The State of Talent Relationship Marketing in 2017

Like a lot of companies still struggle with how to provide an engaging and unique candidate experience to both active and passive candidates. For the most part, this is due to their current recruiting technology that was never designed around providing the candidate with a great experience. There’s still a company-centric focus driven by applicant tracking software, and a career site that isn’t candidate friendly.

Unfortunately, companies are allowing their candidate experience to suffer due to the recruiting process being built around their internal tools and technology (i.e. an inside-out approach) versus focusing on the user experience and concealing their internal processes from the candidate (i.e. an outside-in approach).

For example, take a look at Amazon. When you are looking at a product on Amazon’s website, you get a wealth of information — a product description, user reviews, product photos, other products people purchases with the product you are viewing, etc. When attracting talent, companies need to provide a candidate experience much like an e-commerce platform.

We audited 600 Fortune 1000 companies throughout 2016. These audits aim to evaluate each company’s talent experience from the perspective of the candidate. It helps to understand what it’s like for candidates as they search for jobs, research your company culture, submit an application, and the communication after they apply.

Based on this audit, we identified several consistent gaps in the overall talent experience.

95 percent of the career sites are failing to provide relevant and personalized content: Today’s candidates expect a personalized touch when they visit a company’s career site, yet a lot of companies are either failing to provide any content or they are providing static, one-size-fits-all content.

97 percent of companies are hiding their employee reviews on Glassdoor: I’m a firm believer in radical transparency; companies should get in front of what people are saying about their company before candidates find it themselves.

86 percent of companies are inconsistently tracking visitor source information: In a lot of cases, companies aren’t tracking source information at all. In order to properly allocate advertising dollars, recruiting budget, and evaluate what avenues are bringing in the right ROI to the recruiting function — companies should consistently track source information. This will help talent leaders to make well-informed and data-backed recruiting decisions confidently.

96 percent of companies aren’t getting feedback from applicants on their processes: Another way companies can identify gaps and pain points in their recruiting process is to survey and obtain feedback from applicants (regardless of whether or not they are hired on as an employee). Finding out this feedback will help to fine-tune and improve upon what’s already in place in the future.

These are just some of the consistent gaps, but there are definitely more.

In 2017, here are some of the areas of improvement that companies should focus on in order to create a phenomenal candidate experience.

Personalize content for your potential candidates: Don’t just throw one-size-fits-all content to potential candidates. Ensure that dynamic and personalized content is showcased to candidates each and every time they visit your site. If I visit your career site, I should see content that is showcased based on my background and interests; you would see entirely different content based on your background and interests 

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Keep the lines of communication open between recruiters and candidates: Implementing a platform that enables recruiters to not only communicate expectations about the interviewing and selection process upfront, but also helps to create nurturing campaigns for potential candidates is key.

Consistently gather feedback from applicants on the process from their view: Gathering feedback from an applicant’s point of view will potentially bring up gaps in your recruiting process and platform functionality that you wouldn’t necessarily see internally on the business side of the process. This feedback can be helpful in continuously improving upon the process and platform in place.

Be the first to own your employee reviews on Glassdoor: Instead of encouraging potential candidates to search for information outside of your career site, take charge and be the main source of information on what it’s like to work for your company — good, bad, or indifferent. Taking ownership of your Glassdoor reviews, and keeping them visible on your career site will show that you are a transparent employer — and that’s attractive to prospective candidates.

Look at your career site metrics to adapt to the candidate’s journey: Closely watch your sourcing metrics in order to understand where your candidates are coming from. Engagement metrics are equally as important for companies to find out deeper insight into what candidates like and how much time they spent to get to know your brand. All this information will help you effectively target the right talent with information they want to see.

Mahe Bayireddi
Mahe Bayireddi is the CEO of one of Inc. 5000’s fastest-growing private companies, Phenom People. As a leader in the HR technology space, Phenom People is known for pioneering the first and only Talent Relationship Marketing platform. Bayireddi is a passionate entrepreneur leading Phenom People in the mission to help a billion people find the right job opportunity. He previously co-founded several successful technology companies, including SnipSnap, BijaHealth, and BHSP Nexus Software. Known for his expertise in predictive intelligence and machine learning, Bayireddi holds both a B.E. and M.S. in Computer Science, and served extensively as a software consultant and web developer in the earlier years of his career.