Effectively filling the top of the recruiting sales funnel with qualified candidates takes more than listing jobs on a slick site. Candidates need to be persuaded to apply at the career site through inbound marketing techniques that make your company and job posting attractive. By featuring strong persuasive content and clear calls-to-action in a variety of channels, you can motivate the large pool of internet users to volunteer their personal information to become applicants and ultimately new hires. An active focus on lead generation at the top of the funnel can set up your recruiters to be more successful in the rest of the funnel.
As with any process, it is essential to get the first step right. Filling the funnel with an abundance of top candidates is critical because it affects the success of every subsequent step. Getting off to a poor or inadequate start means the remaining steps suffer. Each step will take longer and thus cost more because these steps will need to over compensate for poor data. The old adage applies here – “garbage in, garbage out” If the quality of leads at the top of the funnel isn’t “killing it”, how do you expect your recruiters to be “killing it?” Or if the quantity of leads is not sufficient, can you really say you are hiring the best people? This should be apparent – companies that master lead generation have a distinct competitive advantage simply because they have more quality candidates feeding the funnel.
Here are some helpful tips on how to fill the funnel:
- Persuasive Content:
- “Content is king.” It gets the right people to spend time reading and learning on your site.
- Share relevant news, match your interests with their interests, show your uniqueness.
- Be a “thought leader”
- Spotlight recruiters, promote talent initiatives, be transparent and communicate the hiring process.
- Publish “just for fun” content.
- Measure content usage with analytics.
- Search Engines:
- Don’t forget about SEO! Use SEO best practices. Have job seekers find your posting first.
- Optimize for conversion.
- Match your words and phrases with theirs.
- Have a site index page.
- Make sure your URLs are pointing to your domain (or subdomains) and not a third party’s.
- Social Sourcing:
- Referral Sources:
- Use analytics to determine which referral sites are worth your money, time, and effort.
- Don’t publish to as many sources as you can without knowing which sites work. It’s better to focus on the ones that yield converted candidates.
- Marketing Campaigns:
- Create landing pages and blog pages with the intent of converting candidates.
- Segment your candidate personas and address them more personally.
- Run campaigns on a select group of jobs and analyze how that affects conversion.
- Promote events you are hosting or attending.
- Respond to comments as soon as possible.
- Distribute through multiple channels.
What are the benefits of these techniques? For starters, they WORK!
Using these techniques for lead generation have progressed to the point where they are proven and confirmed through analytics. How well you perform these techniques will determine how high (or low) your conversion rates will be and most companies consider this factor the most important measurement in sales.
This post is focusing on “inbound” lead generation. This is not suggesting that outbound lead generation isn’t also affective – it is (We do suggest using a combination of the two. How much of each depends on your specific business). With that stated, most candidates now research companies and open positions online, before making contact or sharing their information. While they explore opportunities online, they are already making up their minds about what they want and who the best company is, long before they ever make contact. Lastly, inbound marketing is cost-effective: it works 24×7, on holidays, doesn’t call in sick and can be accomplished for a fraction of a recruiter’s salary.
Clearly, attracting an abundance of high quality candidates early in the funnel yields the best results throughout the remainder of the funnel. So if you are not “killing it”, it may be because you are not properly “filling it”.