Candidates Want a Personal Experience – And a Phone Call

Denise Martinez Corporate Recruiting, Market Trends, Staffing

ManpowerGroup Solutions recently released the results of its Candidate Preferences Survey, which found many candidates want what recruiters have been doing for a long time. Respondents said they waited for a recruiter's phone call to get really engaged in the process, for example, and most preferred phone or in-person interviews to more technologically advanced options.

However, just because the forms are older doesn't mean job seekers don't seek change in how they interact with companies as candidates. They increasingly expect a personalized experience that acknowledges who they are and what they want, ManpowerGroup noted. They're also already online looking for information – 86 percent say they look at employers' websites to research a position, and of those 36 percent report employers' websites don't provide necessary information. Fewer than half of candidates use peer recommendations to find out about a prospective employer, with many more preferring online research, including social media.

Managing Candidate Preferences
The main takeaways from the ManpowerGroup survey are that candidates have high expectations and are comfortable with technology – but strongly prefer traditional methods of contacting recruiters and hiring managers. Dealing with this complex set of preferences is vital for recruiters.

"Even as technology – and the awareness of new tools – continues to rapidly advance, the tried but true methods of in-person and phone interviews, and more frequent, personalized interactions with hiring managers or recruiters remain the clear preference of job seekers across generations," Jim McCoy, vice president of ManpowerGroup Solutions and the North America recruitment process outsourcing practice, said in a release. "Organizations should evaluate their talent acquisition strategy and customize job seekers' experiences based on their preferences."

Using Technology 
Recruiters must be adept at using technology, particularly when it comes to creating a careers website that is informative and engaging. Candidate-facing interactions may take place in person, as 72 percent would prefer, or over the phone, as 16 percent do, but providing the kind of personalized experience candidates expect also requires technology. Using the right applicant tracking system can help recruiters foster a personal relationship with each candidate from the first point of contact onward. Having a place to store information about candidate preferences means it is easier for recruiters to meet them, and a clear picture of who a candidate is leads naturally to a more personalized experience. Recruiting systems based on customer relationship management software can provide these functions and help recruiters stay on top of shifting desires from candidates.

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