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Think Like a Marketer III: Connect with Candidates Using Hyperpersonalized Marketing

In past posts, we compared the marketing funnel to the recruiter’s “talent pipeline”; in the first funnel stage — awareness — targeting helps you best engage job seekers. In the second “consideration” stage, retargeting helps you nudge those job seekers further along.

In today’s post, we are going to look at the final three steps of the talent pipeline: trigger, apply and hire. To get top talent out of the pipeline and turn them into employees, you need personalized marketing.

What is the “trigger” phase?

Before we begin, let’s define what we mean by the “trigger” phase of the pipeline: It is the exact moment a job seeker decides to apply and enter the interview process.  

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Up to this point, the job seeker has been casually browsing new roles;  they have considered applying but haven’t had a compelling enough “trigger” to do so.  Then (for instance) they have a horrible day at work and remember reading your interesting job description. Their frustrated emotional state pushes them into the trigger phase, where they are ready to apply to your role. All your work in the awareness and consideration steps of the talent pipeline kept your company top of mind while they deliberated.

The trigger phase is deeply personal, involving outside factors that we can’t control — but there are a few things we do know. For instance, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average employee tenure is four years. Money can be a factor, but so can the quality of management or how fulfilled an employee feels. In fact, boredom is a significant reason why people leave jobs: they feel their skills are not being used or they have outgrown their roles.

So how can you use this data to identify candidates nearing the trigger phase in their career?  

Learning how to use the trigger phase to your advantage:

Timing is everything!

The trigger phase of the job-seeker funnel is akin to dating: If someone isn’t emotionally available — i.e., bored, underpaid or frustrated in their current role — things won’t work out with a new match.  Knowing it takes employees an average of four years to reach that emotional readiness, we can zoom in on candidates toward the latter half of that time period.

To identify these candidates, look on talent networks such as Indeed. For example, on Indeed Resume, you can filter by attributes such as job title, location, education and recently updated resumes. Then you can contact job seekers whose resumes show a tenure of two to four years in their current roles.

This is where hyperpersonalized marketing comes into play.

Personalization prompts candidates to pull the trigger

So what is hyperpersonalization exactly?  It’s any time you craft a custom message using internet browsing and real-time behavioral data from multiple channels to tailor your content, products and services to that user.

After you’ve identified job seekers with your target tenure, you should craft a message that connects with them. Follow these three steps to create a hyperpersonalized message.

1) Find a unique detail. Start your message by focusing on a single intimate detail unique to the job seeker. You may need to do some additional research on them to relate that detail to your role and company culture.

Here’s an example: You find a link to the candidate’s Linkedin online, where they have published a recent certification they received.

You reach out with a message to congratulate them on the certification and then pivot to share the other reason you are contacting them.

As with everything in life, timing is key. They may not be ready to change careers at that moment — but when that time does come, who do you think they’ll remember?

2) Make a connection to your company culture. Connect the accomplishments and interests you uncovered about the candidate in step 1 to your company’s purpose and culture.

For example: “We see you’re interested in the science of people; that’s something we love here at Indeed, too. We have a labor economics teams that looks at how people move around the world; user researchers who do ethnographic studies; and a sales training team that can teach you crazy tricks when talking to prospects.”

3) Have a clear call to action. Now, be clear about what you want them to do. An email from a stranger about your LinkedIn profile might be flattering, but if you don’t include a call to action, they’ll miss the point.

Here are a few standard calls to action we use at Indeed:

  • “I’m assuming we’d need to do something pretty compelling to pull you away from your current job. I think we are ready to do just that. Do you have 10 minutes to chat today?”
  • “I know you may not be looking for anything new. Regardless, I’d love to connect and learn more about your career goals, in case something changes in the future. Are you free this week to meet for coffee?”

Maintaining candidate interest throughout the interview process

Once a job seeker responds to your trigger, they move into the “apply” stage of the funnel. But don’t kick back just yet; you still have a duty to sell your company to the job seeker. As much as they are interviewing, so are you! To bring it back to dating, how can you make them fall in love with your company and commit?

Begin by understanding their motivation — ask them during the interview what triggered them to leave their old role. This information allows you to customize and personalize the interview process to them and their experiences.

For example, say you’re interviewing the software engineer you congratulated in earlier steps. Use the interview as an opportunity to talk about how the role and company would allow them to use that certification. You can further that by demonstrating perks given to employees for furthering their education and professional development. This will all bring you to the point where you can close the loop begun in the trigger phase and (hopefully) make the hire.

Conclusion

Hyperpersonalization puts your focus on the job seeker and their career journey, putting a human face on a message that could otherwise feel like spam.

In a fragmented, depersonalized world, making that real, human-to-human connection is what really helps you stand out and land the hire.

Want to know more? For a deeper dive into thinking like a marketer when recruiting, read our e-book — and happy hiring!

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About Mildred Blankson

I am a Human Resource Professional with a Masters Degree in Human Resource Management. I have several years of experience in Human Resources and i hope this blog will be a great resource in helping you find the perfect job or candidate that you seek.

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