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How is Inbound Recruiting Different from Outbound Recruiting?

August 16, 2023

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.

Amidst today’s noisy digital world, brands find it challenging to create meaningful connections with their customer base and target audience. Getting the target consumer’s attention and persuading them to buy from you gets even trickier. Hence, content marketing has become more crucial than ever for brands to attract, educate, and retain customers.

Content creation is a top priority for 80% of marketers, and there is no reason it shouldn’t be. Consistent, high-quality, and engaging content impacts your audience’s decisions through education and persuasion.

Depending on your business goals and requirements, the role of Content Marketers you hire will vary. The primary responsibilities revolve around forming consistent brand messaging and deciding upon a unique and identifiable voice, style, and pitch across various distribution channels.

From raising brand awareness to attracting a relevant audience to your website, boosting social media presence and engagement, generating leads, and building brand loyalty – content marketing drives all the growth efforts for your brand. When done effectively, it can help you:

  • Build positive brand awareness
  • Make your audience stick around for longer
  • Get better traction on social media
  • Gain more trust of your audience than ever
  • Generate qualified leads
  • Improve conversion rates
  • Boost business visibility with SEO
  • Position your brand as an authority
  • Cultivate loyal brand fans

While content marketing is a broad role with numerous areas of expertise involved, it’s vital to thoroughly understand your company’s current marketing goals and the related requirements. In this blog, we will dive deep into the step-by-step approach to hiring a Content Marketer.

What is The Role of a Content Marketer?

A Content Marketer must be deeply passionate about telling your brand’s story to the world. The objective is to educate and nurture the target audience to establish brand authority using thought-leadership and drive more people to buy from you.

As a candidate is expected to be a mediator between the brand and the target audience, they are primarily responsible for planning, creating, and sharing valuable content to grow their company’s awareness and engagement to bring more business.

To be more specific, the role of a Content Marketer requires a perfect blend of creativity and attention to detail in an individual. It’s a balancing role, as they need to ensure creating content that resonates and strengthens business relationships, using strategies that position your business as authentic and problem-solving.

Take a look at the core responsibilities of a Content Marketer that most businesses expect them to take over:

  • Research and Competitor Analysis: The first and foremost step to creating a content marketing strategy is effective initial research. It not only helps a Content Marketer understand the nuances of the industry through competitor analysis but also study and understand the target audience thoroughly.
  • Building Content Marketing Plans: Once the competitor research and target audience analysis is done, a Content Marketer needs to work on the different plans for all the business objectives, targeted channels, segments of the audience, and the bigger marketing strategy. A content marketing plan typically consists of:
  • Specific goals along with a pre-decided timeline
  • Various channels to be targeted for content distribution
  • Types of content to be created
  • Budget for the entire staff, outsourced services, and paid promotion (Collabs and Ads)
  • Creating Editorial Calendar: Creating, managing, and maintaining a content calendar is one of the most crucial responsibilities of a Content Marketer. It is a centralized visual document that enables effective collaboration among the marketing team and helps Content Marketers ensure on-time production and delivery.
  • Content Creation: Once the strategy and calendar have been approved by relevant stakeholders, Content Marketers need to do the on-ground work. This task usually depends on the scale of your company and content marketing strategy. Suppose an organization already has a set of writers, then the Content Marketer doesn’t need to create content by themselves.
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Producing quality content that educates your target audience and resonates with them, isn’t enough. You need to optimize your content creation to make it search engine-friendly. While most companies need a dedicated SEO specialist for keyword research and planning, Content Marketers need to closely collaborate with them and should be well-versed in the basics of SEO.

While the practices discussed above are primary responsibilities of a Content Marketer, they also need to be proactive with

  • Content editing and ensuring adherence to a certain style guide    
  • Continous publishing and distributing content
  • Measuring and analyzing performance

How to Hire a Content Marketer: Step-By-Step?

Content marketing has become the key to driving growth for businesses. Unlike a few years ago, it’s not possible now to get away with a one-person team for content marketing. You need deeply trained individuals for specialist roles.

Let’s now dive into the step-by-step approach of hiring a Content Marketer. But before you even source your first candidate, you should have a clear expectation of the skillset and experience to look out for top content marketing candidates.

