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How to Recruit Top Talent Using an Inbound Framework

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How to Recruit Top Talent Using an Inbound Framework

Inbound marketing is all about building a relationship with prospects before they make a purchase. So what is inbound recruitment?

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Like inbound marketing, inbound recruitment relies on attracting candidates with blog posts, social media, videos, and webinars. Potential future employees can learn about your brand from this content before a position even opens.

Once there’s a job that’s a good fit, engaged candidates that already know about your company apply for positions. Find out how this recruiting strategy combines the best marketing principles and recruiting methods to help attract top talent.

Table of Contents

What is inbound recruitment?

Inbound recruiting is a mix of recruitment marketing and employer branding. The methodology involves building your employer’s brand to boost its appeal to potential applicants.

This type of recruiting helps increase your chances of attracting top job seekers to your organization while increasing the number of applications.

Inbound recruiting involves four critical steps:

Companies like Beamery have already been using the process to attract the right talent, enhance the candidate’s experience, and promote the brand.

Inbound Recruiting vs. Outbound Recruiting

Inbound and outbound recruiting are typically used together when companies search for talent. These two methodologies offer distinct approaches that go hand-in-hand. Here are the big differences you need to know.

Different Candidate Journey Stages

Inbound recruiting is a passive approach that relies on talent finding your business or an open position. The methodology prioritizes employer branding, and recruitment marketing efforts in hopes talent will apply for vacancies.

The stages of the candidate journey are awareness, consideration, and interest.

Outbound recruiting is a proactive approach to talent acquisition. Instead of waiting for candidates to find you, you go out and find them. The goal is to find talent, jump into the application stage, and offer a job.

Duration

Inbound recruiting is a long-term solution that will help advance your hiring strategy.

This strategy aims to create an employer brand that grows a pool of talented applicants. While inbound recruiting requires time, the quality and cost of hiring improve dramatically.

Outbound recruiting is a short-term hiring resolution because you only need it when the need arises. The strategy makes it easy and fast to bring in a new hire.

Perspective on Pain Points

Inbound marketing helps customers figure out their pain points by reading relevant content.

Some recruitment pain points include a bad cultural fit or a lower-than-desired salary. Candidates discover a pain point by reading your blog, employee testimonials, and company news.

Outbound recruiting allows the recruiter to find a candidate that might be a good fit. The recruiter then calls the candidates to find out if there’s a pain point. Unfortunately, most candidates don’t know if they have a pain point or won’t admit to one.

The Benefits of Inbound Recruiting

 Inbound Recruiting Benefits. There’s less upfront effort. You can access a wide talent pool.  Effects are lasting. You’ll have a wide range of communication channels.

Both recruitment approaches are different, but one offers specific benefits for the recruiter or hiring manager.

LinkedIn research shows that a massive 70% of the workforceis passively looking for a job, while only 30% are active. Therefore, your success as a recruiter depends on bringing in passive talent.

Here are more reasons inbound recruiting is an excellent choice.

There’s less upfront effort.

Using the inbound recruiting framework means you don’t spend many hours communicating with each candidate. You also do not require strong scouting skills.

However, an inbound framework requires some investment. This is especially true if you’re engaged in a long-term campaign. You must develop and improve brand messaging, place ads, and create an online application platform.

You can access a wide talent pool.

Inbound recruiting allows you to sample a larger pool of candidates. Well-known brands attract hundreds, if not thousands, of people interested in working for them.

Adopting an inbound framework gives you a wide range to choose from and more opportunities to find the ideal employee.

Effects are lasting.

Setting up your inbound recruiting strategy will bring you candidates for as long as it’s running. The long-term nature of this strategy means you have new people always coming in.

Many people will be interested and ready to work whenever you have an open position. You don’t have to start from scratch when a position opens up.

You’ll have a wide range of communication channels.

Social networks are a vital resource for potential candidates. You can find people who know your business through what they share, and you can track their profiles as well.

