5 Fail-Proof Ways to Personalize the Candidate Experience


A sponsored guest column from Jennifer Thomas, a member of Phenom People’s marketing team.

Personalization—it’s everywhere. From what we buy on Amazon to what we watch on Netflix, our activities of daily living are filled with experiences that are instantly personalized to our preferences. In fact, customized content is so prevalent that when we don’t receive tailored results on-demand, it can negatively impact our perception of the entire brand we’re interacting with. 

Here's 5 ways to personalize your career site's experience so it attracts, engages and converts your ideal candidates. @Phenom_People #HR #HRTribe Click To Tweet

So why are 97 percent of the Fortune 500 failing to deliver hyper-personalized candidate experiences to job seekers? Considering artificial intelligence is doing much of the heavy lifting behind today’s targeted personalization, it’s surprising companies aren’t prioritizing the talent journey for potential employees. Career site capabilities such as semantic search, social login, recommended jobs and chatbots are all essential personalization components to bring best-fit roles to job seekers, instead of tasking them to do the work. 

Here are five surefire ways HR professionals can enable their companies to meet the demand for individualized results in order to attract, engage and convert their ideal candidates.

1. Employ a Chatbot to do the Heavy Lifting

Phenom People's Jennifer Thomas
Phenom People’s Jennifer Thomas

Want a quick way to improve candidate engagement and conversion? Leverage a chatbot. Also known as conversational bots or virtual recruiters, chatbots are meant to work alongside people, alleviating transactional duties so recruiters and other talent acquisition team members can dedicate more time to complex skills and areas. Plus, they’re available 24/7 when most TA teams are not. 

Powered by AI, chatbots help recruiters connect candidates with the right job faster by delivering tailored job recommendations, scheduling interviews and answering FAQs. To prepare your chatbot to interact with candidates, you need to add questions you anticipate them asking, making sure your answers are clear and concise. Building and optimizing your chatbot’s knowledge base is essential to delivering a top-notch candidate experience.  

The use of chatbots by customer service teams is projected to grow by 136 percent in the coming months. Yet despite their powerful potential, 94 percent of Fortune 500 companies still don’t have a chatbot on their career site. 

2. Provide Relevant, Recommended Jobs 

When job seekers struggle to find a role that suits their interests and experience, they’re more likely to leave your career site and look elsewhere. Candidate profiles on career sites empower job seekers to personalize their own experiences. Considering that 57 percent of consumers are OK with providing personal information as long as it’s for their benefit, it’s likely more job seekers will share their data than not. 

By sharing their desired field of work, skills and employment history, candidates receive tailored job recommendations. This not only reduces the time it takes to find the right role, it also increases the likelihood that they’ll complete an application. However, 92 percent of the Fortune 500 aren’t utilizing this technology as a way to improve the candidate experience.

3. Offer Semantic Search Capability

A candidate’s ability to find the right job depends on the career site’s ability to deliver the correct, relevant results. But having a search bar on a career site is insufficient—it must be intelligent enough to understand the intent and context of a candidate’s inquiry, as well as the relationship between words. Typo tolerance and synonym recognition are some AI properties that help identify the right roles.

Also known as semantic search, this type of functionality seeks to understand language the same way a human would. For example, if a job seeker searches for “RN” positions, semantic search ensures all jobs with the word “nurse” display, even if the title doesn’t include “RN.” An overwhelming 86 percent of the Fortune 500 don’t equip their career sites with semantic search capabilities.

4. Provide Social Login and Apply

Career sites that feature social login—or the ability to connect to a social media profile—use AI to instantly create a tailored job search experience. Once a candidate logs in to their LinkedIn account, for example, information from their profile is used to deliver relevant positions. This expedites the job search process, connecting candidates with the right roles faster—including ones they might have otherwise missed. With millions of users on social networking sites, it’s surprising that 90 percent of Fortune 500 career sites are missing out on this opportunity to attract the right talent.

Similar to social login, social apply uses information from an applicant’s social media profile to automatically complete a job application. This feature makes applying effortless, often reducing the process to a single click and minimizing candidate drop-off rates. However, more than half of Fortune 500 career sites don’t include this capability. Among those that do have social apply, 10 percent aren’t parsing this information into the application. The more details a candidate must provide in an application, the more likely it is they’ll abandon the application altogether.

5. Leverage AI-Powered Insights

Talent leaders have struggled to obtain quality and reliable data. AI-driven insights provide fit and engagement scoring, which allows teams to discover new job seekers and rediscover existing candidates. As a result, they’re able to engage and nurture their entire talent pool—allowing teams to spend more time with qualified candidates, as well as reducing time-to-hire and cost-per-hire.  

As the gap widens between job seekers’ expectations and what companies are delivering, immediate action must be taken. Providing an unmatched candidate experience infused with AI-driven personalization is the key to gaining a competitive advantage and building a quality talent pipeline. By mirroring consumer experiences and pushing innovation in personalization, your company can do just that.  

Want the inside scoop on personalization and the candidate experience? Join us at IAMPHENOM, the #1 talent experience conference! Use code HCM2020 when you buy one pass to get one free. Register today

Jennifer Thomas works in content marketing at Phenom People, where she strives to apply Gen X insights to talent experience management.

Phenom People is a global HR technology company with a mission to help a billion people find the right job. It does this through an AI-based SaaS platform called Talent Experience Management.

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