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Inbound Recruiting: what it is and how to use it to find the best talent

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Instead of actively searching the market, make the best talent come to your company with Inbound Recruiting techniques

Inbound Recruiting is a methodology derived from Inbound Marketing. To understand what Inbound Recruiting is, we first need to understand what Inbound Marketing is and what it is for.

Inbound Marketing  – or “Attraction Marketing” – has as its main objective to attract and retain customers. With it, we arouse the customer’s interest so that he will come to you when he discovers what your company offers, and not for you to go after him – as happens in the traditional method of Outbound Marketing.

By generating quality content that speaks to your audience, this attraction happens. Content production is the main source for Inbound, so we need to make sure it’s relevant and talks to the people you want to reach.

And how does Inbound Marketing relate to recruiting?

In the same way that Inbound Marketing wants to have a good engagement so that people are interested in your company and become potential customers, in the Talent Acquisition area we want to have a good engagement like Blue World City so that people are interested in your company as an employer brand.

In a world where there is more demand for skilled labor than there is supply, it is important to have an ongoing and proactive strategy for attracting people. According to Glassdoor, talent has up to 18 points of contact with an employer brand before applying for a position, and 75% of people looking for a job take it into account even before applying.

Therefore, the main objective of Inbound Recruiting is that this interest is aroused by the employer brand even before people convert it into applications for their vacancies. That way, when the time comes to decide on their next career step, your company can be chosen as the next one they will work for.

To be successful in an Inbound Recruiting process, let’s delve into how this process relates to Inbound Marketing.

Candidate Journey in Inbound Recruiting

Think of the people applying for your position as the customers of your employing brand. Just like the customers of your product or service, these “customers” go through a series of touchpoints until they decide to make a purchase – in this case, an application in their vacancies. The typical Purchasing Journey concept is quite close to the Candidate Journey, as you can see below.

learning and discovery

It’s the first touchpoint you’ll have with your candidates. This is where that person will learn about the company and its employer brand. You will talk about who the company is, what it does, its mission and its values. At this stage, people are getting to know you.

Examples of touchpoints for this step: 

  • Visit their website to learn more about the company and products;
  • Visit your careers page to learn more about people, projects, benefits and opportunities;
  • Career blogposts and newsletters  ;
  • Posts on social networks ;
  • E-books on how to get a job with your company;
  •  Career Webinars ;
  • Participation in events.

brand recognition

Now, after the person has had some contacts with your company, he will deepen this knowledge. It is at this stage, through additional touchpoints to the first ones, that the person will define whether he is really interested in working with you or not, working as a sort of filter.

It’s important to remember that even though the person has advanced on the journey, the company needs to keep their attention. Otherwise, it can go back to the initial phase and not go ahead with an application that is its main objective.

Examples of touchpoints for this step:

  • Work with segmentation by position or interest of your persona to offer relevant technical quality content;
  • Discounts for courses or other activities that your company performs;
  • Search on Glassdoor and LinkedIn about your company;
  • Social networks;
  • Employees talking about the company.

Brand consideration

Good news: you now have potential candidates interested in working for your company! These people have a high probability of applying for their vacancies, but there are still important touchpoints for us to be sure of this intention.

Examples of touchpoints for this step:

  • Success stories: references and posts on LinkedIn from people who work at your company;
  • Possibility to subscribe to job alerts;
  • Active search for vacancies that are recruiting in your company;
  • Corporate videos of the company on YouTube;
  • Analysis of Job Posts to see if there is a match.

Application

From now on, we have much more control over touchpoints with our candidates and how they perceive the company and employer brand, as it is directly related to how you communicate with these people. This phase involves everything that happens from a person applying for one of your vacancies or being contacted by your recruiting team, to the moment they are hired or rejected.

Examples of touchpoints for this step:

  • Experience from your careers page;
  • Application form for vacancies;
  • Automatic application receipt emails;
  • First contact your company, either by phone or by other means.

