If you’re an agency recruiter who’s used to the pressure of outbound BD activity KPIs, the title of this blog probably sounds far too good to be true. But it isn't! Creating inbound leads is common practice in the sales and marketing world, and the good news is – it works really well in recruitment too.
What's inbound sales in recruitment?
Inbound sales is a process where as a business, you identify pain points in your target market and provide solutions (normally through online marketing or social selling) in the hope that customers or clients will eventually come to you of their own accord.
In recruitment, creating inbound leads would be a case of establishing yourself as such a knowledgeable, in-demand asset within your area of specialism that clients want to come and ask for your expertise, support and access to your valuable network to help them secure their next hire.
So let’s take a look at how you go about creating inbound leads in recruitment, or in other words, how to set up a system that encourages potential clients to come to you rather than you doing all the chasing!
1. Identify your best prospects
First thing’s first – start by identifying who your target prospects are and where they’re most likely to spend their time online.
When you’re playing the inbound game, it makes no sense to simply target companies that are currently hiring. This process is a bit of a slow burner, so there’s a good chance that companies who are hiring right now won’t be once your inbound strategy begins gaining traction.
With an inbound strategy, you want to be thinking long term, so focus your efforts on pulling out prospects who fit best with your area of expertise – in other words, those prospects who have the potential to go on to be your best and most satisfied clients.
Where do these potential clients spend time online? If you recruit in tech, you might be likely to find CTOs chatting about new coding language on GitHub. If you recruit in engineering, your best prospects may be found hanging out on forums like eng-tips.com or Stackoverflow.
So whether it's a niche platform like this or somewhere more obvious like LinkedIn, just make sure you spend some time thinking about where makes the most sense to focus your time and efforts to ensure you're getting in front of the right people.
2. Get noticed
Establishing your personal brand as a credible recruitment expert on social media is the easiest way to pull in interest from both existing clients and potential prospects.
To get noticed online (for the right reasons and by the right people), you need to be providing valuable contributions to discussions on topics related to your market and sharing your industry expertise across these challenges. Essentially, you need to become a recruitment social selling pro.
To do this, I’d suggest aiming to get involved in at least five online discussions each day where you add genuine value (and this doesn’t mean going on a brown-nosing mission that will just make everyone cringe!).
Stick to your five a day and you should have around a hundred instances a month where your face/photo, name and words are noticed somewhere online by people in the industry. Convert just 10% of those to an offline phone conversation and one of those into a client and that’s twelve new assignments a year.
What’s twelve additional placements worth to you and your commission cheque?
3. Create content that demonstrates you’re an expert
Creating blogs and other thought-leadership content is a real go-to technique for inbound, but I’d only recommend doing this if you’re a confident writer. Chances are, you became a recruiter because you’re an excellent talker, not a writer, and there’s nothing wrong with that! If this is the case, I’d recommend focussing on video and podcasts instead.
For example, you could hold an interview with someone who’s top of the game in your sector (let’s say you recruit in technology and you recorded a podcast with Bill Gates - very extreme example but you get the idea!). The podcast will have nothing to do with hiring, but it would get you on the radar of any CTO you’d want to speak to, and instantly gives you a new reason to approach potential clients in your market.
It also provides you with content you can share out across your network time and time again that will lead to potential clients approaching you to chat, as you're demonstrating you're fully immersed and known in your niche.
If you’re looking for tips on how to create top class videos that pull in new business, check out this excellent guide from Nick, our resident videographer, on how to shoot an awesome recruitment brand video on your smartphone.
4. Woo them with data
Your CRM is essentially a gold mine of data on past placements, salary information and market trends. Take this information and translate it into market reports that can be given to potential prospects and clients as a way of demonstrating just how valuable you and your candidate network genuinely is.
Insights like these are invaluable to clients and candidates alike, and will make people genuinely want to become part of your network as it will be beneficial to them.
Another way to make these reports available is to create landing pages where clients can enter the details into a form and download your reports from your website. This allows you to capture data on prospects and generate new business leads, and you can get the word out by sharing a link to the landing page across social media.
It's worth noting that that inbound strategies don't produce results over night - it does take time until you start seeing results, but make inbound strategy part of your daily workload and it’ll become the gift that keeps on giving! Add value at every opportunity you get and clients will come to you for your expertise.
For more insight on the inbound recruiting process, we’ve got a whole eBook below on how to set up a recruiting machine that brings in both clients and candidates too.