Recruiters and marketers share a lot in common. They are all in the business of attracting a specific target audience and moving that audience along to a desired result. For marketers, the audience is potential customers and the desired result is a sale. For recruiters, the audience is potential candidates and the desired result is a new hire.

That being said, recruiters often borrow a page from their marketing brethren to attract the best candidates. One of the marketing tactics that produces stellar results for recruiters is the creation of personas.

What is a Candidate Persona?

RecruitingSocial defines a candidate persona as “a fictional representation of the ideal hire for a specific role, based on existing employee data, market research, and educated guesses about experience, goals, motivations, and concerns.”

A candidate persona is more than just a dry list of educational requirements, skill sets, and experience levels. Those requirements are often merely the bare bones of what you want in a new hire. Your candidate persona will put flesh on those bones by providing a nuanced picture of the person you really want for the job.

Creating Candidate Personas

Does that mean that candidate personas are just paper-thin made-up concepts of the “dream candidate”? No, it does not. Truly useful candidate personas are based on solid data and insights gained from observable results your organization has already experienced.

Where do you get this data? answers: “Research for your candidate persona can include analysis on current employees, prospective hires and others who might align with your ideal hire. Use performance data from your HR information system to identify trends in experience, background and career paths for your highest-potential employees. This data may help you shape the experience, background and location of your ideal candidate and future successful hires.”

Taking all the information you glean from your existing data and adding a dash of human insight will help you create candidate personas that truly represent the type of candidate for whom you are searching.

Template: Creating Ideal Candidate Personas – Our free persona template will help you improve your talent acquisition by identifying who your ideal candidates are and how best to reach them.

Leveraging Your Candidate Personas

What are the advantages of developing detailed candidate personas? One of the significant advantages is that a candidate persona gives you a clearer picture of what your actual candidates may be looking for in a potential employer.

Candidate personas help you craft more targeted job listings and descriptions. They help you identify and address potential candidate pain points. LinkedIn’s “A Crash Course in Building Candidate Personas” lists additional benefits, noting that candidate personas can help you:

  • Focus on the highest-performing recruiting channels
  • Communicate in a language that resonates with your audience
  • Build lasting, long-term relationships
  • Position your company as an ideal place to work
  • Get candidates excited about your open roles

Choosing Hiring Software that Supports Candidate Personas

Since your candidate personas are built on solid data, it is important to choose hiring software with robust analytics. Talent management solutions that capture essential candidate and employee data help you both create effective candidate personas and match candidates to those personas more easily. Contact us today to see what our state-of-the-art talent management solution, Thrive TRM, can do for you.