How to: Outbound vs. Inbound Sourcing Part 2

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Aug 12, 2016
This article is part of a series called Editor's Pick.

Every position needs to have a strategy on how the position will be sourced and filled. There are multiple factors to consider such as your budget and timeline. The question remains for your position, which methodology will be cost effective and fast.


Internet job boards (Inbound)

Traditional job boards charge you for posting a job ad for 30 days: CareerBuilder ($419), Monster ($399), SimplyHired ($99-$289), LinkedIn ($315), LinkUp ($195), Jobing ($175/post), Dice ($315), SnagaJob($89-$249), Craigslist($15-$75/wk).

Job boards like Indeed ($0.25 – $1.50 PPC) or LinkUp (PPC) or Google Adwords or Facebook Ads charge you per click on your job ad, regardless whether a person applies or not. For example, on Indeed job seeker’s intent from view to the application has conversion rate average of 7% and ranges from 3% to 13%. If you are looking for mid to high competitive roles with $1 to $1.5 pay-per-click then you are spending on average about $15 to $21 per application and for non-competitive roles, the price is $3.51 per application. Keep in mind these figures don’t include the true cost incurred by non-relevant applicants. PPC job boards make perfect sense especially if you have the advertising budget or expect fewer applicants than the cost to post on traditional job boards, for example, the break even for LinkedIn vs. PPC is 15 applications.


Source: Gain Exposure Where Your Candidates Are – Slideshare


For the low budget recruiters and agencies, there are sites like ZipRecruiter, US Jobs, Ladders, FlexJobs, GlassDoor, and AngelList which will let you post job ads for FREE as a basic service. All of these sites charge you for extra visibility boost, promoting your job ads on their partner networks, or syndication to other job boards. Prices range from a service provider to another.

For high-volume low-cost funnel building, there are tools that distribute a single job ad across multiple platforms effectively letting you post on multiple at once. These tools save you time and often a hefty amount of money by doing ‘job board syndication’: Mighty Recruiter ($89-$499/mo), Workable ($390+/mo), or RecruiterBox ($20/post/mo or $490/mo) which posts to over 40 sites as an inorganic job ad that get you the exposure of large job boards. Inorganic job ads are basically ads that were posted on an original platform but picked up by other platforms as syndicates content. Job boards want your post jobs on their platform because it’s the content and the opportunity behind job ads that attract job seeking visitors. Some job boards go even as far as scraping content from each other.

The advantage of a syndication is much lower cost, hundreds instead of thousands of dollars. It also nice to have one place that collects all the applications across the web instead of 40 different sites. However, you are getting no support, no edits, and lower job ad ranking. I would recommend re-posting your job ads every couple of days to refresh them to the top rank unless you want your ads to be lost in the abyss of the forgotten web.

Pro Tip: Use tools like Grammarly ($30/mo) before posting a job ad to get rid of errors.



Source: 2015 Realities of Modern Recruiting – Jobvite


Social Networks (Mostly Outbound)

Social networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn, GitHub, Twitter, StackOverflow, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, and SnapChat offer something unique to every recruiter. Social recruiting is the number two source of candidates for recruiters, second only to direct referrals (Jobvite). It’s the best source of quality applicants for enterprises about 46 percent of the time, and the second best source of quality applicants for small and medium businesses (40 percent) just behind job boards (LinkedIn). Terms like boolean search, graph search, account restrictions, and spam are the bane of social recruiting because each network and its search techniques have a considerable learning curve.

There is always hope. A variety of training materials like ‘How to Recruit on LinkedIn’ and ‘How to Recruit on Facebook’ are spread across different recruiting communities such as Boolean Strings Network, Online Recruiters, SourceCon where one you can go and ask your burning questions and meet other recruiters. Once you master social network sourcing, any online network can be transformed into your talent acquisition powerhouse.

Recruiting is an art trained by a lot of hard work. Utilize technologies that streamline redundant, inefficient tasks to make space for the things in your life that really matter, like job board syndication tools! For social recruiting, there are tools that will help you achieve better and bigger things, generate more placements, all while giving the features of a premium subscription.


Source: Wider, Deeper, and More Accurate Search – Hiretual


Referral Programs (Inbound)

Referrals have the highest application-to-hire percentage. Every third referral gets hired. The best source for referrals are communities that recruiters build around them. Referral communities are often the best comparative advantage that will stay with your recruiting your whole lifetime. A constant stream of referrals usually happens because of a relationship or reputation of a recruiter or a brand. They are often incentivized by a referral bonus upon placement that ranges from a couple of bucks to $10,000 depending on the difficulty of a role or generosity of the payor.


Company Career Websites (Mostly Inbound)

The secret to a successful company career website is killer employer branding and a stellar company reputation. In 2013, Google received over 2.5 million applications through their career website (Forbes). While employer branding is a topic in itself if you’d like to learn to do it right, here’s Arielle Jackson, the brand manager behind Gmail, Docs, Calendar, and Voice: Three Moves Every Startup Founder Must Make to Build a Brand That Matters.

By combining different sourcing options, you’ll effectively increase your talent funnel. Your total number of quality applications, from the start to each final hire, will dramatically increase. If you are competing with other agencies to get the placement, the biggest decider is how fast you can find a certain amount of quality candidates that will match the role. Most recruiters tend to only source on platforms that they are most comfortable with, which often leads to doing the same old thing with the same old results. That’s why it’s crucial to always add an experimental source to the mix. If you have too many inbound applications, refine your search. If you do too much search on LinkedIn, balance with Facebook or job boards. In any case, try to test what works and what doesn’t with the support of a community that’s willing to learn along with you.


Source: 7 Benchmark Metrics to Help You Master Your Recruiting Funnel – Jobvite


Parting Thoughts

You have to understand your customers, which includes both your candidates and your hiring managers. You also have to understand you budget and your time constraints. When coming up with your plan, you want to utilize your resources in the most efficient manner. Great sourcing requires a great strategy with a well-rounded plan. Be sure to consider all factors before deciding to recruit inbound vs. outbound. Remember there is a time, and plan, for everything we do as talent acquisition professionals.



This article is part of a series called Editor's Pick.