An inbound recruiting strategy efficiently uses channels such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn. These platforms can help you segment the audience, creating a satisfactory experience for candidates and your company.

How to Get Started With Inbound Recruiting

Creating a repeatable inbound recruiting strategy includes understanding your ideal employees and increasing brand awareness and conversion opportunities.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to getting started today.

1. Create candidate personas.

Buyer personas are an integral targeted marketing strategy. A buyer persona gives you a picture of the ideal client, so you have the information required to create an effective plan.

You also need to do the same when recruiting talent. Know who you want when there’s an opening. The persona looks into what the hire will look like beyond the job title and description.

Next, develop ways to attract your ideal employee and the content they might find useful. So, how do you do this?

Here’s a simple formula that can help create your ideal candidate persona.

  • Review the current processes.Confirm if you’re attracting quality talent, how you connect with relevant candidates, and the social media platform you use.
  • Define the company culture. How are you helping employees succeed? What skills are valuable to you? What personal traits are critical? A survey of employees and other stakeholders in the hiring process can help you get this information.
  • Create a personal narrative.Use your new company culture script to create the ideal candidate’s persona. Each new role requires a different persona, but all have some common traits.
  • Create content relevant to the persona. It’s time to consider each persona’s unique requirements, values, and challenges to find the content type that’s best for them.
  • Share the content. Look for forums where your persona hangs out and share new content. The platform depends on what you are looking for, from Instagram to online programming forums.

Candidate-specific content provides an inside look at your business, its culture, and its mission to attract high-quality leads to your site.

2. Prospect and fill the funnel.

The modern sales team depends on the steady stream of leads from the marketing department. The relationship is a foundation for online businesses generating customers and revenues.

Your sales team requires an influx of leads, and the marketers fill the funnel’s top with interested people. However, the pipeline is also an effective tool for effective recruiting.

Modern candidates are interested in where they apply. Your job is to attract them and make them interested in learning more about your brand. Start a relationship with each candidate who hasn’t applied to build a pipeline that offers the same predictability as sales.

For example, you can invite candidates to a scheduled Google Hangout with your team members. For example, one company hosts a monthly Google Hangout of engineering candidates and the head of engineering.

Candidates can ask questions within the 30 minutes and get insights into what it means to work with the company. They also feel like they are getting special treatment. The strategy has worked to increase application rates and talent quality.

3. Have opportunities for micro-conversions.

Many people coming to the career page on your website are not ready to apply — at least not yet. Applying for a position is an enormous investment. Some candidates want to know about your organization and learn about opportunities relevant to them.

Make sure the information is ready and available for consumption. Consider presenting related blog content, providing opportunities to sign-up for the latest info on future openings, and pointing prospects to more company resources.

A good example is the Lockheed Martin Talent Network. The parent company is a global security, aerospace, defense, and advanced technologies player.

Their talent network offers candidates a chance to join their community — even when they’re not ready to apply.

With the portal, Lockheed Martin has access to an extensive talent pool. Potential candidates submit their contact information, areas of interest, and desired geographic location. This strategy allows the company to pick the right prospects for positions.

4. Turn leads into applicants.

Once you have captured the candidates’ contact information, you need to sell your organization to them and convince them to apply.

Email marketing is 40 to 45 times more effective than Twitter and Facebook, making it an effective tool for customer acquisition.

Timing your email right is ideal for nurturing new hire leads. Use emails to keep candidates updated on new opportunities that match their skills, relevant events, and important company news.

However, make sure you have targeted communication. For instance, sales candidates should get updates about the sales department.

Here are some effective message examples that will work.

  • Share newsworthy information. Let your customers know when your company appears on the news or releases a new product. After all, the best talent wants to work at an organization perceived as a success.
  • Share your company culture. An appealing company culture is a motivating factor for many candidates and one of the biggest reasons to want to apply. Many prospects see your culture and brand as a critical consideration.

So, top talent considers nurturing emails more valuable than providing a bunch of job links.

