Candidate Persona: The Ultimate Guide to Understanding and Creating Persona

Candidate persona is a template profile of your ideal Candidate based on market research and real data about your existing employees.

In other words, candidate persona is a representation of an ideal candidate for a vacancy. This profile is a representation of your perfect hire. You form a Candidate Persona profile by defining all the characteristics, skills, and traits that are the best fit for your organization.

The entire process is developed to make sure you are always on the right track, creating a unique message content suitable for many talent communities. Building a candidate persona provides an excellent general overview and ensures that you uncover shared attributes.

Make sure your Persona reflects each of the target candidate groups you are trying to engage, including all the specific qualities. Your candidate persona is a representative of those unique traits that all the candidates should possess. 

Use the candidate persona approach to increase candidate engagement and as a method for a deeper understanding of your target audience.

Let’s say that your fictitious person’s name is Ben, who has X years of experience in programming languages you require. The Persona also contains further information that helps the applicant to get an accurate picture of the person described. The CandidateCandidate can compare with the Persona and thus determine if he is suitable for the job offer. 

Creating a Candidate Persona guides your hiring process and assists you in talent acquisition.

Why is knowing your Candidate Persona relevant?

Recruiters make a living out of creating connections between companies and talent. To keep talent acquisition costs down, you need to spend time and resources positioning your company as an employer in front of the right talent at the right time.

That’s where Candidate Personas come in. Well-formed Candidate creates a clear picture of precisely who you are trying to attract and hire.

Remember – there’s no difference between customers or employees – people will either believe in what you believe and want to buy your products, or they will believe in what you believe and want to work for you. That they are a customer or an employee is merely a behavioral difference. Either way, how you write your ad matters. – Simon Sinek, Why – How – What

Candidate personas provide excellent structure and insight for your company. A detailed candidate persona will help you decide where to designate your resources, guide recruitment efforts, and allow for alignment across the company. It will lead to attracting the most qualified candidates for your business.

Candidate personas are essential to your business in many ways:

➡️ You can attract more of the candidates you would be interested in engaging with your company 

➡️ Those candidates would be as excited about working for you as you are about hiring them

➡️ Candidates you have hired are that way more engaged, eager to work harder and to stay longer at your organization.

➡️ You will avoid losing money on wrong channels 

➡️ You will build fundamentals to EVP

Candidate Persona: The Ultimate Guide to Understanding and Creating Persona

Candidate personas make it easier for you to understand not only prospective candidates better but also the team in general. That way, when you can fully understand your candidates, you will be able to attract more of the best applicants by tailoring your recruitment advertising. Also, you can keep more candidates engaged by providing a relevant candidate experience. Moreover, you can make the right hires by defining the benefits. That will help your recruitment process, and you will end up with engaged employees.

Essentially, candidate personas help you attract and retain the right type of people. But before you can begin perfecting your recruitment strategy to match your ideal candidates’ characteristics, make sure to write down your Persona in a way that’s both evident and actionable. You can start by defining a demographic profile. This profile includes information about:

✅ Level of education

✅ Experience – What do they do?

✅ Industry – Where do they work?

✅ Job responsibilities

✅ Tools they need to be successful

✅ Who is their supervisor 

✅ Which online media they use to get information

✅ Personal traits

Once you have this checklist complete, you will understand WHO and WHERE will you be looking for your perfect candidates.

Overcoming recruitment challenges

From time to time, you will find yourself struggling to try to adapt to recruitment strategies. Generating your Persona is the right answer to your potential struggles. All you need to do is to collect insights and look for overlaps in some crucial elements, which will get you the best possible outcome. Make sure to pack the attributes into a candidate persona framework, providing a clear picture of people who are most likely to be successful. 

The point of your Persona is to walk you through the process of recruiting prospective candidates in ways that are meaningful to those you are trying to reach. Once you have completed the candidate persona, you can adapt it to fit your team needs. After a while, revise your persona framework accordingly, as this will ensure you are getting the most of your Persona. After all, you should always look or opportunities to uncover hidden attributes that you can build on your personas. We present you with the model you can modify:

Role Requirements

  • Open Job Title
  • Hiring Department
  • Knowledge of Platform/Software/Equipment
  • Years of Experience
  • Education
  • Name of Competitor Companies
  • Current Role
  • Current Career Dissatisfaction
  • Geographical Location
  • Current income
  • Benefits

Marketing and Candidate Persona

Do you know how marketers target their audience? They have to imagine a potential buyer, to dig into their fears, think about what they are passionate about, what are their habits, and to understand their humor. While in marketing, they call that imaginary person buyer persona, in recruitment, we call it a candidate persona. 

Marketing is playing a more critical role within recruitment, so you have to think about every aspect, from the job title to channels where you will post your job ad. To do so, you have to create a candidate persona. 

A marketing persona is a composite sketch of a critical segment of your audience. For content marketing purposes, you need personas to help you deliver content that will be most relevant and useful to your audience. 

– Ardath Albee, B2B Marketing Strategist

Defining candidate personas for recruitment purposes can help you create strategies that will be most useful and relevant to source ideal candidates for a vacancy.

How can building a Candidate Persona help your recruitment marketing?

Defining your candidate persona improves your recruiting process significantly, plus it’s a real money saver. In addition to being a budget saviour, identifying your candidate persona can help you reduce the waiting process, as the search for the right Candidate can often be time-consuming. Recruiters need to identify candidate persona to improve their strategies when attracting new talents. Knowing your candidate persona has many benefits, including building a company’s brand as an employer, improves time-to-hire and employee turnover rates. Moreover, it helps you when writing job descriptions and placing job descriptions. That way, sourcing passive candidates is more effective. 

Download your free e-book guide to creating a candidate persona for your company.