Hiring

This step comes down to transparency and enchantment. Whether it’s a positive or a negative response, how this step is conducted will dictate the person’s perception of your employer brand and your company. This is where we are most likely to generate promoters or detractors of our employer brand.

Examples of touchpoints for this step: 

  • Calls or emails with your recruiting team;
  • Feedback on the steps of the selection process;
  • Experience of receiving a job offer.

The most important question you should ask yourself so far is: does your company have a handle on the ways candidates interact with your employer brand?

Inbound Recruiting Applicant Funnel

The Applicant Funnel, or Applicant Pipeline, is a model very close to the traditional  Inbound Marketing Sales Funnel. It refers to the journey that a candidate takes from the first contact with their company and employer brand to applying for one of their vacancies.

You will use the Applicant Funnel to support the mapping of steps in the candidate’s journey in Inbound Recruiting

Representation of an applicator funnel model.

 

The main objective is precisely to help your audience of possible candidates to reach the bottom of the funnel in a fluid way, thus converting them into applicants. As in Inbound Marketing, it is divided into Top of Funnel (ToFu), Middle of Funnel (MoFu), and Bottom of Funnel (BoFu).

Top of Applicant Funnel

At Topo de Funil we have Visitors, that is, people who do not know your company very well, but through rich content, have identified in your employer brand a possible interest in working with you. Here you need not only that these people know more about your employer brand, but also that these people become Leads , that is, that they make their contact information available, through forms or Landing Pages so that you can nourish them in the future. them with content, materials and even promotion of vacancies.

Middle of the Applicant Funnel

In the Middle of Funnel, these people have already become Leads. Now, they are looking to further deepen their knowledge of your company to decide if they are really interested in working with you or not. It is important that you continue to provide content, a little more technical so that you can develop these people and qualify them, thus preparing them to take the next step.

Applicant Funnel Fund

In the Funnel Fund, Leads are transformed into opportunities. This means that these people are already well aware of everything your company can offer as a next step in your career. Thus, they are ready to be approached by your recruiting team or to receive job postings. They already see value in their employer brand and have a good chance of going ahead with an application.

Your content production planning must understand each of these steps and take into account the value you must deliver to your Leads. As in Inbound Marketing, the intention is that you get more and more return with less investment.

That’s because we will be working on optimizing our SEO (Search Engine Optimization) , that is, the optimization that your company’s website will have for search sites, taking the lead in the results. This means your company becoming better known and reaching out to applicants, which will increase your number of organic applicants.

And what does recruiting gain from a good Applicant Funnel?

There are many benefits of knowing your Candidate Journey and having a good Applicant Funnel. Among them, we mention:

  1. Predictable conversion rate: by looking at the behavior of your Applicant Funnel, you can measure how many people you need to have in Top of Funnel for the number of applications you need in each vacancy.
  2. Forecast of new applicants:  by measuring your results with the Inbound action, you can identify how many new applicants you will have in a given period of time, ensuring a pipeline always full of people interested in working with your company.
  3. Resource optimization:  having a constant flow of organic applicants who are already much more familiarized, prepared, and engaged with your company and your employing brand brings speed to hiring and to your recruiting team.
  4. Process scalability:  especially for recurring jobs, ensuring the production of rich content and attraction actions, you can have a greater and constant flow of people entering your pipeline.
  5. Long-term value creation:  Investing in an Inbound Recruiting solution allows you to generate value for your employing brand, making it better known by expanding your reach of people who can become influencers and influencers of your brand.

What You Need to Implement Inbound Recruiting

1 – Construction of the persona

The first step in creating a successful Inbound Recruiting strategy is knowing who you are targeting through your content. To do this, create a persona. As the persona of the Inbound Marketing world, the Inbound Recruiting persona is a fictional representation of your candidate or ideal candidate.

The main objective in defining one or more personas for your Inbound Marketing process is to ensure the success of your communication, making sure you are getting the right message to the right person. The more assertive and targeted your content, the greater your chance of engaging in the stages of your candidate journey.