5. Optimize and iterate your efforts.

Test multiple ways to connect, and experiment with diverse career page designs to attract top talent. The process requires leaning on marketing software or Google Analyticsto track how prospects find your content.

For instance, LinkedIn makes it easy to dig into the data and see if candidates click through to your website and convert into new leads or applicants. Use an analytics platform to see which content is more effective at turning your prospects into applicants.

Use the information to improve on your less effective content for better results. Also, ask applicants how they found your company and why they apply. Get this information through a short application form or during the first interview.

The key to optimizing your inbound recruiting strategy is identifying a repeatable model. When you find content types that help you connect with talented prospects, produce more of it.

Getting Started with Inbound Recruitment. Create candidate personas. Prospect and fill the funnel. Have opportunities for micro-conversions. Turn leads into applicants. Optimize and iterate your efforts.

Inbound Recruiting Best Practices

Fortunately, there are things you can do to make your inbound recruiting strategy more effective.

Monitor performance of job postings.

Most job hunters use Google to search for open positions, but only 0.78% of them click on the second page of results. So, you must follow SEO and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) best practices to appear on the first page.

Quality candidates will not see your posts if you are not showing up. An applicant tracking system can monitor the total job seeker views to help improve your SEO and SEM tactics.

Be patient.

Building a strong recruitment network takes years. It will take time for your business to create a site that attracts quality candidates.

Creating and dumping a lot of content on the internet in one day does not mean candidates will roll in the next. Quality content takes time to build and bring in talent.

Make the application simple.

Application abandonment is a major undetected leak when recruiting, but many companies ignore it. Your application process should be a tool, not an obstacle. You must know where in the process candidates abandon applying.

Some automated applicant tracking systems have built-in abandonment reports that will help you identify the problem. Other niche applications allow companies to track a candidate’s experience. Remove the issue immediately, so it doesn’t trip future applicants.

Create a strong social media presence.

Some candidates never consult Google when looking for information about a business. Instead, they will turn to social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, or TikTok.

However, each platform attracts different prospects. TikTok is a good place for entry-level positions, while LinkedIn and Facebook are attractive to more experienced talent. Therefore, consider employing a multi-channel strategy.

Ready to Recruit Top Talent?

Your inbound recruiting strategy is your company’s direct reflection of its culture, so tell an authentic story about what is happening behind the scenes. The strategy gives you access to many candidates and attracts people who may ignore the recruiter’s call.

The inbound framework isn’t much different from what you use to attract clients. Translate marketing tactics to bring in top talent.

Start with engaging content and personalized content to build a pool of quality candidates today and become the most attractive employer brand on the market.

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How to Use Email Marketing Automation to Encourage SaaS Adoption

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How to Use Email Marketing Automation to Encourage SaaS Adoption

SaaS adoption refers to the process that earns your product a permanent place in your user’s workflow. This happens when you empower your audience to extract useful value from your solutions.

Email, a tried and tested communication tool, plays an essential role in helping brands relay their product’s value to their customers and educate them on how to make the most of it.

However, smaller teams might find themselves at a crossroads, balancing the need for personalized communication with the scale of their user base

Email marketing automation offers a practical solution by ensuring that each message is tailored and timely, yet sent out with minimal manual effort.

In this article, let’s look at five tips that will help you build robust email marketing automation that will motivate your audience to adopt your tool and make it a part of their daily lives.

1. Segment your audience

Audience segmentation is crucial for personalizing your emails, which in turn, can significantly boost SaaS product adoption. Remember, a message that resonates with one segment might not strike a chord with another.

The key to effective segmentation is understanding where each customer is in their journey. Are they new subscribers, active users, or perhaps at the brink of churning?

Here are some actionable steps to segment your audience effectively:

  1.  Analyze User Behavior: Look at how different users interact with your SaaS product. Are they frequent users, or do they log in sporadically? This insight can help you create segments like ‘active users’, ‘occasional users’, and ‘at-risk users’.
  2.  Utilize Sign-up Data: Leverage the information gathered during the sign-up process. This can include job roles, company size, or industry, which are excellent parameters for segmentation.
  3.  Monitor Engagement Levels: Keep an eye on how different segments interact with your emails. Are they opening, clicking, or ignoring your messages? This feedback will help you refine your segments and tailor your approach. Plus, consider setting up small business phone systems to enhance communication with your audience.

