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Amazon has billions of data points that they leverage to populate their well-liked “Recommended For You” section. It’s fascinating—and sometimes a bit creepy— just how accurately they can anticipate your wants. Sometimes, the suggestions are so on target that you’re like, “take my money!”

On the other hand, we can get personally offended when the recommendation is way off. It gets so bad that you start to question what crazy combination of searches made them think you’d be interested in that. Amazon nailed my preference for books and made fascinating suggestions. But their recommendations for a fart whistle, wolf t-shirt, and poop emoji fidget spinner? Not so much.

Personalization gone awry is laughable—and sometimes straight-up dumbfounding (if you’ve interacted with some rudimentary chat bots, you know this headache all too well). The epitome of First World problems, really. But consider this. At what point does it go so wrong that people dismiss the experience altogether? What does it take to create an automated experience that fosters admiration and inspires loyalty, the way we often feel most with Amazon’s Recommended For You options? 

Just think about how that could impact recruiting. 

If tailoring a swipe can have this big of an impact, imagine what would happen if we adapted this for the recruiting process. It’s an experience the average candidate has never seen before. If you want to stand out, this seems like a pretty obvious option. But the trick is, choosing a job is a lot more personal than adding a new phone case to your shopping cart. Most people need more touchpoints, a deeper connection.

Still, talent teams often inherit outdated software or flawed systems and processes that make it nearly impossible to respond to everyone who applies. And traditional recruiting systems are not generally set up to handle high-touch interactions in a high-volume world of open requisitions and applicants.

Responsive workflows are also incredibly detailed and time-consuming on the front end. If a system isn’t set up well at launch and high-touch workflows established early on, the result is often a messy database that gets worse over time—spitting out recommendations about as useful as a poop emoji fidget spinner.

This hamstrings a recruiter and impairs their ability to function with the speed and efficiency that are critical in hiring. They certainly aren’t able to provide timely updates and personalized communication. So they go radio silent with most of their applicants. Definitely not a good first impression. So how can we provide personalization with traditional transactional systems?

One company I’ve worked with does actually make it their habit of responding to candidates within an average of five hours. Candidates get a simple message letting them know they are moving forward in the process—which is to say that a human is actually reviewing their resume. The company features in-store CTAs at their 10,000+ retail locations and then maximizes their high career site traffic by quickly converting visitors to candidates.

Seriously, 80% of candidates finish screening in five minutes or less. How? They capture basic employment information at the initial point of interest with the help of a AI-powered recruiting assistant. The candidate is asked a series of pre-populated questions to indicate their areas of interest, relevant experience, availability, etc. Then they make sure to close the loop by either inviting someone to a next step or sending a follow-up note updating them on their status.

Recruiting assistants offer a balance of transactional input monitoring with simple ways of instantly connecting through conversation. We can leave a human impression with a machine. Here’s how.

  • You can talk to candidates before they’re at your door to discuss the transactional side of recruiting. Every review begins with a simple evaluation. Does this person have the right degree or certification? How many years of experience do they have? Do their answers to the pre-screen questions match our needs? These are often easy steps in the process, but they do take a recruiter’s valuable time. Time that would be much better served talking with high-potential candidates.  
  • You can guide candidates to commonly requested information. In the exploratory phase of a job search, people want to know things like company perks and benefits and what makes your company a great place to work. An assistant can provide that information in a real-time chat or help them navigate to links on your website that will answer their questions.  
  • The administrative aspects of recruiting such as scheduling interviews and sending follow up notes and reminders can be incredibly time consuming. But it’s very easy to outsource this task to a recruiting assistant that connects with recruiters’ calendars and interacts with applicants about their scheduling needs.
  • Your CRM exists to help grow, manage, and nurture your pipeline of passive talent. A recruiting assistant can capture important relationally driven information and integrate this with your CRM so that you can easily identify qualified people and nurture a relationship with your organization.  

If we think in terms of the 80/20 rule—a recruiter’s success comes from 20% of the work they do. That other 80% includes many tasks that really don’t need a human to do them. A recruiting assistant can help work smarter. And when recruiters are freed from some routine tasks, they can spend more of their time doing what they do bestwooing top talent for open roles and personally connecting with others about future opportunities.  

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