The Art of Candidate Sourcing Part 2: Inbound Marketing

Your inbound marketing funnel is an essential part of your marketing strategy. In recruitment, it plays a vital role in sourcing and growing relationships with candidates and clients.

By aligning content with customers’ interests, inbound website traffic increases and creates leads you can convert, close, and please over time, giving you access to higher-quality candidates, improving diversity, and saving time and money in the long run. 

“The biggest reason why inbound marketing strategies are effective is “pull power.” – Neil Patel

In part two of our series on the art of candidate sourcing, we take a deep dive into the value of inbound marketing and share tips on reaching your ideal audience with compelling content.

What is Inbound Marketing?

You may be thinking, “Of course, we know what inbound marketing is. Why are we talking about this?” We realize this is obvious stuff, but bear with us – it is super helpful to focus briefly on the basics to ensure subtleties in methodology aren’t being bypassed.

So, let’s roll right back and consider some definitions.

Marketing guru and New York Times bestselling author Neil Patel says, “Instead of advertising to the customer, as traditional outbound marketing does, inbound marketing focuses on creating reasons for the customer to come to you.” 

We agree – great definition.

With a little more detail, HubSpot defines inbound marketing as:

“Inbound marketing is a business methodology that attracts customers by creating valuable content and experiences tailored to them. While outbound marketing interrupts your audience with content they don’t always want, inbound marketing forms connections they are looking for and solves problems they already have.” 

We love Hubspot’s definition even more. 

Hubspot also determines three ways of applying inbound marketing methodology, including attracting, engaging, and delighting customers. So, in recruitment, this would mean: 

  1. Drawing in candidates (and clients) with valuable content and conversations that establish you as a trusted recruiter.
  2. Presenting insights and solutions that align with candidate and client expectations, pain points, and goals so they are more likely to engage with you. 
  3. Providing help and support to empower candidates to land their dream role and ensure clients get the right people. 

Looking at definitions of terms helps you understand the details of what you need to do. 

How to Reach Your Audience With Compelling Content

Smiling business colleagues discuss biz issue while use laptop sitting in office terrace

Inbound website traffic doesn’t just happen. Content marketing is critical.

You’ll be aware of the phrase ‘content is king,’ but your cleverly crafted prose will be pointless if they aren’t reaching the right people. Attention-grabbing headlines and effective CTAs are critical. Your content needs to be persuasive and, where possible, read like a story – remember, storytelling is how we connect. Visuals are also important and can equally tell a story. 

Then, to reach your audience, you’ll need to actively share content on social media, grow your contacts database for email campaigns, and pay attention to SEO (search engine optimization). If you have a great bank of content on your website – use it! Direct people to relevant articles and web pages to answer questions.

Back to the content itself – the first step is to make it compelling. It must be relevant and something your target audience wants to read. The first step to getting your content right is to study your audiences and learn about their needs. 

Then, produce valuable content in a variety of formats, which could include: 

  • Blog articles
  • Industry news
  • Candidate testimonials
  • Newsletters
  • Q&As
  • Videos and visual content
  • Anything else of value or interest to your target candidates

In recruitment, high-quality content might be how-to-dos on job-hunting, videos on interview techniques, or niche subject social media posts and newsletters, including industry-relevant hiring initiatives and reviews on useful online tools, like resume builders (Hubspot’s 16 Best Free Resume Builders We’ve Ever Discovered is a great example). 

Ultimately, it helps to determine what content and formats work best for your audience.

Your content should always contain a great CTA to drive people to your website or include an incentivized sign-up form for a newsletter. It’s all about connecting with people and giving them something inspiring and valuable to read. Your goal is to position yourself as a respected thought leader in your field and inspire people to want to read more of your content and be a part of your community.

Once you’ve nailed creating content that resonates, you must focus on the techniques for getting your content seen. Remember, building trust takes time. People may need to see a few pieces of your content in different places before you can entice them to join you. You can’t rely on organic search alone (people randomly finding you). However, you can use social media, email marketing, influencer marketing, guest posting, and paid advertising to spread the word and make your copy count.

Publishing and sharing good content regularly in the right places are essential components of building a strong, positive brand, and this process is crucial in your strategy for sourcing candidates and replenishing your talent pipeline. 

Oh, and by the way, keep your eyes peeled! We’ll discuss more about using social media for sourcing in an upcoming blog in this series.

Optimize Your Website Content for SEO

Coworkers working with analytics in the office

A key question to ask is, How do candidates and clients find your website? The more important question is, How do YOU HELP them to find your website? 

SEO (search engine optimization) matters for online visibility, so a vital consideration is how easy it is to find your website on Google search. This is critical for recruiters because millions of people use Google when looking for their next role. If you’re not ranking on Google, how will you be seen? 

We all get that SEO is a complicated beast (and big players throw a lot of money at it). Google ranking is a highly competitive game – in some industries, making it to the first page of search results is virtually impossible without a colossal marketing budget.  

Unsurprisingly, ranking is highly competitive for specific keywords, phrases, or terms in recruitment. But, even without a big budget, you can do stuff. For example, you may have some luck with long-tail keywords and phrases (more specific but less searched-for terms).

Read more about long-tail keywords, what they are, and how to use them here

Optimizing your website with keywords and relevant content is essential, not just for Google but also for user experience. It’s not just about getting someone to visit your site; you also want them to stay there and not leave instantly (incidentally, UX is a driving force behind Google’s complex web of algorithms). 

There are a plethora of tools, like Ahrefs and SEMrush, that can help you with online marketing and enable you to identify popular keywords and phrases in your field.

Practical SEO strategies include:

  • Keyword research
  • Adding keywords to your copy (website and elsewhere) but avoid “keyword stuffing”
  • Optimizing your website for mobile
  • Publishing regular high-quality content on your blog or news feed
  • Building backlinks with other high-quality sites (guest articles)
  • Paying attention to page loading speed

It’s also essential to keep an eye on the things that can negatively affect website ranking, like low-quality links, bad redirects, duplicate content, recently updated content, title and meta tags, etc. Even a Google algorithm update can change how you rank.  

Read more in Semrush’s great guide to what can hurt your ranking here.

Make Vacancies Easily Discoverable Online

As a recruiter, you will already post hundreds of vacancies on job boards and your website. But how effective is your reach? Are you automating the task of job posting? Using Tracker, for example, you can automatically post to 1000+ job boards or at least all the ones you are subscribed to.

Tracker’s job board posting also automates parsing of the job specification and creates a post-ready version that you can instantly post to your website or push out to any of your subscribed job boards from a single page. In a few clicks, your job is online and attracting candidates. Writing job specs, templates, candidate summaries, and emails is mind-blowingly easy with Tracker’s newly integrated ChatGPT functionality.

You’ll need compellingly crafted job ads to make your vacancies stand out. So, tools like Tracker’s ATS & CRM make it easier and less time-consuming for you to achieve this goal and help you maximize coverage on job boards, social media, and your website.

An ATS-integrated job engine with search-optimized job postings linked to your website is ideal. This could even be hosted on a subpage or subdomain to help build your main site’s authority. 

So, you see, inbound marketing matters. Candidates are pickier these days and don’t appreciate the hard sell. Getting talent to gravitate to you makes it much more likely you’ll turn candidates into vacancies filled.

We hope you’ve enjoyed the read! Contact our brilliant team if you’d like to know more about how Tracker can boost your candidate sourcing success! We’d love to wow you!

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