This post was updated in June 2019.
What does your ideal hire look like? What characteristics and experience will make them successful? Your talent attraction teams can begin collectively answering these kinds of questions with the help of candidate personas, a resource that can enhance your recruitment strategy by taking a research-driven approach to understanding your candidate audience.
In the same way that marketers use buyer personas to understand target customers and tailor a marketing strategy specific to their needs, candidate personas can help you develop a talent attraction strategy focused on exactly who you need to hire. Here are three ways your candidate personas can help you transform your recruiting strategy to attract your ideal candidates:
Candidate personas help you highlight company culture
When writing job titles and descriptions, consider the components of your candidate persona that speak to the keywords you can use to describe the culture of your organization. Start your job description with an attention-grabbing paragraph to illustrate how your position is exciting, challenging and relevant to your target candidate. In addition to the skills and experience you’re looking for, try to convey the personality characteristics that will fit in with your company.
Spotify draws talent to its job descriptions by leveraging words that speak to the character traits of its target talent. Words such as “thoughtful and well rounded” or “takes pride in your work” and specific phrases that say as much about the company culture as the candidate they’re hoping to attract.
Get insights on the recruitment sources that align with your goals
Candidate personas reveal how your target candidate searches for jobs and the effectiveness of your recruitment vehicles. For example, if you’re seeking young professionals for entry-level positions, your candidate persona research may lead you to discover 73.4% of millennials click on jobs from mobile devices; therefore, a mobile friendly application process is a must.
Analyzing your sourcing data can also show which sources provide the best candidates. Jonathan Turner, Corporate Director of Human Resources at B/E Aerospace, asked his team about the success of their hires and found that 100% of hires from Indeed were “definitely the right choice for B/E” as compared to 94% from LinkedIn and 91% from referrals or the company’s own website. Knowing which sources were most effective empowered B/E to invest in the ones that drive the best candidates.
Bring talent leadership together to share results
Evaluating the skills, background and education of your target candidates will ensure each arm of your recruiting team is on the same page. Throughout the persona research process, record your findings and encourage collaboration to build the strongest candidate personas.