My Take: Hyper-Personalization Meets Legal and Ethical Limits

Human resource departments are only beginning to use hyper-personalization in their recruitment efforts. By taking a deep dive into their candidate engagement strategy, they’re discovering they’re coming up short. The job application process is impersonal, bland and robotic. Companies vying for talent need to do better, and hyper-personalization is allowing them to do that.

Essentially hyper-personalization allows recruiters to handcraft a candidate’s journey. You can appeal to what means the most to them without even having to ask. Technology has a big role in this. At its basic level, it is learning more about a candidate through social media, then using the information garnered to capture their attention through customized emails and recruitment outreach.

However, this just scratches the surface. Specialized software and technical methodologies are allowing HR to go further. Social-profile aggregators, A/B email testing and compensation estimation tools are just a few examples. And considering the size of the recruitment industry and the billions of dollars worldwide that go into the process, technical innovators are realizing the market potential, which is sure to lead to new and exciting advances in the near future.

The sky appears to be the limit, but this opportunity also brings with it tension. Legal concerns arise when would-be employers flirt with the lines of privacy. Eleven states and 9 cities already passed a law that employers can’t ask candidates what their prior job salary was, so compensation tools are likely not an option for organizations there. Many companies don’t even use autofilters on their application databases for fear that any filter could be deemed discriminatory, and some may skip hyper-personalization opportunities for the same reason.

This will be a hot topic to watch develop. As companies strive to be fresh in their recruitment efforts, hyper-personalization is a welcome change. However, with legal (and sometimes ethical) concerns top of mind, it can be a bit like treading on thin ice. For those who are educated and proceed with caution, it might be the opportunity to snag top talent and build an incredible brand reputation among job seekers.

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