Published on
March 26, 2024

5 e-commerce takeaways for candidate-centric recruitment

Let’s explore how e-commerce insights can help implement candidate-centric recruitment for more hires in 2024.

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Global talent shortage keeps growing, leading to an increased pressure on recruitment teams. The only way to diversify the company you’re recruiting for, is to prioritise the candidate experience. 

But what is the candidate experience exactly? And how can you implement it in existing hiring processes? It doesn’t need to be as difficult as it seems.

Think of it, the e-commerce industry is likeminded. There’s plenty of competition online, why would people bother to buy their products in that one online store? Online retailers are centralising the user experience. They know all about optimising conversion rates and making it effortless to find the perfect product at glance. 

But why should we look at another market? The e-commerce market has tackled quite a few challenges over time. Recruitment marketing shares similar difficulties today. Let's find out why recruitment marketing needs a different approach and how e-commerce takeaways can help to drive a change.

Why recruitment marketing needs a different approach 

New developments and technology help make recruitment marketing more effective. But we’re not there yet. 77% of organisations still experience difficulties in filling roles. There are still quite some pitfalls when it comes to recruitment that ask for a different approach in 2024.

  • Targeting the right audience is tough, especially when the best candidates are passive job seekers. Too often, messages are shot too broadly, leading to you missing your target or wasting budget. 
  • Social media platforms are still not used effectively. Often, jobs are posted without engaging content. Many tend to forget the ‘social’ aspect and solely see social media as a channel to reach potential candidates.
  • Not tracking recruitment marketing efforts can come at high costs. It’s important to analyse which activities lead to the best hires. Doing so will allow you to focus more on what’s working and to stop spending money on what’s not.
  • The candidate experience still gets neglected. A bad candidate experience can hurt your employer brand. And have you ever thought about the impact this can have on driving talent away?

Make sure your application process is smooth and focuses on providing an overall positive experience for every candidate. Even if a candidate isn't the right fit, it's essential to leave a good impression, isn't it? After all, 72% of job seekers say they would share a negative candidate experience online.

Adding the fact that 66% of companies are unhappy with their recruitment marketing efforts, it’s time for another approach.

E-commerce and recruitment marketing share a common ground

Innovation is key when driving change, and what better market to look at than e-commerce? With e-commerce still booming, the number of online shoppers and transactions continues to grow. The competition for attention is fierce, making it crucial for online retailers to offer the best user experience (UX) to generate conversions.

And that’s exactly how you can look at recruitment marketing too. 

Customer experience vs candidate experience

The heavier competition is, the more expensive advertising is. Online retailers need to make every penny count, which is why customer experience is key in e-commerce. Instead of solely pushing people to buy a product, the whole journey is focused on delivering a great experience.

From the ad that matches interest, the product page that’s visually appealing and a smooth checkout process with interesting shipping options. The same holds for recruitment marketing efforts. 

Employers and recruitment marketers need to provide a positive candidate experience throughout the whole recruitment process. So instead of pushing job descriptions to a big group of people. It’s key to provide an experience on multiple channels, with personalised ads, unique career sites and easy ways to apply. 

This not only increases the amount of successful hires, but also influences brand perception. A positive candidate experience helps to generate brand ambassadors too. All important for long term recruitment success.

What is candidate-centric recruitment? 

In order to provide a positive candidate experience, it’s important to implement candidate-centric recruitment. This is also known as candidate-driven recruitment. Sounds fancy, but what does it actually mean?

It’s prioritising the needs, preferences and the experience of job seekers throughout the hiring process. It’s a new way to look at hiring. Instead of solely focusing on filling open positions, you’re looking at the person you want to hire. 

Meaning, the focus should be on engaging experiences and building relationships. Regardless of whether they will ultimately join your organisation, or not. 

Let’s have a look at the takeaways from e-commerce that can help you to get started with candidate-centric recruitment. 

5 key takeaways from e-commerce for recruitment marketing

Implementing candidate-centric recruitment starts with prioritising the candidate over your positions. Next up, understanding your audience and using the insights to build a real journey. Here are five steps that showcase how this is done in e-commerce, and how to implement it in recruitment as well.

1. Understanding your audience

E-commerce businesses know exactly how to segment their audience. They are looking at interests and behaviour to adjust their campaigns accordingly. Think of personalised product recommendations and retargeting campaigns to restore abandoned shopping carts.

Looking at recruitment, you can do the exact same thing. It’s crucial to know the ideal candidates you’re targeting. Understand and map your target audience to get insights into preferred communication channels, activities, educational background and more. 

