In a tight candidate market, sometimes the temptation is to work harder instead of working smarter. We turn to our tried and true sourcing methods and look for keywords consistent with our job descriptions, but sometimes it doesn’t seem all that effective.
An often-missed step is to develop a candidate persona so we really know who our best candidates are. This includes research into who is most successful in a given role - and allows us to tailor our outreach accordingly.
In some cases, it may lead us to narrow our search; in others, it may open our eyes to candidates we had not previously considered. But, with a shrinking pool of qualified candidates, it allows us to focus on those who will best fit with our organization and who we will be the best fit for as well.
What are candidate personas? A candidate persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal job candidate. Candidate personas are similar to buyer personas, which have long been used by marketing teams to identify and target an organization’s best customers — but, rather than pinpointing a potential buyer, candidate personas help recruiters zero in on the perfect hire. Candidate personas use industry research, hiring trends and anecdotal evidence to allow recruiters to truly get inside the minds of their ideal candidates. A standard candidate persona is derived from data surrounding work history, skills, qualifications and education. But, the most effective candidate personas go beyond information found within a resume and explore other, less tangible traits that make someone the perfect hire. This often includes characteristics like personality traits, career goals, soft skills and sometimes even employment preferences.