Published: Aug 15, 2016Time to read: 3mins Category: Recruitment

How to Create the Right Talent Personas for Your Recruiting Strategy

In this fast, candidate-driven market, recruiters live and die by how efficiently they can source and attract the right people for their organization. Everyone is looking for the next tool or trick that can help them accomplish this goal. More and more savvy recruiters are turning towards talent personas to help them create “molds” that tend to create successful employees and apply them to candidates to increase their chances at success.

Talent personas are data-driven aggregate models of employee profiles. These profiles allow you to target specific skills and attributes that your hiring organization values, and recruit to scale for your organization. Think of talent personas as recruiting’s version of customer profiles. How do you build one? Here are four ways to get started.

1. Decide on How Many Talent Personas Your Organization Needs

While the complexity and diversity of your organization will certainly affect how many talent personas you need to build, you will likely need fewer than you think. Think about what skillsets or attributes are needed for specific roles, and which traits are valued universally across your organization’s workforce. You might be surprised at how similar your talent personas will be for different roles—meaning you might be able to reduce the number of personas you have to build.

2. Compare Your Organization’s Processes to the Market

Examine your organization’s internal workflows and functions and compare them to your market perception and to your goals. You will build each persona by using multiple internal and external data sources, which are compiled into a matrix comprised of desired skills, trends in “ideal” employee behaviors and attributes, and market research, all aligned to your company growth plans. Understanding what traits to look for when filling specific roles will help you better create talent pools of pre-vetted candidates for faster review and faster—and hopefully more successful—hiring.

3. Flesh Out Your Personas with HR Data

Your organization’s historical hiring and employee data will be greatly beneficial to you while creating more robust talent personas. Hiring success, employee performance, development, and turnover are all great are all great data points to use when building personas. Additionally, use your historical data and your organization’s online channels to sharpen your research on industry, salary, and other types of market research to ensure that your talent personas are as accurate as possible. A powerful talent acquisition solution will be needed to capture and integrate all the data points you need, so make sure your technology partner can handle your data and recruiting needs.

4. Deploy Your Personas Strategically

So you have a better understanding of what your organization’s best candidates look and act like; now use that information to better source talented individuals. Your personas should be able to tell you the places where candidates who match that description are more likely to spend their time, conduct career research and consume industry news, and more; develop a strategic outreach plan that better connects you with these candidates, and entices candidate interest back in your organization.

Talent personas are just one tool in your recruiting toolkit; make sure you have the right talent acquisition partner to maximize your effectiveness as well.

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