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How is Inbound Recruiting Different from Outbound Recruiting?

August 10, 2022

Recruitment today is far beyond just human resources. It involves sales, marketing and a lot of other skills – given the exponentially increasing competition for hiring talent. The challenges faced by recruiters don’t end here - planning recruitment campaigns, positioning the employer brand and executing various strategies are crucial to successful hiring. Amidst the talent war, as a recruiter, you can either wait for applicants to your job posts or you can reach out to candidates to pitch your open roles. But which approach between the two is better? What’s the difference between inbound and outbound recruitment? How do you execute both of the strategies? We will answer each of the questions in this blog.

Different organizations have their own unique strategies and approach when it comes to recruitment. However, all of them can be categorized into inbound and outbound recruiting methods. It can be tricky to choose between the two as a recruiter because both of the methods have their own advantages. Ideally, you should first analyze your needs, resources and goals to be able to make a decision. Top organizations around the world leverage a mix of both inbound and outbound. There’s no reason why you can’t do that.

If you are confused to as what will bring the best results from recruitment and how should you go about it – fret not. This guide has everything you will need to make the optimal decision and frame a prolific recruitment strategy.

What is Outbound Recruiting?

When recruiters actively search for qualified candidates who might be interested in the open role, it’s referred to as outbound recruiting. In this approach, the candidates don’t apply to the role, but rather you reach out to talented people who could fit the position well.

The quality control in the case of outbound recruiting is primarily in your hands. Efficient outbound hiring helps you save hours of filtering and CV shortlisting. The overall recruitment cycle becomes smaller as multiple stages are eliminated. How? As a recruiter, you will only reach out to people after verifying their work experience which means they have the skills. Reaching out to candidates on LinkedIn is one of the most popular ways of outbound recruiting.

The main objective of outbound recruitment is to divert sourced candidates directly to the middle of the recruitment funnel. Outbound recruitment begins at the Application stage.

Image Source: TalentLyft

73% of all the candidates are passive job seekers. That’s one of the biggest factors supporting outbound recruiting. As you always aim to hire the best possible talent, passive candidates form a major chunk of your target audience.

But the question that arises here is - does outbound recruitment always work? Well, a big yes for short-term goals.

In case of urgent hiring requirements and escalations, the outbound approach yields outstanding results. On the other hand, proactively sourcing passive candidates has been a powerful recruiting strategy during the last decade. And the outcomes of quality talent not applying for jobs have been visible - 1 in 72 sourced candidates was hired against 1 in 152 applicants. 

Let’s now take a look at the top outbound recruiting execution strategies. If you are planning to recruit candidates through an outbound approach, do try out these methods.

Outbound Recruiting Strategies

A mindset shift is much-needed if you want to be successful at outbound recruiting. This approach to hiring candidates is much like sales. You are selling your open positions - so your pitch and your brand as an employer both matter a lot. Moreover, you need to master the art of cold calling and cold emailing.

  1. Subscribe to Candidate Repositories 

Accessing candidate databases and sourcing qualified talent is one of the most popular recruiting strategies. Platforms like LinkedIn, Indeed and Monster offer paid subscriptions for recruiters. However, it should be kept in mind that these are the most used ones and your competitors can have the access to the same set of candidates.

  1. Recruiting Candidates from Social Media

There has never been a better time to harness the power of social media. If leveraged optimally, platforms like Facebook, Instagram and especially Twitter can help you hire top talents across different verticals. Billions of users are actively using these platforms along with a few others – as a modern-day recruiter, it’s the first place you should go to look for interesting candidates.

  1. Hunt for Passive Talent

We talked about almost 3/4th of the entire workforce being passively interested in better opportunities. This gives you a huge chance to hunt for top talent even if they are currently employed and not actively seeking a job. Passive sourcing of candidates is proving to be a game-changing strategy for numerous recruiters over the last 3-5 years. This approach is especially productive if you want to hire for senior-level or managerial roles.

What is Inbound Recruiting?

Attracting talented candidates and driving them to apply for open roles at your organization is the inbound recruiting approach. This is a full-funnel hiring strategy – starting from the top (awareness) phase to ultimately hiring the candidates. 

