Nailing that Candidate Persona

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Candidate persona is the semi-fictional representation of your ideal job candidate. Defining your Candidate Persona can significantly improve your recruiting and talent acquisition strategies.

Lately, candidate persona templates have increasingly become popular as recruitment and digital marketing strategies team up to collaborate and attract talent. When optimizing your hiring initiatives, a candidate persona provides an excellent snapshot of your ideal hire for a specific role. It includes items like personality traits, soft skills and cultural values as well as technical abilities, work experiences, education, problems they face, ambitions and more. This profile also helps in defining that elusive ‘culture fit’ that has become a buzzword of late.

Candidate persona maps:

  • Boosts the position description with target candidate attributes and technical skills.
  • Equips recruiter pitches with specific language to align with candidate needs.
  • Narrows down the qualified candidate pool.
  • Reduces overall recruiting costs and time to hire.
  • Increases retention by attracting more sustainable employees.
  • Finds candidates with solid ‘Culture Fit’

Characteristics of a Candidate Persona

  • Background. What experience does this role absolutely need to be successful?
  • Current ‘pain points’. What problems will this role solve for?
  • Wants. What will the ideal candidate be looking for in their next career step?
  • Job-searching habits. What approach might work best to reach these candidates? Do you need to advertise, source or implement a recruitment marketing campaign?
  • What motivates them at work? What does work-life balance mean to them?

Where to Start?

There are many questions you can ask to define your candidate persona. The best way is to start with your own employees. Take some of your best players and start interviewing them.

If these are the people that you want more off, then this is the way to go.

Below is a cheat sheet for defining your candidate persona. You may not be able to answer all of these questions, but the more you answer the better you can adjust your recruiting campaigns and efforts.

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