Jun 12

What does an inbound recruiting strategy look like?

Thanks to social media, smartphone apps, wireless connectivity, and dedicated computer software, human resources departments have comprehensive tools to vet college grads for positions. But what about attracting those candidates? That’s where inbound recruiting comes in to save the day. Rather than spending an enormous amount of time and effort chasing uninterested candidates, utilize inbound recruiting tactics to attract the most promising recent graduates to your #TalentPool.

What does an inbound recruiting strategy look like?

Attracting College Grads to Your Firm

Generally speaking, the first meaningful interaction with a brand is by word of mouth. From there, it’s all about an immersive discovery process that takes many shapes and forms (social media, Google searches, and your company website, to name a few). To empower your inbound recruiting efforts, make a dynamite career site that speaks to college grads. Optimize your site for viewing on mobile devices, because, when it comes to the discovery process, mobile is KING.

(Side note: while mobile is the preferred device for the discovery process, job seekers continue to value the desktop experience for the actual application process.)

You need more than just a sleek-looking website and app for posting jobs to attract the best college graduates. Inbound recruiting includes creating content that is designed to engage your candidate during the job search and application process. Consider blog posts about a typical day for employees at your firm as a way to connect with college grads who might be interested in similar positions. College students love videos, so multimedia content should be a cornerstone of your inbound recruiting strategy. Once you decide the content you want, build various candidate personas to target the right audience.

Targeting Talent Pools

Knowing your audience leads to tailoring your content to the right talent pools. For example, your pharmaceutical company wants to recruit top students coming out of the University of Washington’s highly regarded pharmacology program. Make a two-minute video geared towards that exact talent pool, post it to Facebook, and then target specific graduates through social media posts and emails.

Three keys to producing targeted content for specific talent pools:

  1. Every bit of content you post must look, sound and feel genuine. Don’t cut corners. Sharp, authentic content stands out from the pack and captures the interests of top talent. Think of it like dating, if you cover your less-appealing aspects, then you’re only setting everyone up for a rude awakening in the future… after the commitments have been made. Nobody wants that.
  2. Personalize emails, videos, images and other multimedia to your audience. Send follow-up emails and messages to top talent by generating relevant content along every step of the recruiting pipeline. One message can thank the candidate for interacting with your website or attending an on-campus event, while an email further down the line might try to schedule a phone interview.
  3. Tell a story. College grads love to hear great stories, much in the same way viral content happens when enough people fall in love with a touching story that comes out of nowhere on social media. Over-saturation of content on social media impacts what college students follow, so your story must speak directly to them to stand out. Personalized, relevant and story-based content develops a trusted relationship between the candidate and your brand. Before you do any of this specialized inbound recruiting with content, you should connect with the right staffers on campus.

Connecting to Campuses

College grads rely on their advisors to help them navigate the transition from classroom to cubicle. Therefore, you must develop a relationship with the career services team on each campus where you recruit. Many students seek more information from the career center, and they sit as liaisons between students and employers. Gain the trust of career services professionals, because they understand the campus culture.

Investing Wisely in Inbound Recruiting

It’s 2017. Launching your inbound recruiting strategy can be relatively pain-free for your team and your budget. Create everything in a virtual space on your website. Invest in platforms that help you track content performance and give you actionable data about the people you are attracting. Digital tools are less expensive than making physical trips to campuses and can expand your reach for students beginning their job search.

Inbound recruiting doesn’t have to consume your entire recruiting budget (although, after you’ve tasted its results, you might choose to give it a larger slice of the pie). Millennials love technology, so take advantage of your technological tools to reach out. Send your URLs, videos, and apps to career services for copromotion to their students. Then, it’s time to talk to grads and pique their interests. Once you have their attention, develop content to keep these recruits close until they’re ready to sign on the dotted line after they graduate.

Bottom Line

If you’re not quite used to inbound recruiting, run some small experiments to see what works for your company and what doesn’t. Once you determine the type of strategy you want, move forward with the tools that speak to your brand’s way of doing things. Create a relevant website, target your audience, take control of social media, produce dynamic content and find good analytics software to track your progress. After you run some trials, you’ll become a better recruiting department as you fine-tune your efforts.

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