2. Create campaigns based on behavior

Sending behavior-based campaigns is pivotal in effective email marketing. By focusing on performance metrics such as open rates, click-through rates, and engagement times, you can gauge the effectiveness of your emails and adjust your strategy accordingly.

You can also use digital signage to entertain or make customers aware of something new – product or service, through a digital sign.

Different types of email campaigns serve various purposes:

  1. Educational Campaigns: These are designed to inform and enlighten your audience about their problem. They can include tips, best practices, and how-to guides. The goal here is to provide value and establish your brand as a thought leader in your industry.
  2. Interactive Campaigns: These campaigns encourage user engagement through surveys, quizzes, microblogging platforms, or feedback forms. They not only provide valuable insights into user preferences but also make the recipients feel heard and valued.
  3. Onboarding Campaigns: Targeted toward new users, these messages help them get the value they seek from your product as soon as possible. They can include step-by-step tutorials, video guides, or links to helpful resources.

4.Re-engagement Campaigns: Aimed at inactive users, these emails strive to reignite their interest in your SaaS product. They might include product updates, special offers, or reminders of the benefits they’re missing out on.

3. A/B test before deployment

Rather than pushing a new campaign to your entire audience as soon as you draft the emails, A/B testing helps you know whether your messages are any good.

Here are some best practices for A/B testing in email automation:

  1. Test One Variable at a Time: Whether it’s the subject line, email content, or call-to-action, change just one (or a couple) element per test. This clarity helps in pinpointing exactly what works and what doesn’t.
  2. Choose a Representative Sample: Ensure that the test group is a good mix of your target audience as a whole. This way, the results are more likely to reflect how your entire audience would react.
  3. Measure the Right Metrics: Depending on what you’re testing, focus on relevant metrics like open rates, click-through rates, or conversion rates. This will give you a clear picture of the impact of your changes. Along with these steps, it’s important to use an SPF checker to ensure your emails aren’t marked as spam and increase the deliverability rate.
  4. Use the Results to Inform Your Strategy: Once you have the results, don’t just stop at implementing the winning version. Analyze why it performed better and use these insights to inform your future campaigns.
  5. Don’t Rush the Process: Give your test enough time to gather significant data. Adopt comprehensive marketing reporting solutions that give you a clear picture of your campaigns’ efficacy.

4. Leverage email templates

When managing multiple email automation campaigns, each with potentially dozens of emails, the task of creating each one from scratch can be daunting. Not to mention, if you have multiple writers on board, there’s a risk of inconsistency in tone, style, and branding.

Email templates are your secret weapon for maintaining consistency and saving time. They provide a standardized framework that can be easily customized for different campaigns and purposes.

They are also a great way to communicate with your customers. Another way to communicate efficiently with your customer is through best small business phone systems, which is especially efficient when conveying information about your product or service.

Here’s a rundown of various types of templates you should consider having:

  1. Welcome: For greeting new subscribers or users. It should be warm, inviting, and informative, setting the tone for future communications.
  2. Educational Content: Used for sharing tips, guides, and resources. If you are making this template to introduce online GCSE physics tutor services that you provide, you should be clear, concise, and focused on delivering value in your template.
  3. Promotional: For announcing new features, offers, or services. It should be eye-catching and persuasive without being overly salesy.
  4. Feedback Request: Designed to solicit user feedback. This template should be engaging and make it easy for recipients to respond.
  5. Re-engagement: Aimed at rekindling interest among inactive users. It should be attention-grabbing and remind them of what they’re missing.
  6. Event Invitation: For webinars, workshops, or other events. This should be exciting and informative, providing all the necessary details.

