What is outbound recruiting?
There’s a lot of talk about outbound recruiting, but what does it really mean for you, as a recruiter? How can you effectively use it to map your yearly/monthly/weekly goals to meet the needs of your org? In this blog, you’re going to learn the A-Z of outbound recruiting, so you can truly get the best out of the most powerful recruiting strategy today. But before that, let’s explore what outbound recruiting really is:
Outbound recruiting is proactively engaging with ideal candidates who are not necessarily looking for jobs, or not necessarily looking to join the company you’re hiring for. This strategy requires recruiters to essentially:
- identify these ideal candidates and source them
- establish multi-point, multi-channel communication with them
While they establish communication with prospective candidates, recruiters need to make them:
- aware about the company and (or) open role
- generate interest for them to feel inclined to explore further
- and persuade them to take up the job
To achieve all of the above, recruiters partake in a lot of activities. They identify prospects via social media like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, even Instagram; attend relevant events to establish connections; make cold calls; send out cold email pitches; sign up for tech tools and more.
So, why outbound recruiting?
There’s been a significant shift to work culture in the past couple of years. There’s no more pressure for employees to work at the same company for decades.
Currently, the average tenure for an employee in the United States is 4.1 years. This is down from 5.2 years in 2019.
Employees often switch companies to widen their skill set, for a change of pace, to move to a different geography, explore flexible benefits, and many other reasons. In fact, even if they’re perfectly happy in their current role, they’re open to starting conversations and accepting newer, more appealing offers.
A whopping 85% is open to exploring new opportunities when they think it might be the right fit for them. Only 15% of the world’s workforce is completely satisfied with the jobs they’re currently at and are firmly not looking to move.
Besides a shift in culture that requires recruiters to switch up their strategies, there are also many other reasons they adopt outbound recruiting:
If it’s a startup
Well, nobody’s heard of your company before. So if you want to hire the best talent, that would mean you find them, and initiate comms.
If it’s a niche role
Some roles aren’t commonplace, and there are only a handful of candidates who would be suitable for it. So it’s on you to find them and pitch to them.
If it’s a leadership role
When someone new enters the C-suite, it can change the dynamics of the entire company. It’s on the recruiter to find the right fit, someone who understands the pulse of the founders/board, who has the skills to run huge verticals, and really enhance the company towards achieving its vision and mission.
Inbound vs outbound recruiting: what’s right for you
These are two extremely different strategies, and adopting one of these two is a decision based on the type of company. A fully established and reputed company, like Apple or Google, for example, will rely on inbound. All they have to do is open up a job opening, and they will receive hundreds of applicants within the next day. This is because top talent want to work for these companies and add it to their resumes like a badge of honour. Since applicants are eager, they will also respond promptly, so recruiters don’t have to be too concerned about response rates.
So the primary challenge that recruiters face here is shortlisting from the thousands of applications received.
That being said, while these reputed companies rely on inbound, they do adopt outbound occasionally. This could be for certain niche roles or leadership roles, but they simply tap into internal referrals for the same.
SMBs and startups, on the other hand, or even bigger companies with 100+ teams that are less reputed but scaling up fast, usually adopt outbound recruitment. They don’t receive as many applications, as top talent is looking to work at more established companies, so they try to entice and hire candidates.
For this broad segment, outbound recruitment has incredible benefits over inbound recruitment:
Outbound recruiting is 30% more effective
This is because outbound recruiting allows recruiters to reach out to candidates who are a good fit for the role, rather than waiting for candidates to come to them.
Reduced cost per hire
The average cost per hire for outbound recruiting is $2,500. This is significantly less than the average cost per hire for inbound recruiting, which is $4,000. And for early stage companies, every penny saved is a penny earned.
Reduced time to hire
The average time to hire for outbound recruiting is 21 days. This is significantly faster than the average time to hire for inbound recruiting, which is 42 days. When you have targets to hire 50 or more candidates the whole year, saved time becomes immensely valuable.
So who’s the winner? Based on the type of your company, you’ve got to identify which type of recruitment works best for you.
