Blending Technology and Touch Attracts More Candidates

ManpowerGroup Chart
Candidate preferences from ManpowerGroup Solutions
ManpowerGroup Chart
Candidate preferences from ManpowerGroup Solutions

While there’s no end of technology products on the market to help recruiters source, engage and vet candidates, such products are only effective when they’re part of a personalized approach that includes personal, as well as digital, contact.

That’s the conclusion outsourcer ManpowerGroup Solutions came to after surveying 18,000 people between the ages of 18 and 65 in 24 countries. With the labor market tighter than it’s been in 12 years and 45 percent of employers struggling to fill open positions, the company said—to nobody’s surprise—employers have to worker harder to attract the right candidates.

Company Senior Vice President Kate Donovan said candidates “expect to find a job in the same way they consume other services, with a personalized, yet tech-centered approach.” Candidates search for new roles on multiple channels, she said, so analytics and “contextual retargeting” have become particularly important.

Donovan defined contextual retargeting as using a correlating a candidate’s browsing history to their career interests. “A customized strategy is the only way to go, blending great technology and great personal experiences,” she said. “This is what creates a stand out candidate experience.”

Technology’s Not for Closing

ManpowerGroup found that while consumer-grade technology can drive applications, it won’t close the deal. Twenty-six percent of candidates, including a number of early adopters, said “high-touch, in-person” was their preferred method of getting to know a prospective employer.

“In fact,” the company said in its paper Siri, Find Me a New Job, “with so much of the initial contact between candidates and employers becoming automated, the need for human interaction may only increase in importance.” Easy-to-use technology, employer-branding and recruitment marketing are all important, but “there is no real substitute for seeing and feeling the connection (or the lack thereof) with a company and its culture.”

Such statements won’t surprise many talent acquisition professionals. However, candidates tell us that a surprising number of companies haven’t yet grasped the fact that employers begin showing their true colors with their earliest interactions, whether technical or personal.

Besides treating people as if they’re something more than commodities, ManpowerGroup recommends tailoring your technology approach to the types of workers you need and where they might be hiding. Social media, for example, is a good tool for getting the attention of passive candidates.

To underscore ManpowerGroup’s point, we’re reminded of a professional who told us of a phone call he received from an employer’s HR leader. After saying he’d been identified as an excellent candidate for a management position, she asked him to take an online personality test. She finished by informing him that she would only call back if he was judged a good potential fit.

“I took the test but I can’t really say why I did,” he said. “She was nice enough, but the whole idea of ‘I’ll only call back if I think you’re worth it’ really said everything.”

Also, he added, “the personality test was really clunky.”

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