Talent has never been more accessible – but cutting through the noise to capture the attention of the right talent has never been harder.
Empowered by technology, today’s candidates are increasingly connected and more knowledgeable than ever before. In today’s competitive labor market, not only do candidates have more choices and higher expectations in employers, but there is also a growing number of ways in which candidates can research and engage with brands, which can ultimately influence their decision making. As a result, a one-size-fits-all strategy for attracting top talent has become entirely ineffective.
Instead, pre-emptively anticipating the needs of candidates and providing a targeted and relevant experience through a variety of touchpoints allows them to assess fit and overall interest with the employer’s brand before applying. Providing a candidate-centric experience leads to higher quality applicants whose expectations align with organizational fit and values because they have already engaged with the brand on a more personalized level.
Highly targeted site experiences have come to be expected, and it is critical that organizations continue to improve their candidate’s overall experiences. However, even within the same industry or field, no two candidate journeys are exactly alike, and few follow a linear path of landing on a career site to completing an application all in one visit. Candidate journeys are dynamic, and they continue to change shape in a variety of unique ways. Every time they do, they are redefining the traditional candidate conversion funnel. As a result, it is becoming increasingly difficult to make sense of all the different intent signals that candidates are leaving behind.
What does the evolving candidate journey mean for organizations trying to recruit top talent? It means that every person will take a different path on their way to choosing, or not choosing, a specific organization. The power is in the hands of candidates, and they are electing to engage with companies that provide relevant, targeted, efficient experiences. Candidates have come to expect a certain level of personalization, and an organization’s ability to effectively offer that level will define its ability to grow and remain competitive.
So, how can talent acquisition teams effectively personalize the candidate experience?
- Be Strategic. Personalization is more than just checking a box that says, ‘Hey, we utilize personalization’. It is foundational to an organization’s strategy of delivering the right message, to the right candidate, at the right time. It’s not only your career site, but it’s also a variety of different touchpoints across the entire candidate journey: everything from social media, to what you write in your job descriptions and beyond. It’s about having a consistent and strategic message from channel to channel to communicate what is valuable to that audience about the brand and the position. It’s all about capturing an audience and being able to nurture it over time so that two weeks, two months, or two years from now, when they switch from being a passive to an active candidate, your brand is top of mind.
- Be Predictive. To deliver frictionless personalized experiences, the greatest challenge is truly understanding candidates. Personalization can be hard because you need to understand your key audiences, your brand, and then you need to be able to generate content, or leverage existing content, that ties those two together. All of this is important to provide a tailored experience for the specific audience an organization is trying to attract. Investing in machine learning and an automation strategy has become critical to understanding and predicting the habits of candidates. Data helps organizations understand their customers and predict intent. Technology is the enabler that helps deliver and bolster a personalized candidate-centric experience through every step of their journey across a variety of online and offline touchpoints. Being able to derive real insight from the breadth of data that is being collected and making it actionable allows organizations to make the leap from fragmented planning to predicting exactly what a candidate needs, regardless of the stage in their journey.
- Be Relevant. Content is king, but if it’s not real-time and relevant, it isn’t going to be effective. Understanding your audience and accurately forecasting the type of content they want to see, and delivering that through personalized curation, are the keys to providing a better candidate experience. You can help candidates accelerate the process of discovering and re-discovering information that is relevant to them based on how they have interacted with your site and other sites across the network. It’s not always about jobs, and personalization helps bring the most relevant information to the forefront: the more we know about a candidate, the more we can refine their overall experience. Personalization drives stronger engagement with content and better conversion with jobs because it helps articulate a brand’s value to that individual candidate.
By adapting to each candidate’s behavior, organizations can create dynamic experiences tailored to each candidate’s preferences. Progressive organizations can reach candidates with content that demonstrates their value and employer brand, all while providing a unique experience for each candidate. As the formula for attracting talent continues to evolve, being able to anticipate intent has become vital.