A word of caution to recruiters and HR leaders: The hiring process won’t get easier anytime soon. It’s going to continue to require you to think more strategically and long-term, while communicating better and more often.
According to Jobvite’s 2018 Recruiter Nation Survey, 74% of hiring teams believe the competition for talent will heat up in the coming years. This uptick is due in no small part to recruiters’ insistence on adhering to the status quo: Send out job information to a broad audience and then hope that several qualified candidates will apply.
*That ain’t it, sis.*
That approach lacks both long-term strategy and efficiency. It’s a short-term fix missing critical data, a personal touch, and other insights needed to determine whether a candidate is the right fit.
It’s not enough that job seekers know they’re qualified for a position. Recruiters have to make it evident from the first interaction that a candidate’s personal and professional background is what led the company to engage with him or her. They want to feel valued, not just like everyone else.
Here are three ways to use personalization to connect with candidates:
1. Make it a part of your calling card. Companies that bring a personal touch to their hiring practices can immediately set themselves apart from competitors. Candidates expect their job-seeking experience to be exactly like their buying experiences – easy, helpful, and impactful. They expect more from companies today, and their interactions with your company should be unique experiences that are on par with how customers want to feel.
Recruiters have to incorporate personalization into all aspects of hiring, including how a candidate is engaged and how unique and personal that outreach sounds. The candidates who are hooked by your message will be the ones who choose to apply and, ultimately, join your company.
2. Create top-notch content. Higher-quality content equals higher open and response rates. Any correspondence with a candidate — whether it’s an email, a LinkedIn message, or a chatbot exchange — should be attention-grabbing. The job market is full of uninspired emails from lazy recruiters who don’t care that they are adding to the spam epidemic. A busy and qualified candidate will sense generalized messaging one second and disregard it the next.
Rather than contribute to the clutter, create customized outbound communication that immediately speaks to individual candidates. Research them, study them, and write a message that convicts them to continue the conversation. Be conscious of what makes your ideal candidates tick, and use those triggers to have meaningful conversations with them. Stay on top of hiring surveys, monitor trends, and then use those insights to craft content that draws in the right candidates.
3. Keep communication constant. Candidates feel special, valued, and important when a company attempts to re-engage with them. This personalized connection is far more effective than a tool that automates tasks and only distributes general and generic communications. You need to find ways to entice and court candidates, bringing them on a journey that they don’t want to walk away from.
This personalized process assists candidates while benefiting the companies that implement it. Recruiters gain insights into the specific needs and motivations of candidates, leading to fits that stay. Those same recruiters can then use the insight gained from these interactions to adjust their recruiting and retention methods going forward.
Hiring qualified and applicable candidates has become increasingly difficult. But don’t just continue to contribute to the recruiting noise. A personalized approach to messaging and correspondence enables you to build an immediate connection with the kind of top-shelf talent that your company needs.