How personalising the candidate experience through technology can positively enhance your employer brand

Craig Barnett
May 15 ․ 9 min read

GettyImages-1144783406

Consumer brands have long been ahead of the game when it comes to personalising the customer experience - from bottles of Coke with your name on to custom-made Nike trainers, unique to not just the sole of your foot, but the style of your soul.

We live in the era of shopping suggestions based on our browsing and buying habits; reminding us we need to buy milk, pesto to go with our pasta, or in my case sofas, tables and beds (one #interiordesign search on Instagram after moving into my new flat was all it took). And it's not just shopping. We’re prompted with suggestions on what to watch and listen to, based on our viewing habits and most played music tracks. 

But does this really make a difference in consumers’ habits? YES. It definitely does. Research shows that 80% of consumers are more likely to buy from brands that offer a personalised experience. That’s why brands are forever tailoring their consumer journeys and refining them.

For the candidate experience we need to apply the same thinking across the multiple touchpoints that we engage with talent - from the initial stages of attraction, through to selection and beyond. Using the talent marketing technology we have at our fingertips will not only allow you to personalise the experience your candidates have with your brand, but will lead to higher rates of candidate engagement, conversion and sentiment towards you as an employer. 

Define who you are

The journey ultimately begins with you, the employer. And it involves building a solid foundation to put your best foot forward. In other words, a sound Employer Value Proposition (EVP) to help bring your employer brand to life. As a business we have years of experience helping companies define and articulate who they are as an employer, what they stand for, and what they can offer to talent that is going to differentiate them from their competitors. 

Understanding why talent would ultimately want to work for you and how you can differentiate your offer provides a great starting point to then tailor key messages to your different audience groups. It also provides you the ability to to start personalsing content at the right time for your candidate in their journey with your brand

Strategically target your audience

With your key messaging defined, platforms like Media Cloud, our programmatic advertising platform allow you to deliver hyper-personal programmatic adverts to potential candidates through the likes of job listings, social media, digital banners, video adverts, audio,SMS and even out-of-home digital. 

Our technology allows us to understand the behaviour, habits, interests and demographics of your target audience, ensuring you cut through the noise and serve the right message to the right audience, through the channels we know talent is active in. 

Let’s bring this to life. Through persona mapping, a tech company that is looking to engage with software engineers may decide to initially target through a channel like Reddit. The advert strikes a chord and our candidate clicks through to the career website to find out a little more and explores content related to software engineering roles. However at this stage he decides not to take that next step. With the knowledge of the journey our candidate has been on and the content they have viewed, we can automatically now re-target the candidate and serve them hyper-relevant content and even job roles in the digital channels they are spending their time in. 

The reality is, candidates will go through multiple digital touchpoints before making a final job application - be that through social media, a Google search, a job board, your careers website, an employer review site -  and each journey will be unique. Our platform allows us to dynamically serve that personalsied content that reflects where the candidate is in their journey, and importantly allows us to track and report on those sources that are influencing an application and of course what finally drives the application. 

Engage like you’ve never done before

Once you’ve caught the attention of your audience, and brought them into your space, this is where the magic can really happen. When a candidate lands on your career website we again have a huge opportunity to create a personalised experience and tune-up the most relevant elements of your employer brand. 

Through our career website platform we have the opportunity to personalise content that a candidate sees from the first moment they land - whether that is by their location, or even ring-fencing certain IP addresses like university campuses. We can also personalise the experience based on website behaviour - if a candidate has been browsing finance roles on the site, on their return we can serve them relevant finance roles, blog content and people profiles. We know this leads to greater rates of candidate conversion. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has seen a 24% increase in click-to-apply conversion since introducing personalisation on its career website. 

Whilst personalisation of content is a big driving force in increasing candidate engagement with your brand when they are in your space, there are a host of other features that we’ve introduced into our technology that puts the candidate experience first. Enhanced job description pages not only integrate your job detail from your ATS but add value with associated videos, blogs and events relative to the role. Our job search functionality reduces multiple candidate searches to get to the right job results with AI powered technology that recognises spelling mistakes, abbreviations and keyword matches. Again, enhancing the candidate experience and reducing bounce rates and website exits. 

Integrating a CRM into your career website and enabling candidates to sign-up to your talent network takes things that step further. Whether that sign-up happens through a virtual assistant, like on our Intel career site, or through a more traditional sign-up form - capturing a few, but important candidate details allows us to start having deeper and meaningful conversations with talent. From sharing relevant blogs and people stories, monthly e-newsletters and when the time is right for the candidate, serving them relevant roles. You can nurture talent in a way that's right for them. Tools in our CRM like AI candidate matching and the ability to use the CRM not just to attract talent, but for internal mobility too not only enhance the candidate experience but recruiter lives too. 

The human touch 

Automating the mundane, and the quite frankly boring stuff we can through technology enables your recruiters to do what they do best and have more valuable interactions and conversations. For me this is a win-win for candidates. Not only are they having a great personalised brand experience through your talent marketing technology but also receiving that personal and human touch from your recruiters. 

Each small step we take can positively impact the experience a candidate has and ultimately influence your reputation as an employer. If you’d like to chat more about any of the content covered in this blog, or just a general chat on employer branding, get in touch with me craig.barnett@symphonytalent.com