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With unemployment hovering at 4 percent nationwide, employers are scrambling to find new ways to attract top talent. A 2016 study from Deloitte made it clear: companies need to articulate their brand in a way that entices candidates that want to align their personal values with their employer's mission. Companies who are able to do this often experience a shift from outbound to inbound recruiting.

Outbound recruiting is a traditional approach to recruitment, which involves posting open positions on the career page of the company website, or on job boards, and subsequently sorting through resumes to find qualified applicants.

Inbound recruiting, on the other hand, means candidates are proactively searching for openings at your company. This creates a pool of applicants who aren't looking for just any job, but want to work for your company. Not only does inbound recruiting attract candidates who are more passionate about your company, but the savings can also be substantial. LinkedIn's pay-per-click job posting fees can cost 1.3 times your daily pay-per-click budget, while having a strong employer brand grows a candidate pool organically, and for free.

Here are four ways you can communicate your brand story to help turn the tide from outbound to inbound recruiting, as told by companies that have made it happen.

1) Make Employees Your Brand Advocates

HubSpot, a marketing software company creates content on its website that demonstrates their brand as employers, and allows them to engage with candidates in a personal way. HubSpot's blog posts instill a sense of pride and ownership into employees by highlighting how the company has been integral in transforming the marketing industry. Hannah Fleishman, Hubspot's Employer Brand Manager, says it "gives employees a reason to care about the brand," which turns them into brand ambassadors. Employees who see their work highlighted on the blog are more likely to share these blog posts on social media, which in turn further promotes HubSpot's employer brand and drives inbound marketing.

2) Give Authentic Insights Into the Company Culture

Alex Turnbull, CEO of GrooveHQ, a customer support app, established the company's brand by creating a personal blog on his company's website where he details the ups and downs of his startup journey. Its candor inspired two candidates—both of whom now hold senior management positions—to contact Turnbull and express interest in working there. His advice: behind-the-scenes blogging not only helps build a brand, but also gives potential employees insights into the company's culture that can lure them in.

3) Align Your Brand With Relevant Candidate Pipelines

Cristian Rennella, VP of Human Resources at ElMejorTrat, a web-based financial services business in Argentina, credits the company's employer brand with attracting engineers who weren't simply looking to change jobs, but were compelled by the company's focus on collaborative learning. The key to success was in their partnerships with software engineering programs at prestigious universities, which attracted candidates eager to grow their technical knowledge. By aligning their brand with specific opportunities for learning and development relevant to their business, they were able to expand their inbound recruiting candidate pool and you can too.

4) Use Social Media to Lend a Fresh Perspective

Brett Helling, CEO of Ridester, a resource for rideshare drivers, wasn't having success with his traditional outbound recruitment approach. Scrapping "boring job ads," he instead opted for sharing fun insights into the company's culture on Twitter and Instagram that included rider surveys and contests for employees. This approach garnered mentions in prestigious business publications and turned outbound recruitment into inbound with very little effort.

Traditional outbound recruitment shouldn't be the only strategy smart HR professionals have in their toolkit. By adopting inbound strategies based on your employer brand, your company can not only save on recruitment expenses, but can also build an engaged, more loyal workforce committed to achieving company goals.

Photo: Creative Commons