Inbound vs. Outbound Recruiting

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Inbound and outbound recruiting strategies are two major recruiting methods used in Talent Acquisition. There has been a lot of buzz around these terms lately, but what do they really mean? And which form of recruiting is better for your company and your hiring needs?

Difference Between Inbound and Outbound recruiting

There are two basic types of recruiting – outbound and inbound recruiting. These terms have become a HR buzzwords in recruiting and everyone is talking about them. But what do they really mean? And what’s the difference between them?

In short…

In inbound recruiting candidates comes to you.

In outbound recruiting you have to search for the candidates.

Inbound and Outbound recruiting focus on different stages of candidate journey

Inbound and outbound recruiting are different recruiting philosophies and strategies with different approaches and tactics, but the same end goal: hiring the perfect candidate persona.

Inbound recruiting is a recruiting strategy where you proactively and continually attract candidates with the goal to make them choose you as their next employer.

Your goal in inbound recruiting is to lead the candidates through the first 3 stages of candidates journey: Awareness, Consideration and Interest.

Outbound recruiting is a recruiting strategy where you search for and contact candidates when a certain new position that you need to fill opens.
Your goal in outbound recruiting is to jump right to the application stage, and offer your job opening.

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Inbound and Outbound recruiting are long and short term recruiting solutions

If you are looking for a long-term solution to advance your recruiting and hiring strategy, inbound recruiting is the way to go. With inbound recruiting, your goal is to build such an Employer Brand that will continually grow your pool of high-quality applicants.

Many companies have already adopted inbound recruiting as a prefered strategy. Even though it takes some time to see the results, in the long run, their time, cost and quality of hire have improved dramatically.

On the other side, there is outbound recruiting. It is considered as a short-term recruiting solution, because it is only used when a need arises. If outbound recruiting is your only recruiting strategy, start thinking about implementing inbound recruiting.

With so much information competitors share about themselves with the talent, you not doing the same will cost you. Simply reaching out to the candidates and offering an open position is not the way to attract talent any more.

Inbound and Outbound Recruiting Are Like Inbound Marketing and Outbound Sales

We often hear as saying: “Candidates should be treated like customers!”.

We can approach them using inbound marketing methods, or we can do so using outbound sales methods.

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The goal of inbound marketing is to have customers figure out their own pain points by reading relevant content. In recruiting, those pain points may include anything from a bad cultural fit, to a lower than desirable salary.

After realizing that there is a pain-point, candidates, reading you content, employee testimonials, benefits and company stories, realizes themselves that your company is a better fit for them.

Outbound recruiting, same as outbound sales, uses a method in which recruiters find candidates who may be a good fit. After that they call candidates to find out if there is a pain-point. In most cases  candidates either don’t know that the pain-point exists, or they wouldn’t admit it.

Inbound vs. Outbound recruiting: Which one is better?

Most companies use both inbound and outbound recruiting methods.

However, outbound method is more and more often considered as a plan B recruiting method. In other words, outbound recruiting method is used only when you don’t manage to get high-quality applicants with your inbound recruiting strategy.

The goal of every inbound recruiting strategy is to continually attract talent and build your talent pools. Once you have a pool of high-quality talent, it is much easier to fill your open positions.

If you, however, don’t have a candidate that perfectly matches your hiring needs, you should switch to an outbound recruiting method.

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