Top Must-Have Skills in a Content Marketer

Apart from having relevant industry experience, a good Content Marketer must possess the following skills.

  1. Excellent Writing Skills

A Content Marketer’s prior skillset should be writing excellent attention-grabbing content. From long-form blog posts to website copy, ad copies, social media content, video scripts, emails, newsletters, e-books, whitepapers, and more – a Content Marketer should be able to adapt to the business’s specific requirements and create quality content.

  1. Audience Research

Identifying user behavior is vital for framing the story in the right direction. So a Content Marketer must know how to identify and analyze the needs and pain points to develop a buyer persona. User research can be performed through social listening, relevant communities, in-person calls with customers, analyzing sales call recordings, and more.

  1. Keyword Research

Creating valuable thought-leadership content isn’t enough. Researching the right set of keywords is an essential skill to further educate your target audience on the Whys, Hows and Whats of your business, and have your website rank on Google.

  1. Data-oriented Content

Content that’s not backed by relevant data points does not build enough trust. Experienced content marketing professionals would always prefer data over hollow claims. No doubt that only data doesn’t help a content piece succeed, but it’s essential..

  1. Project Management, Planning, and Publishing –

A Content Marketer is also expected to break down and analyze the pain points to turn keyword research into content ideas. So a professional must be able to identify and solve content gaps.

Further, they must know how to create a content calendar, decide the different types of content, and choose relevant platforms to publish and schedule marketing campaigns.

  1. Content Promotion

Creating a valuable content piece, for example - an ebook, isn’t enough. Your content marketing team needs to promote it proactively for bringing enough attention and engagement.

  1. Performance Analysis

Setting up goals and plans is one thing, but continuously executing, measuring, and analyzing content performance is another. A Content Marketer should always be monitoring key performance parameters to figure out the upcoming plans with the necessary updates required.

Not to forget - stakeholders and marketing heads need the performance reports regularly. So Content Marketers must be able to collect and comprehend all the data to make it worth presenting.

Step 1: Create a Candidate Persona

Let’s sort out the priorities first, and decide the type of content marketing candidates you want to recruit. From exceptional research skills to storytelling, communication skills, relationship building, audience engagement, and more capabilities must be comprehensively considered. Identify and break down the skill requirements for Content Marketers:

  • What are the educational qualification criteria for the role?
  • How many years and what type of work experience do you want in candidates?
  • What are the specific skill sets you’re looking for?
  • Which industry experience would you primarily prefer?
  • Are there any tools your candidates should be hands-on with?
  • What are some personality traits that will fit your company?
  • Where do they look for a new job?
  • What are their career and life goals?

Forming a candidate persona by answering all these questions would ensure you are not shooting in the dark while sourcing candidates. Further, it helps you determine the traits of the ideal candidate, and plan your sourcing and recruitment strategy further.

Step 2: Document the Role Requirements and Decide on Your Recruiting Process

Next step is determining your role requirements suiting primarily to organizational needs and business goals. A content marketing professional is expected to own the entire content strategy, creation, and distribution. But what about your business’s unique requirements?

You might need someone comfortable with frequently creating long-form content pieces like blogs, ebooks, or whitepapers, or creating engaging video content based on your industry trends.

Talk to various relevant stakeholders for seeking the complete detailed company requirements for the role.

Before you enter the recruitment funnel, outline your talent acquisition process. Identify various strategies, channels, and other informational insights you would need – and maintain a collaborative document.

As you update the tactics and tweak your recruitment process for meeting hiring requirements optimally – keep your document up to date.

Step 3: Prepare a Content Marketing Job Description

Once you have finalized the role requirements with respect to your current content marketing goals and team, you can start sourcing candidates. Preparing the job description is the first task you’ll need to do.

Here are the necessary components you must have in your job description:

  • Job Title: The position you’re looking to fill. For example - Content Marketing Specialist or Content Marketing Manager.
  • Roles & Responsibilities: An outline of the candidate’s day-to-day activities. From ideation to implementation and the impact on the organization, everything should be covered.  
  • Skill Requirements: Skills and abilities a candidate must have to perform the job successfully.
  • Perks and Benefits: The compensation details, perks of the job, and any other benefits.
  • About the Company: Why should a candidate consider working with your company?

