Searching For New Talent? Define Your Candidate Personas For Best Results
The basic expectation of every business from every employee or a partner is a task well executed, that demonstrates their contribution toward the organization’s goals. In recruiting, that means hiring the right talent at the right time in alignment with business needs, while operating efficiently and sourcing effectively.
As a recruiter, you probably prove your worth with the metrics you share as proof of your accomplishment – how you:
- decreased the time to source/interview and assessed/offer/hire/start,
- minimize the cost per hire, recruitment cost ratio
- ensure diversity contribution and
- ensure the candidate quality.
Though some of the metrics, would not be relevant for all recruiters, these numbers overall provide the big-picture of the efficiency and effectiveness of your recruiting organization’s, sourcing and marketing strategies.
In the experience economy as recruiters your also realize that everything around you is changing at a rapid pace. The job seekers are changing; job roles and descriptions are changing as the talent business demands are changing.
“To achieve all of this it’s important that you can set yourself apart from the competition to attract the top talent – you need to know the candidates in-and-out. But, for this, you need to define your candidate persona.”
So, What Is A Candidate Persona?
It is a semi-fictional depiction, of your ideal contender for a specific role in your organization. The candidate persona is based on actual data and not assumptions
For better results, the recruitment team should involve job seekers who have applied for the position, potential applicants, past and present employees, hiring managers, while doing research to define the persona. The accurate, authentic and unbiased persona is created using research and insights gathered from a variety of sources (goals, motivations, work experience and history, education, behaviors, and patterns, objections, communication preferences, entertainment habits, etc.).
Using a mix of surveys, focus groups, one-on-one interviews, quizzes, and other methods you can gather information to answer the questions to understand this persona better. It revolves around the five Ws —who, what, where, when and why – to shed light on:
- Who is your ideal candidate based on their personality type? Who among your existing employees exhibits similar personality? Who can help you in identifying these job seekers?
- What relevant skills he/she has that make them a great fit for the role?
- When is it the right time to connect with this candidate?
- Where does your ideal candidate socialize, hang out online or search for exciting job opportunities?
- Why would he/she want to work for your organization?
Best Practice Tip: Personas is particularly critical for roles that require unique skill sets, strong leadership and are tough-to-fill roles, as they will be in high demand.
You have created the candidate persona. So what next?
It’s the starting point for segmenting your job seekers as you now have the secret sauce to communicate with different candidates based on where the candidate is in the engagement cycle. For example, the conversation you should have with a college undergraduate would be very different to that of a passive candidate who is unaware of the opportunity and what’s in it for them to a candidate opportunity who is considering joining your company.
In other words, by combing candidate personas and their lifecycle stage, you know who the candidate is (e.g. career goals, motivators, concerns, skills, experience, etc), and how they expect to interact with your organization (through lifecycle stage).
Now, start putting your candidate personas to use
It’s action time to reap the results. A candidate persona will help you:
- get to know and better understand employees – past, present, and prospective – their motivation to consider working with you, to apply, to continuing to work with you and to refer you to their friends and family
- focus on the recruiting channels that are high-performing to convert the best candidates for the open positions
- create workflows to nurture candidate of a particular persona type, whom you would like to attract shortly
- tailor the messaging to connect with candidates by addressing their concerns and pain points
- guide the creation of effective recruitment marketing collaterals to position your organization as an ideal place to work
- build a network of leads by monitoring the list of candidates who applied in the past with select persona’s and lifecycle stages on social media, to tap them when position open up
- and last but not the least, build lasting long-term relationships with the candidates.
Final thoughts – The Candidate Experience Matters
Treat your candidate persona as a living, evolving document, as it is the recipe for your success as a recruiter. Each job seeker you interact with will present a new perspective that you can use to refine your understanding of the persona and tailor it to your organization.
Today, the candidate experience is essential and demands your attention apart from the candidates. Even if the job seeker is not selected, it’s important that he/she has a good experience.
With sites like Glassdoor, Indeed, and others employees and candidates have avenues to express their feelings and experiences with your organization along the hire to retire process. A negative experience makes your organization less attractive to the prospective fits and your work life a nightmare.
Remember, a positive employee experience is a key factor to deliver exceptional customer experience. So never discount those who are going to be able to propel your business forward down the road.
Image source: CC BY-SA 3.0 NY
Innovatus Marketers Touchpoint LLP is a customer experience, marketing, service design, design thinking and business innovation consulting firm, based in India. We offer go-to-market and digital strategy consulting and help our clients rethink and redesign customer and employee value in the digital era. We offer design thinking workshops and consulting, tailored to enable, accelarete or transform your business. We are laser-focused on the problem at hand and your opportunity space, and optimize process to make design thinking and service design principles accessible to your employees who’ve never done it before or stuck-up, and provide “just adequate” theory to help you get moving and achieve outcomes.
You may reach out to Vidya Priya Rao @ +918080015500 or email @ firstname.lastname@example.org
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