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Creating Candidate Personas

Creating Candidate Personas: Elevating Hiring Approach

Published on August 5th, 2023

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A persona is a character that an author adopts in a piece of writing. Why is the word persona relevant here? Well, in the corporate world, a candidate's persona holds extreme relevance, especially during the time of hire. According to recent studies , just 20% of candidates are successfully found through unstructured interviewing. 

Now, what exactly is a candidate persona? 

The candidate persona is a fictionalized portrayal of the ideal job applicant. Your recruiting and talent acquisition methods can be considerably enhanced by defining your candidate persona.

Why is there so much emphasis on the creation of the perfect job Candidate Persona?

There are numerous advantages to creating a candidate persona:

  • Helps in candidate identification: 

The most obvious aspect is that it helps in choosing the appropriate candidates. It’s a matter of mapping down exactly what is required when looking for the person to fit the job. It is simpler to recruit the ideal candidates for your firm if you have a well-defined candidate persona. The candidates you get as a result of a well-anchored candidate persona are superior.

  • Cut down on attrition rates:  

By concentrating on recruiting your candidate persona, you lower the likelihood that employees will leave your organization because of being a poor fit. Choosing candidates who will fit the culture of your business and also the skills required for the job.

  • Improved marketing for recruitment: 

The level of clarity that is delivered leaves a good impression on the candidates who are applying for your company as well. The candidates are well aware of what is expected when applying for the job. There is no leeway for any discrepancy. Hiring people who fit your candidate persona guarantees better new hires. enhancing the employer brand and the standing of the business.

  • Reduced hiring costs 

The time taken to hire candidates will also be reduced substantially if the effort to formulate the best candidate persona is formulated. Even the chances of mishires will also be reduced thereby decreasing the overall cost of hiring.

If you fulfil the wishes of your employees, the employees will fulfil your visions.”

– Amit Kalantri

How to create the perfect candidate persona?

Since you are well aware of the need for a good job persona, the next question is how to create the perfect job persona. Bring all interested parties on board before creating a job. By doing this, the hiring team can be certain that everyone is on the same page. To learn more about the qualities the stakeholders are looking for in a candidate, you should speak with them in an interview. With a predetermined list of questions, you ought to conduct interviews with hiring managers, recruiters, and interviewees. These queries might include:

1. Target designation: In many circumstances, the hiring team already has a list of potential target firms where the candidate might be employed. Ask your hiring team which businesses they are considering sourcing from.  

2. Target demographic: What should the demographic makeup of potential candidates look like? What should their background and age be? What is the location they should be sent to? What should the job's expected wage be?  

3. Skills: Ask your hiring team about the many talents that an applicant should possess. When you are sourcing, this aids in narrowing your search parameters. Try to compile a comprehensive list and refine it as you continue your talent sourcing process.  

4. Educational Background and Certifications: Is your team aiming for particular colleges, courses, or degrees? What should the candidate's educational background be? Do they need to be certified in any way? If so, then where and how?  

5. The motivational factor: Should they be inspired by certain technologies or motivated by a particular vision? They are probably motivated by their values or fears.

Create a persona based on the answers that are collected from the points that were discussed from various sources.

Parameters for Creating Candidate Personas

     Parameter                      Description              Example
Job TitleSpecific job roles and positions candidates are applying for.Software Developer
Experience LevelYears of experience, from entry-level to senior professionals.2-5 years of experience
SkillsKey technical and soft skills required for the role.Proficient in Java, Python, Agile
EducationEducational background, degrees, and certifications needed.Bachelor's in Computer Science
GoalsCandidate's career aspirations, short-term and long-term goals.Innovate in challenging projects
ChallengesPotential obstacles they face in their career journey.Balancing creativity with deadlines
MotivationsFactors that drive them to apply for your organization.Opportunities for continuous learning
Communication StyleHow they prefer to communicate and engage with employers.Clear and concise, values feedback
Work EnvironmentThe type of workplace culture and environment they thrive in.Collaborative, dynamic tech setting

Creating candidate personas is an integral part of modern recruitment strategies. These detailed profiles represent the archetypal candidates for specific job roles, helping recruiters target the right individuals more effectively. 

Let's delve into a few examples of ideal candidate personas for different job roles:

Job Role: Software Developer

ParameterDescription
Job TitleSoftware Developer
Experience Level2-5 years of experience
SkillsProficient in Java, Python, and Agile methodology.
EducationBachelor's degree in Computer Science or related field.
GoalsAspiring to work on challenging projects and contribute to innovative solutions.
ChallengesBalancing creativity with strict project deadlines.
MotivationsOpportunities for continuous learning and professional growth.
Communication StylePrefers clear and concise communication, values open feedback.
Work EnvironmentEnjoys collaborative and dynamic tech environments.

