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Trends, Products, and Best Practices to Help You Create a Work Made Human Experience

How Recruiters Can Become Better Inbound and Outbound Marketers

“We now have a candidate-centric market on our hands, which means that companies must: sell.” —Samuel Barnes, director of talent acquisition, ZanderMax Technologies

In the first blog post of this series, we showed you six steps to build your recruitment marketing strategy. The steps help you define your target candidates and employee value proposition so you can create content to attract top talent. In this second installment, we discuss the mix of inbound and outbound marketing tactics that you need to connect with candidates on social sites and in online communities.

As a quick refresher, outbound marketing is direct outreach to candidates via traditional means, such as job postings. Inbound marketing is about drawing candidates to you with relevant content. Inbound tactics are growing in importance as job seekers, especially millennials, look to establish relationships with potential employers. “It’s not enough to simply say ‘we’re great,’” says Natalina Verta, head of talent for Decibel Insight, which makes analytics software. “You have to contribute something useful and engaging.”

Organizations that use inbound tactics are gaining advantage by hiring candidates from their employees’ social networks, including passive job seekers, who perform 9% better than other hires and are 25% more likely to stay with you. Here are some examples of how organizations are leveraging inbound and outbound tactics to build their talent brand. Use them as a guide for developing your own recruitment strategy.

Inbound Marketing

  • Communities: Participate in communities relevant to your target candidates and/or build your own. Zappos has its own community where candidates can interact with recruiting ambassadors.
  • Networking events: Join online networking events on sites such as TweetChat and Meetup and answer questions on sites such as Quora and Yahoo Answers. Offering expertise is a great way to engage.
  • Blogs: Share knowledge, tips, and tricks in your own blog and/or write a guest blog post on sites your target candidates visit. For example, Gigaom and ShoutMeLoud feature guest bloggers.
  • Gamification: Post a brain teaser on your website for candidates to solve, or host a competition in which they can participate. L’Oreal enables international applicants to play an online business simulation in which they run a virtual cosmetics company.
  • Top HR lists: Encourage your employees to share positive news and feedback about your company’s culture and HR policies so you earn a spot on lists like Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For and Canada’s Top 100 Employers.

Outbound Marketing

  • LinkedIn outreach: Use Advanced Search and LinkedIn Recruiter to find and build relationships with target candidates.
  • Automated email marketing: Nurture your relationship with target candidates by using marketing automation tools such as Eloqua to send personalized email with job openings and related content. Use attention-grabbing headlines and images that speak to their needs.
  • Landing pads: Ask candidates to enter their contact information when downloading content or applying for a position. Capturing this data up front enables you to better track the kinds of jobs and content they’re interested in so you can deliver a more personalized experience. Spectacled Marketer and Moz utilize landing pads.
  • Retargeting ads: Use cookies to track potential candidates who have applied for similar positions so you can show them display ads of your job openings as they move across sites. Retargeting is a great way to stay top-of-mind.
  • College recruiting and internship programs: Host college recruiting events online, or on campus, to attract summer interns and entry-level hires. Interns are more likely to stay with you after graduation because they’ve already built a relationship with your company.

Be Transparent and Timely

With the right mix of mobile-friendly inbound and outbound content, you can start converting job seekers into applicants. Keep them informed by letting them know how long the process will take, what they can do to have the best chance, and when they will hear about a hiring decision.

Gerry Crispin, co-founder of CareerXroads, found that 68% of “the best companies to work for” did not notify candidates when a position had been filled. That kind of bad candidate experience won’t work with millennials. If you treat them right, even if they don’t get the job, they will tell others about their positive experience, which will enhance your employer brand and increase your talent pool. Also, use analytics to track applicants so you know where you’re finding the best candidates.

The Last Mile

To win the talent war, you have to go beyond keeping candidates informed to deeper levels of engagement. That means doing things like giving them a virtual office tour online (Square is an example), bringing them onsite to shadow someone, or having them do a homework assignment that’s similar to the work they’d be doing. Some companies even offer trial programs, whereby candidates do actual work onsite and receive pay. The benefit is that both sides get to ensure there’s a good fit.

As bestselling author Jim Collins said, “Leaders of companies that go from good to great start by getting the right people on the bus.” Fill your bus with top talent by crafting a recruitment marketing strategy that conveys what’s unique about your culture and why target candidates would want to work for you. In this way, you can build your talent brand and pool to create a sustainable workforce advantage.  

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Comments ( 3 )
  • vidhya Monday, August 19, 2019
    A very good article ,Tuula Fai
  • PRAJOT VOLVOIKAR Monday, December 30, 2019
    Very informative article. Thank you
  • My High Info Tuesday, December 31, 2019
    Nice post thanks for this article UPSC full form in Hindi…
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