Inbound vs Outbound Recruiting

Key principles of inbound recruiting

An inbound recruiting strategy is more than just recruitment advertising—it’s about taking a fresh approach to people.

Your problem is sourcing, not selection

Unless you have a full talent pipeline with plenty of qualified candidates for every role you’re advertising, your problem is sourcing, not selection.

When you get sourcing right, the whole recruitment process improves.

More candidates is always better

As long as you have the tools to make the section process fair and efficient while offering a great candidate experience at scale. (Yes, even for the candidates you don’t hire).

Policing applicant volume is stupid

Typically, recruiters try too hard to police the intake volume of candidates (because they correlate larger volume with high cost, or more admin).

As a result, they suffer from a lack of:

  • Quality candidates
  • Relevant candidates
  • Long-term talent pipeline

Direct hiring always wins

Reducing reliance on recruitment agencies and other third parties improves candidate quality, reduces risk, and is a great way to reduce recruitment costs.

A strong employer brand is the foundation of success

Building an employer brand is the foundation of successful recruitment from attracting the right applicants, right through to retaining the best talent.

Building a direct talent pipeline is critical

A well-managed, direct talent pipeline enables recruitment teams to reduce time to hire and recruitment costs, and understand which areas of their business need most proactive recruitment support.

Highly targeted, modern marketing is the way to win

Targeted programmatic advertising gives you access to candidates who wouldn’t previously have known about your organization or your roles.

Whether you’re hiring locally or expanding your reach into new territories, effective recruitment advertising is the easiest way to expand your network of potential candidates.

Your own people are your best marketing tool

Your current employees are your best promoters. Make them feel like heroes in the marketplace and proud to represent your brand.

"Candidates are becoming more like consumers—doing their own research before they speak to your recruitment team."

What is an inbound recruiting strategy?

An inbound recruiting strategy is best represented as a four-stage ‘flywheel’:

  1. Finding and attracting potential applicants.
  2. Engaging with these applicants and nurturing them until they become candidates.
  3. Qualifying the candidates and hiring the best of them.
  4. Making sure you have a strong system for onboarding and rewarding your new hires, turning them into ambassadors for your organization.
Inbound Recruiting Flywheel

Inbound recruiting pre-requisites

The whole inbound recruitment strategy is underpinned by a strong employer brand, so the most successful companies that use inbound recruiting, invest time to clarify it upfront.

Next steps

Want to learn how to use inbound recruiting to find and attract candidates?

Read the next blog in this five-part series, ‘Stage 1 – Find and Attract.

This is article 1 of a 5-part series on inbound recruiting.

Read on and discover how to find and attract the right applicants with inbound hiring.

About the author
Peter Van Neste
I've spent the last 15 years growing businesses. With experience in marketing, sales, technology, and building teams, I find scalable and commercially sensible solutions to growth challenges, then build the right team and technology to execute.

JT adopted inbound recruiting. Now they're making 80% of their hires direct.