Most members of the Fortune 500 don’t use artificial intelligence and automation to offer advanced personalization and proactively engage candidates.

In fact, 93% of the Fortune 500 use AI poorly, which means they’re not delivering the level of personalization candidates have come to expect, according to Phenom’s 2021 State of Candidate Experience benchmark report.

Candidates seek the same personalized experience they see in their personal lives during their job search, Phenom said. Advanced technology—like AI—is the foundation of many services employers leverage to deliver relevant information in real time.

The stuff works. According to Phenom, chatbots that answer questions and present relevant jobs can double candidate leads and increase apply rates. By automating manual tasks such as screening and scheduling, they also improve recruiter productivity.

What Employers Don’t Do

The report identified a number of things employers don’t do: Some 94% don’t provide job recommendations based on their career site’s browsing history. Ninety-one percent don’t present job recommendations based on a candidate’s profile. Also, 91% don’t display recently viewed jobs. And notably, 99% don’t share an application’s status after the initial email used to confirm submission.

GEM Recruiting AI

All that’s not helping employers who bemoan the lack of qualified candidates to work with. “The digital revolution accelerated by the pandemic has only increased candidate expectations for seamless, exceptional talent experiences,” said Phenom CEO Mahe Bayireddi. “Companies that deliver the most personalized talent journeys will be at an advantage when competing for future employees.”

During the Covid-19 pandemic, HR and recruiting teams that expanded their use of advanced technology were in a better position to (virtually) hire, grow their talent communities, upskill employees and reach talent goals, Phenom said.

While the report focuses on the current state of candidate experience across the Fortune 500, Phenom points out that employers should be mindful of every key stakeholder experience in their process. The relationships among candidates, employees, recruiters and managers are all interconnected, it said, and neglecting even one can undermine an employer’s ability to hire, develop and retain talent.

Mark Feffer

Mark Feffer is executive editor of RecruitingDaily and the HCM Technology Report. He’s written for TechTarget, HR Magazine, SHRM, Dice Insights, and TalentCulture, as well as Dow Jones, Bloomberg and Staffing Industry Analysts. He likes schnauzers, sailing and Kentucky-distilled beverages.


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