As we settle into 2019, the importance of delivering a hyper-personalized candidate experience has yet again taken center stage not only for recruiting organizations, but as a strategic business imperative. A newly released Gartner Survey of 137 senior executives from the last quarter of 2018 indicates that the global talent shortage is now viewed as the top risk that organizations face today. Further, The Talent Board recently reported that based on a survey of 135 employers at the end of 2018, 73.3 percent of organizations listed candidate experience as their top focus for 2019. And this offers no surprise. Companies seeking to address the global talent shortage must create a differentiated, personalized candidate experience that nurtures individuals throughout their entire talent journey.
So where do you start? Last year, we highlighted Three Reasons Personalization Transforms the Candidate Experience. This provides foundation for why companies should develop tailored experiences for candidates. But you may not be sure how you go about doing it. That’s why we are featuring three specific ways in 2019 for enhancing the candidate experience and delivering highly personalized candidate engagement throughout the talent journey. Let’s take a look at these now so you can start making 2019 the year of personalization for your candidates.
First, the Parallel to Modern Marketing
Chances are, you’ve watched Netflix already this week. Or maybe you’ve purchased something from Amazon. Think back to your experience and interaction with these platforms as a consumer. Did you check out the suggested content from Netflix? Maybe browse around the titles provided based on your past viewing behavior? What about while you shopped around on Amazon? Did you look at related items or check out deals based on your past product searches? Amazon and Netflix have both figured out that personalization is key, and providing each user an individualized experience is essential in building loyal customers who receive the kind of digital interactions they deserve.
And there is data to back this up. According to Forbes, “60% of Netflix rentals stem from personalized messages based on a customer’s previous viewing behavior and 35% of Amazon’s sales are directly attributed to suggesting products an individual might like based on their unique behaviors and purchases. By captivating their customers in the right moment and delivering relevant experiences, brands like these are witnessing higher conversion rates and increased customer loyalty.” Simply said, converting prospects into customers means providing tailored experiences based on individual behavior and personal preference.
The relationship to recruitment marketing is no different. Candidates today expect the same consumer-grade experiences they receive in B2C interactions, so it’s essential that you deliver personalized experiences that resonate with each person’s job preferences, background and engagement level with your company. When you start to deliver a more tailored candidate experience, much like in the consumer world, you will see increased candidate conversion rates—attracting more of the right talent at the right time for your organization.
Now, Three Ways to Deliver Hyper-Personalized Experiences
#1: Modernizing Candidate Engagement Through AI
One of the top ways organizations can begin to develop an ultra-personalized experience is by incorporating AI that empowers candidates during their job search. First, make sure you are leveraging natural language processing to improve search results for candidates and help better match them to jobs they are seeking. Talemetry collaborates with Google Cloud Talent Solution to offer machine learning that better understands the intent of candidates in their job search process, increasing candidate engagement, maximizing career site traffic, and improving candidate conversion.
Another way to assist candidates during their talent journey is to leverage chatbot functionality that serves as a personal assistant to candidates. By leveraging capabilities like chatbot powered by AI, you can deliver a hyper-personalized candidate experience. Interacting through a personal job assistant gives candidates the exact information they are looking for at the exact moment they are searching for it. And it reinforces your organization’s commitment that you are interested in each individual as a candidate. As you consider integrating chatbot functionality into your candidate experience, remember that native chatbot within enterprise recruitment marketing platform technology offers considerable advantage over standalone or point solutions. Native chatbot functionality enables you to easily capture candidate interactions, nurture talent, and manage relationships more easily and effectively than just chatbot functionality by itself.
Third, consider the importance of predictive AI in personalizing the candidate experience. One way to engage candidates through recruiting AI is to provide content recommendations or suggest job areas for consideration. For example, if a candidate views an engineering job during a past session on your career site, then you should provide other previously unviewed engineering jobs that may be of interest to him or her. Or say a visitor has a profile on your site that includes sales-related job titles. He or she might want to be provided with a list of suggested sales jobs open at your organization. Anticipating and providing recommendations using predictive AI for other open positions lets candidates know you are tailoring their job search specifically to them.
