Candidates: Are you interviewing and need support?
Are recruiters more like salespeople or marketers? No matter where you stand in this debate, talent acquisition is seeing value adopting some of the procedures used by their sales and marketing counterparts.
Persona development is one of the most valuable protocols talent acquisition should adapt from their coworkers in marketing and sales.
“Personas” are archetypes of your potential buyers, decision-makers, and buying influencers. These archetypes are created based on each position’s status in their organization and their decision-making power.
Whenever marketers build out a piece of content (like an advertisement, blog post, or eBook), they create it with certain personas in mind.
Imagine that you’re selling a sales training program. Your persona breakdown might look something like this:
Every “persona” has different goals. Sales Managers want their reps to exceed their quotas. The VP of Sales wants to accelerate B2B revenue generation across the organization.
Focusing on each persona’s unique goals and objectives allows you to more effectively create content and advertisements that interest them.
Consider how you might introduce Sales Managers and Sales Directors to your training program differently:
In Talent Acquisition, this plays out in a slightly different way.
Unlike sales or marketing, talent acquisition is not attempting to trade a product for a portion of the candidate’s budget. Instead, you’re asking them to trade their time for the opportunity to work for your organization.
In other words, you need to convince potential candidates of two things:
You should keep these two things in mind when creating your candidate personas.
Like buyers, job seekers have different goals and desires. Some might prioritize the opportunity for flexible hours. Others are more than happy to work overtime every week - so long as they’re rewarded with advancement opportunities. Below is a sample candidate persona framework.
Let’s look at how this might look in an entry-level retail hiring setting that offers flexible hours and substantial opportunities for promotion to management.
As you can see, two potential candidates for the same role might have drastically different goals and needs.
Targeting the recent graduate with messaging around flexible work opportunities might send the wrong message: they could mistake “flexible work” for “part-time employment with few opportunities for growth”. For the single mother, you'll need to put a focus on optimizing your job application (and relevant job-related content) for mobile devices.
Both personas fill critical needs in the workplace, but targeting them with the wrong messaging will be counterproductive.
Identifying different candidate archetypes will not only help you target them where they are (Facebook vs. Google ads, for example), it will ensure your messaging and job-related content are hitting their mark.
When Unilever looked to revamp its graduate hiring process, it started by examining the experience from the candidate’s perspective. HR teams created the persona “Sandy” to envision and roleplay how recent grads around the world would experience the new process.
For example, when meeting with leaders in Pakistan, Unilever’s Talent Acquisition team discovered that internet connectivity was consistently inconsistent. Spotty connections would have dropped candidates out of the application process and forced them to start over from the very beginning.
By identifying this issue before the process went live, Unilever was able to mitigate graduates’ connection issues, bringing in vehicles equipped with Wi-Fi connections so students could easily apply.
See how Unilever’s “Sandy” persona helped them double their applications and save £1,000,000 annually.
You'll learn how, by putting themselves in the candidate's shoes, Unilever hired their most gender and ethnically diverse class to date.