5 ways to use hyper-personalization to attract and retain top talent

Penny Hoile
Published on 7th October 2019
3 min read

Marketing today is all about hyper-personalization.

From pop-up ads that know what you did last week, to restaurant discount vouchers that appear when you get hungry, hyper-personalization is about catching the right people, in the right moment, with the right message.

It’s not just marketing that can benefit from this, however. HR and People teams can use hyper-personalization too.

Enter ‘People Marketing’

At Sage People, we talk about ‘People Marketing’ as applying the principles of Marketing to HR, so that companies can know their people as well as they know their customers, marketing themselves effectively to potential and existing employees, enabling them to attract and keep the best.

Hyper-personalization is a part of this.

In today’s war for talent, companies need to find new ways to attract and retain the best.

Here are a few ways to introduce hyper-personalization into your HR strategy.

1. Personalized recruitment

Perhaps the best use of hyper-personalization can be found in recruitment.

It’s now very simple to send targeted job advertisements using Facebook, LinkedIn and job websites.

In fact, you can tailor your job advertisements in creative ways to extend your reach to potential candidates. For instance, if you’re a skateboarding brand that needs a Web Developer, you can target your ads at people with an interest in skateboarding and a background in web design.

You can then use the kind of images that would appeal specifically to this target audience, as well as personalized copy.

Once you’ve got their interest, there is plenty you can do to personalize the experience even further. Tailoring the job spec to potential candidates’ interests and offering benefits that match their lifestyles are just some of the many tactics that companies are using.

2. Personalized benefits

Twice as many employees value their benefits more when they’re given a choice. As a provider of benefits, you can hyper-personalize candidate and employee experience by allowing people to pick their own.

For instance, while one employee may appreciate value-adding benefits such as dental cover or life insurance, another employee may prefer lifestyle-based benefits, such as flexible working, financial advice and access to education.

Personalizing benefits also has its advantages for employers. For example, Julian Smith, managing director of Bathroom Takeaway says his employee turnover is ‘incredibly low’ after introducing flexible benefits.

3. Personalized compensation packages

Whilst it’s not always possible to offer employees flexibility in terms of salary, there are other ways you can tailor compensation packages.

For instance, while you may provide an employer-matched retirement savings or pension scheme, many people are opting out of these in favor of schemes with a higher yield. In a 2016 survey, FlexJobs discovered working parents ranked retirement benefits as the least important factor when looking for a new job.

Therefore, giving your employees a choice over how their money is invested – for instance, in a pension scheme, a workplace investment scheme or stocks and shares options – could make them feel they are getting more from the money they earn.

You could even offer your employees the opportunity to buy shares in your company. This can be a powerful incentive, making people feel their contribution to the company is paying dividends directly into their pocket.

Along with these ideas, you could offer your employees finance and wealth management advice as an optional benefit. If your staff feel that they’re getting more from their salary at your company, it could convince them to stay, even if a higher salary is offered elsewhere.

4. Personalized learning and career development

Employees who are offered comprehensive training programs are 218% more productive, according to the Association for Talent Development. So, there is a strong case for offering training and career development.

You can make the experience even more effective by allowing staff to pick their own training. Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, is a big advocate of this approach to career development, saying “we think that personalized learning makes sense”.

While you should certainly offer job-specific training for new employees, once employees have gained experience you could start to offer training that’ll allow them to develop their careers in non-linear ways.

It could even involve training them in other aspects of the company’s work, so that they could make a sideways move should they wish to.

5. Personalized recognition

The value of recognition at work is clear as day – workhuman discovered that workers in recognition-rich companies are more likely to believe in their company’s values, more likely to enjoy their work, and more likely to stay in their roles.

Allow staff to send praise or kudos to one another and make ‘shout outs’ to colleagues using a bulletin board system. You can make these kudos even more personalized by including an automated email to address the recipient directly with more praise and thanks.

You could even go so far as to publish praise on your company’s social media channels. Many companies, for instance, recognize their top salespeople of the week by publishing their picture on a social media post.

Personalize experiences means higher productivity

Ultimately, employees are driven by different goals and aspirations. Some are motivated by money. Others want a great work-life balance.

Employee needs might be different for someone who just moved to New York versus someone who wants to start settling down.

As an employer, you’ll need to create engaging experiences for all your workforce.

Get to know your workforce – understand what drives each of them. Then, use that to create experiences that they’ll love – it won’t be the same for everyone.

What do your employees really want? Download research from 3,500 workers on what really gets them working.

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