Personalization technology has already started to make our lives as consumers even easier and more tailored to our unique needs. What’s even more important is knowing what to do with that information as recruiters, marketers and sales professionals, in order to make your work efforts more effective and help your company stand out in a crowded marketplace.
It’s the holiday season, and if you are like me, you’ve purchased fifty percent of your gifts on Amazon (Okay, one hundred percent -- I’m a sucker for Prime). But with the ease of Amazon gift hunting, is the fact that those gifts or even items I simply clicked on follow me for weeks -- digitally that is! They display in my Facebook feed, as advertisements when I open my email, are present when I visit a search engine, and even remind me that I didn’t purchase that special something yet when I revisit Amazon.
At first, personalization technology freaked me out (a bit Big Brother, anyone?). But now these tracking ads are becoming the norm. It is an attempt to personalize your internet browsing experience to tailor to the things that interest you the most. Amazon is way ahead of the game, and every other e-commerce company is scrambling to follow suit.
According to the Aberdeen Group, 75% of consumers like it when brands personalize messaging to them. In fact, 40% of consumers buy more from retailers who personalize the shopping experience across different channels. And that number is creeping higher and higher.
This is as applicable in recruiting as it is in eCommerce. Candidates are inundated with messages, media, blogs, and unsolicited information. So, to get their attention, robots can now provide candidates with some of the personalization they crave. So for recruiters, what is the next step? How does your organization stand out through all the noise?
How to Use Personalization Technology In Recruiting
When you are recruiting you need to take the big data you have and take it one step further to get the attention of your candidates. Here are a few things to keep in mind to make you stand out in the crowd.
Research the Best Practice and Do Something Different
I work in marketing, so I have seen most of the “clever” email templates in (what seems like) millions of “The Best Sales Email Ever!”-type blogs or whitepapers. There was one specific email format that I have received so many examples of, that recently I actually called out the person sending it.
From an actual email I sent back:
“Thanks for reaching out, I see you have been reading *insert marketing best practices website name here*”. I think that email template is hilarious!”
If that person thought about what I do for a living, they would have known not to use the popular template that every marketing blog has been talking about. I am not telling you that doing competitive research is bad, but if you are seeing a trend or a popular way to catch the attention of a candidate, don’t copy the idea verbatim. Use that research to enhance your methods of reaching out, and tailor them to your candidate and their experience.
If you are an IT company and searching for a developer, don’t send emails overusing IT jargon. It looks artificial and unoriginal - - then gets flagged and classified as SPAM.
Each candidate is VERY different. Treat them like they are. Help them to envision what working with your company and that team would be like. Ask them about themselves and tailor that conversation to help them envision themselves in your opportunity. Getting the right hire is an investment. Treat it as such.
Keep in mind, these candidates are sharp and are totally onto to you. Be transparent about your intentions. People can see right through what you are trying to do and tip-toeing around it makes you lose credibility. The art of recruitment has become much more about building relationships than “closing the deal”. Pigeonholing them into a stereotype and only pretending to know what they want is the fastest way to have them press delete or hang up the phone.
As personalization in technology grows, we are losing sight of the benefits of human touch. Candidates like the auto-generated links on websites that direct them to interesting and relevant articles or thought research that reflects their fields. However, they don’t want an email or phone call that looks or sounds like you were playing recruiter Mad Libs with the information they provided along the way.
The data that you receive from technology can be so vital in helping you to strategically target the right contacts. Use that data to focus on efforts and to optimize your time, but remember to not lose that personal touch. Research candidates on social media, find out as much as you can about them personally and create a narrative based on your research. Pick up the phone and call them and ask them questions. Learn from them and don’t pretend to be something that you are not.
What has started to become a thing of the past is real, genuine conversations. Use the information you are gathering from “Big Data” as a starting point to bring those conversations back to life. It will help you stand out in the end and will ultimately provide a real and memorable experience for the candidate.
About the Author: Amy is a Marketing Specialist at Yoh and alumni from the University of Pittsburgh having earned her degree in Media Communications. In her spare time you will find Amy singing with her operetta company as well as enjoying all things pop culture, food and Philadelphia.