Updated: Dec 25, 2021
For companies without specific strategies, talent acquisition can often feel like casting a wide net and sifting through whatever applications are pulled in. All too often in the hiring process, too many options can be a waste of time and resources for recruiters. However, the implementation of candidate personas has proven a key step in attracting top talent, increasing employee engagement, and bettering employer branding. Keep reading to learn more about this simple yet powerful strategy for your company’s recruiting efforts!
What is a candidate persona?
As it concerns recruitment and hiring processes, candidate personas play an essential role in helping to identify the perfect applicant for any position. Though the impact they have is significant, personas can be described simply as semi-fictional representations of the ideal job candidate. After all, the more specific a job listing can be in terms of the demographic, education, experiences, and qualities the hiring company is looking for, the better. And with a carefully crafted candidate persona in mind, Human Resource professionals can adjust their talent acquisition strategies to meet recruiting goals.
As mentioned, these profiles consist of certain attributes that companies seek out in hiring pools. While education, skills, and work history may appear to be the most important details of any candidate persona, businesses that are invested in finding a perfect match may also specify attitudes, lifestyles, and aspirations that align with their company culture.
Why is candidate persona important in recruitment?
At their core, candidate personas are intended to create meaningful and engaging recruitment opportunities for the companies that create them. These profiles are certainly helpful for hiring managers to envision the kind of applicants they’d like to bring in for an interview, but candidate personas are also frequently used in marketing materials for open positions. With a descriptive job listing to consider, job-seekers are more likely to gauge whether they’re a good fit. As simple as the concept is, a candidate persona can be the difference between a job-seeker just scrolling past a promising listing or submitting a stellar application.
Better yet, candidate personas can minimize some of the heavy lifting required of hiring managers in the recruitment process. By describing the ideal candidate for a position in the job listing itself, job-seekers themselves are able to decide whether they might be a good match for the company. In the end, these additional details can result in a more focused group of applicants for hiring managers to evaluate.
1. Attract the right candidates
If a job listing describes a candidate persona with specificity, the company is much more likely to receive resumes containing relevant and desired experience from hiring pools. While it’s always great to receive an abundance of applications for an open position, the hiring process can be expedited when just a little more detail is included. As a matter of fact, a shocking 90% of recruiters have rejected candidates at some point due to a lack of cultural fit in the company. With this in mind, recruiters can save time, money, and resources by stating their candidate preferences upfront.
2. Greater employee engagement
When a candidate is truly the right fit for a company, they’re bound to enthusiastically value the work they’ve been hired to do. And at the end of the day, employee engagement is the key to any successful business. Holding onto top-tier employees is the goal of any competitive enterprise, which explains why 63.3% of companies state that retaining great employees is more difficult than hiring them in the first place. When recruiters put in the effort to seek candidates most likely to relish in the work and company culture, employee satisfaction and engagement will soar.
3. Improve employer branding
A tailored candidate persona undoubtedly makes for an improved candidate experience, seeing as it is more likely to attract talent that closely aligns with company culture and values. And as any seasoned recruiter knows, it’s all connected, as candidate experience has a strong influence on the company’s reputation as an employer. Currently, 80% of HR leaders say that employer branding has a significant impact on their ability to attract top talent. As simple as it may seem, a detailed candidate persona may just draw in more experienced applicants for future job openings.
With a little more consideration into the ideal candidate, recruiters can get a headstart on evaluating the right talent for the job. While candidate personas are certainly helpful in expediting the hiring process for any one position, this preliminary work can also create positive change within a company’s culture and its employer branding.