Inbound Marketing Strategies to Fill and Engage Your Talent Pool
As the lines between recruiting and marketing continue to blur, recruiters are embracing the digital and data-driven strategies that transformed marketing. One of the biggest trends is the adoption of an inbound marketing approach, which at a high level means driving inbound prospect leads versus relying on continually pushing out messages. It starts with creating engaging and search-optimized websites, capturing leads with clear and compelling calls to action, such as signing up for an eBook, and then nurturing those prospects over time by communicating relevant and useful information that ultimately helps encourage those prospects to purchase. Talent acquisition teams are applying these same methods and using new technologies so that they can fuel the same process to build and engage their own talent pipelines.
Develop a multi-pronged passive candidate strategy
Social media searching through key words and job profiles will net a list of candidates with the required skill sets for your open positions, but these are cold leads -- you have no idea if these candidates are open to new opportunities. This is where engagement comes into play. Similar to the way marketing teams nurture their prospect leads, you can nurture these contacts by inviting them to join your talent pool, asking them what type of communications they would like to receive, and then maintaining a steady drip of relevant communications and engagement with them over time.
Once you’ve got a talent pool, it’s critical to not let it stagnate. Your communications should not be limited to when you have a specific job offer – which might mean a span of six months or more. Your teams should share news that builds interest in your brand, offer company updates and personal stories (especially videos) of your teams and their accomplishments, and thought leadership perspectives about your industry. There is probably a wealth of this type of information already coming out of your marketing department that can be repositioned for your employment brand.
Leverage every connection to find new candidates
If your communications are useful and engaging – chances are your subscribers are going to share it with their networks. This brings me to a second key inbound strategy. Use every contact you make as an opportunity to obtain another contact. Yes, this is a key component of effective networking, but it becomes an “inbound strategy” when you utilize technology to maximize these connections. Very often, recruiters seek referrals from their networks or from employees on an as needed or an ad hoc basis. With technology, you can always keep these networking opportunities front and center, like a permanent “share” button.
Good people know good people. One of the first areas you should target are your job candidate’s references. They’re likely to be in the same industry, or desired job role, which will help with those hard to fill positions. And with new reference checking technologies, you usually get contact information for 3-5 references for each job candidate, creating an exponentially growing passive candidate pipeline.
Another untapped resource are the referrals from your candidates or even potential candidates (those who are looking at your website or communications but haven’t yet applied for a job). Why wait for anyone to become an employee? If someone sees a great role or fit for someone they know, they’ll be happy to send that lead to their friend.
Maximize technology to take advantage of every opportunity
Don’t leave it to chance and don’t make it difficult. With today’s technology your team can set triggers for every job application to seek referrals and to make it as easy as possible for anyone to respond. For example, when making new hire announcements on your website, include a form or link for anyone to submit referrals or give them an email they can forward with a simple click. When anyone completes an action – for example, submitting a reference – end the process with a branded webpage and a simple ask, an invitation to join your community. Your teams can implement a similar ask to recommend referrals, who will also be able to opt-in on their own. Because they’ve opted in, these candidate leads are far warmer that those you find through searching.
Before long, your talent pool will be growing on its own. And, as you use technology, you’ll start to see some patterns in your data, like seeing if passive candidates are coming from your competitors, if passive candidates have similar backgrounds, or how long it takes a potential target to turn into a candidate. You’ll be able to adopt a far more data-driven approach to your recruiting efforts and you’ll be better able to effectively allocate your resources. All of these strategies will give your team a leg up in a market that is becoming more competitive. To learn more about engaging passive candidates to keep your talent pipeline flowing, check out this new, free Passive Candidate Engagement Playbook.
Ray Bixler is CEO of SkillSurvey, a reference checking technology firm that harnesses the power of references to help organizations more effectively recruit, hire and retain talent.