The Common Downsides of Inbound Recruiting & How to Solve Them

Inbound Recruiting Common Problems

What is Inbound Recruiting?

The 3 Common Pitfalls of Inbound Recruiting to Avoid

  1. Inbound recruitment limits your candidate reach and talent pool
  2. High volume of unqualified applicants
  3. Difficulty in finding passive and diverse candidates

Solutions: 3 Ways to Create a Solid Recruitment Strategy

  1. Measure the effectiveness of your existing inbound recruitment strategy
  2. Adopt the latest trends for more optimised inbound recruitment
  3. Use a combination of recruitment strategies in addition to inbound recruitment



What is Inbound Recruiting?

Inbound recruiting refers to the strategy of attracting, engaging and hiring talent by making organisations attractive enough for candidates to apply directly to them. It requires a combination of employer branding and recruitment marketing so as to enhance potential candidates’ impression of a brand and improve their relationship with candidates throughout the entire recruitment process.


Inbound recruitment can bring a couple of benefits for organisations. The first benefit is attracting quality candidates who are genuinely interested in that organisation and had likely sought out roles in the company in the past.


At the same time, companies with top-notch employer branding and an effective inbound recruitment strategy can also bring in more diverse job applicants who possess a range of skills, experiences, and come from different backgrounds – but not every organisation has an effective inbound strategy.


Hence, while inbound recruitment has its merits, there are some downsides. This is especially true if your organisation relies solely on inbound recruitment to fill crucial job roles.


Below we’ll cover the common pitfalls of inbound recruiting that many organisations may overlook, as well as how to solve these problems in order to create a more robust and efficient recruitment process that can lead to more quality candidates.


The 3 Common Pitfalls of Inbound Recruiting to Avoid

Inbound recruiting can be less effective than other strategies for recruitment, such as outbound recruitment, for a few reasons. Here are the top 3 problems of inbound recruitment that organisations tend to overlook:


1. Inbound recruitment limits your candidate reach and talent pool

The nature of inbound recruiting is about being reliant on candidates finding and applying directly to open positions at an organisation. This can lead to the loss of a potentially strong and qualified pool of candidates who may not have come across the organisation’s job vacancies. There is then a loss of control over the recruitment process when a company is solely reliant on inbound applicants to fill job vacancies.


Inbound recruitment limits your candidate reach


This runs in contrast to outbound recruiting in which top candidates are headhunted by recruiters and sourcers, which is a more active method of building a pipeline of candidates for job vacancies. This issue is further compounded when an organisation has weak employer branding and inbound strategy that lacks the effectiveness in attracting top talent.


2. High volume of unqualified applicants

While inbound recruiting can be helpful in saving talent teams the effort of having to look outwards and source for candidates themselves, a high volume of inbound applicants is not always beneficial. The quality of the inbound applicants can be varied, and can sometimes result in a high volume of unqualified, irrelevant, or inexperienced pool of candidates. On top of that, recruiting teams will also have to screen applications manually, leading to significant time and labour costs.


3. Difficulty in finding passive and diverse candidates

Inbound applicants to a job vacancy likely attract active candidates, which are candidates who are actively seeking work. However, this can mean that organisations lose out on connecting with passive candidates – individuals who are currently employed, not actively looking for a job, but are still open to a good career opportunity.


Relying solely on inbound recruitment means missing out on these strong and qualified passive candidates, in contrast to an outbound recruitment strategy that would be more effective in engaging these passive candidates.


Additionally, with a smaller talent pool, this increases the likelihood of a lack of diversity among applicants. This can have serious long-term effects as it means organisations will miss out on the benefits of a diverse workforce, which has been shown to boost creativity and innovation that comes from having employees with different backgrounds and perspectives. There is also better decision making as echo chambers and blind spots are avoided due to the broad perspective that diverse teams bring to the table.


Solutions: 3 Ways to Create a Solid Recruitment Strategy

1. Measure the effectiveness of your existing inbound recruitment strategy

To improve your organisation’s existing inbound recruitment strategy, you can start by first measuring its effectiveness. This is done by doing the following:


  • Tracking the total number of applications, resumes, and job views on your organisation’s website or job board profiles.
  • Measuring the quality of inbound applicants by looking at key metrics such as the number of hires, retention rate, and the performance of candidates who were hired through inbound recruitment.
    Measure your existing inbound recruitment strategy

  • Calculating metrics such as cost-per-hire and time-to-hire to understand how cost effective and efficient your inbound recruitment strategy is.
  • Analysing and comparing the conversion rates across each source of candidates, such as job boards, referrals, social media, to understand which source is most and least effective.
  • Monitoring candidate engagement, such as tracking open rates and click through rates of emails, and rates of completed application forms by candidates.


By tracking, measuring and analysing the various metrics across your inbound recruitment process, you can gain a better understanding of the areas that require more improvement, which can result in it being more efficient and streamlined.


Once you have identified which areas of your inbound recruitment require improvements, you can start adopting solutions. For example, if you find that there are significant time and manpower costs involved in manually screening candidate resumes and organising their profiles, your organisation may want to start using technology like talent acquisition technology (TA Tech) in your inbound recruitment processes. This could mean utilising an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to track, organise and filter candidates in hiring and recruitment, to save the time and effort required if one were to execute these tasks manually.


Other trends in inbound recruitment that can be taken up by organisations include:

  • Implementing employee referral programmes to make full use of existing employees’ networks to find strong candidates.
  • Making your organisation’s job postings and career sites more optimised for mobile, allowing candidates to apply to your organisation as smoothly, quickly and easily as possible.
  • Using strong employer branding and storytelling that highlights your organisation’s mission, vision, values and culture in order to attract top talent.
  • Using predictive analytics to identify and reach out to candidates before they even actively start their job search.


3. Use a combination of recruitment strategies in addition to inbound recruitment

Your organisation can also consider using a combination of different recruitment strategies in addition to solely focusing on inbound. Outbound recruitment, for instance, focuses on actively sourcing and contacting talent rather than waiting for them to apply to the company. Dedicating resources to an outbound recruitment strategy can go a long way in helping your organisation find some of the best and strongest talents.


Helping organisation to find strongest talents


Often, the most challenging part of this process is the sourcing – finding relevant, suitable and qualified candidates for your job vacancies. While many recruiters may head over to LinkedIn to find talent, there are more methods that sourcing and recruitment teams can capitalise on.


Two popular sourcing methods include:

  • Using technology to improve your outbound efficiency. In particular, sourcing can be extremely labour and time-intensive and takes up to 13 hours of a recruiter’s work week. However, artificial intelligence (AI) sourcing tools like Scout can identify top tech talents in under 60 seconds and can find talent matches based on over 1,000 parameters including social profiles and professional communities.
  • Hiring a recruitment agency like HackerTrail, which specialises in hiring for technical roles, can help you. Here’s how to evaluate whether to hire an agency or take on outbound recruitment in-house.


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Inbound recruitment is a valuable strategy that organisations should not ignore, but it comes with its own pitfalls that can be overlooked. However, your organisation can avoid these downsides by adopting the latest trends in inbound recruiting such as using technology to reduce manpower and time costs, optimising job postings for mobile applications, and investing more resources into outbound recruiting.


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