5. Use a tool that works for you

Email is more than just a marketing platform; it’s a multifaceted tool that can drive customer engagement, support, and retention. Given its versatility, it’s crucial to choose the right email automation tool that aligns with your specific needs.

When selecting an email automation tool, consider these key features:

  1. Intuitive Interface: Even your non-technical team members should find it easy to use.
  2. Robust Segmentation Capabilities: The tool must offer advanced segmentation options to target your emails accurately.
  3. A/B Testing Functionality: Essential for optimizing your email campaigns.
  4. Integration with Other Tools: Look for a tool that integrates seamlessly with your CRM, analytics, and other marketing platforms. Additionally, integrating a multilingual translation support can further enhance the tool’s versatility, allowing you to reach a diverse audience with tailored content in their preferred languages.

Popular tools like Mailchimp and ActiveCampaign offer free trials which are great for brands to take these for a spin before making a choice.

Wrapping up

Leveraging email automation makes it easier for SaaS brands to market their solutions to their audience and ultimately increase adoption rates.

Segmenting audiences, creating messages based on their behavior, testing emails before setting campaigns live, utilizing templates for speed and consistency, and adopting a tool that you are comfortable working with are essential email marketing automation tips to help you get started on the right foot.

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Marketing Team Reorgs: Why So Many and How To Survive

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Marketing Team Reorgs: Why So Many and How To Survive

How long has it been since your marketing team got restructured? 

Wearing our magic mind-reading hat, we’d guess it was within the last two years. 

Impressed by the guess? Don’t be.  

Research from Marketing Week’s 2024 Career and Salary Survey finds that almost half of marketing teams restructured in the last 12 months. (And the other half probably did it the previous year.) 

Why do marketing teams restructure so often? Is this a new thing? Is it just something that comes with marketing? What does it all mean for now and the future? 

CMI chief strategy advisor Robert Rose offers his take in this video and the summary below. 

Marketing means frequent change 

Marketing Week’s 2024 Career and Salary Survey finds 46.5% of marketing teams restructured in the last year — a 5-percentage point increase over 2023 when 41.4% of teams changed their structure. 

But that’s markedly less than the 56.5% of marketing teams that restructured in 2022, which most likely reflected the impact of remote work, the fallout of the pandemic, and other digital marketing trends. 

Maybe the real story isn’t, “Holy smokes, 46% of businesses restructured their marketing last year.” The real story may be, “Holy smokes, only 46% of businesses restructured their marketing.” 

Put simply, marketing teams are now in the business of changing frequently. 

It raises two questions.  

First, why does marketing experience this change? You don’t see this happening in other parts of the business. Accounting teams rarely get restructured (usually only if something dramatic happens in the organization). The same goes for legal or operations. Does marketing change too frequently? Or do other functions in business not change enough? 

Second, you may ask, “Wait a minute, we haven’t reorganized our marketing teams in some time. Are we behind? Are we missing out? What are they organizing into? Or you may fall at the other end of the spectrum and ask, “Are we changing too fast? Do companies that don’t change so often do better? 

OK, that’s more than one question, but the second question boils down to this: Should you restructure your marketing organization? 

Reorganizing marketing 

Centralization emerged as the theme coming out of the pandemic. Gartner reports (registration required) a distinct move to a fully centralized model for marketing over the last few years: “(R)esponsibilities across the marketing organization have shifted. Marketing’s sole responsibilities for marketing operations, marketing strategy, and marketing-led innovation have increased.”  

According to a Gartner study, marketing assuming sole responsibility for marketing operations, marketing innovation, brand management, and digital rose by double-digit percentage points in 2022 compared to the previous year.  

What does all that mean for today in plainer language? 

Because teams are siloed, it’s increasingly tougher to create a collaborative environment. And marketing and content creation processes are complex (there are lots of people doing more small parts to creative, content, channel management, and measurement). So it’s a lot harder these days to get stuff done if you’re not working as one big, joined-up team. 

Honestly, it comes down to this question: How do you better communicate and coordinate your content? That’s innovation in modern marketing — an idea and content factory operating in a coordinated, consistent, and collaborative way. 

