It seems weird that the recruiting and hiring processes can often feel so impersonal, especially when it involves highly personal, highly human decision making. 

Yet in the sea of job descriptions and generic recruiter emails, it all starts to feel a little ingenuine. 

So how do we make recruitment personal again? 

What Is Personalized Recruiting?

Personalized recruiting refers to the process of creating more detailed, tailored hiring and recruiting processes into your overall hiring strategy. It involves the creation of candidate personas as a way to ensure that you know as much about a candidate as possible, (and vice versa). 

Companies shifting towards a more personalized recruitment process are beginning to think beyond traditional recruiting practices, and honing in on factors and characteristics that weren’t necessarily considered before. 

For example, personalized recruiting allows recruiters to ask the question “what personality type is more likely to succeed within the organization?” and then begin to think about how to identify, recruit, and motivate those individuals. 

What Are The Benefits Of Personalized Recruitment?

In a sea of passive candidates, (i.e those not actively looking for a new position), personalization is your ticket to getting your foot in the door. And by foot in the door, I mean you might actually get them to open your email. 

Candidates are tired of seeing mass-emails with generic, un-enticing job descriptions. If you think about personalizing your recruitment strategy for no other reason, do it to at least capture the attention of potential candidates. We promise, it’s worth it. 

Here are some more benefits of using a persona-based, personalized approach in recruitment: 

  • Developing a talent pipeline
  • Sourcing passive candidates
  • Better time-to-hire rates
  • Improved employer branding
  • Reduced employer turnover rates
  • Diversity initiatives to drive inclusivity

How To Implement Persona-Based Recruiting

Personalization, while more work, always makes it better for both you and the candidate in the long run. Think about it: if you don’t take the time to thoroughly research a potential candidate, you risk them joining the company and not being a great fit for either the role itself or the company as a whole. 

It will ultimately lead to a waste of time and resources — two things us human beings can’t afford to waste. 

Below are a few steps to start taking a more personalized approach to your recruitment strategy.

1. Create Personalized Job Descriptions

When it comes to active candidates, their first interaction with the company is through a job description. And most of the time, these descriptions are either way too vague, or far too complicated to get anyone excited about applying. 

Candidates need a realistic (and ideally, positive) initial sense of the role and the company as a whole in that first encounter. To achieve this, consider using engaging headers or adding graphics — anything to make it unique and reflective of your company’s branding and culture. 

Additionally, avoid using language that is biased towards a specific group of people. I.e, in sales, job descriptions often use masculine words such as “aggressive” or “assertive” that may discourage people who identify differently from applying. 

2. Create Candidate Personas

A candidate persona is a fictional profile of your ideal candidate for a specific role. They require thorough research as well as first-hand interviews to determine the most important characteristics and qualifications someone would need to both succeed at and be happy in the role. Some data you can look at in order to craft a candidate persona are:

  • Work experience
  • Location
  • Communication style
  • Preferred work environment
  • Professional goals

While candidate personas themselves aren’t necessarily a personal touch, they certainly enable a more personalized recruitment strategy. With them you can create better:

3. Send Customized Emails

In the same way that marketers and sales reps segment email lists — recruiters can segment candidates in order to create more personalized email templates. 

Consider segmenting people based on things like their geographic location, current job title, position applied for, or current industry. Then send targeted emails when you have a new opening that matches their qualifications. 

Additionally, many email software programs have features that allow you to, at the very least, insert the potential candidate’s first and last name. While personalization is far more than just adding their name, it certainly helps the message sound more personal right off the bat. 

Ultimately, sending an email that explains how you wanted to reach out to them personally based on a specific qualification will go a lot further than a mass message sent out for a job they wouldn’t even be interested in.

4. Increase Human Interaction

A large contributor to why the recruitment and hiring processes feel so impersonal is the lack of transparency and communication. When you consistently reach out during a candidate’s hiring process, even if it’s just to check in, you automatically make it a more positive experience for them, and increase transparency along the way. 

A Candidate-Centric Approach Is The Key To Personalized Recruiting 

In a world of automation, we should strive to maintain the human element, especially when it comes to recruiting. Switching jobs or careers is a huge decision that has immeasurable impacts on our lives, and it’s a recruiter’s job to ensure that that switch will be worthwhile. 

While automation is useful, and going without it may not be a viable option, adding small personal touches, as well as making sure you do your homework on potential candidates, can go a long way.

About the author

Reyna LaRiccia

Reyna LaRiccia is a Content Marketing Specialist at ZoomInfo, the leading B2B contact database and sales intelligence solution.

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