As the digital age propels forward, so too grows the nearly infinite amount of digestible information - extending well beyond critical mass. Today’s consumer has so many choices that, unless those choices are filtered and tailor-made, it’s rather easy to completely ignore the overwhelming barrage of information.

The biggest players are already in front of this. Netflix’s show recommendations, Amazon’s purchase suggestions, Google’s search results… all curated and served up to each individual.

Why then, are we in such a struggle to harness these same elements when it comes to job searches and hiring processes?

It would be easy to blame a lack of data. Netflix, Amazon, Google (and many others) have extensive amounts of data on user behaviors - information hand-delivered to them every time consumers utilize their services. So what information is easily collectible when it comes to job applicants? Most employees will have had about a dozen jobs across their entire life, meaning that the amount of behavioral data about individuals is limited to a small number of variables.

So what kind of data can employers collect that is as representative of an individual’s preferences if not behavior?

In this case, why not go to the source of behavior? Human personality. And the good news is, this data is actually quite easy to collect. Hence, modern personality science.

The addition of the word “modern” to “personality science” is not accidental. Gone are the days of lengthy word-based assessments most high school graduates are aware of. Those are agonizing to complete (in employer-speak, they cause applicant drop-off) and their output is often generic (with no specific actionable next step for test-takers). However, innovations in this space have brought new value to the use of these assessments.

The assessments themselves have improved - solutions are now mobile-first, lightweight, and engaging. But even more importantly, employers’ use of their output has evolved. Success in this space looks like companies choosing to share parts of the gathered personality data back with test-takers in the form of providing:

  1. Specific insights and feedback on their strengths and challenges, preferences and avoidances.
  2. Personalized job recommendations matched to that individual’s personality profile.

And just like that, personalization has been achieved - and no job applicants were harmed in the process!

With this, the applicant journey fundamentally changes. Each candidate is served up a unique and engaging experience. Job seekers are now no longer simply applying to jobs en masse, but rather, only to roles that they are most likely to succeed in and derive enjoyment from.

Employers who successfully engage in this dialogue with candidates reap the benefit of higher application rates, a more positively received application process, as well as word-of-mouth referrals. This personalized application process builds reciprocity in a way traditional applications simply cannot.

Of course, many additional benefits exist from collecting this information. Personality data can be used to tailor-make interview experiences. It can also predict fit, performance, and loyalty. In each of those cases, the point is the same - that creating value for both parties in the journey gets at the heart of the function of HR. This truly begins to fulfill our quest to put candidates first while simultaneously doing good for our employers.

Dan Sines is a co-founder and CEO at Traitify. Traitify is a Personality API and SaaS product delivered in a beautiful visual format designed to create a more personalized user experience. Dan’s background is in the creative side of the industry and brings his love of design and innovation to working with customers to integrate personality into their applications. In his free time, Dan can be found in the dojo where he is a black belt and practitioner of Ninjutsu and Gojuryu, as well as a self-proclaimed geek and lover of sci-fi and super heroes.  

Dan will be speaking at the Social Recruiting Strategies Conference in San Francisco this February 2, 2018 on the topic of "The Personalized Economy".