Personalisation is something we take for granted in almost all aspects of our lives, to the point it stands out when we’re treated in an untailored way. It feels clumsy, out of sync and off-putting. You know the sort of thing; the email arriving saying ‘Dear First Name’ rather than your actual first name. It’s not the worst thing to happen, but it grates because if feels lazy, and you feel the lack of consideration.
A survey by IBM found that personalised communication can improve candidate engagement by 150% – so it’s not something you should be ignoring!
So what is personalisation? In basic terms, it’s the action of designing or producing something to meet someone’s individual requirements, and it’s arguably the most important tenet of successful marketing today.
Evidence of the importance of personalisation includes:
- 78% of consumers are more likely to make repeat purchases from brands that personalise.
- Nearly 80% are also more likely to refer their family and friends to these companies.
- Over 70% of consumers now expect personalisation and are frustrated when they don’t find it – making personalisation a must-have for today’s brands.
Your candidates are consumers
At Meet & Engage, we often use the lens of viewing candidates as consumers as a useful litmus test of how you’re treating your potential employees during the hiring journey. And when it comes to personalisation, that’s critical for two main reasons:
- Many of you will be engaging with thousands of candidates a year – that makes the stats I shared earlier representative of a very large number of potential brand advocates or detractors. We work with one of the large global banking brands; they get over 90,000 applications to their early careers programmes every year, but they hire fewer than 2% of that number. They set themselves a clear goal; whether someone joins the business or not, they will have gained some personal or professional value from their time in the hiring journey.
- Despite the economic cross winds, it’s still a competitive market for candidates – so a positive hiring journey can provide an ideal differentiator. Whether its reducing attrition during the hiring journey, declines at offer stage, renege rates, or levelling-up for underserved groups, ensuring people get what they need through useful, relevant, and helpful information is key.
Living in the (micro) moment
We deliberately used the words Power of Positive Personalisation. Personalisation should be relevant, helpful, but non-intrusive. The goal is to reach the highest point of relevance, at the lowest sense of intrusion.
The balance is key. We’ve probably all had that sense that you’ve named a product in the presence of your smart phone and within 24hrs are bombarded with ads that leave you questioning who/how/what was listening. That’s simply annoying at best, and unnerving at worst.
However, the digitally savvy consumer—in our case the candidate—expects a helpful, personal, and frictionless experience. They are expecting relevant and super-useful information – they’re curious, demanding, and impatient.
According to a survey by CareerBuilder, 68% of job seekers believe that a personalised approach to recruitment would improve the overall candidate experience, so we know they are looking out for the personal touch!
An area which needs focus is how information is now delivered. Online behaviour is now far less about the predictable daily online sessions, and now much more a rapid series of fragmented interactions – or micro-moments – in the main using a smart phone.
A micro-moment occurs when you automatically turn to your device to act on a need to learn something, do something, discover something, watch something, buy something, or apply for something. They are moments when you’re most full of intent; it’s when your decisions are made, and your preferences shaped.
Making micro-moments memorable
So how can you make micro-moments within the hiring journey helpful, relevant, and impactful?
Firstly, we’d recommend look at the information you have which would help you create the level of personalisation we suggest you strive for.
A quick reminder of what first party data you probably have access to: demographic information (beyond a name), behaviours or actions taken across your website/ATS, data in your CRM, social media conversations, survey data, candidate feedback, candidate application history, and potentially, online chat or chatbot transcripts.
All of which can give insight into a candidate’s preferences, but just as importantly, their needs and aspirations. And remember, personalisation can be realised through a combination of process, experience, and medium of content.
Tailoring the experience
Let’s give you a few examples based on our nurture journey technology which allows you to automatically serve pre-configured content to your audience based on first party data and importantly, their behaviours.
Take your undergraduate who just watched and liked the Cyber Security video you posted – you could now invite them to a Live Chat event with the Head of Cyber Security.
Or you could ask the question ‘how do you feel about the virtual assessment centre?’ and offer those who are less than 100% confident to an online recruiter Q&A session or highlight how to access practice videos and tests.
I mentioned our global banking client earlier; they serve tailored content dependent on status in the hiring journey and the programme the candidate has applied for. They are also looking at giving candidates options for the format they view the content in to suit their learning style (in the main to remove barriers for neurodiverse candidates). They even have a journey of content for candidates who have been deselected from, or who have left, the hiring journey (incidentally, that’s getting an 84% satisfaction rate – that’s brand advocacy in action!).
Automation to achieve personalisation
Effective personalisation is only managed through automation – or a significant amount of human effort! Automation reduces effort (and operational cost) and allows personalisation at scale.
Platforms exist to provide to help you achieve this: among them are your CRM, ATS and Meet & Engage.
Our nurture technology allows you personalise the experience your candidates/employees have in several ways.
Integration with your ATS or HRIS will allow us to tailor the blend and timing of content served, for example by role, region, programme, status in the journey—in fact, by any data point provided to us by your ATS. And of course, all content and messages can be tailored through ‘mail merge’-style adjustment of content to reflect basics like name etc.
There are also tools which you can include in the nurture or onboarding journey which give a sense of personalisation based on your candidate/employees’ interaction with our technology. These tools can be used to determine the next set of content depending on the candidate’s interaction with previous content (see the Cyber Security example above).
Chatbots can be used to capture additional information which can in turn be used to tailor the journey. For example, asking a candidate early on how they like to consume information (video, reading, infographic, audio) could then be used to take the candidate on the journey that serves most, or all, of the content in that format.
It’s clear that a process without personalisation will cost you in terms of both engagement and outcomes. Candidates want to feel like they are more than just a CV or a number, and they want to feel like their unique skills and experiences are being considered.
A final stat to leave you with from The Aberdeen Group, in case you weren’t already convinced: companies that personalised their recruitment process experienced a 36% increase in applicant engagement and a 29% increase in the acceptance of job offers.
If you’d like to have a chat about adding more personalisation to your processes, please do get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org as we’d love to speak with you!