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Recruiting & Hiring

Inbound Recruitment: What You Need to Know

January 15, 2017
6 min read
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Social recruiting. Candidate experience. Employer branding. There’s no doubt recruiting has seen a ton of changes and new ideas over the last decade. We know how important it is to build relationships with talent, especially passive candidates who have skills and rapport. Unfortunately, the wrong approach can be just as detrimental to engaging applicants as the more traditional elements like salary and job offer process.

Inbound recruiting takes all those techniques and gives a rhyme and reason to the hiring processes you’re developing for your organization. In true ClearCompany fashion, we’re here to explain that employer-employee connection.

Inbound Recruitment: Defined.

Inbound recruitment is a method of using digital strategies to attract and maintain connections with potential employees. The process is actually very similar to the inbound marketing your marketing team uses to guide business and brand development strategies. In other words, the very tools that land clients can also find qualified talent.

CC-Click-ToTweetBird-01.pngThe how and why you should be implementing inbound recruitment:


The inbound strategy uses a “funnel” to describe the journey an individual will take to becoming a lead, in this case a hire.

The Top of the Funnel - Attraction of Potential Candidates

Where everything begins. These are all the strangers (or applicants) who have potential to be great leads or deemed unqualified. It is the widest area of the funnel because it is the most diverse list of individuals and there’s been no qualification of whether or not these people would be a good fit or a terrible one for your company. It is here where we work on attracting a large array of people.

Top of Funnel Strategies: Optimized web pages and career sites, employee-focused social media posts, online reviews, best of awards, etc.

Middle of the Funnel - Nurturing of Potential Applicants

The funnel becomes a bit smaller because here is where some of the potential candidates become disqualified (usually a self-assessed disqualification). Tactics in this stage will focus on encouraging candidates who are a cultural fit into connecting with your hiring team. If the recruitment marketing team does their job correctly, applicants will start to either become serious candidates or opt out of the process, realizing they are not a fit.

Middle of Funnel Strategies: Talent communities/networks, job alert/newsletter sign ups, day in the life videos, mobile applications, etc.

CC-Click-ToTweetBird-01.png Your recruiting processes for engaging top, middle, and bottom of the funnel job candidates: 

Bottom of the Funnel - Conversion a.k.a. Application Completion

This is the final step and the smallest section of your funnel/candidate pool. Those who make it to this area are highly interested in learning more about your organization as an employer. The tactics used here should be more focused on easing the conversion and conversation. It’s more about eliminating any hiring complications that might deter them from completing an application or reaching out.

Bottom of Funnel Strategies: One-click and mobile-optimized application process, searchable job postings, seamless ATS entry, etc.

Why? It Resonates with Younger Generations.

Honestly, the digital world is here for the long haul and it’s something all generations have accepted. Younger workers especially embrace digital footprints. Boomers and Generation X turn to landlines and desktop computers when communicating with employers, while Millennials are more likely to use desktops or laptops. Generation Z, the youngest workforce, leave behind desktops for smartphones.

And while we don’t want to build walls between the generations, we certainly do want to leverage technology in a way that will enable higher levels of productivity as well as more complete and effective communication.” - China Gorman (@ChinaGorman), HR & Talent Management Leader

Gorman stated that beyond generational differences, processes and strategies should be more interested in what brings people of all ages together. It’s this sentiment that more accurately describes why exploring an inbound recruitment strategy is important.

Today’s job seeker, especially the newest talent on the market, is looking to your digital presence to make big career decisions. In fact, 64% of candidates said they spend time researching the company after reading a job position. If they can’t find enough information or the information they expect, 37% will simply move on to the next potential job. Developing an inbound recruitment strategy will improve your hiring team’s control over the candidate's view of your company.

Your Marketing Team Can Help

The process of inbound recruitment is nearly the exact same as the one your marketing team has been using for clients and customers. The only difference is you’re focused on attracting and converting employees. They are a great resource for structuring your own adaptation. However, that’s not the only place they hold value. Often the marketing team is behind social media postings, email newsletter development and all the other brand-facing initiatives. With advocates from their team, you can more adequately control the employer brand that’s so important to developing your talent pipeline.

CC-Click-ToTweetBird-01.png How your marketing department can help you better target, communicate, and hire top candidates: 

Working with your marketing team on developing an inbound recruitment process should be very collaborative. Their team will be knowledgeable of the tactics you deploy, the hiring team is the target market expert. In other words, recruiters and hiring managers will know who works well within the culture and open roles. Also, what works for attracting a customer may not interest your candidate pool.

Inbound recruitment isn’t necessarily new so much as a new way of thinking about how HR and recruiting leaders should be attracting and engaging talent. It’s an important process to take on, and there are ways to simplify. Download our candidate experience checklist to begin building a recruiting process your applicants will appreciate.

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