Using Inbound Recruiting to Attract, Hire, and Retain Top Talent

iStock_000014186302Large-1Every year Fortune Magazine publishes the top 100 companies to work for. The list includes stellar companies such as Google, The Container Store, and DreamWorks Animation to name a few. The list spans industries from technology to healthcare to consulting. All of these companies have one thing in common: their brand precedes them.

For the target audience, their message is like a siren calling the best talent in their particular space. When it comes to attracting top talent, these companies have it made. Like the popular kid, everyone wants to hang out with them. What’s more, their ability to attract top talent pays dividends. According to Jim Collins, author of business bestseller Good to Great: 

“Leaders of companies that go from good to great start not with “where” but with “who.” They start by getting the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats. And they stick with that discipline—first the people, then the direction—no matter how dire the circumstances.”

A great team with a mediocre idea will do better than a mediocre team with a great idea. Focusing on attracting the right talent deserves serious attention and concerted effort.

Inbound Recruiting for the New Kids on the Block

So what can you do to attract top talent if you are a “new kid” on the block? First, recognize that 70% of job seekers begin their job search through Google. Guess what happens when a prospective hire searches for your business on Google and sees nothing? Most likely … nothing. If you don’t have company profiles built and optimized for social media channels such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter or a business blog to showcase who you are and what you stand for, top talent will question whether your company is an attractive place to work. The reality is that your online presence (or lack thereof) has an impact on more than your sales, it also impacts your hiring pipeline. There is an increasingly blurred line between recruiting and marketing. More human resources professionals should collaborate with marketing to create a remarkable online presence for the business!

7 Steps to Building a Solid Inbound Recruiting Campaign

The goal of any solid new hire recruiting strategy is to attract top talent that shares your passion for the purpose, vision and goals of your company. Inbound marketing is all about creating magnetic content that attracts, educates, entertains, informs and inspires current employees and future hires. Here are 7 steps to define your inbound recruiting plan:

Step 1: Set Objectives

Before you dive in, it is important to prepare your team with the goals you want to achieve and your plan to measure performance. Dust off your quarterly hiring goals and know what success looks like so that you can prepare to measure data before and after your inbound recruiting campaign.

Step 2: Deeply Understand the Audience You Want to Recruit

People, people, people. It really is all about your people. What are the things that your audience cares about? You can imagine how the answer would be different for the human resource professionals working at #5 ranked Wegmans Food Corp vs. #7 ranked Hilcorp Energy Company. Whether you are recruiting engineers, moms or medical professionals, it is very important to understand how can you make their lives easier and better before you develop your recruiting campaign.

Step 3: Develop Educational Assets to Attract Top Talent

Inbound recruiting only works if people are reading your content. So make sure that your content is remarkable! Create videos, ebooks, blog posts, social posts and online brochures that differentiate you and say more than "this is a great place to work". What makes you stand out? Give concrete examples to make stories come alive! How is your business changing people’s lives, the community, the world?

Step 4: Develop a Call to Action

Once you have your educational assets created you can promote them with a call to action like the one at the bottom of this article. Make sure that your calls to action are clear and actionable. Don’t ask for the moon! The more simple ‘the ask’, the more likely you are to get action. Try using something like “Learn More” and don’t forget to explain WHY someone should do what you are asking. Your calls to action should be everywhere -- your website, your blog, on social media, in your presentations etc.

Step 5: Capture Prospective Hire Information With Lead Generation Landing Pages

If your goal is to grow your recruiting pipeline it is a must to have lead generation landing pages set up so that your prospects can learn more about your company. At Spectacled Marketer, we use HubSpot’s all in one inbound marketing platform to run campaigns for our clients. In exchange for the remarkable content you’ve created, prospective hires will fill out lead generation forms with their contact information. With HubSpot, you can use the information captured to continue to build the relationship through communication, education and more targeted offers!

Step 6: Cultivate Prospective Hires With Inbound Recruiting Activities

Take the time to introduce yourself and your brand to your audience with a strong investment in inbound recruiting activities:
  1. Search Engine Optimization - Get found in the search results for relevant keyword queries from job candidates.
  2. Blogging - Build your eminence as a thought leader in your space, showcasing your perspective to attract the right talent.
  3. Social Media - Inspire, entertain, educate and inform your audience to build a deeper relationship and advocacy for your brand. Network with and source candidates for the future!
  4. Email Marketing - Send targeted communications with great content to inspire, delight and convert connections into employees.

Step 7: Measure and Optimize Your Recruiting Pipeline

Keep in mind that you should already have tools in place to measure activity on your website. Your lead management program should enable you to differentiate and target your job candidates as necessary. You can then tag, follow up and measure these leads appropriately. Focus on increasing the number of qualified job seekers coming to your site, converting them into active leads for recruitment and of course growing the number of top notch employees coming from your inbound pipeline investment. Again, HubSpot is our preferred tool of choice allowing us to clearly see which inbound activities result in the best ROI.

Final Words on Inbound Recruiting

To attract top talent, your online presence should showcase WHO you are and WHY you do what you do. Every time a prospective hire experiences your brand, you want them to remember what you do, why it is important, and why it is unique. This needs to be reinforced in every interaction and communication. Believe it or not, top recruits are not only motivated by money. They want to work in a business environment that challenges them, has a clear purpose and that has great people. With an inbound recruiting strategy, you will help job candidates understand if they would be a good fit for your company as well as how your business can fuel their passion!

Tyrona “Ty” Heath is the Founder of Spectacled Marketer an Inbound Marketing Consulting Agency. Ty is a marketer with a passion for education, human capital and leadership development. Clients benefit from Ty’s experience at Google Inc. where she managed Google AdWords advertiser campaigns and Google product education programs for thousands of Google employees, partner agencies and resellers.

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