How DirectlyApply Built the World's Best Job Seeker Engagement System.

By Dylan Buckley

Introduction

DirectlyApply are supporters of transparency within business, and firmly believe that a lot more needs to be shared within the job search industry to help improve outcomes for both employers and job seekers.

When we have been approached by an agency, employer, job seeker or even competitor as to how we are able to provide market leading job matching, we have always been happy to share the inner workings and decisions of our businesses to 'outsiders'.  

One of our biggest undertakings as a business to date, is building our job seeker engagement platform. A way to communicate with job seekers intelligently before, during and after their job search, with the sole purpose of ensuring they are informed and therefore able to make the best decisions for their career.   

We believe that we have built one of, if not the best, job seeker engagement platform in the industry, and although there is an underlying risk in laying down sensitive statistics within a public forum, we are happy to be challenged or even proved wrong, assuming it is backed up with evidence 😉.  

Before we get to the data, we would request you to acknowledge one key point when considering our results, DirectlyApply operates across all job verticals, and therefore these statistics apply to every single role (white and blue collar) at every level of seniority and location across the US.

TLDR - Here are the stats:

*We break down our users into two main cohorts when reporting performance metrics. Active Job Seekers, those who have been active on the DirectlyApply platform in the last 28 days, and passive job seekers, those who receive our communications, but haven't taken action towards applying for a new job in the last 28 days. We distinguish between these two groups as the average active job search timeframe for our users is 28 days, and after this they remain subscribed, but our messaging and approach changes.

These results are built on 3 foundations:

Personalization

We think that job seekers deserve an experience akin to having their own staffing agent, headhunter or recruiter on speed dial.  An excellent recruiter will do the following:

  • Listen to a job seekers needs

  • Clarify their requirements 

  • Match and present the job seeker with relevant opportunities

  • React to feedback and adjust the search where required

We therefore built DirectlyApply’s job seeker engagement platform to mimic a recruiter.  Our system uses dozens of signals, both explicit user inputs and also from directly observing individual job seeker behavior, in order to intelligently craft the timing, lifecycle and content of messaging.

This starts from simple personalizations like allowing the job seeker to choose what time of day they would like to receive their matches, and then automatically figure out their timezone, and schedule messaging, as well as adding in an appropriate greeting to the job seeker based on this information.

Then the more advanced and results driven personalization comes from observing the job seeker throughout their job search process to understand when they are actively seeking a new role, when they are in the interview phase and when they have started to conclude their search. These parameters, combined with data points on what specific roles, jobs and companies a job seeker is engaging with are key. So, for example, we won’t ask a job seeker to consider a job opportunity they have already applied to, or ask them to apply to a company where they have explicitly given feedback they don't wish to work for. These examples are, in combination, what lead to a truly personalized experience.

We are confident that this human-like approach to personalisation is a big driver of our high open rates and crucially, our high click and conversion rates.

Matching

You can’t claim to have built a personalized job seeker engagement system if you can't match the job seeker with the jobs they want.  Since 2019, DirectlyApply has been building advanced matching technology, starting with our feed importing and data enrichment processes, geolocation and job seeker skills extraction and matching.

We can independently measure our success at matching, versus the industry average, when using the data from the Appcast report that states only 8% of job seekers complete the application process .  Significantly, DirectlyApply is able to outperform the industry on this metric, having an average ATS conversion rate in excess of 30%.

Therefore, to enable our outbound communication to be as successful as our on platform performance, we had to enable them to share the same knowledgebase, and use the same advanced systems, enabling accurate, timely and relevant job matching.

The completed integration now enables our existing matching system to combine with our personalisation and feedback loop system, to create an incredibly advanced job seeker engagement system which provides job seekers with unparalleled job matches.

Feedback

However, although DirectlyApply provides high levels of personalisation and job matching, we recognise it will never be perfect. Therefore the final piece of the never ending puzzle is to solicit feedback to ensure matching remains relevant and accurate for the lifetime of the job seekers job search. 

Feedback is collected explicitly via the observation of thousands of touch points we are able to take from job seeker behavior.  Our personalisation system understands interactions users have had with jobs, roles and companies, powered by our in-house analytics platform that intelligently tracks a user's interactions across the platform and streams them into our datastore in real time. An interaction with the directlyapply.com platform can influence job seeker messaging and matching within milliseconds. 

As well as on platform feedback loops, obviously the job search process isn't complete until the job seeker actually completes the job application. This final step of 'engagement powering feedback' comes from utilizing our down funnel integrations with many ATS and Programmatic systems, to send detailed messaging during the apply process, which allow us to know when the job seeker has started, finished or dropped off the apply process.

Crucially, knowing when job seekers have dropped off during the process has enabled us to better engage with them, and through retargeting them at the right time with the right message has resulted in a 22% increase in otherwise lost applications.

Conclusion

We have shared all the above in the interests of transparency and with a view to helping us and the industry provide better outcomes for job seekers and employers.  But to be frank, what we have described here only scratches the surface as to how DirectlyApply is able to achieve our aforementioned metrics.  The reality is that it has taken over 4 years of learning to be able to put DirectlyApply in a position where we were able to create a job seeker engagement system that we felt was additive to the industry as a whole.

If you want more information about DirectlyApply or our features feel free to reach out to  Dylan  or  Will  on Linkedin or email [email protected]