I truly believe recruiting will never be the same. Whether corporate or agency, today’s Talent Leaders are part data scientist (sourcing) and part marketer (story teller).
Over the last few years, we’ve come to realise that “recruitment is marketing” and we’ve worked hard to differentiate ourselves from competitors, provide real life compelling career (not jobs) stories and constantly engage with candidates.
Now we are borrowing the next tool in the marketer’s toolbox – personas.
[bctt tweet=”How can you make use of candidate personas to help you identify critical talent #tips” username=”ATCevent”]
What is a persona?
For many years now, marketers have defined their ideal customers by building personas:
“A customer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers, that takes into consideration demographics, behaviour patterns & traits, motivations, and goals.” – Sam Kusinitz
This provides a solid guide to help a marketer decide where to focus his/her time and allow for alignment across the organisation.
What about a candidate persona?
A candidate persona is a fictional representation of your ideal candidate for a specific role based on research and insights focused on experience (work history), education, goals, behaviour patterns & traits, motivations and concerns (objections).
This really goes beyond a key selection criteria which is largely based on competencies and attributes and moves to the realm of ‘what are my star performers goals, what are they interested in, what kind of lifestyle do they lead, what technology do they use, where do they hang out and so on’ and so on.
If you’re considering candidate personas, here are some tips to get you started:
Find a good template
A good template will guide you towards asking the right questions and provide structure to your research. Download this free template to help you get started.
Developing personas is a great team activity. Your candidate persona should reflect a real personality. Give him/her a name, a background, a life. This will help you to visualise your ideal candidate. You may create several personas for each role and remember, as recruiters we need to adherence to protected attributes.
With the characteristics that you had defined for your ideal candidate persona, you can then determine the appropriate language and channel to use to try and reach out to these talents. For example, if you are looking to hire a fresh graduate to fill an entry level Digital Marketer role, you can consider using SnapChat. Conversely, you wouldn’t use the same tool to recruit a senior Product Engineer. It is not impossible but the chances of you finding the people you want are lower.
[bctt tweet=”A candidate persona can provide a solid guide to help you decide where to focus your sourcing efforts” username=”ATCevent”]
If you still aren’t convinced about the rise of candidate personas, just look to our friends in the US and Europe to understand how they are already applying a marketers approach to recruitment. Some leaders that come to mind are Allison Kruse from Kforce and Bryan Chaney from Indeed who have written and presented on this topic.
In Australia and New Zealand, we are only just beginning to see this approach adopted for recruitment of critical talent. With the hiring trend moving towards employment marketing and branding, it’s time for us pick up the pace and tap into the potential of using candidate personas to help us recruit more efficiently.
If you’d like to learn more, we are running a series of one-day Human Centred Design Thinking for Recruitment workshops in May 2016 across Australia and New Zealand. Sign up today.
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