3 steps to personalize the candidate experience

Candidate experience is a phrase we’re hearing a lot lately, but plenty of companies are missing the mark when it comes to delivering the best experience possible. Why? The reason is simple—and so is the solution.

Recruiting is increasingly driven by technology, including AI, and it appears to be only a matter of time until it’s at the industry-wide adoption level. Until and even when that happens, there’s something recruiters still need to do that all their fancy tech can’t: be human.

The best way to be human is to take a tip from your candidate counterparts. They are asked to personalize their cover letters and resumes to each organization they apply to, take Myers-Briggs and other “personality” tests, and skills assessments. And all too often they get no follow up, no feedback, no human connection of any kind. But times they are a changin’. What has historically been a one-way street is starting to shift. Companies are now expected to personalize their recruiting processes if they hope to attract and secure top talent.

The thing is, personalization isn’t as daunting as it seems. Like we said at the beginning, it’s actually rather simple. Here are three steps to get you started:

1. Identify your ideal candidate

Have an idea of what the perfect fit looks like? Even if you can’t fully visualize the best person for the job, chances are you have enough of an idea to create a candidate profile. Include things like requisite education and experience qualifications, and keep chipping away from there. Add more exacting, albeit obscure characteristics like extroversion versus introversion, and preferred work environment (cubical, remote, or team oriented). By zeroing in on this specific type of talent from the jump, you can expect more meaningful interactions and better use of time and resources.

2. Communicate like you care

Now that you have a clearer picture of your candidate, consider how they’d want to communicate with you. That might be phone, email, text or social media messages. Which type of communication often corresponds with factors like age group. Plus, you can always just ask candidates how they’d like to be contacted. Taking this kind of interest, even though it hardly takes effort on the part of the recruiter, personalizes the experience.

3. Humanize your brand

We spend time with both hiring managers and our candidates to place the person with the right skills, who’ll fit in best with a company’s culture. We learn each candidate’s story, and we tell them ours, as well as that of the hiring company. There’s no surprise reveal after three weeks on the job. Everyone involved knows what they’re signing up for, whether that’s a fun environment with a ping pong table, laidback but set on a 9-5 work day, or corporate and buttoned up.

Technology works best when it operates in tandem with personalization. Count on AI to automate processes and ultimately free you up to have more of those human interaction and you’ll be well on your way to a great candidate experience.