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Why Should You Localize The Entire Candidate Journey?

In his book Hacking Growth, Seal Ellis talks about his experiences of taking companies to the next level. More specifically, for anyone unfamiliar with the work of Sean Ellis, he is probably the reason you've heard about Dropbox as a standard for cloud-based file sharing. But Dropbox aside, there is one thing that sparked my interest while reading the book. The author mentions how a couple of years ago, Facebook reached its plateau when expanding its business. They hired experts to deal with their growth, and the proposed solution was to further expand their user base. Even though Facebook already had 70 million users worldwide, it seemed as though their platform needed a further user expansion to keep growing. The team then used a crowdsourcing model that helped them translate the app in almost any language possible.

As a conclusion for this effort, experts from Facebook said: "Growth was not about hiring 10 people per country and putting them in the 20 most important countries and expecting it to grow. Growth was about engineer[ing] systems of scale and enabling our users to grow the product for us." (source: Hacking Growth, 2017)

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By now, you might wonder why are we even saying all this to someone working in the recruitment industry? 

Translating Facebook's growth tactic into the HR industry

Even though this might be an unrelated issue at first glance when it comes to attracting and hiring top talent, in reality, there are quite a few things you could learn from this example. Localizing your candidate's journey is definitely one of them. Though company user or customer expansion isn't directly tied with recruiting talent, you can adopt the same mindset when building a stronger employer brand. As a consequence of building a strong employer brand through localized candidate journeys, you will create a broader candidate pool. 

You see, these cases are not so different after all. :)

But let's dive deeper into the issue. 

Benefits of creating a localized candidate journey

First of all, let's get one thing clear: what a candidate journey really is. A candidate journey refers to the expression used to describe the six stages job seekers go through - Awareness, Consideration, Interest, Application, Selection, and Hire. So basically, it is the entire hiring funnel that the expression covers. Let's go back to the Facebook case for just a second. It is similar to the acquisition funnel Facebook had to use to expand their user base when you look closely. So, pumping up the awareness in local languages, making customers consider the product, driving them to the interest stage, and finally converting and becoming a new user. However, the conversion means much more in this case because it entails submitting the application, going through the selection process, and finally accepting your offer. But in this article, we'll focus mostly on the first few steps in the funnel, attracting candidates, leaving the rest of the process for another post. 

talent acquisition funnel


Here are some of the most essential benefits of localizing your candidate journey: 

Translating company values for different job markets 

Candidates from different job markets speak different languages, come from different cultural backgrounds, and look for different things when looking for a new job. This means that while candidates from one country might value a work-life balance, in another, they might look for stability and make sure that they can rely on the company to always pay the salary on time. Though it is the same company we are talking about in both cases, it is crucial to know the market you are hiring for to highlight different values for all your potential future employees. Therefore, creating various career sites or pages for different job markets and translating them into the language of your prospective employees will make your company stand out by making sure you've communicated everything you need adequately. One of our customers even mentioned the importance of localizing candidate journey in the following words: 

"As much as we all work together and collaborate well with each other, we believe that job markets are slightly different in each country. Therefore, to take care of our differences, it was very convenient for us to tailor our communication for candidates from different markets separately." (Source: Success story with Decathlon hiring team)

Expanding employer brand 

Candidate experience is one of the most critical factors affecting your employer brand. Thinking about hiring in today's world, when most teams have become remote and companies are hiring increasingly diverse talent from different parts of the world, it is still essential to adjust your employer branding for your local audience. Research has shown that 85% of customers won't buy a product unless the information is available in their own language. This fact showcases how having information in your mother tongue is crucial for creating a connection with the brand or employer brand of the company you are considering as your next employer. 

More specifically, here are some elements of your online presence that could be localized to strengthen your employer brand across different audiences: 

Localized career pages

By creating different career sites for different audiences, you will offer each of them a completely tailored experience. This means that everything from the textual content to graphics, statistics, and images can be completely relevant to a specific group of employees. 

Culture videos adjusting to your audience's cultural backgrounds

If a picture is worth 1000 words, imagine how many words a video is worth. Additionally, imagine how many words a video is worth when localized for your audience. For example, let's say you are hiring talent from South America, and your headquarters is located in Berlin. When displaying your company's setting, it wouldn't mean much to your audience to see the streets of Berlin with the text read in English. However, it would make it harder for the audience to relate and understand where you are coming from as an employer. For that reason, whether you have an office in South America or not, it is still essential to adjust the culture for the local candidates. Find a tactic in which your video can portray your global character by respecting the regional differences. If you manage to do so, your candidates will likely establish a more significant emotional connection and click that apply button faster!

Localizing the contact information

This one is pretty practical. Going back to the example for the past section, it would be rather misleading if you add the street address, currency, phone numbers, and dates that do not fit with the local measurement format in South America. For that reason, make sure to always provide content respecting the local standards without confusing your potential candidates,  

Providing relevant candidate experience for all applicants

As we already mentioned in our articles in the past, the recruitment game has completely changed in the last couple of years. You are no longer choosing your talent, but the talent is choosing you. This paradigm shift highly affected the new set of standards in the recruitment industry. As a result, your overall perception in candidates' minds shapes the candidate experience, making it more critical than ever before. 

By providing localized content and having recruiters who speak different languages, you provide a more relevant candidate experience for everyone applying to your company. From the career site content to job ads, application forms, and interviews - when completely localized for your candidates, they positively impact candidate experience for everyone. 

Helping your company grow

A great candidate experience goes a long way! By building a vast and cohesive talent pool from different parts of the world, you will literally help your company grow by attracting more talent and help it grow from a more long-term strategic point of view. In addition, with a more expansive and engaged talent pool, your HR department can plan and anticipate your future hiring needs and make sure to never reach talent-related troubles.

Whether you need to prevent turnover costs and eliminate the struggle to find replacements for employees who decide to switch their jobs, or your company is experiencing sudden growth, and you need to find several highly skilled employees in a short period. A strategic approach that provides relevant candidate experiences will make you stand out in the market and save you from a talent shortage when needed allowing your company to grow. 

Allow the technology to step in

Localizing a candidate's journey can be a costly and time-consuming activity which is probably why most companies end up with English-written websites and culture videos for their international audience. But let's remember the quote from the beginning of the article. Experts from Facebook said that the growth wasn't about hiring local teams in each country where they wanted to expand their user base but in designing technology that will minimize human efforts. 

The same goes for your localized candidate journey. While creating a culture video adapted to the values and languages of your audience will still require people to do the job, you can let the technology do its part when it comes to career sites and job ads. 

career site talentlyftBy having the possibility to build different websites for different job markets and quickly switching from one site to another with a unique candidate base, you can become way more efficient in hiring diverse talent. Additionally, you can save money. With a multiple website editor, you don't have to hire web design teams each time you need to adjust your language for a local audience. You can simply add as many websites or pages as you need and keep track of all your hirings worldwide. Sometimes, it's just better to leave the job to technology! 

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