Inbound recruiting is a holistic approach to sourcing new passive and active candidates. It doesn’t necessarily target specific roles, rather, its goal is to draw qualified candidates towards a company as a whole. Instead of focusing all of your attention on working to fill a specific request, you’re putting your efforts behind building a reputation that encourages applicants to find you and your open jobs at the times that matter most (such as, times when you have open roles or when passive candidates are becoming active). It’s a way of nurturing candidates by capturing their interest in an organic fashion.

So delete those spammy inroductory emails and put that job description on the backburner for a moment. Let’s explore how you can use inbound recruiting in your own recruiting process. We’ll start with some background.

It’s a new party, but inbound recruiting is already crowded

Finding and nurturing new candidates requires a slightly different kind of effort than established methods (like posting to job boards, making phone calls or sending cold emails). However, it’s going to yield more engaged candidates than your other alternatives. By creating content that engages the specific kinds of candidates you want, you’re only attracting those kinds of candidates. It’s a built-in form of screening.

These “pre-screened” candidates are finding you, your company’s reputation and your content online. If it appeals to them, they’re going to be considerably more interested in your job than if you called them out of the blue. They can research and learn at their own pace.

Nothing worthwhile is ever easy though. An early challenge of your inbound recruiting efforts is going to be creating the content that is found by these passive candidates in a online enviromnent that is already overflowing with material.

Start by standing out

To get started, you have to draw in potential candidates with some sort of value statement. With so many articles and job postings online, you have to make yours stand out by enticing potential new candidates with a valuable piece of information. Try making a funny blog, video or social presence. You can also host events that are geared towards showcasing their skills.

This is of course easier said than done, but a good place to start is to think of something that people in that specific industry often have questions about and frequently Google. Write a blog post about this and publish it to your company’s site. Your post should offer valuable pieces of industry specific advice to bring potential new candidates to your page. This well-written article will show them that you know your stuff and are involved in the industry. Your other articles – that can be about your company’s culture – will show that it’s a great place to work.

As a result, this person will think about your company when he or she is making a career move.

Inbound isn’t always online

Hosting or sponsoring events is another interactive way to put your company on a candidate’s radar. Industry events will interest and entice your target audience while providing you with a great talent pool. Events can be challenging to pull off well, but they offer a great reward. Seeing faces and shaking hands is still a powerful way of getting to know professionals and candidates in your space. How is this truly inbound? It might not be striclty digital, but you’re still creating something of value to offer people who you want as candidates. An event just happens to be a bit more analog.

Nothing attracts great candidates like showing off a great culture

Promoting culture, showing thought leadership, and nurturing new talent are all great ways of utilizing inbound recruiting.There are a variety of different approaches that can be taken that will depend on:
* your budget
* your relationship to the company/client
* expected time to hire
* the type of talent that you need to source

The outlet that you choose to utilize can be as simple as creating social media posts, making short videos about the company or industry, blogging, and interacting with online talent communities such as those on Slack and Quora. If your budget is a bit larger, consider creating or sponsoring events to promote your employer brand. When developing an inbound recruiting strategy, keep in mind that you want to create personal connections with potential applicants and provide a service to the community, all while subtly describing your company’s culture.

Inbound and in conclusion

The shape of recruiting has shifted a great deal over the last few years. Digital continues to change how we interact with each other, our companies and our work. Inbound recruiting is simply another step in the evolving world of recruitment. Past scenarios, where businesses had most of the power by holding all of the information, are probably gone forever. Now, candidates can easily research and learn about companies from company websites, blogs, Glassdoor reviews and social media posts. They do this research before, during and after interacting with you, so now it’s time to shape the information they can find to better suit your efforts.

Read Part 2 of our Inbound Recruiting series here! Hannah Fleishman of HubSpot teaches us all about HubSpot’s recruiting strategies and how we can do them too.