The personalized experience: Find, engage candidates including those not active

Remember when Shutterfly sent out a wedding-congratulations email to people who weren’t getting married? It may have happened a couple of years ago but it’s a dramatic example of marketing gone wrong,

There are other cases of marketing personalization slipups as well.

As cringeworthy as these are, technology continues to allow greater amplification of messages, and it can amplify bad as well as good marketing.

And marketing done correctly can be good for business and garner attention. One example of a company using personalization is easyJet in Europe, which was honored for a campaign that sent emails to passengers discussing their history with the airline, including trips and what percentage of the time they took a window seat. It was one of several innovative campaigns mentioned here.

Today, many companies — including the staffing industry — are using marketing automation to up their game, raising their level of engagement with customers and offering a more personalized experience. Such efforts were not possible yesterday.

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“Historically, most job placements have been driven by advertising vacancies and processing the applications which result in a business model we call “Advertise and Apply,” according to Brendan O’Donovan group data marketing director at Hays plc, a UK-based staffing firm with global operations. The disadvantage of “Advertise and Apply”: candidates are sourced from the narrow segment of the workforce who are actively job-hunting, he pointed out. But the good news is that this model is now being replaced by a new approach, “Find and Engage,” where the best candidates for a job are found, even if they’re not active on job boards. They can then be engaged and learn of new opportunities.

The executive search segment of the hiring market has operated in this way, but it has never been feasible for the masses as maintaining the necessary number of candidate relationships through recruitment consultant contact alone is both time-consuming and not practical. Marketing automation opens up new possibilities, with personalized digital marketing allowing relationships to be built and nurtured at scale, and one-on-one personal contact used at the key moment of engaging a candidate with a specific role.

Done right, the ability to personalize a message makes it feel like it’s coming from a real person and opens new doors for candidates. Just be careful as it can appear creepy to use to much of an applicant’s information that they are not aware of having shared.

Fundamentally, we should never forget the adage that the best marketing is not something that is done to customers, but rather something that is done for them — whether that value is in entertaining, informing, exciting or some combination of all of these,” according to O’Donovan.

The editorial team at Staffing Industry Analysts has put together an article on marketing automation. For more on what marketing automation is, what it means to the staffing including how firms can benefit and views of other experts, read the upcoming June issue of Staffing Industry Review. It will be later this month.

MORE: Email marketing brings ROI



Craig Johnson

Craig Johnson
Craig Johnson is senior editorial director at Staffing Industry Analysts. He can be reached at cjohnson (at) staffingindustry (dot) com.

Craig Johnson

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