While professionals in HR and recruitment have long categorised potential hires as being either ‘active’ or ‘passive’ candidates, the rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI) means that there is a new target audience in town – candidates with ‘intent’- and this talent pool is arguably the richest of them all. But how do organisations best tap in to it?

News that Channel 4 is set to launch the world’s first audio personalised TV adverts, with brands such as Foster’s and Ronseal addressing viewers on first name terms, would have seemed far-fetched just a few short years ago. However, at a time when Netflix and Amazon habitually make recommendations about what you should be watching and suggesting how you spend your hard earned cash, the move has been accepted as a logical next step in marketing rather than an Orwellian fantasy.

The sheer amount of information that individuals are bombarded with each day means that technology is increasingly needed to filter out the noise to ensure that communications are targeted. From a consumer perspective, the ease of use and customer experience associated with personalised marketing mean that brands which operate this way are thriving. And as candidates’ expectations rapidly shift in line with the consumer experiences they are indulged with, insight-led sourcing is quickly being driven to the forefront.

Advances in technology are enabling companies to move from a process-centric approach to recruitment, to a human-centric approach. While candidate experience was once built around process, today the reverse is true – and this creates opportunities for greater efficiency in hiring.

The latest Global Recruitment Survey from Alexander Mann Solutions, in cooperation with Social Talent, found that 282 candidates are, on average, considered for every role. However most are discounted at an early stage with 72% of candidates contacted regarding a role not even responding. As you can envision, this has the potential to negatively impact an employer brand.

However, by mapping candidate behaviour online through device ‘fingerprints’ and other pointers, organisations can gain a deep insight into what individuals are thinking, feeling and doing – even before they register or log into an account. This means that potential candidates can be fed tailored, relevant content and, crucially, they can be recognised as candidates with intent.     

For hiring managers, this pivot is truly game changing. No more trawling through online channels only to source disinterested professionals who will be turned-off by unsolicited calls. Instead, warm leads can be further nurtured through truly personalised engagement.

And while the use of algorithms and big data to develop targeted communications is still a relatively fresh concept within HR, the fact that the talent sphere has previously enjoyed huge successes through replicating  consumer-led engagement techniques means that a focus on the ‘candidate with intent’ looks set to boom in the next 12 months.

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