The creation of a persona is through the creation of a character or avatar that brings together behavioral and demographic characteristics of real candidates or candidates. It will cover aspects such as personal history, desires, anxieties, lifestyle, goals and motivations.

The easiest way to build an Inbound Recruiting persona is to talk to both the people who already work at your company and those who apply to your positions, inviting them to participate in a structured survey.

Some questions you can use in your research to build the ideal persona are:

  • Age
  • Office
  • Formation
  • Experience
  • Hobbies
  • Life goals
  • How do they look for a job
  • Where do they look for information about vacancies and companies
  • What technologies do they use when looking for a job
  • What motivates them to change jobs
  • What aspects of organizational culture motivate them
  • What are your biggest challenges when looking for a job
  • Criteria you use when deciding to change jobs

After collecting information, you will gather the material and unify the most salient points that are common to your interviewees to compose your persona.

An example of a persona in Inbound Recruiting

Sabrina: She is 23 years old, graduated in Computer Science and works as a Software Developer. Self-taught writes lines of code since teenager. He plays guitar, plays video games and takes care of his plants in his free time. She is purpose-driven and wants to work for companies that have a profound social impact, being part of the development of a state-of-the-art product. He likes to read and is technologically updated through articles on Medium and in courses on online platforms whenever possible. When looking for a new job, you use your network of contacts and are very influenced by the experience of your friends. He likes to be part of an inclusive team.

Now it’s much easier to produce content that talks directly to Sabrina, right? To get her attention, you can target-rich material efforts that relate to the theme of diversity, showing how your company approaches this issue. You can also create both technical and career blog posts on the platforms Sabrina uses to update itself technologically. You can even work on a referral action, as Sabrina relies heavily on her friends’ referrals.

Remember: Just as we look for a personalized experience in a Shopping Journey, candidates and candidates look for the same thing when they’re searching for their future employer during their candidate journey. Accurate and personalized content for your persona is the best way to ensure good results with Inbound Recruiting.

One important thing to keep in mind is that you don’t need to have just one persona. For this construction, focus on the positions or positions that have the most need for applicants. That’s because a software developer will most likely not have the same Candidate Journey as a Salesperson. So, focus first on knowing which journey you would like to map, and then create your personas.

2 – Map the journey touchpoints

Historically, recruiting teams have sought to identify the sources from which people who apply come to the company. This metric is well known and is called “Source of Hire”. The big thing is that, with the evolution of technology, people are interacting with recruiters and companies through different communication formats and platforms.

While the Source of Hire metric gives us very valuable information, they usually only talk about where this person last interacted with us. We are losing all other forms of contact and sources of influence between the candidate and the company that contributes to the decision to apply for one of their positions.

A hypothetical example of recruitment

We can take a hypothetical example of an RD candidate. Suppose she organically applied for the position, and on the application form, she selected that she learned about the selection process through a LinkedIn ad. However, when interviewed by our recruiting team, she stated that she already knew RD as she studied Advertising and Propaganda and the company was considered an authority in the area.

In addition, the candidate conducted in-depth research about the company, before and after applying, by reading materials on our blog about our products, researching on LinkedIn of professionals working at RD, and testing our use of our flagship product, RD Station Marketing.

That is, in addition to the candidate already knowing well about who we are before applying, she also carried out an active search about the company, having several touchpoints with our brand through LinkedIn and our blog that could not be identified through the form of application.

As we can see, this information is very important for us to understand the strength of our employer brand and to guide us on what are the main points of contact that an applicant has with the company before and after the application.

Having this information will be very useful when preparing the inbound recruiting strategy, understanding in which channels to invest in vacancy announcements and content about the company, as well as helping when preparing the candidate persona.

How to get this information?

One way to get information about candidates’ touchpoints with the company is by including, in interviews, questions such as “Did you know our company before applying? If so, how did you meet and what do you know about us?”. This type of question will also be important to assess if there is no misunderstanding on the part of the applicants about the company’s segment and what it provides.

