Recruiters have used marketing techniques for a long time without knowing it, yet nowadays they have largely become aware of it and want to develop their strategy to be more professional. But what do we mean by this? Four things: Attract, convert, recruit, and gain the loyalty of talents. Without a doubt, they speak the same language as marketers. So why not get inspiration from their methods? Let's take a closer look at inbound recruiting.
#1. Inbound recruiting, a four-part process
Inbound marketing uses the following principle: attract potential clients, instead of trying to go to them, by delivering useful information or services to them. Replace “potential clients” with “candidates” and you have the basics of inbound recruiting. Long gone are the days when recruiters published adverts and waited patiently at their desks for CVs to arrive. Long gone are the days when hopeful applicants jostled at companies’ doors. The relationship between candidates and employers has changed and candidates are much more selective. The competition increases and forces you to double your efforts to make your employer brand worth something - and especially to be more visible on search engines. So how can you lead candidates into your recruitment process and have them show an interest in a job that you are offering? The solution: don't wait until the need arises to get started.
It is often said that recruitment starts when a job becomes available. In reality, this isn't entirely true and some people will even argue the opposite: recruitment is a continuous process! With an inbound recruiting strategy, the main aim is to create a recruiting ground of talented job seekers who are actively looking, and to transform passive candidates into true ambassadors. And implementing this strategy is all the more important because in certain jobs where there is a shortfall of people, the trick is to carry on working over a long period of time to find potential candidates in order to be more efficient when they are actually needed.
#2. Create a relationship with the future candidate
According to a study by La Super Agence, 75% of professionals are passive candidates. Therefore, everything starts with the attraction phase. Whether or not they are looking for a job, a candidate now has access to a constant flood of information about companies through social media, the press, the internet, or simply through information from people around them. Since employer branding has become a vital area in the HR world, candidates and businesses are no longer strangers to each other. Yet this has to be properly promoted. It may, therefore, awaken the curiosity of a potential candidate that is already employed. The aim: attract visitors to the career site or the existing Company Pages.
3 tips to attract candidates:
Care for your brand: it is vital to be transparent about what your employer brand is based on. According to a study by Weber Shandwick, only 19% of employees worldwide strongly agree that the message conveyed by their company through the employer brand perfectly matches their everyday experiences. However, 7% think the complete opposite and strongly disagree with this statement.
Define your value proposition: in plain English, this means determining your competitive advantage: what makes people choose your company over another? In order to do this, ask your current colleagues for help and ask for their opinions, as these will be more genuine.
Be visible: your company has a voice, use it. Are you organizing an innovative recruitment seminar? Have your employees taken part in a charity day? Are you moving into new premises? Tell people about it. This is the kind of information that speaks volumes about the atmosphere at work, the environment in which you can develop, the typology of the employees that you are recruiting, etc.
A piece of advice: being transparent with your employer brand reduces the disappointment which occurs when a new employee is not compatible with the company, as well as contributes to lower staff turnover. Making your values clearly visible are the first steps needed for the natural selection of your future candidates. As such, only the people who share these values will continue with the process.
#3. Time to attract the best people
From now on you are recognized by potential candidates. However, advertising a job doesn't mean an unprecedented wave of applicants will turn up. The candidate needs more time to think about it than before. Before applying, they do their research and look at your reputation as a recruiter. 49% of applicants follow companies on social media. From a marketing point of view, they become a client and their decision will depend on the experience that you are offering them. Your main aim at this stage of the process: make people want to apply to your company and generate applications.
3 tips to help convert:
Give the offer value: a job is more than a set of tasks and a salary. Try to give a sense of purpose to the job that you are offering. This is the Holy Grail of younger generations as well as for the more experienced people who are looking to rediscover more social and societal values. By increasing the perceived value of the job, you have a better chance of enticing potential candidates. Are you unsure what type of advert will have the biggest impact? Try the A/B testing method with your adverts (out of the two types of adverts published for the same position, which one draws the most people in?)
Bring candidate experience to life: a candidate that visits your career site is an encouraging sign that they are considering applying. Therefore, it will be appropriate to get the candidate involved through personality tests, videos or comments from your employees. A chatbot can also be included to guide candidates through their research and to allow them to easily apply. Next, the candidate will expect transparency and to be kept in the loop about the recruitment process so that they can be clear about the direction that they are taking.
Get social: a quarter of candidates have already taken part in an innovative recruitment event. In fact, even though digital technology plays an increasingly important role in the process, we have not seen the last of human contact. It is just a completely different way to get the message across. Job dating, open door days, after-work recruitment drinks...there are many ways to be innovative with HR functions.
Be aware: a lot of time is needed to build up your reputation as a recruiter, but a lot less time is needed to damage it. A candidate which has a bad experience with an employer will not hesitate to share this on social media or dedicated sites. Therefore, extreme caution must be taken and good communication practices must be in place.
#4. Recruiting and transforming trials
Recruitment is a long road and each step deserves to be maximized. This is because making applicants your new colleagues also needs help through a bit of marketing. To find out more, please read or re-read our articles on how to improve the quality of your recruitment process and optimizing its efficiency.
#5. Turn clients into ambassadors
The aim of marketing is to make clients your promoters. To recruit them, candidates need to be made into ambassadors. This is an aim that is not necessarily only dedicated to hired candidates. In fact, all applicants, even if they are not hired, can be useful in spreading the word about your company. Throughout the recruitment cycle, the emphasis is put on the experience that you give your candidates. Do they have all the necessary information? Are you quick to get back to them with feedback? Secondly, keeping your employees loyal is the ultimate goal of your inbound strategy. Why? Because a committed employee will automatically give value to your employer brand. They can also spread the word about certain jobs within their network. Let's not forget that co-option is the most effective way to recruit the most talented people.
3 pieces of advice to increase loyalty:
Integrate: implementing an onboarding strategy is a major factor in recruitment. Initiatives such as a buddy system, welcome lunches, or simply regular one-on-ones with managers have often shown their worth.
Involve: it is possible to get some employees, not only managers, involved in the recruitment process. They are able to describe the company and the role in a different way. Also consider regularly consulting them through questionnaires, for example, to find out about areas to improve on.
Create a community: since members of a community share a story, values (those of the company), everyday experiences and interests, it is vital to bring it to life by encouraging discussions, providing adequate communication tools, and, of course, leading the way on this. Alongside this, the community is the essence of social media: be active!
As you will have seen, the use of the inbound recruiting method is an opportunity that you need to seize. Just imagine: through maintaining a continued relationship with your future candidates, you are naturally giving yourself a talent pool. As you can identify the good candidates more quickly, you are saving your teams’ time, which can instead be used for more complex or thorough research. According to a study by Hubspot/USC, after a year, inbound recruiting allows you to reduce the costs of acquiring candidates by 85%. Never again do you need to go through a rushed recruitment process.
In a nutshell, inbound recruitment allows you to:
- Gain an advantage over the competitors in the talent war
- Create a talent pool
- Cut acquisition costs
- Save time during the recruitment process
- Make the recruitment process more secure and reduce staff turnover