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How to Create an Inbound Recruiting Machine to Attract and Convert the Best Talent

February 6, 2018 Ashton Adair


Talent. It’s out there, but finding the right people, at the right time, for the right role, that are also a culture fit is a tall order. It’s a challenge we all face, and there are many factors that can affect whether you’re attracting the best talent at the right times, and varying strategies to solve these issues.

Beyond finding the right fit, a larger struggle can oftentimes be the infrastructure and set-up used to capture candidates and future talent. Being that our customers come to us for Inbound Marketing support, we often get the two pronged question of: A) How do we support recruiting through a website developed with an inbound methodology, that’s powered by a Marketing Automation Tool? and B) How do we keep our candidates separate from our marketing contacts, and ensure they’re not counted as qualified leads?

We love, love, love this question because there are many different answers. And these are just a few ways you can set up your system. So to help you, we’ve outlined some tips on implementing your supporting system so that you can attract, delight, and convert qualified candidates for open positions, and recruit a bench of talent for positions that you’re constantly filling but may not actively be recruiting for. We’ll also talk you through how to parse candidates from your marketing and sales contacts, and pepper in a few pointers on how to develop content that will help attract those unicorns!

If you’re a practitioner of inbound marketing, take the same mindset and framework, think of your audience as candidates and reposition your mindset to “Inbound Recruiting.” We’re taking all of the same principles, and simply applying them to another audience type, and adjusting the content to be more culture and educationally focused! Let’s jump in...

Setting Up Your Inbound Recruiting Machine & Managing your Candidate Contacts

Do you suggest we utilize an Applicant Tracking System alongside a Marketing Automation System?

Yes, 100%! This is the best way to collect applicants for active job postings. We suggest Workable as our ATS (applicant tracking system) of choice. Workable makes applicant management a breeze, and integrates with the main job boards as well as many free boards. Workable offers the ability to screen candidates with multiple internal HR stakeholders and hiring managers with ease. Pass comments, notes and disqualify within your group, all seamlessly within the system. Tag other team members, and alert them of a candidate via email. You can also build a customized pipeline of recruiting steps tailored to your process, along with templated emails with field tokens to streamline the candidates’ experience with consistent communication and save tons of time internally.

How do I use an ATS in conjunction with a Marketing Automation System?

The best way to integrate the two is to host your listing of available positions off of a web page (HubSpot is our Marketing Automation System of choice). The ideal way to do so is by purchasing a sub-domain of Careers.YourWebsite.com so that your analytics reflect parsed traffic. This will keep your data from getting skewed regardless of which department is pulling traffic reports (marketing or HR). 

Mojo Inbound Recruiting ExampleIf you’d like to avoid the purchase of a sub-domain, you can simply create a /Join-Us page off of your existing domain.  Here’s where you’d create a listing of positions that you consistently have on staff (as pictured).Here, each listing would be clickable. Link each position to either another webpage detailing the role, or your Applicant Tracking Systems posting of the position. This is how we have Mojo set-up. Since each position that is posted costs $50/monthly to have live, we only link roles that we’re actively hiring for to an ATS posting. Any other applications then route to our Apply Now webpage, that hosts an application form created via HubSpot. Our applicants do go into our CRM, but we utilize workflows to make sure applicants don't go to our sales team as leads. We use our database to archive and document all candidates for possible future open positions.

Do you suggest utilizing HubSpot or another MAS without an ATS?

It is not a best practice that we suggest, but it is doable. Utilizing HubSpot as your primary source to collect applicant submissions is not difficult to set-up, but it will require more maintenance on the backend to keep your CRM clean. Automating workflows to scrub the data is doable, however, these applicants will still live in the CRM and count towards your contact quantity, which is how HubSpot bills. Beyond that, you lose the many collaborative functions of an ATS as described above. 

Building a Bench of Talent

What if I want to build a talent bench, but I’m not currently hiring for a role, therefore do not want to post and push through an ATS and its integrated job boards?

You can set-up an application web page using HubSpot forms as we detailed our process to work. You just need to ensure that workflows are set-up to keep applicants out of the lead system, that the proper contacts receive notifications about applicant submissions (a form setting), and that you're running smart, automated lists to aggregate your candidates. The caveat here is that this will increase your contact count, which can either trigger an increase in your marketing automation portal pricing come renewal, or will require some scrubbing of candidate contacts out of the CRM at a cadence of your choice. See our jobs listing and interact with the links as an example. You will see some redirect to a webpage explaining the role that point to our HubSpot application form, while the positions listed as “Now Hiring!” (aside from internships), link to our ATS.

Attracting and Converting the Best Talent

Create Inbound Recruiting Focused-Campaigns

Now that you've set up your system, consider how you can leverage your HR or people-centric teams to create compelling content for some fresh  inbound recruiting campaigns to get candidate traffic flowing in. Here are some content ideas to get started on building out your campaigns:

  • Blogs: Consider ongoing blogs about your culture and organization as well as tips or list-based blogs around best practices for different roles within your organization e.g. “5 Key Tips for Sales Development Reps to Be More Effective in their Roles”.

  • Offers: Consider creating different offers or downloadable offers for Inbound Recruiting like eBooks or checklists with tips and tricks on recruiting best practices. On the flip-side, you can offer applicant tips for the different stages of your interview process and see which applicants discover and utilize the content during your time with them!

  • Dedicated Web-pages: Have a web-page describing your culture, people, benefits and other total compensation perks! Once you build this page, be sure to promote it within your campaigns.

Leverage Publicity and Promotion

Don’t be afraid to ask others to share your job listings, shout from the job board and social media rooftops that you’re hiring, and shamelessly apply for awards you know you deserve! A few outbound activities will help increase your inbound recruiting success!

  • Your Contacts: Definitely leverage your business network when seeking all-star candidates; the Workable ATS has a great email template that you can set-up so that you can blast your business network with each job posting you set-up requesting to share the post or suggest candidates.

  • Your Social Network: Don’t forget to blast social media posts with information and a link to your active job posts. Call on your social networks to do the sharing to expand your reach.

  • Publicity: Apply for Awards to establish credibility and rapport, like Best Places to Work, to stand out from other companies. It could mean the difference in winning your top candidates with multiple offers on the table.  

  • Job Boards: When we post roles we’re actively hiring for in our ATS, we select all the possible free job boards that Workable offers promotion on, and we also select some premium job boards. To create LinkedIn ads that will be served to relevant candidates, we purchase a promotion package through Workable for LinkedIn and it takes care of itself as long as your company’s LinkedIn page is integrated in the settings of the ATS.

These are just a few tips and tricks we’ve picked up along the way. There are certainly many ways to recruit, especially alongside marketing and a marketing automation system. What are some of your favorite ways to attract and convert talent? Comment below and subscribe for more Mojo-full content! 

Ashton Adair

Ashton Adair

Ashton, Director of Culture & First Impressions for Mojo Media Labs, serves our team members that make inbound marketing magic happen by ever-shaping an intentional, people-centric culture, and sharing Mojo's best in class brand story with its community, customers, business partners and all other critical stakeholders.

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