Job candidates are told to “inject personality” into cover letters and resumes, get asked to take assessments that identify skills and traits, and ultimately, are required to personalize the experience for each organization they’re applying with – but what’s on the other end of the experience? We know from candidate experience research that many job seekers report feeling that their information falls into a black hole after applying for a position, because there is no follow up, human connection, or even acknowledgement of their efforts. This poses the question, how can employers – in a space increasingly driven by technology, including artificial intelligence – keep the human in human resources?
Target Your Ideal Candidate
Personalizing the process doesn’t mean hand-crafting each and every recruiting experience, but begins with knowing who you are going after. Much like finding the right market or customer persona, identifying the right candidate will take some effort. Build a profile of who you’re looking to hire, from the perfunctory education and experience qualifications to more exacting characteristics such as extroversion vs. introversion and preferred work environment (cubicle or open concept). By directly targeting a specific type of talent from the get go, the resulting interactions will become more meaningful and a better use of time and resources.
Communicate to Engage
With that candidate in mind, consider how this person would want to communicate with your organization. Perhaps that’s by phone or email, or maybe it’s by text or chat. While no two candidates are completely identical, your targets are likely to share a few qualities and communication style often corresponds with factors like age group. If you’re uncertain, start with your preferred approach and ask candidates how they’d like to proceed. Demonstrating interest is another way to make the experience feel personal.
Humanize Your Brand
For much of the recruiting process, candidates are required to share their story so organizations can assess their fit. But like any relationship, the arrow points both ways, which means candidates are also asking, “Who are you?” and judging the employer brand. Employer brand is an important part of your recruiting strategy and needs to reflect the voice, tone and story of the organization. Are you fun and flirty? Academic and worldly? Corporate and buttoned up? Once defined, “inject personality” into your careers page, job descriptions, and most importantly, interactions with potential hires.
Personality can go a long way, even when it’s backed by technology. Showcasing this – in an authentic way – makes the recruiting experience more memorable. This helps make candidates feel that the organization understands and recognizes where they’re coming from, even when it’s not a match.