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ROI of Personalizing the Candidate Experience and How to Do It

Posted by
Nupura Ughade
July 27, 2023

80-90% of candidates say a positive or negative candidate experience can change their minds about a company. While there are mainstays that determine strong candidate engagement, needs and expectations will vary between age groups, locations, and industries. When it comes to attracting and retaining top talent, a one-size-fits-all approach to candidate engagement simply doesn’t cut it.

As Co-Founder Pankaj Jindal likes to discuss, candidate expectations now align with the retail experience which is highly personalized.

In this piece, I am exploring how to measure the impact or ROI of personalizing the candidate experience. I’ll also run down some best practices to follow as you personalize, and therefore improve, candidate experiences for your organization.

Why personalizing the candidate experience matters today

We partnered with Atomik to understand the expectations of 1000+ active job seekers. Here are some noteworthy findings:

  • 37% of candidates said faster responses from recruiters can make the job search/application experience better.
  • 27% of candidates said the job search/application process has become more complicated.

Candidates no longer tolerate clunky job applications and slow responses. They will remove themselves from consideration if they have to wait too long for a response or update. Companies that struggle with fast and personalized candidate communication are at a disadvantage in a competitive talent market.

Candidate experience personalization best practices

Here's how to create more personalized candidate experiences:

Understand your candidates

Understanding talent mindsets is at the heart of creating personalized experiences. Zero in on their career goals and motivations at each stage of the talent lifecycle and develop a structured talent engagement plan. The image below illustrates each stage in the talent lifecycle and what it takes to engage them at each stage.

definitive guide to talent engagement
This is a snippet from our definitive guide to talent engagement. Access the complete guide here.

Personalize communication throughout the recruitment process

Customize your outreach and tailor your message to their specific experience and qualifications. To provide a retail-like experience, learn what the candidates prefer and remember it when communicating with them. To maximize response rates, use their preferred communication channels (SMS for the U.S., WhatsApp for global candidates)

You can also personalize candidate communications by sending them at particular milestones in the candidate journey. Candidate scheduled an interview? Send a personalized message informing them about the next steps. They accepted your offer? Great! Send them timely reminders about the joining date and let them know how excited the team is to have them onboard. You get the drift.

This level of personalization with thousands of candidates is impossible without automation. That brings us to the next section…

Leverage technology to provide fast and personalized talent engagement at scale

AI and automation technology is a “digital recruiter” that uses millions of data points to make accurate decisions.

Some real-world use cases of AI for personalization:

  • AI-powered chatbots provide candidates with personalized support, answer frequently asked questions, pre-screen them based on qualifications, and even match them to relevant open positions.
  • Automated scheduling allows candidates to choose a time that works best for them.
  • Automated candidate communications allow recruiters to send contextual and timely follow-ups to candidates at each stage of the hiring process.
  • Job Matching chatbots answer candidate questions and leverage AI to match candidates to appropriate jobs. Candidates can provide all required details including uploading their resume while talking to the chatbots. 

Continuously improve candidate experience

Annual NPS surveys are helpful, but if you want to improve experiences and avoid the challenges that come with poor candidate engagement, continuous feedback is essential. Collect feedback throughout the hiring process and through projects/contracts/terms of employment so you can address any problems or concerns before they negatively impact your organization. Talent feels valued when you not only solicit their input but take action on it, which decreases dropoff, improves retention, and it can also positively lead to more referrals.

Determining the ROI of candidate experience personalization

You’re already paying attention to core recruiting metrics. And that’s exactly where you’ll find insights into the efficacy of your candidate experience personalization.

Impact on time-to-hire

Miscommunication and lack of engagement cause hiring delays. By providing personalized experiences to candidates, recruiters can combat common issues such as candidate ghosting, drop-offs, and no-shows. Personalization helps to build stronger relationships with candidates, ensuring that they remain engaged and motivated throughout the recruitment process. AI and automation can eliminate hiring inefficiencies and effort-intensive manual tasks such as screening and job matching, allowing recruiters to focus on the most promising candidates. Read more about specific strategies to reduce time-to-hire.

Real-world results: We have seen 55% faster hiring in companies that leverage AI-driven talent engagement to deliver personalized candidate experiences.

Impact on cost-per-hire

Tailoring communication unique to the needs and preferences of candidates results in happier candidates, fewer drop-offs, and ultimately, reduces cost-per-hire. Apart from obvious hiring costs, there are several other hard-to-measure costs, particularly for those with high-volume hiring needs. Think about the implied cost of lost employee productivity and poor candidate experience. AI and automation help you improve hiring efficiency and reduce costs all across.

Real-world results: Companies that leverage AI-driven talent engagement have achieved a 30% reduction in cost-per-hire. Read more about recruiting automation strategies that have significantly reduced cost-per-hire for our customers.

Impact on offer acceptance rates

A survey from IBM found that a positive experience makes candidates 38% more likely to accept a job offer.  A few more insights from our research with Atomik:

  • 43% of candidates said quick responses after applying are the most important factor when working with a recruiter
  • 32% said slow response time is the main reason they quit applying.

The research reinforces that getting instant responses to questions about benefits and career advancement opportunities is important to candidates. Personalization makes them feel valued and respected, which leads to higher acceptance rates. Higher acceptance rates also reduce the need for costly rehiring efforts.

Real-world results: A leading home health and hospice provider reduced their declined offers by 23% with AI-powered personalized candidate experiences. Read their full story here!

Impact on candidate satisfaction/NPS scores

Personalized candidate experiences create a positive impression of your organization and a stronger employer brand. Happy candidates generate more positive reviews and add more referrals.

Real-world results: Leading TA teams have achieved up to 47% increase in candidate satisfaction with a personalized candidate engagement strategy!

Impact on employee retention rates

Provide personalized candidate experiences at every stage, from initial outreach to onboarding and beyond to optimize the talent engagement lifecycle. Continue delivering personalized experiences to employees with customized training and development programs. Set up automatic workflows to wish them on their birthday or workiversaries. Employee retention rates indicate the long-term impact of personalization.

Real-world results: Happy employees generate more referrals, which can reduce your acquisition costs by 50%.

Power personalized candidate experiences with a robust talent engagement strategy

AI and automation technology make delivering personalization at scale less daunting! With the right tech stack, organizations can create a candidate experience that attracts and retains top talent, while maximizing the ROI.

We have created an in-depth guide to help you create a talent engagement strategy that equips you to succeed at each stage of the hiring process. Download our Definitive Guide to Talent Engagement now.

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