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Inbound Recruiting

Definition: Inbound recruiting is a strategy that focuses on creating and sharing content to attract candidates to an organization.

It’s about engaging candidates with compelling reasons to consider a company as a great place to work and encouraging them to apply for open positions.

This approach draws from the principles of inbound marketing, which aims to draw customers to products and services through relevant and helpful content, rather than reaching out to customers unsolicited.

Key aspects of inbound recruiting

  1. Content Creation: Developing valuable content such as blogs, videos, employee testimonials, and insightful articles that reflect the company culture and values, which can attract potential candidates.
  2. SEO (Search Engine Optimization): Optimizing career site pages, job postings, and recruitment content to rank higher in search engine results and become more visible to job seekers.
  3. Social Media Engagement: Using social media platforms to share content and engage with potential candidates, building a community and brand following.
  4. Employer Branding: Promoting a positive employer brand that highlights what makes the company a desirable place to work, which can include showcasing employee benefits, company culture, career development opportunities, and workplace environment.
  5. Candidate Experience: Ensuring a positive and engaging experience for candidates throughout the recruitment process, from the first point of contact through to the application process and beyond.
  6. Analytics and Metrics: Leveraging data to analyze the success of inbound recruiting strategies and adjust tactics accordingly.

Inbound vs. outbound recruiting

Both inbound and outbound recruiting strategies can be effective, and many companies find that a hybrid approach that combines elements of both is the most beneficial.

Inbound strategies are used to create a talent pool and enhance the employer brand, while outbound strategies can be useful for filling specific roles that need immediate attention or sourcing for niche skills.

Inbound Recruiting

Inbound recruiting is about creating a compelling employer brand and engaging content that naturally draws candidates to your company. It’s a long-term strategy focused on building relationships with potential candidates and making your company attractive to prospective job seekers.

  • Focus: Creates a magnetic employer brand and informative content.
  • Method: Candidates find the company through content like blogs, job postings, social media, and SEO.
  • Engagement: Encourages ongoing candidate engagement and nurturing.
  • Process: Often a slower process, building a pipeline of candidates over time.
  • Candidate Experience: Prioritizes a positive and organic candidate experience through interaction with the company’s content and values.

Outbound Recruiting

Outbound recruiting is more traditional and proactive. Recruiters actively seek out candidates and reach out to them directly, often regardless of whether they are actively looking for new opportunities. It involves sourcing candidates through networks, job fairs, and direct outreach such as headhunting or using recruitment agencies.

  • Focus: Actively searches for and reaches out to potential candidates.
  • Method: Candidates are contacted through recruitment efforts like direct messaging, emails, calls, or networking events.
  • Engagement: Initial contact is typically initiated by the recruiter or company.
  • Process: Can be quicker as it targets candidates for immediate vacancies.
  • Candidate Experience: The recruiter controls and drives the experience, which can sometimes be interruptive.

Inbound recruiting process

  1. Define Your Employer Brand and Employee Value Proposition (EVP): Clearly articulate what makes your organization unique as an employer, including culture, values, benefits, and career development opportunities. This forms the foundation of your inbound recruiting strategy.
  2. Content Creation: Develop content that showcases your employer brand and EVP. This can include blog posts, videos, employee testimonials, social media posts, and more, which provide insights into what it’s like to work at your organization.
  3. Optimize for SEO: Ensure that your careers page and job listings are optimized for search engines. This helps candidates find your opportunities more quickly when searching online for jobs or company information.
  4. Utilize Social Media and Online Platforms: Share your content on social media, professional networking sites, and other online platforms. Engage with users, join discussions, and build a community around your brand.
  5. Engage Passive Candidates: Through your content and interactions, attract and engage individuals who might not be actively seeking a new job but could be interested in future opportunities.
  6. Nurture Candidate Relationships: Keep potential candidates engaged through regular communication, updates about your company, and relevant content. This can include email newsletters, targeted messaging, and active social media presence.
  7. Analytics and Improvement: Use analytics tools to track the performance of your content and recruitment activities. Understand what works and what doesn’t, and continuously refine your strategies based on data-driven insights.
  8. Simplify the Application Process: Ensure that once candidates are interested, they find it easy to apply. A complicated application process can deter even the most interested candidates.
  9. Maintain Communication Post-Application: Keep in touch with candidates after they apply. Even if they are not selected for the current role, they might be a good fit for future opportunities.
  10. Feedback and Continuous Improvement: Collect feedback from candidates and new hires about their experience with your recruitment process. Use this feedback to make ongoing improvements.

Example of inbound recruiting

Imagine a company, let’s call it ElmTech. It’s a mid-sized tech company that wanted to attract top software engineering talent.

They started a blog on their website featuring articles written by their current engineers about interesting challenges they had overcome in their projects and the innovative technologies they were working on. These blog posts were shared across ElmTech’s social media platforms, including LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.

Additionally, ElmTech created a series of engaging employee testimonial videos showcasing a day in the life of their employees. These videos were uploaded on YouTube and embedded on their careers page. They highlighted the company’s supportive culture, flexible work policies, and commitment to employee growth and development.

ElmTech optimized its website for search engines to further enhance its inbound recruiting strategy, ensuring that when potential candidates searched for topics like “best tech companies to work for” or “innovative software engineering projects,” ElmTech’s website and blog would appear in the search results.

As a result of these efforts, ElmTech saw an increase in the number of quality applicants who were not only technically proficient but also a cultural fit for the organization. Their strategy effectively turned their online presence into a talent magnet, drawing in professionals actively seeking a dynamic and innovative work environment.


How do I measure the success of my inbound recruiting efforts?

Success can be measured by tracking metrics such as website traffic, social media engagement, the number of applications received, the quality of candidates, and cost per hire.

Can small businesses effectively use inbound recruiting?

Yes, small businesses can effectively use inbound recruiting. It’s a scalable approach that can be tailored to the size and resources of any organization.

How can social media be used in inbound recruiting?

Social media can be used to share content, connect with potential candidates, showcase company culture, and build a community around the employer brand.

What types of content are most effective in inbound recruiting?

Effective content can include employee testimonials, day-in-the-life videos, behind-the-scenes looks at the company, informative blog posts about the industry, and updates on company achievements or events.