On average, every person you hire costs $4,129. Ouch.
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Unfortunately, it's extremely challenging to reduce that cost. People need several impressions of a company before deciding to apply, but everyone is vying for talent, making it hard to grab candidates' attention. At first glance, it seems like social media and the internet would cut costs. Instead, they're numbing candidates with overwhelming amounts of information, so companies invest even more cash into advertising openings.
If lowering that cost won't work, companies have another option: changing the way they use those dollars. Recruiters shouldn't funnel resources toward posting listings on as many job boards as possible. Rather, they should devote those resources to attracting high-quality candidates and keeping them engaged.
Reframing Cost Per Hire
After spending time and money trying to get people to apply for their openings, companies often complain about the quality of their candidates. You don't want an inbox flooded with applications – that just creates more work. Instead, you want the right candidates applying.
That said, you also don't want to ruminate too much on cost per hire. Recruiting is similar to a supply chain. There are multiple points where a process can break down. To ensure recruiters' activities align with their goals, companies should analyze cost per hire along with other key metrics such as time to fill, quality of applicants, quality of hires, and reach of employer brand. I, for one, would gladly increase cost per hire to get a more relevant applicant who can be hired quickly, is productive immediately, and ultimately becomes an advocate for the employer brand.
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Let me put it this way: When dating, it is common to be interested in someone but not quite ready to make a move. Sometimes, you want more information to determine whether the other person is worth it, or you might need to figure out some things in your own life before turning on the charm.
The same goes for recruiting. There are probably plenty of qualified candidates interested in your company, but some might not be ready to apply. First, you need to make the right moves to educate and entice them.
Adopting an inbound recruiting strategy is the best way to lure these candidates in. Inbound recruiting will continue to add value and attract qualified applicants over time, making your recruiting dollars more effective. It focuses on creating valuable content and connections to engage both passive and active job seekers.
The intent is to form relationships and establish employer brand recognition, resulting in high-quality candidates who are excited to become excellent employees and brand advocates.
Engaging Candidates With Inbound Recruiting
Easier said than done? Perhaps, but this is not by any means an unattainable goal. Here are a few cost-effective ways to entice desirable candidates with inbound recruiting:
1. Build Candidate Personas
You need a clear idea of who you want to hire so you can develop an effective plan to reach them. A job description isn't enough.
Ask yourself these questions: What helps people succeed in the role you're hiring for? Which personality traits are compatible with the team or department the individual will join? Are certain skills necessary for success?
Survey employees and management to get ideas, keeping in mind which employee attributes have resulted in terminations or disciplinary action. Doing so will give you a specific idea of whom to look for (and whom to pass up).
2. Create Content That Captivates
An important aspect of inbound recruiting is creating content that not only reflects your corporate mission and culture, but also speaks to the candidate persona you're targeting.
The content should be attractive because the right people relate to it and find it valuable – so much so that they form positive associations with your employer brand. Your website should share achievements, demonstrate your company culture, and define what matters to your team. This kind of content has a long life span, whereas a single tweet or Facebook post of your job description loses value as quickly as a new car off the lot.
Beyond generating content for your website and social media presence, captivate your target candidates by contributing useful pieces to publications in the fields they care about. Even better, convert readers into subscribers. This way, you can continue to share content, including job opportunities.
Keep in mind that everyone wants to sound impressive when talking about their job (especially millennials). Make it easy for your team to share your content. Enthusiastic employee brand advocates are worth their weight in gold.
3. Use the 'Platinum Rule' in Interactions
How can you nurture individuals so they're compelled to apply for – and accept – a job at your company? Empathetically engage with them in all of your interactions.
We've all heard of the "Golden Rule": Treat others how you would want to be treated. When recruiting, try the "Platinum Rule" instead: Treat others as they would like to be treated. When doing business in Japan, for instance, you'd bow and exchange your business card with two hands, even though you might prefer a casual handshake.
In your content, don't just paint the most flattering portrait of your company. Anticipate candidates' needs as they determine whether your organization is a good fit. Candidates typically want to know the same things: How will my career progress? What is the culture like? What is a day in the life of this position like? An added benefit is that your answers to these questions will likely repel individuals who aren't good fits.
When interacting with candidates, don't focus on what's cheapest and easiest for you. Determine what works well in your recruitment process and enhance it. Focus on candidates' needs. Doing so will go a long way in connecting with them.
These three tactics are just scratching the surface of inbound recruiting. While it is easy to get caught up in the steep cost of recruitment, an inbound recruiting strategy will attract higher-quality candidates while using your money more effectively. It is also likely to reduce cost per hire over time: People will already have a positive impression of your company, so they'll be more excited to apply to or share your listings – not to mention the fact that you'll save money because you'll have fantastic employees and a high retention rate.