This allows you to tailor job descriptions, social media posts, job ads and even career pages to specific interests and needs. 

2. Creating a user-friendly experience 

An e-commerce company’s ultimate goal is to convert website visitors into customers. They optimise the buyer journey and limit friction. And let’s not forget about compelling calls-to-action. Have you ever encountered an online store that requests unnecessary information during the checkout process?

E-commerce websites craft appealing designs and offerings, making it as easy as possible for consumers to purchase their products.

Why wouldn’t you want to replicate this in recruitment? Ultimately, you share the same goal: converting potential candidates into applicants and hires. To achieve this, it’s crucial to provide the best candidate experience.

Make interacting with your company enjoyable for candidates by using videos to showcase your company culture. Also, consider technical aspects such as interacting via various channels, connecting through social media, and ensuring a mobile-friendly career page.

But that's not all. Future applicants desire in-platform applications. Reconsider if your company still requires CVs and cover letter attachments, and explore ways to simplify the application process.

3. Moving from platforms to social media 

In 2022, approximately 4.6 billion people (58% of the population) were active social media users, spending an average of 2.27 hours per day on these platforms. 

It’s no surprise that social commerce made its successful debut as early as 2007. Social media platforms have streamlined the process of purchasing products directly within their interfaces. In just three years, purchases via social media increased with 132%.

Looking at recruitment, it’s almost comical not every hiring team is using social media. Many businesses continue to rely heavily on traditional job boards and hiring websites such as Indeed, neglecting the potential of social media channels. When they do use social media for recruitment purposes, they often fail to engage with candidates on a personal level.

It’s time to look at social media as a primary recruitment channel. Social media provides unique recruitment opportunities. It allows you to directly connect with your ideal candidate and build relationships. By sharing compelling content you can strengthen your employer brand and trigger interest in working with you. 

4. Data-driven decision making

It feels a bit odd talking about data, while recruitment is all about people. For e-commerce businesses, however, data is absolutely crucial. They rely heavily on data analytics to understand customer behaviour and optimise conversions and inventory accordingly.

In recruitment, especially with social media becoming more important, you shouldn’t neglect these types of data insights. Data helps identify which channels and messages lead to the best results. Evaluate reach, clicks, the amount of interviews, costs per candidate, costs per qualified candidates and more. 

Not looking at data can lead to wasting time and ad budgets. And even more importantly, data can help you prioritise the candidate's needs by understanding their interests and adjusting your messaging and offer accordingly. 

5. Building an (employer) brand

It’s very expensive to generate new customers in e-commerce. That’s why e-commerce businesses focus mainly on retaining their customers. Building a strong e-commerce brand means spreading a consistent message, creating a positive shopping experience and sharing compelling content to showcase offerings and educate customers.

Recruitment marketing can still learn a lot here. Building a strong employer brand makes it a lot easier to attract top talent. Share your company’s values, culture and what it’s like to work at your company. Recruitment marketing content such as job descriptions, customer testimonials and company culture videos help engage potential candidates. 

In the end you should leave a favourable impression of your company and building a strong employer brand can help you do so. 

How to implement e-commerce best practices for candidate-centric recruitment

Want to succeed with recruitment marketing in 2024? Then prioritising candidate-centric recruitment is a must. Building a positive experience that’s focusing on the candidate rather than filling positions immediately will lead to more positive results in the long run. 

Best practices successfully applied in e-commerce can also help to succeed in recruitment. Understand your audience, profit from the power of data and create custom experiences to increase the chances of getting a positive reply. Forget about the standard job application forms and automated messaging at scale.

Choose to share personalised messages, beautiful career pages with fun content and focus on building a strong employer brand. Show how your company can be the best next step for potential candidates. Don’t forget about the power of social media and stop using it as a channel to solely ship information.

Dull and basic job ads are not going to cut it anymore. Use candidate insights to show the right job ad to the right candidate. And make them as compelling as possible. 

Reach the unreachable through beautiful job ads with Wonderkind

Want to automate the entire process? Wonderkind is here to help. Get the right ad in front of the best person, at the right time and within budget. The only thing left for you to do is build those actual relationships. 

Our platform helps you lower job ad spend, increase job ad ROI and fill more positions. Wondering how? We’d love to show you in a free 15 minute demo. With our platform, you’re able to turn XMLs into visually stunning social media job ads that perform. 

Anything else you’ve seen in e-commerce that’s applicable to recruitment marketing? Let us know and we’ll be happy to include it in this article.

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