#2: Engaging Candidates Through SMS/Text Messaging
The recent Talemetry 2020 Vision Survey revealed that 43 percent of organizations admit that they are slow to incorporate emerging technologies like SMS/text messaging to engage and interact with candidates. But those organizations that have started using text recruiting solutions, like the native Talemetry Talent TXT product offered in the Talemetry platform, are already realizing greater levels of candidate engagement. In fact, according to Mobile Marketing Watch, text offers an unbelievable 98 percent open rate, with average response time taking around just 90 seconds, making it a vital candidate engagement tactic in your recruiting activities.
As a recruiter, you’ve probably experienced the limitations that solely using email or InMail can present in interacting with candidates. These forms of digital communication are often slower, can be cumbersome and even feel somewhat impersonal. For 2019, it’s essential that organizations start incorporating candidate texting to offer a faster, more direct communication channel that is highly personalized to each candidate.
Sending and receiving text messages also reflects well on your employer brand. More than 64 percent of consumers—and prospective candidates—are likely to have a positive perception of companies that offer communication through text, according to Harris, while 75 percent of people like offers sent via text, based on research from Digital Marketing Magazine. As you consider how and when to start incorporating texting as part of your candidate outreach, make sure you have a roadmap on how you will incorporate and capture this data into your candidate relationship management system as well.
#3: Providing Personalized, Tailored Recruitment Content
Enterprise companies that want to attract high quality talent need to understand how to personalize recruitment content at scale. What does this entail? Just like the example of Amazon and Netflix in the consumer world, you should recognize candidates immediately when they visit your career site. Go beyond providing only recommended jobs, but think about the individual interests and needs of each job seeker.
When a visitor comes to your career site, his or her background and past affiliations impact what he or she is interested in viewing. Take for example a veteran who is viewing content on your site. By adjusting content shown based on known visitor information, you can show career site content that features veteran benefits or specific services your company offers directly to veterans, making the experience more relevant and more personal to the job seeker. Further, when candidates visit your career site, they likely have had interactions with you previously. Their existing level of engagement should determine how you interact with them. For example, a candidate may visit your career site from a campaign in a talent network. So you would definitely not want to re-invite them on your career site to join your network again. Knowing the existing level of interaction a candidate has with your company can help you determine how to continue to convert candidates in their candidate journey and continue to personalize their experiences.
Also, when you know how job seekers and visitors are interacting with content on your career site, you can start to create targeted or segmented campaigns from your candidate relationship management system that will further engage them. For example, let’s say you have a microsite for nurses in a specific city. For all active visitors on this microsite, you could invite each individual to a meet-and-greet networking event at your hospital. Using what you know from existing candidate behavior on your microsite, you can develop and deliver personalized follow-up campaigns to deepen your relationships with them.
With solutions like Talemetry Career Site ID, you can leverage all your candidate data to personalize and contextualize content on your career site to individuals, and then integrate that into your broader candidate relationship management platform for candidate outreach. Using this information to directly communicate with and tailor recruitment messages to individual candidates empowers you to start personalizing each candidate journey and improve conversion results at the individual level.
Optimize Personalization with Integrated Technology
The three categories discussed here offer a wealth of opportunity for providing a more personalized experience for your candidates in 2019. In creating a more modern recruitment experience for candidates that values them at the individual level, you can attract higher quality talent and increase candidate conversion rates across the talent journey. But remember, optimizing your recruitment marketing activities means bringing together disparate technologies and disconnected processes. In other words, don’t think that buying a bunch of disconnected point solutions will contribute to a seamless, engaging candidate experience. Instead, it takes the right recruitment marketing partner that understands AI for recruiting, SMS/text messaging, and personalized recruitment content are all interconnected parts of a broader candidate engagement strategy to enhance the candidate experience and drive recruitment results for your organization.