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We’ve already discussed why personalization in the candidate experience has to be more than job recommendations: top talent today seeks a career change based on so much more than a job title or description (see Part 1 of this post here).

My last post discussed the what of personalization. Today let’s talk about the where, which brings me to myth #2.


Myth #2: Personalization should only happen on the career site.

The career site tends to be the center of the talent acquisition universe – and for good reason. It’s an incredibly important channel for both employers and candidates: it’s the touchpoint where a candidate can act on their interest to learn more about the organization and potentially join through applying (or joining a talent network; more on this later).

But throughout the decision-making process, we know that candidates use 12-18 sources of information before they apply to a job. That means candidates are using many other channels before and after they reach the career site. And for many, this will be their first and potentially last time visiting your career site. If talent acquisition focuses solely on the career site, they are missing a huge opportunity to build relationships with and influence candidates much earlier in their decision-making process.

There is also a big elephant in the room when it comes to “apply now:” 74% of candidates who click apply don’t finish the application. Potentially, this can be a result of a lengthy or confusing application process, but it can also be due to the candidate not being ready to fully commit to your organization yet.

The question is: How do you help candidates reach that decision through your career site, plus every other channel they engage with? When you think about personalization throughout your candidate experience, make sure to focus on these channels:

Career Site: The career site is a hub to deliver both personalized content and job recommendations. Consider personalization in a few areas:

  • Job recommendations via job search
  • Curated content on homepage and landing pages (think specific employee stories from sales roles and sales content on sales landing pages)
  • Custom talent network forms to capture specific information for different job families (think coding languages for developers)

Talent Network: The talent network is largely overlooked as a channel to send consistent, personalized and relevant content to candidate leads.. First, a candidate is much more likely to return to their email inbox, which they use every day, than your career site. Second, by capturing candidates leads in a talent network (and thus creating a contact in the CRM), you consistently capture a wealth of information to use in order to deliver even more personalized communications over time such as:

  • Employee stories
  • Culture and company news
  • Industry news
  • Targeted newsletters for different candidate personas (i.e., veteran, campus, job family)
  • Reminders to finish application
  • Targeted job alerts

Job Marketing and Retargeting: Even if you don’t think you know what retargeting ads are, you’ve probably seen these in your own web searching. Retargeting ads are what you see on other channels and touchpoints after you visited a website (say a pair of boots, an event or even an organization that is hiring). While we’ve talked about the perils of personalizing just your jobs, the information you collect on your career site and other channels can be useful to use in marketing your brand and jobs externally to ensure you reach and successfully attract a larger audience of quality talent.


Personalization: There are more opportunities!

Any step toward personalization is positive, but by solely focusing on job recommendations, you’re focusing on the very last factor a candidate considers: the job. The candidate journey starts with brand and is influenced with content throughout multiple touchpoints. When that value is communicated, then top talent looks for job recommendations and descriptions.

The why of personalization is simple: it’s expected by today’s candidates. Talent acquisition leaders need to start thinking about the what and where of personalization throughout the entire candidate experience. The organizations that deliver valuable content that best communicates their value and employer brand to candidates are the ones that will hire them. Will that be you?

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