Research: Inbound Recruiting Is More Efficient Than Outbound for Remote Jobs

Datapeople’s R&D Team research shows that inbound recruiting is more efficient and effective than outbound.

Datapeople’s R&D Team research shows that inbound recruiting is more efficient and effective than outbound.

Inbound recruiting is more efficient, effective, and equitable than outbound for remote jobs, according to the recruiting intelligence experts at Datapeople.

When the Datapeople R&D team looked at 30 million real-world job posts from over 10,000 employers from 2019 onwards, they found that remote jobs attract 125% larger inbound candidate pools than non-remote jobs and 120% more women.

“So if a hiring team is bringing in large, diverse candidate pools with their inbound recruiting channel, do they really need to source passive candidates as well?” asks Datapeople spokesperson Charlie Smith.

With non-remote jobs that are harder to recruit for in the remote work era, it may make sense, Datapeople says. But with remote jobs that are attracting larger and more diverse candidate pools, it doesn’t.

“Inbound recruiting is more efficient than outbound when done correctly,” Smith says. “But often hiring teams associate inbound recruiting with ‘post-and-pray’ recruiting, which isn’t the same thing at all.”

Datapeople defines inbound recruiting as attracting candidates with employer branding, career pages, online job boards, and various marketing strategies. Post-and-pray recruiting, on the other hand, is publishing an unvarnished job description on job boards with no accompanying marketing efforts.

The company says that hiring teams turn to outbound recruiting for a number of reasons. Budget and team cuts can mean having to do more with less. Tight labor markets can mean fewer qualified inbound candidates. Finding and reaching out to passive candidates may feel proactive and productive, despite yielding few responses or applications.

But Datapeople reports that outbound recruiting tactics like sourcing and referrals are inherently inequitable. When studying post-pandemic tech hiring trends, Datapeople’s R&D team found that over 80% of all applicants come through inbound recruiting. Yet those applicants only represented half of all hires. In fact, applicants from referral programs were 9 times more likely to get an offer than applicants from inbound recruiting.

“Hand-picking candidates instead of inviting everyone to apply isn’t equitable and can hurt DEI efforts,” says Smith. “But it’s also less efficient and cost-effective, particularly for remote jobs, as our data shows.”

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