Let me give you an example. All 25 companies we worked with last year experienced restructuring fatigue. They were not eager creative, operations, analytics, media, and digital tech teams champing at the bit for more new roles, responsibilities, and operational changes. They were still trying to settle into the last restructuring.  

What worked was fine-tuning a mostly centralized model into a fully centralized operational model. It wasn’t a full restructuring, just a nudge to keep going. 

In most of those situations, the Gartner data rang true. Marketing has shifted to get a tighter and closer set of disparate teams working together to collaborate, produce, and measure more efficiently and effectively.  

As Gartner said in true Gartner-speak fashion: “Marginal losses of sole responsibility (in favor of shared and collaborative) were also reported across capabilities essential for digitally oriented growth, including digital media, digital commerce, and CX.” 

Companies gave up the idea of marketing owning one part of the customer experience, content type, or channel. Instead, they moved into more collaborative sharing of the customer experience, content type, or channel.  

Rethinking the marketing reorg 

This evolution can be productive. 

Almost 10 years ago, Carla Johnson and I wrote about this in our book Experiences: The 7th Era of Marketing. We talked about the idea of building to change: 

“Tomorrow’s marketing and communications teams succeed by learning to adapt — and by deploying systems of engagement that facilitate adaptation. By constantly building to change, the marketing department builds to succeed.” 

We surmised the marketing team of the future wouldn’t be asking what it was changing into but why it was changing. Marketing today is at the tipping point of that. 

The fact that half of all marketing teams restructure and change every two years might not be a reaction to shifting markets. It may just be how you should think of marketingas something fluid that you build and change into whatever it needs to be tomorrow, not something you must tear down and restructure every few years.  

The strength in that view comes not in knowing you need to change or what you will change into. The strength comes from the ability and capacity to do whatever marketing should. 

HANDPICKED RELATED CONTENT:  

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Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute 

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Boost Your Traffic in Google Discover

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Boost Your Traffic in Google Discover

2. Understand topical authority: Keywords vs. entities

Google has been talking about topical authority for a long time, and in Discover, it is completely relevant. Traditional SEO includes the use of keywords to position your web pages for a specific search, but the content strategy in Discover should be based on entities, i.e., concepts, characters, places, topics… everything that a Knowledge Panel can have. It is necessary to know in which topics Google considers we have more authority and relevance in order to talk about them.

3. Avoid clickbait in titles

“Use page titles that capture the essence of the content, but in a non-clickbait fashion.” This is the opening sentence that describes how headlines should be in Google’s documentation. I always say that it is not about using clickbait but a bit of creativity from the journalist. Generating a good H1 is also part of the job of content creation.

Google also adds:

“Avoid tactics to artificially inflate engagement by using misleading or exaggerated details in preview content (title, snippets, or images) to increase appeal, or by withholding crucial information required to understand what the content is about.”

“Avoid tactics that manipulate appeal by catering to morbid curiosity, titillation, or outrage.

Provide content that’s timely for current interests, tells a story well, or provides unique insights.”

Do you think this information fits with what you see every day on Google Discover? I would reckon there were many sites that did not comply with this and received a lot of traffic from Discover.

With the last core updates in 2023, Google was extremely hard on news sites and some niches with content focused on Discover, directly affecting E-E-A-T. The impact was so severe that many publishers shared drastic drops in Search Console with expert Lily Ray, who wrote an article with data from more than 150 publishers.

4. Images are important

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. If you look at your Discover feed, you’ll see most of the images catch your attention. They are detailed shots of delicious food, close-ups of a person’s face showing emotions, or even images where the character in question does not appear, such as “the new manicure that will be a trend in 2024,” persuading you to click.

Google’s documentation recommends adding “high-quality images in your content, especially large images that are more likely to generate visits from Discover” and notes important technical requirements such as images needing to be “at least 1200 px wide and enabled by the max-image-preview:large setting.” You may also have found that media outlets create their own collages in order to have images that stand out from competitors.

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