Inbound Marketing for Recruitment

Inbound Marketing for Recruitment

The Key to a Successful Candidate and Client Acquisition Strategy

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Chances are you’ve heard the term inbound marketing, but have you considered how for recruiters this can be adapted to inbound recruiting? Chances are you are also spending a lot of time posting content on LinkedIn, maybe even writing a blog post or two. But have you thought about why you’re doing so?

While it might feel good to get some post likes or shares – and while it does play a role in your personal/company brand awareness – it’s a lot of work to not be driving tangible leads and business opportunities. That’s why inbound recruiting is so effective. Not only is it a strategic marketing technique, if done correctly, it should form a critical part of your sales funnel and business development strategy.

What is inbound recruiting?

To understand inbound recruiting, it’s important to first understand Inbound marketing which leverages many forms of pull marketing, including content, social media, blogs, videos, SEO, marketing automation, among others, to attract, engage and hopefully convert new business. It’s about being found online, by audiences who have a genuine need for your services and who are asking questions. In fact, audiences have already completed 57% of their buyer’s journey before even speaking to anyone in the sales department. If you’re not being found, your competitor is!

The goal in inbound recruitment marketing? To attract people to your website or blog by creating content that is targeted to their pain points throughout every stage of the sales funnel. For recruiters, that means considering the various personas across candidate, client and internal hire audiences and creating content to educate, engage and/or entertain. Potential customers arrive on your website and by capturing their information, you are then able to nurture them through the sales funnel to the point they are ready to ‘buy’ – either applying for a job (as a candidate or internal hire) or initiating a client engagement.

Using the inbound methodology in business development and sales

Engagement, interest, consideration, preference, purchase – the stages of the sales funnel have not changed, however, how we engage with customers throughout the various stages has. As a recruiter, you likely spend a lot of your time performing high effort, low value activities at the top of the sales funnel instead of working the job, building relationships and making placements.

Inbound marketing can help do some of the heavy lifting by nurturing clients and candidates through the various stages of the funnel and delivering you hot leads – customers that are ready to buy.

Let’s consider the following scenario:

You currently conduct 10 business development calls a day, or 50 per week and likely, on average, are getting three permanent (contingency) job orders per week. On a temporary desk, you’re likely averaging one temp job per 50 calls and even fewer for interim roles.

Based on 48 weeks a year (as everyone needs a holiday in there!), you will have likely amassed 144 permanent job orders, 48 temp or approximately 16 interim assignments.

Now let’s scale this across an agency of 10 recruiters and you have 1,440 perm job orders a year. True this is a significant number with significant potential return if you fill these roles, but you have exerted a lot of energy in cold calling and warming leads instead of working your job orders themselves and making placements.

Now let’s think about how inbound marketing can do some of this work for you:

That same business of 10 consultants will likely have about 5,000 contacts in their database. If you send only one email per month, based on a 1.81% conversion rate (the recruitment industry average), you will get 1,086 visitors to your website each year.

Now think about your LinkedIn networks. Those same 10 consultants each have around 2,000 LinkedIn contacts and post at least once a week (48 times as again, no one posts on their holiday!) with the aim of driving people to their website. Based on the overall B2B organic conversion rate of 0.7% (as supplied by LinkedIn), you would see an additional 6,720 website visitors.

Let’s scale this across the various marketing channels. Different sources cite varying statistics and findings, with organic search making up as much as 70% of a B2B business’ website traffic. However, staying on the conservative side, if we maintain the same consistent ratios of email and LinkedIn traffic (as above) across the various inbound marketing channels, we would anticipate 61,225 visitors to our site over the course of a year (ratio breakdown provided by Episerver). Based on a B2B industry conversion average of 13.28%, this would mean 8,130 potential inbound marketing leads into the business – nearly six times as many than through traditional business development and cold calling.

Why inbound recruiting is critical today

Our industry is evolving. We are all aware of the various disruptors that claim to do our jobs and our response is typically that it’s the ‘human touch’ that matters. And that’s true. While we can leverage AI and automation to help manage many of the manual tasks, it’s the value-added activities in assessing the right match and in building relationships that cannot be replicated. We’re currently spending 14 hours a week on manual activities that can be automated, so just think about the opportunities if you had more leads in the pipeline, letting you spend your time doing what you actually love – like growing your business!

Inbound marketing and automation are not a reflection of recruiters not having the capability nor drive to perform the whole sales process: it’s about working smarter. We’re human and we have finite time in our day. We can grow our networks to win exclusive client engagements and attract the very best talent to our databases, but we will always limit our growth if we don’t find ways to be more efficient and effective with our time and resources. And that’s where inbound marketing comes in. Can your business afford not to do it?

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