Job Role: Marketing Manager

ParameterDescription
Job TitleMarketing Manager
Experience Level5-8 years of marketing experience
SkillsStrong digital marketing expertise, data analytics, and team leadership.
EducationBachelor's degree in Marketing, Business, or related field.
GoalsAiming to drive brand visibility and engage target audiences.
ChallengesBalancing creativity with data-driven decision-making.
MotivationsOpportunities to innovate and shape impactful marketing strategies.
Communication StyleEffective communication, fosters collaboration across teams.
Work EnvironmentFlourishes in a dynamic and creative marketing setting.

Job Role: Customer Service Representative

ParameterDescription
Job TitleCustomer Service Representative
Experience Level1-3 years of customer service experience
SkillsExcellent communication, problem-solving, and empathy.
EducationHigh school diploma or equivalent.
GoalsProviding exceptional customer experiences and resolving issues.
ChallengesHandling high call volumes while maintaining service quality.
MotivationsDelivering solutions and helping customers succeed.
Communication StylePatient, empathetic, and able to simplify complex information.
Work EnvironmentThrives in a supportive and fast-paced customer-centric setting.

Creating candidate personas streamlines your recruitment process, ensuring you attract and hire candidates who align with your company's values and job requirements. By understanding their motivations, challenges, and preferences, you can engage them effectively and make more informed hiring decisions. Start crafting candidate personas today for a more targeted and successful hiring approach!

How to determine if the candidate fits into the candidate persona? 

Interview prospective employees on the following sets of questions. The next bit is to ensure that the candidate persona which was painstakingly created, is put to good use. Sit with the candidates and try to formulate the interview questions around the ones given here.
 

  • Motivation:What motivates your employees on the job? Why did they apply to your company in the first place and what keeps them going?  
  • Goals: Ask them about their career and personal goals. Where do they want to be after certain years? What do they want to achieve in their life? Are there any specific personal goals like children’s tuition, marriage, mortgage, etc which are a crucial part of their personal life?  
  • Interests:What do they want to do in their free time? Do you visit any specific website or a meetup? What do they like to read? Where do they read it? Where do they spend time online?  
  • Skills and Culture:What skills help them succeed in the job? What do they like about company culture? Why did they apply to your company? What do they feel will be different here from their previous job? What do they like? Where do they spend time online?

    Now, a candidate persona is the best way to gauge how well the candidate fits into your environment. There is a lot of effort that goes into the creation of the job persona and it will reflect well with the ideal hire. However, there is a good way to gauge if the candidate has all the necessary skills and it won't take even a quarter of your time or effort.  

Dos and Don'ts of Creating a Candidate Persona

The Do's and Don'ts of creating a candidate persona.png

Creating candidate personas is a powerful tool in your recruitment arsenal, enabling you to tailor your hiring efforts for better results. However, it's important to approach persona creation thoughtfully to ensure accuracy and effectiveness. Here are some dos and don'ts to keep in mind:

Do:

  • Conduct Research: Gather insights from current employees, industry research, and candidate feedback to develop accurate personas.
  • Segmentation: Create distinct personas for different job roles or departments to address specific needs and requirements.
  • Include Key Information: Incorporate details such as job titles, skills, experience, education, goals, challenges, and motivations.
  • Stay Specific: Make your personas detailed and specific to ensure they accurately represent the type of candidates you're targeting.
  • Use Real Data: Base your personas on real data and avoid making assumptions or generalizations.
  • Prioritize Key Traits: Highlight traits that are essential for success in the role, aligning with your company's values and culture.
  • Stay Updated: Regularly review and update your personas to reflect changes in job requirements, industry trends, and candidate preferences.

Don't:

  • Rely on Stereotypes: Avoid creating personas based on stereotypes or biases, as this can lead to inaccurate and ineffective targeting.
  • Overcomplicate: While details are important, avoid overloading your personas with irrelevant information that may cloud their usefulness.
  • Neglect Feedback: Don't ignore feedback from recruiters, hiring managers, or candidates when refining your personas.
  • Generalize: Steer clear of creating overly broad personas that fail to capture the nuances of specific roles.
  • Skip Collaboration: Don't create personas in isolation. Involve key stakeholders like hiring managers and team members for a well-rounded perspective.
  • Neglect Industry Trends: Avoid creating personas without considering evolving industry trends that may impact job requirements.
  • Neglect Non-Skill Traits: While skills are crucial, also consider traits like communication style, work environment preferences, and cultural fit.

Creating accurate and effective candidate personas requires a balance between comprehensive research and a deep understanding of your company's unique needs. By adhering to these dos and don'ts, you can create personas that contribute to a more targeted and successful hiring process, ultimately leading to the recruitment of candidates who are the right fit for your organization.

 


Authors

author

Pankaj Deshmukh

Pankaj Deshmukh is a digital marketing professional working with HireQuotient. He strongly believes in the never-ending process of learning and stays updated with the latest trends in order to produce valuable content.

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