Inbound recruitment - the new standard in recruitment

"Tension in the labor market" headlined the Central Bureau of Statistics earlier this year in its latest publication. Since last year, the number of vacancies has exceeded the number of unemployed by more than 20%. For many organizations, HR departments and recruiters, this news comes as no surprise. 

The cost of bringing in talent is rising rapidly, in part due to an increasing reliance on external recruitment agencies. The consequence of filling vacancies too late: it's bad for business. The old recruitment system is dead. In this blog you will read how to get your recruitment system in order so that attracting staff is no longer the bottleneck of your growth ambitions. 

Why inbound recruitment?

Simply making your vacancies easier to find online is not enough to deal with your recruitment challenges. Because what are the chances that the one experienced technical specialist you need is looking for a new job when you put your vacancy online? And that you know where to find each other at that exact moment? Small. If you want a continuous flow of new candidates, you will have to do the following:

1. Put your ideal candidate at the center of your approach

Within the inbound recruiting methodology, you take the candidate by the hand and guide them smoothly through the inbound recruitment process. To better understand the candidate, you create an "ideal candidate. On the one hand, this fits the needs of your company, but also has some needs of its own. What does the candidate need to meet in order to thrive within your organization? Sometimes it is easier to start with what you are not looking for. 

2. Connecting the candidate to your organization

Think like a marketer: what needs does our ideal candidate have? What questions is he or she walking around with? Map out all the questions and needs that the candidate has and focus your communication on them. With the right content on different channels you nurture the relationship between you and the candidate. 

3. Be and stay in contact

Stay in touch with the candidate by offering valuable content throughout the candidate journey. Again: think like a marketer. What does the candidate need at what stage of the application process? Stay in touch until you get the signal that he or she is open to an exploratory interview.

That is the moment to let your recruiter do his job. The candidate has already had a taste of the organization and is open to direct communication. This is good for recruitment, which can do its work much more efficiently. And a much better experience for the candidate.

What is inbound recruitment?

With inbound recruitment you create a valuable candidate experience. By applying the fundamental principles of inbound marketing to your recruitment. It allows you to have a structural relationship with talent. Whether they are actively or passively looking. So you move them - at their own pace - towards you as an employer. 

The term "inbound" is used to describe the new standard in recruitment marketing. Away from the invasive push of recruiters, of which candidates now have their fill. But focused on establishing valuable relationships and interactions, which connect to their candidate journey. The candidate journey distinguishes four phases: Attract, Convert, Close and Delight.



How does a potential candidate first come into contact with your organization? Attract talent with content that connects to his or her perception of the world. Personal development is an important card to play here: show how you help the candidate with knowledge enhancement, professionalization and soft skills. At the same time, show yourself from your best side and make sure you become a beacon of knowledge with thought leadership content. Use social media channels (both paid and organic) to get your organization on the radar of passive candidates. 


Once a still anonymous candidate visits your website, make sure they have the opportunity to interact with you. Consider, for example, subscribing to blog content, offering valuable downloads, or the opportunity to sign up for knowledge events. After all, now that he has made himself known, you are able to enter into a personalized relationship with him. 

Changing jobs is not something you do every day. So nurturing candidates who show interest in your organization is one of the most important parts of inbound recruitment. Be helpful. 


Where you focus on thought leadership content in the attract phase, you turn your content for the subsequent phases of the journey on the consideration process. In doing so, you answer important questions: 

  • How experienced are employees within your organization? Provide sincere and authentic content. The more honest, the more credible!

  • What determines whether someone is a good fit for your organization? 

  • How do you help him in his development? 

  • What do your terms of employment look like? 

  • And of course: which vacancies are relevant for the candidate? 

Based on his "digital body language" and the pages he looks at, you are able to make a good assessment of whether someone is open to an introduction. Motivate him to apply. In this phase the candidate is also ready to be approached: contact him actively.


And of course: not every candidate is immediately hired. Turn candidates into promoters by taking them along in a tight, organized recruitment process. Ask for feedback. Give candidates who do not receive an offer the opportunity to stay in touch. A suitable job opportunity may come along at a later date! Motivate them to share your content with their community. This way you build an ever larger pool of candidates who, when the time is right, know how to find their way to your organization. 

Pro tip: flip the funnel! 

Flip the funnel: work from specific to general. By using the segmentation possibilities of LinkedIn, you can make targeted lists of potential candidates. With this list you know exactly who you are writing for and your content is personalized.

The components of inbound recruitment

Recruitment marketing is not a short-term strategy, but it is the road to long-term success. The main components of inbound recruitment in a row:

Candidate personas 

Get insight into who the ideal candidate is, what drives them and what their journey looks like. Connect your content strategy to this.


Help talent in their development. Answer their questions. Give an authentic insight into your organization. Make sure your content and job postings are easy to find. 

Lifecycle Marketing

Use Marketing Automation tooling to stay in touch and pick up on signals. After all, what are the chances that that one top candidate will apply immediately when they first become acquainted with your organization?

Omni-channel execution

Connect with candidates where they are active. Make use of both paid and organic social media channels, your own website, email marketing, display advertising, job boards, etc.

Recruiter enablement

Support recruitment activities with inbound recruitment: help your recruiters get more relevant candidates, who are more likely to apply. 

Is inbound recruitment the way to go?

Do you have an occasional vacancy to fill? Then inbound recruitment is not the right strategy for your organization. But if recruiting and hiring new talent is a top priority and you want to reduce dependence on expensive or external recruitment agencies, then inbound recruitment is the standard to embrace. 

Want to know more about recruitment marketing? Get in touch with us!


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Carolien Graafsma

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Founder & Partner

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