Content Marketer Job Description Template


The job of a Content Marketer is to perform competitor research, create user persona, and write plagiarism-free content for blog articles, social media, and the company website. They need to stay updated on the latest SEO techniques.


  • Develop, write and deliver persuasive copy for the website, email marketing campaigns, sales collateral, videos, and blogs
  • Build and manage an editorial calendar; coordinate with other content crafters to ensure standards
  • Measure impact and perform analysis to improve KPIs
  • Include and optimize all content for SEO
  • Contribute to the localization of processes and content to ensure consistency across regions
  • Review and implement process changes to drive operational excellence


  • Proven content marketing, copywriting, or SEO experience
  • Working knowledge of content management systems like WordPress
  • A well-maintained portfolio of published articles, blogs, copy, etc
  • Proven experience of working under pressure to deliver high quality output in a short span of time
  • Proficiency in all Microsoft Office applications, Google Suite
  • Fluency in English or any other required language

Soft Skills

  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Excellent writing and editing skills
  • The ability to work in a fast-paced environment
  • The ability to handle multiple projects concurrently
  • Strong attention to detail and the ability to multi-task projects and deliverables

Step 4: Source Candidates

Once you have the tailored job description in hand, it’s now time to do the groundwork and source candidates. Create an attractive job post to promote your job across job boards and social channels.

  • Begin with what to expect from the role at your company?
  • Why should candidates apply for the position?
  • Highlight the growth opportunities
  • State the company vision and mission
  • Briefly describe the recruitment process

Prepare an impactful job post and also execute paid job ad campaigns if required. The next step would be promoting your jobs on various job boards and hiring platforms. You can leverage the following platforms for hiring Content Marketers:

  • LinkedIn
  • Indeed
  • Instahyre
  • ZipRecruiter
  • Monster
  • GlassDoor
  • CareerBuilder

Not to forget - almost 3/4th of the workforce includes passive candidates, so you cannot miss out on passive talent sourcing as well. Reach out to qualified candidates on communities, LinkedIn, Twitter, and even Facebook to offer them suitable opportunities.

Step 5: Evaluate Candidates and Interview Shortlisted Ones

Once you have filtered candidates based on their experience and skills listed on their profile, it’s time to evaluate them deeply. Ask them to create a content strategy for your website, along with a value-adding content piece like a small blog. The topic of the article must fall within the scope of the strategy.

Interview the candidates whose profiles got shortlisted. Keep in mind the parameters covering skills, relevant experience, and personality traits of candidates.

Step 5: Make the Hire

Reach out to selected Content Marketers and communicate about the compensation.

Further, extend your offer letter to all the candidates who have been selected. In the case of passive sourcing, extend to only those who were aligned with you on the compensation and are willing to move forward.

Ensure having a deadline for the joining date and mention the necessary documents required by your recruiting team.

  • Get the required documents and set up the offer agreements with candidates
  • Organize an orientation session for the onboarded candidates
  • Introduce them to the entire team and the marketing teams they will be working with
  • Guide the new candidates about your company management tools and communication channels
  • Provide candidates with forms for benefits and perks like Health Insurance.

Supercharge Your Hiring for Content Marketer with Nurturebox

Inbound candidate sourcing doesn’t work effectively anymore. Do you also find challenges in closing quality candidates through job posts even after spending on ads?

Don’t worry, passive candidate sourcing can be an optimal solution for hiring top content marketing candidates.

Nurturebox is a one-stop talent sourcing and engagement platform which is powered by automation. Here’s how you can source product managers from LinkedIn using Nurturebox:

  • Install the Nurturebox Chrome plugin and sign up.
  • On your LinkedIn profile, start sourcing Content Marketers with boolean searches stating the required experience from targeted locations and including other criteria
  • Add the qualified candidates to your sourcing campaign pipeline with just a click
  • Automate the candidate engagement through email, Whatsapp and LinkedIn direct messages for reaching out and nurturing candidates at scale.

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