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Inbound Recruiting: 9 Steps to Get You Started

Inbound Recruiting

The global labor market has changed rapidly in the past few months, and so did recruitment. The unemployment rate in the US has risen to double digits after many businesses were forced to shut down or reduce their workforce to cut costs.

That means more people than before are actively looking for jobs. It’s good news for you, as you have more (qualified) candidates to choose from.

However, these people are applying to multiple roles and you have to make them attracted to your organization and build relationships with them.

This is why more and more companies are focusing their time and efforts on enhancing their inbound recruitment strategies.

This begs the question, what’s inbound recruiting? And how can you launch this kind of campaign? 

If you want the answers to these queries, continue reading to find out more!

What’s in?

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What’s inbound recruiting?

If you’ve read any of the popular marketing and business blogs, you’ll have seen “content is king”

But, you might be wondering, what’s online marketing got to do with recruiting?

Well, inbound marketing and inbound recruiting share a lot of parallels.

Interestingly, HubSpot first coined the expression ‘inbound marketing’ back in 2006, and they defined it as “a business methodology that attracts customers by creating valuable content and experiences tailored to them”.

In a similar vein, inbound recruiting is all about enticing candidates to come to you, i.e., – creating an opportunity for your candidates to find your company.” 

This involves creating useful, engaging, and SEO-optimized content and utilizing social media and email to engage with job seekers throughout the recruitment process.

Your pieces of content need to be tailored to pique the specific interests of high-quality candidates suitable for the vacancies you have open.

With all that in mind, inbound recruitment is best described as a beautiful mix of employer branding and recruitment marketing.

Inbound Recruiting Methodology by Hubspot

Inbound recruiting is a funnel and at each stage, you can use different tactics to nurture your potential candidates.

How does inbound recruiting differ from outbound recruiting?

Outbound recruiting often involves spending money on posting job ads across different recruitment channels and building contact lists to engage with cold prospects. Whereas, inbound recruiting hinges on drawing the attention of candidates via your content. 

When applicants interact with your online materials, they get a better feel for your employer brand and what your company has to offer. When done well, you’ll be able to create a ‘buzz’ – i.e., a sense of excitement that prompts qualified candidates to apply for your jobs.

The pros and cons

Like most recruiting methods, there are a few pros and cons to inbound recruiting. 

Let’s start with the advantages:

  • You can attract a broader range of qualified candidates
  • You’re more likely to build longer-lasting relationships with candidates
  • You’ll create and boost awareness of your employer brand
  • In theory, inbound recruitment requires less upfront time and effort than outbound recruitment. When you consider all that outbound recruiting entails (intensive talent scouting and lengthy email and telephone communication) that often yields smaller pools of candidates. Once more, the candidates you generate via outbound recruiting methods aren’t usually as enthusiastic about the role.

How about the cons?

  • It requires continuous work to make inbound recruiting successful. 
  • The results aren’t immediate which may be discouraging.

9 tips for formulating your inbound recruitment strategy

1. Create candidate personas

You need to know who you’re targeting to successfully reach and engage with prospects. This is where candidate personas work wonders. Outlining a profile of your ideal recruit allows you to dig deeper into the kind of content your audience will find the most valuable.

This activity should also prompt you to think about where you’ll find perfect candidates. Are they networking in niche-related LinkedIn groups? On an industry-specific forum? How about Twitter? 

Either way, you’ll want to share your top-notch content wherever your applicants are hanging out online. It’s imperative you join the digital conversation!

If you’ve never created a candidate persona before, start by asking yourself the following questions about who your ideal recruit is:

  • •  What character traits enable people to succeed in your team?
  • •  What key soft and hard skills do they need?
  • •  What tasks will they do on a day-to-day basis?

Knowing who you want to address and attract will help you create content that will speak exactly to your target audience.

You can learn more about creating your ideal candidate profile here.

2. Go multichannel

Don’t rely on a single recruitment channel. Instead, try multiple channels, find out which work best for you and then optimize your inbound recruiting strategy. You might initially think that all your candidates will be on LinkedIn and find your content there. Still, when you look at the data, you may find that it’s actually Twitter or Facebook that’s providing more fruitful results.

The bottom line: Let the data decide which recruitment channels you spend most of your time and effort on.

Google in Job Search

Many of your potential applicants use Google to learn about your company so you need to make sure that they can find relevant information easily.

3. Create and manage a talent community

Why do potential candidates leave your careers page even if it provides a lot of useful information and shows attractive job openings? 

The answer: They’re not ready to apply.

Sometimes, it takes a while for a passive website visitor to become a job applicant. After all, applying for a job takes time, work, and emotional energy – so prospects will only go to the hassle when they’re 100% ready.

Or they really like your company but they haven’t found just the right opening for them at that moment.

The solution? Start a community. 

If you’re unsure where to begin and need a company to glean inspiration from – take a look at the community Lockheed Martin, a large aerospace and defense company, has created. 

This has been a really successful recruitment resource for them. But, the reason Lockheed Martin has such a thriving pool of talent is because they designed a community with their ideal candidate persona at the forefront of their minds. 

In the case of Lockheed Martin, one part of their talent community is targeting veterans. 

The critical thing to take away from this case study is that you’re more likely to enjoy recruiting success with a clear focus for your community – rather than a generalized one. 

Their ‘Military Connect’ community provides members with enormous value by helping veterans reintegrate into civilian life. Whereas, Lockheed benefits by getting access to a vast pool of talent. Their tribe is brimming with candidates who are already loyal to the brand.

It’s truly a win-win situation.