The inbound recruiting approach is similar to inbound lead generation in marketing. Even the implementation strategies and the channels are common. From SEO and content marketing to social media marketing – inbound recruiting involves doing everything to ensure the top talent discover your open roles and apply.

Just like modern customers, candidates  are more than aware of what’s being served to them. They research the ins and outs of opportunities before moving forward with them. However, while they are searching for opportunities - you want your job post to come to the top and appeal as the best opportunity.

Here’s where inbound recruiting strategies come in. Again on the lines with marketing – here you have the option to choose between organic and paid candidate acquisition too!

Inbound Recruiting Strategies

Top talent is available for just 10 days before getting hired in the market. Add up to that the stiff competition. Ultimately, you don’t only need to hire the top talent but you have to do it fast. Let’s dive deep into the top-performing inbound recruitment strategies for attracting quality candidates.

  1. Free Job Posting Sites

The primary recruitment approach for all the recruiters is the default strategy of posting jobs on free job listing sites. Platforms like Indeed, LinkedIn, Monster and more allow you to post job openings for your organization.

Apart from the popular ones, industry-specific platforms like Dice and AngelList for startups should also be a part of your inbound recruiting plan.

Analyze the role comprehensively and then draft the description on these platforms. Focus on required skills and experience but also throw light on what the candidates can expect as far as work environment and personal growth is concerned.

  1. SEO

What if someone is simply searching for opportunities on Google - queries like “web development jobs in Florida”? You should work on SEO for your website’s careers section. Optimizing your content for ranking higher will help you get discovered by the maximum number of candidates.

  1. Content Marketing on Social Media

Blogs are a great way to generate traffic, attract the right candidates and promote your brand. However, blogs require patience and optimal content distribution across social media could help you immensely in persuading quality candidates to apply for your job roles. Post consistently about your open roles, work culture, the employee wins and how will life look like for new hires.

  1. List your Jobs on Google for Job Search

Google Jobs is the top result that comes up while searching for jobs. Don’t miss out on posting your job openings on Google especially if you want to hire candidates from the same city in which you’re located.

How are Inbound and Outbound Recruiting Different?

We discussed how the inbound recruiting approach is far different to that of an outbound strategy. To decide which one should you choose for your hiring campaigns, it’s crucial to analyze the head-to-head differences, pros and cons of both.

Let’s discuss how inbound and outbound recruiting differ with a summary.

Inbound Recruiting

  • You proactively work on attracting candidates.
  • The objective is to lead candidates through the top 3 stages of the recruitment funnel - awareness, consideration and interest in the opportunity
  • Long-term recruitment solution  
  • Similar to inbound marketing
  • First, the candidates apply, and then you test if they are qualified
  • Hiring takes up a lot of time
  • Strategies include – free and paid job postings, SEO, content marketing, social media, employee referral
  • Employer Brand plays the biggest role

Outbound Recruiting

  • You proactively reach out to candidates
  • The objective is to lead candidates through the middle of the funnel - application to hiring
  • Short-term recruitment solution
  • Employer Brand plays an important role but your pitch and engagement together form the deciding factor
  • Similar to outbound sales
  • First you test if candidates are qualified or experienced enough, then you reach out to them
  • Hiring cycle is reduced to half, but sourcing candidates requires a bit of time. It can be automated for pace and efficiency
  • Strategies include - reaching out to candidates on social media, LinkedIn, cold emails and cold calls

Skyrocket Your Outbound Recruitment with NurtureBox

Outbound recruitment is clearly dominating the current trends. It is an approach that modern recruiters cannot avoid given the fast-paced environment. All of us want to recruit the best talent as quickly as possible. Sourcing candidates manually, managing your talent pipeline and constantly updating it take up a huge chunk of your time and resources. To avoid getting burnt out of the manual load that outbound sourcing brings, you need a candidate sourcing tool.

Nurturebox enables recruiters to scale their outbound recruitment campaigns with automated candidate sourcing. Primarily designed for integrating with your existing recruitment stack, our Chrome extension allows you to add qualified candidates to your sourcing campaigns, automate your multi-channel outreach and engagement and continuously maintain your ATS. We ensure a seamless recruitment experience for you and your hiring teams.

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