What is Outbound Recruiting?

Steven JiangBy Steven Jiang
June 21st, 2022 • 3 Minutes

The hiring landscape is more complex than it’s ever been, and it’s also challenging to attract, recruit, and retain talent in one of the most competitive candidate markets to date. And, it’s not just because unemployment rates are extremely low. The reality is that the market varies widely from one kind of role to another, and from one geography to another as well.

It’s not uncommon for some positions that go to market to be swamped with applicants – with many applicants being unqualified. In spite of this, it still takes hiring professionals time and effort to work through all the applications. For other positions in the market, it’s also not uncommon to only receive a handful of applicants. As we continue to work through this new hiring landscape, it’s getting more complicated and more difficult to identify, attract and hire the people you need.

To address these issues, the solution for companies is outbound recruiting. To understand the concept, it might be easiest to think about sales and marketing as an analogy.

When growing your business, there are a number of methods to attract customers. This might include investing in advertising, in digital, or more traditional channels – depending on your product. This advertising can not only generate inbound leads from customers who see it, but it can also help grow awareness for your brand more generally. This allows potential customers to get to know who you are as a business and convert over time.

When trying to obtain new business, would your company depend on advertising alone? Probably not – and this is where your sales team comes in.

Your sales team researches the marketplace to figure out who your customers might be, and learns who the decision makers are and how to get in touch with them. The team will then prioritize these prospects and look for others that are most likely to be a fit for your product or service, then they connect. The team will then reach out and talk to the prospect, giving the opportunity to ask questions about what the prospect wants/needs and uncover ways that your product might address those needs. This relationship will be built and nurtured over time, so that even if the prospect isn’t ready to buy the first time, the relationship has the potential to lead to business in the future.

Inbound recruitment is like advertising – where it’s casting a wide net, getting the word out about your hiring needs, describing what your company offers as compellingly as possible, and then responding to applicants as they come in (i.e. vetting, screening, interviewing, and hopefully hiring the best of them).

Outbound recruitment is like sales, where it’s important to understand what you have to offer and who might be interested – from researching prospects, prioritizing, and then reaching out to them directly. Hiring professionals should take the time to learn about what is most important to prospects in their career and connect that to your company’s value proposition. This is also why developing a relationship over time helps to build a rich talent pipeline for your business.

As you can see, I believe strongly in the value of outbound recruitment. However, I’m not saying that this should replace inbound recruiting entirely – just as you wouldn’t choose to build a business by choosing sales or marketing, but not both. I believe outbound recruitment should be used for augmenting that approach.

I’m an advocate for using outbound recruiting as a complement to traditional recruitment methods, and getting outbound recruiting implemented isn’t difficult. I recommend that companies look into an outbound recruiting platform that removes hurdles and makes it easier for your team to do their jobs – all while building on the foundation you have to create an effective outbound recruitment strategy. 

By adding outbound recruiting, you’ll see that your team will be more focused, efficient and successful – and will have a hiring process that engages candidates and brings top talent to your company.

There are many reasons why companies should move in this direction, however here are a few things to consider.

Think about the time hiring professions spend working through applications, shortlisting and vetting candidates — some candidates might not be a fit. This time could have been used more effectively and efficiently. Are the best possible candidates (from the limited selection of candidates) applying? Are potentially high performing employees missing out because you’re not connecting and engaging with passive candidates?

Currently, people find jobs. In the world I see coming, jobs will find people. That’s an exciting transition to make, and the companies who are successful in making that shift will win the race to hire the best.

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