Blog: ABCs of candidate personas

Life @ Work

ABCs of candidate personas

A candidate persona not only consists of basic identity details, work experience and educational qualifications (as a standard job description) but is also inclusive of other tangible aspects that are key to a successful candidature and business outcomes. These aspects are personality traits, career goals, soft skills, employment preference, concerns and motivations.
ABCs of candidate personas

Want more top performers? 
Want to improve recruiter efficiency?
Want to deliver a great EX? 

The answer to all the above is Candidate Personas/Profiles. 

Candidate Personas/Profiles are analogous to the marketing buyer personas. For a long time marketeers have used customer personas to zero in on great sales. Similarly, candidate profiles can be used to hit the bullseye on finding the best fit hire for an organization .

A candidate persona not only consists of basic identity details, work experience and educational qualifications (as a standard job description) but is also inclusive of other tangible aspects that are key to a successful candidature and business outcomes. These aspects are personality traits, career goals, soft skills, employment preference, concerns and motivations. In reality these are the aspects that eventually differentiate a good hire from a great hire! 

Candidate personas have variegated organizational benefits such as -

  • Efficient sourcing strategies
  • Better hiring manager satisfaction
  • Alignment of business and Talent Acquisition 
  • Employer Branding/ Content Marketing 
  • Better employee experience  

The personas also help improve below recruitment KPIs -

  • Support with making extraordinary and detailed JDs
  • Sourcing Passive Candidates 
  • Offer Acceptance Ratio
  • Time to Hire Ratio 
  • Placement in right channels
  • Employee turnover 
  • Effective interviewing 
  • Overall recruiter efficiency 

A well crafted candidate profile will be humanised, engaging and snappy. Oftentimes Design Thinking and Human Centered Design is used to know the voice of the customers. Likewise we can use the same approach to find the best candidate. Marketeers focus on existing customer data and market research whilst HR can check data surrounding successful hires and placements along with focused research on top performers. 

ABCs of Designing a Candidate Persona:

A. BASICS  

Get the right role details - 

  • Talk to the Hiring Manager to understand the duties of the role and hard skills required
  • Get the daily tasks 
  • Check out similar vacancies posted
  • Talk to Team Members to eliminate hidden biases

Establish organization prerogatives -

  • Company culture, vision and attitude
  • Competitive advantage 
  • Personality traits necessary to meet company goals

B. ANALYZE TOP PERFORMERS 

Create focused group discussions/surveys with top performers. Create a list of queries such as : 

  • What motivates them?
  • What do they like about company culture?
  • What do they love? 
  • Where do they spend time online?
  • What do they do daily? 
  • How do they handle issues?
  • What matters to them? 

Interview the Interviewers of Top Performers -

  • Why did they select these hires?
  • What sourcing channel was used? 

Primary research : Available Data Sources -

  • Check educational backgrounds of top performers and long serving employees 
  • Check for common traits such as sourcing channel, qualification, education, previous organizations worked for etc. 

Discover how they connect -

  • Social Media platforms used
  • Preferred mode of communication
  • Job boards they are part of 

C. SYNERGY | Bringing it all together

Find out trends from above data  and segregate it basis traits to create a Job Description -   

  • Success Traits - Specific skillset required to succeed in the role 
  • Necessary - Hard skills, experiences, quantifiable aspects. Cannot do without these. 
  • Good to Have - Skills that add more depth but even candidates do not have these skills, it is okay
  • Doesn’t Matter - These skills are unnecessary and will result in a bad JD
  • Not needed at all - Inexcusable things that will be an absolute no go

Create a Detailed Candidate Persona -

  • Use the above classifications for the JD 
  • Add a persona image and name to make it come alive 

Strategic Placement of these profiles/JDs -

  • Use the knowledge gathered from discovering connection trends to find out the best channels to post the JD on

Once the ABCs of candidate personas are created, ensure future optimisation of these profiles for maximum impact by -

  • Creating a library of profiles
  • Analyse with the personas are attracting the desired profiles
  • Get qualitative feedback from the manager (Did the candidate meet the brief!?) 
  • Make tweaks to the personas using the above information 

Larger organizations can start doing this for critical roles. From a long term perspective, it is a one time detailed effort which will render business savings in terms of hiring costs, higher recruiter proficiency and better employee productivity. 

Candidate personas have a proxy effect of great business and recruitment alignment along with an amazing opportunity for content marketing and delivering a hyper personalised employee experience.

A candidate persona serves both - the candidate looking for a great career and an organization looking for a great hire! 

 

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Topics: Life @ Work, #GuestArticle, #JobsNowAndBeyond, #Hiring

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