It’s hard to find a business owner who isn’t struggling to find skilled, qualified employees. And with the large number of manufacturing companies in Northeast Wisconsin, it’s no surprise that according to a recent study by Northeast Wisconsin Manufacturing Alliance nearly 65% of them are looking to hire.
Applications aren’t coming in fast enough, applicants don’t meet the required skill sets, and recruiters aren’t quite sure what to do. If this all sounds a little too familiar, it might be time to consider a new approach to recruitment. Specifically, the inbound recruiting methodology.
What is Inbound Recruiting?
Inbound recruiting is what happens when the inbound marketing methodology is applied to recruitment efforts. Instead of posting your ad across the vast internet for all to see and apply, you set out to attract only qualified job seekers, engage them with content about your organization and culture, and convert them by having them complete the application process.
From there, you can carry out your typical interview processes. Once all the different components are in place, inbound recruitment efforts end up doing a lot of the heavy lifting for you by weeding out applicants that aren’t a good fit.
Let’s take a closer look at Inbound Recruiting.
Step 1: Attract only qualified job seekers
To be successful with this methodology, you must first understand who you are trying to attract. After all, you don’t need to reach everyone. Just the right people. Understanding your ideal candidate will influence how you talk about open positions and where you promote those positions. We often refer to these audience profiles as “personas.” Personas are fictitious, generalized characters that reflect the needs, goals, and behaviors of your ideal candidate.
Create a well-rounded employee persona
It is common to have several employee personas. After all, the needs, goals, and behaviors of a Machinist may look very different than those needed for General Labor positions. As such, we suggest narrowing your personas to just one or two to start. Ideally, start with the candidates who could fill your highest demand areas. What are their primary characteristics? What words describe them? What personality type works in the role?
To build a well-rounded candidate persona, be sure to talk to:
- Hiring team: They will know which questions get asked frequently and what prospects care
- Current staff: They will be able to share things they are interested in and where they go for
- Prospective candidates: Think about people you’d love to hire. Consider asking them questions
to better outline your persona.
Step 2: Engage candidates on things that matter to them
Once you understand the candidates you’re trying to reach, you can move to the engagement phase. In today’s job market, it’s not just about the candidate being a good fit for you. It’s also about you being a good fit for them.
Build a Careers Landing Page
And in that regard, one of the most impactful things a company can do to increase visibility and engagement is to build a careers page that works. In your persona process, you’ll uncover the most important things to your employees and potential hires. Here are the top things that we’ve uncovered based on the work of numerous clients:
- Include your company’s mission statement and core values
- Address questions about pay structure openly and honestly
- Talk about benefits and perks
- Answer most frequently asked questions
- Talk about culture
- Include images and video
- Make sure the page is mobile friendly and optimized for search engines
Step 3: Convert candidates by having them complete the application process
Attracting the right person and engaging them is a great start. But it doesn’t do you any good unless they cross the finish line.
To get them there, consider making your application process simpler. Do you actually need all of the information you’re requiring applicants to submit? We’ve found that a shorter, more to the point application process can increase the number of submissions significantly – which gives you the opportunity to narrow them down based on skills and qualifications.
Additionally, prioritize Careers in the navigation or on your homepage. That not only makes it easier for candidates to find the information, but it sends the message that you are actively recruiting for your business (which signals a financially healthy company).
Let’s recap – Attracting employees with inbound recruiting
When you use inbound marketing as a way to recruit employees, you’re increasing the odds that your applicant will know about your company, your products/services, and your culture before ever setting foot in the interview. This means that you have greater odds of getting applicants that will be a good fit all around.
For additional inspiration, check our Master Guide to Recruitment & Retention in the Manufacturing Sector.