Software developers today know their worth, understand the competitive landscape and see opportunities just about anywhere. If an employer takes too long to respond or has a complicated application process, it is easy for their target talent to quickly pass them up and move on to the next. Therefore, it is extremely important that companies maximize the candidate experience through the job application process.
But what makes up a good candidate experience on top of providing a smooth application and interview process? Personalization. We are fortunate to have a chance to sit down with Marvin Smith, a well-known and respected speaker and recruiting leader at Lockheed Martin, and dig in on the importance and the value of personalization.
Marvin pointed out the way the internet has evolved towards personalization illustrates the needs for it that goes beyond recruiting. What used to be a broadcasting model is now gearing towards personalization. During the web 1.0 era, companies broadcast messages and people will come read content on their websites. Then, it comes web 2.0, where its interactive nature allows people to have conversations, but is limited in terms of customization. Now, web 3.0 is heading in the direction of personalized conversation. Companies can now, based on what they know about an individual, invite this person to see customized offerings. We see the same trend in recruiting.
Marvin also provides some suggestions on how to apply personalization in the recruiting process –
- Treat your candidates like customers
- Develop a candidate persona – Research your target candidates and understand how you can best reach them and engage them. Personalization will make your candidate feel that you appreciate what they can offer and you understand what they are looking for in a job to make a meaningful match for them.
- Personal touches during Interview process – The interview process, most of the time, falls short of consumer-like experience. Many companies do a remarkable job in managing the interview process for candidates who are still in the loop, but do not necessarily provide a good candidate experience to those who are not moving forward. Companies need to provide feedback to all their candidates that’s more than a generic “we received your email” or “we are not moving forward with you” letter.
2. Leverage content marketing – Using your research from developing personas, focus on delivering to your candidate a consumer-like experience from the start. Having relevant content that matches your candidates’ career aspirations or meets their professional development needs in your email and on your company’s career site will surely catch their attention.
3. Use a CRM (candidate relationship management) – A recruiter heavy req load can affect their effort of personalization. CRMs can help recruiters be more effective to foster one-on-one relationships with their candidates using an individualized approach. Being able to track candidate interests, touch points and communication history will allow you to interact with your candidates in a thoughtful way even though it’s automated. This will in turn make your candidates feel valued and taken seriously without being overwhelmed by doing it manually.
While there are many recruiting strategies a recruiter can use to source talent, it takes personalization to nurture longer-term relationship with people. In technical recruiting, a recruiter may be constantly recruiting for the candidates fitting certain profiles year after year. Candidates who did not work out previously may be perfecting their craft and becoming an expert in the industry. If you leave a lasting impression that you are someone who cares and looks after their welfare, they will remember you and be ready to work with you on their next career move.
Special thanks to Marvin Smith for sharing his thoughts and insights and making this blog possible to help recruiters become more effective in their work.