A person who plans to work in human resources, management or a similar function in business, corporate administration or business ownership needs to know, “What are some differences between inbound and outbound recruiting?” The concepts of outbound and inbound recruiting are human resources terms that refer to how hiring managers or human resources specialists attract new talent to the organization. Understanding the differences between these two strategies could help an employer figure out how to focus their limited time.

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How the Message Gets Out

A primary difference between inbound and outbound recruiting strategies is how the message gets to the candidate. With inbound recruiting, applicants see job postings on a website or even on the employer’s website. They might find out about job openings by attending a job fair or looking at an employment assistance website. Inbound hiring also uses weekly email updates or how-to guides for a specific profession so that people who work in that area of expertise will be aware of the company providing the resource. The outbound hiring strategy is more aggressive. It is often similar to telemarketing, involving cold calls or emails without previous contact.

The Art of Pursuit

Who does the pursuing is a big difference in inbound hiring versus outbound hiring. With the inbound strategy, the person looking for a job pursues one or more potential employers. They may fill out applications, send cover letters and resumes, drop into a corporate office and ask to speak with a hiring manager out of the blue, call the company to ask about vacancies or go to job fairs and speak with recruiters who are set up at the event. The outbound strategy involves the employer pursuing the candidate. The human resources specialist or hiring manager has to spend time seeking out the right applicants based on online profiles and databases. They must initiate contact with the person. The person may or may not be seeking a job.

Traditional Versus Digital Methods

According to the Undercover Recruiter, a big difference in inbound versus outbound hiring is the overall approach of making contact. Inbound is more traditional. It uses emails and events to reach applicants. Outbound hiring is a newer approach that relies on more digital methods. Those methods include social media engagement, websites that allow for online networking between applicants and employers and calls, texts or emails from employers to candidates whose profiles meet their job requirements.

Level of Engagement

Another big difference in these two recruitment strategies is the level of engagement that each one requires. The outbound hiring strategy requires a lot of engagement. The employer has to take a highly active role in engaging applicants. The applicants get to choose whether or not to respond to the employer’s outreach. The inbound strategy is more passive on the part of the employer. They post a job opening or place a social media ad and wait for applicants to contact them.

Knowing the differences in recruiting strategies helps a human resources specialist or manager focus their time, effort and money. Recruitment is costly and time-consuming, and the strategies used need to be focused and streamlined. Understanding the differences between inbound recruiting and outbound recruiting could make it easier to find the right new employee for an organization.