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about 2 years ago by Helen Doughty

Talent Personas - what are they and why do you need them?


do ​Within talent acquisition, personas can be an ideal way to represent the groups of roles you recruit for by using fictional characters.

When used correctly, they can help guide your recruitment marketing campaigns, using more relevant job titles and specs and promote relevant employer branding content.

In this insight, we will look at reasons to create talent personas to support your future hiring strategy as the current economic situation unfolds.

Talent Personas. Why use them?

Talent personas are not a new technique by any means but can be helpful when recruiting to provide alignment and focus for your sourcing activities. Not just relevant for specialist roles, they can create a clear understanding of your ideal target candidates. Personas achieve this by defining the characteristics, skills and traits that make up your perfect hires. In turn, they can help you to understand your audience better and increase your chances of your messaging resonating with the right targets.

How to approach Talent Personas

Look at the roles you are recruiting, can they be ‘grouped’, whether by function or experience level, for example. It’s unlikely you will want to create a persona for each role, but there will be similarities – it’s better to be broad with your groupings to begin within, we can always develop them further as our experience grows.

Remember that although we represent a persona as a single personality, they are a composite of many different people. The aim is to create an archetype that will help you focus on a single person but meet the needs of many.

What to include 

There will be many sources of information you can use to create a framework to map out personas, such as your hiring data, analytics, asking employees, especially those top performers in relevant roles. You can then identify any patterns in data to develop a talent persona.

Here is what you could include in a persona:

  • A realistic name and photo

  • Demographics: Age, Gender, Marital Status, Location, Education Level, Professional Accreditations or Membership

  • Summary quote: A short statement to capture the character of the candidate. Just a short sentence that the persona might say to summarise themselves.

  • Career goals and motivations: What are their main career motivations and salary expectations? What do they want from an employer – the brand, the package and values?

  • Job search preferences: Where does the ideal candidate search for roles? Do they use multiple channels? What device are they using?

Consider the current pandemic and how this might impact a candidate’s behaviour to include as part of your persona.

Source: Executive Grapevine