When we talk about the concept of a ‘modern recruiter’ we mean a lot more than just a person who employs modern methods like LinkedIn and social networks to attract candidates. The processes employed by a modern recruiter are a lot more encompassing and begin well before a candidate is approached.
The concept of identifying a candidate persona is the key tool in the modern recruiter’s tool belt and should begin before any other process.
So what is it?
A candidate persona is a conceptual representation of an ‘ideal candidate’ or the person you would see as perfect for the role you are recruiting for. It defines all the specific skills, characteristics and even personality of the person you are looking for.
Why do we use this?
This practice began with the use of buyer personas, specifically understanding what a potential client is thinking and looking for when they approach your business and considering the options you have to meet their needs. It is critical to understand this as identifying the correct traits from the beginning will lead to a much smoother hiring process and ultimately better fit and retention of talent.
So how do you do it?
- Your first step is actually an internal one. You want to assess your employer brand so that you can determine how appealing you are to a potential candidate. You can do this by speaking to employees across all levels of the business to gain perspectives on what they think is good and not so good about working for your company. This is helpful to do with ex-employees as well as you may receive more honest feedback.
- Your next step is to investigate the talent in the marketplace and what they are expecting in the role you are seeking. LinkedIn and other social networks are great for this and allow you to view resumes to take an insight into what the market considers relevant.
- Now you can start to piece the image of your candidate together. Look at your company and see what type of person would fit it (habits, values personality traits etc) look at their qualifications (experience, current role, level of study achieved etc) and finally what rounds them out as a person (aspirations, interests, other skillsets etc).
Now you have the framework, you can apply it to yourself to ensure you are hiring the right talent for your next role. Remember that a candidate may have all the required skills and look good on paper, but they still may not be the right fit for you and your culture – use the candidate persona to find the right hire for you.