Remember the last time you made a large purchase? Did you research online to learn more about options and pricing? Or did you immediately engage with a salesperson?
If you’re like most Americans, you didn’t need a salesperson — according to research from Google and CEB, online content get customers 60% of the way through the sales process before engaging a sales rep. They’re surfing websites to learn about products instead of asking a sales rep about them. The salesforce is no longer the sole source of information.
We’re seeing a similar trend with job search behavior. Our Talent Attraction Study uncovered that job seekers feel more confident in jobs they find and research themselves rather than ones presented by recruiters:
- 64% of employed adults say they would feel more confident that a job is the right fit for them if they picked the company and applied versus if a recruiter contacted them.
- 52% say they think they would be more successful in a job they found on their own versus one they got from a recruiter or company that contacted them.
- 78% agree that if a recruiter or friend proactively contacted them about a position, they would consider other available jobs as well (rather than only that specific position).
Does this trend indicate candidates prefer to find and apply to jobs themselves through inbound channels like job sites, or is it also suggesting a larger mismatch between how candidates want to communicate and what recruiters are doing to engage them?
Both questions could make the hiring process problematic for talent acquisition professionals with no inbound recruiting strategy. The data suggest people want to find their own new opportunities instead of going through a recruiter.
How to develop an inbound, candidate-centric approach to guide your recruiting
Optimizing your inbound strategy capitalizes on the curiosities and search behaviors of the job seeker. Here are three candidate-centric inbound recruiting tactics that can help you attract high-quality, active candidates:
1. Performance-based job descriptions
When you think about posting a job and writing a job description, the first thing that comes to mind is a set of tasks the hire will perform: A copywriter will write copy, a brickmason will lay bricks and a retail sales associate will assist customers. Yes, these are the tasks the employee must complete, but they all lead to a desired outcome for the individual or business.
Performance-based job descriptions highlight how the responsibilities of the job will support larger objectives. For example, an entry-level marketing coordinator will support the business by driving new initiatives that will spread your company’s messages to audiences around the world. Performance-based job descriptions address the desires and motivations of job seekers and the type of impact they can have.
2. A clear vision of your target hires
Candidate personas are profiles of fictional people who illustrate the qualities and characteristics of ideal candidates and their job search habits. A thorough understanding of your ideal candidate helps focus your recruitment strategy and prevent mismatch. Research for your candidate persona can include analysis on current employees, prospective hires and others who might align with your ideal hire. Your findings will help you create relevant job content, including job titles, descriptions and the information on your career site and other employer branding channels.
3. Optimize your candidate experience for inbound talent
Great storytelling through a company’s job descriptions, career site and Company Page attracts job seekers to your employer brand, just as great storytelling through an ad attracts people to a consumer brand or product. Inbound candidates are actively comparing your company to similar organizations. Highlighting company differentiators like culture, benefits and events on your career site and other inbound channels will attract great talent who are passionate about finding the right fit.