In summary, mapping the candidate journey should be done by looking for patterns of behavior about how candidates came to your company and what their understanding of your company is. These standards provide guidance as to what the best communication plan is when attracting new and qualified applicants.

3 – Create a communication plan based on your persona

Now that you know who your persona, or Ideal Candidate, is, and you’ve mapped out what touchpoints you have with them along the way, you’re going to start developing a communication plan. With it, you will talk to her in a much more assertive way and generate interest so that she can have a fluid walk through your Applicant Funnel until she applies for one of her vacancies.

Suppose that, by mapping the top touchpoints of candidates and candidates with your employing brand and conducting interviews with the ideal profiles, you found that your persona tends to use Instagram much more often than LinkedIn. If your company currently does not have a strong employing brand on Instagram and does not use this platform to advertise vacancies and content about how to work at the company, it is possible that you are not reaching or impacting the desired persona.

Work with your Marketing or Employer Branding team to understand what message your content needs to deliver and which channels are best for impacting your persona. A good practice is to always try to maintain an integrated and coherent strategy, which means getting the same message across different channels.

How to Use Inbound Recruiting for Candidate Nutrition

There are several times when we can use Inbound Recruiting techniques in addition to attracting talent. Below are examples of other strategies you can create to increase interest and engagement with your employer brand:

Passive Talents

Sometimes, when we contact talent, they are not interested or are not ready for a change of company or career. This is one of the times you can devise nutrition strategies to deepen this connection between company and talent.

Even if that wasn’t the right time, you want her to be informed and interested enough in your employer brand. So when the time comes to look for a new opportunity, your company will be the first place she will remember.

Once you already have your persona defined, it’s much easier to create nutrition flows with materials and content that dialogue with her. This will help you see an unseen opportunity with your company.

In addition, by producing and sharing your own technical content, you demonstrate authority and mastery in the subject, increasing the talents’ interest in working with technically capable people.

People you don’t yet have vacancies for

Now let’s assume that you’ve talked to an amazing person that you would love to have in your company, but you don’t currently have the right job open. How about creating a specific nutrition stream to keep this talent always engaged until they have an opportunity to work together?

Here we can work with a stream of nutrition content that contains updates and cool actions that your company is taking, further connecting this person with your culture. It’s also nice to include content related to the area in which the person is inserted

For example: if we are talking about a developer, offering materials related to the technologies that your company is using and the technological advances it is having can have great relevance. Project and career testimonials also work very well in these cases.

Developing people

Finally, we also want to use Inbound Recruiting techniques to develop people. We are talking about applicants who were not yet ready to join your company due to a lack of specific technical knowledge. Our aim here is to offer materials and content for learning and development, so that people are increasingly prepared and, soon, be technically ready to take a position with your company.

In these cases, it is important to have a mapping of the technical reasons why a person did not pass their selection process. This way, you can create a very specific and targeted flow of content to that particular point. This will ensure that the content will be relevant to this person. Consequently, it will enable her to apply again in her selection process even more engaged and technically prepared.

In addition to facilitating the recruitment process by better preparing talent – ​​both technically and culturally – and not losing talent that was not fully compliant with the technical needs of the vacancy at that time, you also have an impact on their development and career.

Using talent nutrition strategies, you’ll be able to keep your Leads always active and interested in your employer brand. And it will do this with a constant feed of relevant content for each of these different moments and personas.

Inbound Recruiting is the trend that will transform the way you hire

The way talents interact with your company is changing, and there’s nothing more coherent than adjusting the rudder to fluidly navigate these new paths. Using Inbound Recruiting, you will be able to generate interest from passive talent in your employing brand, have a pipeline of people more engaged with your company, optimize hiring time and speed up your recruiting team.

Now that you’ve learned about all the benefits that a good Inbound Recruiting strategy can offer you in terms of attraction and engagement, how about delving into other Inbound Marketing techniques that can help with your talent acquisition strategies?