Inbound Talent: an innovative approach to bring in candidates to become brand ambassadors

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The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.
Marcel Proust

It’s time to turn things on its head with Inbound Talent. With so much information available today, thanks to digital technologies and the pervasive internet ruling our daily lives, how do we candidates, employees, or HR professionals get what we want from one and another?

Just as Marcel Proust said, “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” Even though there are new digital jobs and careers, the actual landscape of the working world has not changed for anyone, as the HR processes are still essentially the same. Only the heightened competition and increased transparency has changed drastically. This means companies have to use different eyes and innovative approaches in their HR processes to find new opportunities and ways to influence and win over people to work for them, to continue working for them, and gladly refer the company to others. This is where the novel concept of Inbound Talent comes in.

Inbound Talent is focused on attracting candidates and engaging employees through intuitive HR processes adding value at every stage of each candidate’s or employee’s journey with the organization. It does this by actively involving these users (regardless of their position inside or even outside the organization) to voluntarily participate in the organization’s HR processes. Inbound Talent does this by focusing mostly on pull marketing techniques applied to Talent Management to attract users to HR processes naturally and non-intrusively.

With Inbound Talent, potential candidates find the organization through various employer branding channels like blogs, search engines, social media and HR processes designed with them in mind. Such potential candidates and eventual employees are attracted through building trust in the organization’s business and reputation in the hope that they will eventually become the company’s brand ambassadors.

5 Principles of Inbound Talent

  1. Inbound Talent focuses on the person and their needs even when these change

The focus is entirely on the individual, or more precisely the persona, as represented by the ideal candidate or employee to attract and retain in the organization. Everything about a person becomes important, their needs and concerns at each given moment as these change over time.

  1. Inbound Talent creates value through a person itinerary designed to retain

HR actions based on these needs and concerns bring value to the person by means of the right incentives and development choices, throughout their journey within and outside the company as situations and needs evolve. This way the company promotes itself as an ideal place for career development, and better succeeds in retaining critical talent.

  1. Inbound Talent fine tunes actions through personalization for each individual

The next level of granularity takes this Inbound Talent process to the personalization of HR and development actions which further accommodate individual differences at different points of time for each specific person. This way the company promotes itself as caring for each individual.

  1. Automate to streamline the Inbound Talent process and tasks

The best way to ensure that the right processes, actions and messages approach or reach the person at the right time is through correctly configured automated procedures. This is where designing HR technology innovatively to support this becomes important.

  1. Analyse actions done for continuous improvements

It goes without saying that all innovation in Inbound Talent must too recognize evolving changes among individuals, markets, processes and more, so analytics are instrumental.


The 4 phases of the Inbound Talent journey

The ultimate goal of Inbound Talent is to bring in the right talent who are also proud of the company they work for or have worked for. This is about winning a candidate over and to transform him or her into a brand ambassador for the company. This works rather like the marketing funnel but tailored to the talent journey.

Inbound Talent inevitably has to be structured into phases in the journey of bringing candidates into the company for that purpose. This is done with the right kind of HR technology design to support these phases and to create the funnel for ultimately converting candidates into brand ambassadors.

  1. Attract: woo candidates to arouse interest and recruit them in. This is a critical stage, as without attracting candidates, the rest of the process cannot take place.
  2. Convert: get candidates on board and to become productive employees. It isn’t enough just to hire them, you need to also provide them with what they need to become productive as quickly as possible in a pleasant manner.
  3. Develop and engage: keep employees personally motivated and stimulated on the job, by meeting their personal and professional needs in order to retain them.
  4. Delight: get these employees to love you and become brand ambassadors even when they move on to another organization.


Inbound Talent works

And just because it is that time of year, let’s show you how the principles of Inbound Talent are beautifully reflected in Charles Dickens’s “A Christmas Carol”, a story that we all love and have heard year after year without getting tired of it. The conscience of Inbound Talent is embodied by Marley’s ghost, who takes Ebenezer Scrooge on a journey to convince him of the value of Christmas and the cheer it brings him and many others. The Christmas Spirit wants Scrooge to come on board in the merry making of Christmas. It turns to Marley to woo Scrooge through the different time periods, Christmas Past, Christmas Present and Christmas Future in a personal way, reflecting back the individual possibilities to Scrooge himself. We could say Marley’s ghost effectively used Inbound Talent tactics to get Scrooge accompany him and visit different time periods in a carefully staged itinerary to show him how they affect his life at a very personal level. Those ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future certainly contributed to Scrooge’s development into a more compassionate being, right down to the smallest detail and the most personal level. And we all know that Scrooge passed through the journey, or funnel if you like, to become one of the best ever ambassadors of the Christmas Spirit!

If you want to find out more, download the paper on Inbound Talent, and watch this space for the next blog entries on the different phases of this journey.


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