Lockheed Martin Military Talent Community

Lockheed Martin aims to connect veterans to relevant job opportunities.

4. Segment your talent pool

Once you’ve built a talent pool, engage with candidates that aren’t yet ready to apply. One of the easiest ways to do this is by segmenting your community. That way, you can send content that’s relevant to the specific needs and interests of your recipients.

It stands to reason, candidates who are interested in engineering roles will appreciate different types of content than the ones looking for marketing roles. The same goes for applicants in different stages of the recruitment process.

have just joined your talent community will appreciate different types of content to those waiting for interview feedback.

Here’s one scenario where email segmentation is crucial. Say, people who have just joined your talent community will look for more general information on your company and the roles within, while candidates who have already applied will wait for information and advice about the next steps.

However, if you’re looking for ways to engage with potential candidates on a more general level, below are a few kinds of content to consider:

  • Informative articles
  • Employee testimonials
  • Company news
  • Content that highlights the social side of your business ( photos and videos from corporate retreats, conferences, parties, team-building projects, etc.) It’s an effortless yet effective way of demonstrating your company culture. 
  • If you’re hosting any hiring fairs and/or training events, send personalized invites to candidates who might be interested in attending.

How AI & recruitment technology is changing recruiting experience

Find out how tech has helped other companies grow by enhancing both the recruiters’ and candidates’ experience!

5. Allow open applications

With this new surge of online content, you should see a boost in website traffic. That’s why it’s a good idea to have an open application on your careers site.

These are amazing for gathering the details of interested candidates for future openings.

They also come in handy for measuring the effectiveness of your employer brand too. How? Well, open applications indicate that people know your company and want to work for you. It shows you’re clearly doing something right! 

6. Build landing pages and/or microsites 

If you have a specific recruitment campaign that you want to promote, you’ll want to create landing pages and/or microsites to convey a clear message to your visitors – potential candidates.

Aa landing page is a standalone web page that boasts the following features:

  • •  An intriguing headline
  • •  Engaging visual media
  • •  Valuable social proof
  • •  An opt-in form 

All of these elements are designed with one goal in mind – to attract the right talent for your job vacancies. As you go about creating these pages, don’t forget to optimize them for mobile. 

It’s wise to ensure all your web pages are accelerated mobile pages (AMPs) – typically, these result in higher conversion rates. 

But don’t take our word for it. Let’s take a look at a company that used AMP landing pages to their advantage. US Xpress, a large trucking business, had to find 7,000 drivers to fill their fleet.

That’s a lot of recruits!

At the end of their recruitment campaign, they found the following results:

  • The AMP landing page loaded five times faster than its non-AMP page. Consequently, they saw a significant boost in completed applications – 62%, to be exact. 
  • The AMP landing page converted 3.41% of visitors into completed job applications, whereas, the non-AMP page converted just over 2%.
US Xpress AMP Landing Page

Mobile-optimized career pages helped US Xpress fill their roles faster.

7. Apply SEO and PPC principles

Research keywords your candidates might be Googling and then build content around those. 

For example, applicants might be researching the benefits of working in your industry. This could lend itself to articles optimized for keyword phrases like; “Why work in retail” or “Careers in retail.” 

This provides an opportunity for you to deliver valuable info to candidates, strengthen your employer brand, and build a rapport with potential talent. What’s not to love about that?!

You can also research less competitive keywords around your roles and create Google Ads for them to get candidates to see your openings. For example, a multinational location technology company TomTom uses Google Ads and a keyword ‘react developer jobs’ to advertise their engineering jobs:

React Developer Jobs Google Ad
8. Consider sponsoring events

To widen your pool of candidates, consider sponsoring or hosting a local networking meetup or a business event. Or, if you want to take this a step further, organize one – like a hackathon. 

Spotify is a fabulous example of a company that sponsored events as part of their inbound recruitment strategy. The streaming giant  sponsored the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Tech.

You might be wondering, what does Spotify get out of this arrangement? The answer: The eyes and attention of hundreds of highly talented engineers. That’s in addition to communicating their employer brand. By sponsoring an event like this, they take a clear stance in the ongoing ‘Women in Tech’ debate. All in all, it’s a shrewd move on Spotify’s behalf. 

Of course, the majority of us don’t have the budget to sponsor events of this magnitude. But, you could try sponsoring a local event to gauge whether this provides fruitful results for your brand.

9. Measure your results

Set up your Google Analytics account to monitor the traffic coming to your career sites, landing pages, and even different openings. You can also use Google’s Search Console to see which keywords bring you the most organic traffic. If you’re struggling to set this up, reach out to your marketing team to help get you up and running with these pieces of software. Once you can pin-point your success, you can better optimize your content to provide to your readers what they’re looking for.

Ready to start your inbound recruiting campaign?

While inbound recruiting is an excellent recruitment method, you don’t have to rely solely on it. It works best when combined with outbound recruiting campaigns.

This is especially true if you have hard to fill roles.

Don’t forget to track your results and optimize your recruitment campaign where needed – and above all, be patient. The results aren’t gonna happen overnight, but eventually, your inbound recruiting machine will be running full steam ahead.

How AI & recruitment technology is changing recruiting experience

Find out how tech has helped other companies grow by enhancing both the recruiters’ and candidates’ experience!



Rosie Greaves is a professional content strategist who specializes in all things digital marketing, HR, and B2B. In addition to Harver, you can also find her published on Reader's Digest, E-commerce Platforms, and Judicious Inc. Check out her website https://blogwithrosie.com/ for more information.
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