8 best practices and strategies to get outbound recruiting right
Now that we’ve got a gist of what the strategy is, and why it’s relevant, let’s explore the best practices & Strategies
1. Targeted candidate outreach
Take your time to speak to the team to understand the role, and the kind of candidate that will be able to do justice to it. Try to get a sense of the kind of interpersonal skills the candidate will need to be successful at this role.
For example, if it’s a new team, the candidate might probably need to have a strong sense of ownership and comms, whereas if it’s a bigger team, the candidate will need to be able to learn faster and be malleable to adapt to the rhythm of the existing team. These are things that you, as a recruiter, need to decipher.
When you finally set out to sourcing the right candidate, you already know the kind of person that the team will need, and you can apply all the right filters to find a good fit.
2. Personalised, thoughtful communication
Let’s always remember that in outbound recruiting, you, the recruiter, is pursuing the candidate. Therefore, all your messages should be incredibly thoughtful, personalised, and most importantly, enticing. You will need to write messages that talk about the prospect’s skills, interests, background, even their future goals.
For example, if you’re looking to hire a writer, you can take some time to read the articles they’ve written, and use that as the first line: “Hey, I found this article on topic X very interesting. I’d love to speak to you to understand if you’re looking out for a role that gives you the chance to write more about this topic” The prospect will feel flattered and be inclined to respond to you, and even explore the job opportunity. Learn more on How AI in Recruiting Transforms Talent Acquisition Processes
3. Detailed messaging
The candidate that you’re after has probably not heard of your company, or they know a little bit but not enough to feel motivated to take up the job. So it becomes your prerogative to give them complete context.
For example, if your company is at an early stage - then talk about the energetic environment, the ability to be a part of the founding team, but also talk about the fact that the employee might need to juggle multiple things at once.
4. Ongoing long-term relationships
Having a constant line of communication is perhaps the most underrated outbound recruiting strategy there is. As an outbound recruiter, you need to show interest in the candidate’s career trajectory, their personal preferences, and have an ongoing conversation with them.
If you’re approachable and empathetic in your demeanour, a candidate who declined your offer a couple months ago might change their mind and join your company. Getting a prospect to sign up for your company’s newsletter, sharing company milestones with them, interacting with their posts on social media, all of these things are some effective ways to do so.
5. Persistent follow-ups
A prospect who’s already working at another company and is satisfied with their job is unlikely to accept your offer at the get-go. You’re going to have to relentlessly pursue your prospect. This route involves sending strategic follow-up messages.
You’ll need to follow-up at least 10 times to get your prospect to respond to you ~ Achuthanand Ravi, co-founder and CEO, Kula.ai, with a decade of experience building leadership teams at Stripe, Uber and Freshworks
6. Leverage tech
With a host of tasks to reach targets, pursuing passive candidates, you are probably lost in their excel spreadsheets, and endless to-do lists. To truly make the best of their time, you need to adopt efficient tools to help you automate certain tasks.
Kula is a tool that lets outbound recruiters to hire at a 50% faster rate. You can set up flows using AI, source candidates across a variety of channels, check their status, and more. With Kula,
- All candidates are in one place.
- Your communication is automated.
- You have reports ready for every opening.
- You feel confident.
7. Employer branding
This is the biggest driver of applications in an inbound recruiting strategy, but the benefits of employer branding in outbound is vast, too.
Think about it, in an early-stage company or SMB, the working relationship with the founders/leadership team is a lot more intimate, and hence, finding the employer likeable is all the more relevant for a prospect. Focusing on building the employer branding makes it easier for recruiters to push leads down the funnel. Sharing personal stories of employees, their testimonials and values of the company becomes a fruitful endeavour.
8. Periodic tracking and optimisation
Lastly, it’s paramount to track the number of responses, the status of each candidate, how many prospects are at which stage of the funnel, etc, on a monthly/quarterly basis. Only upon keeping a check on these things, you can constantly iterate your strategy. This is again where tech can play a significant role. An efficient tech tool can help you access all the data relating to talent ops on one dashboard, and draw inferences within minutes.
Leverage Outbound Recruitment Automation Platform Kula
With Kula's recruitment automation platform, you get all the vital stats for your automated outbound email drips for passive candidates, with a full view of the talent funnel. It ensures predictability and transparency through ready-made dashboards and easy-access reports. Click here to leverage outbound recruiting platform Kula.ai.
Read our other resources: