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Fortune 500 study: personalization, AI deficit in job candidate experience

Despite demand for AI and personalization from job candidates, a study found that Fortune 500 employers are way off the mark.
By: | January 17, 2020 • 2 min read

With personalization and artificial intelligence (AI) emerging among the top tech trends within the talent acquisition space, a recent survey of Fortune 500 employers surprisingly found those two areas severely lacking.

In its State of Candidate Experience: 2020 Benchmarks study, Phenom People, found that 94% of Fortune 500 employer do not include chatbots and 92% do not deliver recommended jobs based on candidate profiles. In related results, 90% do not offer a social login option for candidates to browse relevant jobs and 86% do not have semantic search capabilities.

Phenom People, a Philadelphia-based talent experience management solutions provider, recently released its fourth annual digital candidate experience report, which analyzes data and ranks the Fortune 500 based on how they attract, engage and convert job seekers.

The report notes that with the national unemployment rate hovering around 3.6%—a 50-year low—candidates are in the driver’s seat. At the same time, employers seek “best-fit” candidates from the same talent pool, regardless of industry. According to Mahe Bayireddi, Phenom People CEO and co-founder, to gain a competitive advantage, it’s essential to offer a highly satisfying and interactive candidate experience. Employers that do not deliver a personalized candidate experience are at risk of losing top talent to competitors, jeopardizing growth, Bayireddi explains, noting that the report offers insights as to where employers are meeting job seeker expectations on career sites.

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In addition to exposing the current state of the digital candidate experience, the report evaluates how AI is incorporated. Bayireddi says AI and machine learning help candidates find the right jobs faster by enhancing their experience in three areas: personalization, search and insights. Despite the industry focus on AI, he notes, 97% of the Fortune 500 scored poorly when it comes to implementing this technology on company career sites.

“Employers must stop neglecting their candidate experiences. Talent acquisition teams are just as responsible as other departments for improving the bottom line,” Bayireddi said, adding that when the candidate experience is less than outstanding, a negative chain reaction occurs—recruiters struggle to fill jobs, employee evolution is restricted, and the customer experience suffers.

“The findings from this report should encourage employers to optimize their career sites to help candidates find the right job, and recruiters the right talent,” he says.

Bayireddi says the research underscores the strengths and weaknesses of the Fortune 500 candidate experiences. Employers scored the lowest in utilizing AI, delivering job recommendations and offering a chatbot. Conversely, he says, companies scored the highest in fast web page load time, responsive site design and maintaining up to date job postings on job boards.

Tom Starner is a freelance writer based in Philadelphia who has been covering the human resource space and all of its component processes for over two decades. He can be reached at hreletters@lrp.com.

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