What Is a Candidate Persona?
By Trevor Sheffield
March 2, 2023
Finding the perfect candidate to fill an open job position is essential to any staffing agency. However, after having multiple interviews with qualified options, how do you know which one will be the best fit? Making a guess is never an efficient way to go about things. When you work closely with the clients you’re filling positions for, it becomes possible to highlight candidates who would fit well not only experientially but culturally, too. This is done by creating a candidate persona.
When you create a candidate persona, you work closely with the manager of the team the open position is on to determine what exact qualities you’re looking for in the person who is hired for the position. You’ll discuss things like team culture, especially what the culture currently is and what kind of qualities they’re looking for in a new team member. You’ll learn the speed at which they hope the new hire will produce new work. And you’ll learn what kind of specific experiences the team is hoping to find in their new employee.
Creating a candidate persona can be as detailed as you like. However, do be aware that creating the picture of an ideal candidate should not involve things like race, gender, sexual orientation, age, religion, or any other factor that may cause prejudice in your hiring process. It’s an opportunity to focus on the things that make prospective employees the best fit for the organization or the team. You’ll learn exactly what you’re looking for, and it will help you guide the hiring process in the best direction possible.
Creating candidate personas has many benefits. In fact, it can help you through every stage of the hiring process. Consider some of the following benefits:
- Create more effective job listings. With a candidate persona, you’ll know how to write your job listings to attract the kind of candidates you’re looking for. You’ll be able to easily highlight the experience you’re looking for and the kind of traits you’re wanting them to exhibit. Those candidates who aren’t right for the job will be more likely to pass over the listing because they’ll know the job isn’t right for them.
- Eliminate candidates without enough experience more easily. Not all work experience is created equal. When you understand what kind of experience the team is looking for specifically, you can dive deeper into candidate resumes to look at what industries they excelled in and where they may not have had as much success.
- Curate your interview questions to discover the potential hire’s personal traits and qualities. If the candidate persona you develop is centered on finding a person who takes constructive criticism with ease and can stay in a good work flow despite being told to change their work, you can formulate your interview questions to ask about experiences that would show whether the candidate has this specific trait or not.
- Understand what salary expectations are ideal for the job and other logistical points. Consider whether the team wants someone willing to work in-person or entirely remote; whether the candidate’s salary asks are in line with the budget allowed for the role; and if the company is prepared to help move someone from out of state to fill the position if necessary.
- Present the candidate most likely to succeed in the position to the company you’re working with. By showing the companies you work with the candidates who most closely fit the ideal candidate persona, you’re creating trust and showing that your work is valuable and consistent.
Creating candidate personas is a great way to move your work forward and create further trust with your company clients. How could pursuing this idea further help you? Take candidate persona creation into consideration when you’re helping fill the next open role that comes your way.