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Your Ultimate Guide to Creating a Candidate Persona (part 2)

Updated: Dec 25, 2021

All in all, candidate personas serve as guides to ensure that a company targets each piece of content to a specific audience. By answering their individual questions, addressing their pain points, and providing a message that will resonate with them and encourage them to complete a certain action, candidate personas hold the power to draw more qualified candidates to your company.

In the following steps, you will learn how you can create an effective candidate persona, including access to valuable templates, which can help with development of your company’s candidate personas.

1. Understand what candidate personas are

It’s essential to start with thorough research to reach an understanding as to what a candidate persona is. Perhaps you can also inform your team of its countless benefits or explore the ways in which candidate personas have been successful for companies in the past. No matter what your research includes, give yourself enough time to truly understand the importance of this marketing technique.

2. Identify your company’s critical hire group

Begin by choosing a critical hire group to focus on–roles your company struggles to fill or keep filled. Investigate which departments may have higher turnover rates, and dig a little deeper to decipher why.

3. Identify top performing team members

To get a clear picture of the ideal candidate, you will need concrete information and examples. A prime source of this information are often company managers, who should be able to identify outstanding performance among teams.

Clue managers in on the importance of candidate personas as you ask for their valuable insight. Additionally, ask them to identify any bad hires and discuss what qualities are not necessarily desirable in a specific role or department.

4. Create a set of questions about the candidate persona

These kinds of questions may be largely similar to the questions sales and marketing teams use to define their buyer persona, but there are still several significant distinctions. The questions your team use to define the candidate persona should not encourage bias of any kind, including on the basis of age, marital status, religion, gender, sexual orientation, race/ethnicity.

In this step, your company should create this list of questions that might be used during future interviews where a candidate persona is well-defined. Looking for some inspiration? Check out our list of questions for a compelling job interview!

5. Interview your company’s best performers

Talk to these individuals to understand what has motivated them to join the company; what career level they were at when they were hired; and if they know of any professional groups on or offline that you could approach to learn more.

How to get in touch with your best performing prospects

In order to gain valuable insight from your company’s top performers, you must explain the importance of the information you are soliciting. Explain the purpose behind your questions, and allow these employees to speak on their experiences in recruitment and their time with the company.

Consider posing these questions to your top performers to better inform your candidate personas.

6. Identify common behaviors among top performers and promising candidates

Detail similar traits, pain points, and other qualities that these individuals have. Highlight the overlap and use these traits to better define your candidate persona.

7. Bring your persona to life

Now that you’ve compiled your data, it’s time to organize and analyze this information to identify shared trends and traits. This is when your personas will really start to take shape.

Start by using a helpful template to craft the candidate persona, and share this resource with your company’s HR team.

Explore the possibility of building a candidate persona profile that includes skill sets, interests, educational backgrounds, strengths, weaknesses, and other bits of valuable information.


When equipped with the knowledge and resources to develop an effective candidate persona, the possibilities are truly endless. Though the process may be a bit of a time investment for your personnel, the ultimate payoff of employing a detailed candidate persona is priceless.



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