How to Create a Job Seeker Persona

How to Create a Job Seeker Persona

by Angie Rupp

If you’re an HR professional who plays even a minor role in the hiring process, then understanding the ins and outs of creating a job seeker persona is vital to your employment success. Creating a job seeker persona is the bread and butter of your job ad’s success because it helps provide you with a starting point when you’re laying out a hiring strategy that meets your individual needs as an organization. In today’s post, we’ll spend some time detailing what a job seeker persona involves in addition to sharing some simple tips to adopting a killer job seeker persona strategy.

What is a job seeker persona?

The overall goal of a job seeker persona is to essentially create a profile for what your ideal candidate will look like.

Creating a job seeker persona may not be the first item on your list when you’re sitting down to write a captivating job ad, but it should be. After all, how can you write a job ad that engages quality applicants if you haven’t properly defined who you’re writing to (also known as your “audience”)? The concept of creating a job seeker persona was actually adopted from marketing circles. Marketers use customer/buyer personas to determine how to build their marketing strategy and also as a gateway for more effective communication between the company and their client. The same idea holds true when you’re wanting to create a job seeker persona. You start with the qualities that you’re looking for in the ideal fit for your position, build a job seeker persona around that and then infuse your job ad with elements that will speak to your ideal fit.

Who do you use to create the perfect mold for your job seeker persona?

A lot of our clients feel a little overwhelmed with the idea of creating a job seeker persona because it seems counterintuitive – how can you create a stellar job seeker persona for the perfect applicant if you don’t know what applicant you want or who will apply? It seems like (especially if you’re hiring for a position that hasn’t been filled in a while) that we’re suggesting you put the “cart before the horse.” And on some level, these assumptions are correct. Except that instead of relying on your dream applicant to provide you with all the details necessary to create the perfect job seeker persona, you should take a look at your top performing employees. People you know who fit the bill and who check all of your culture boxes. Starting at the finish line helps provide you with the direction you need for a solid beginning, especially when you know that the end result provided you with a superstar employee.

Use targeted information gleaned from your job seeker persona to write a compelling job ad.

The overall goal of a job seeker persona is to essentially create a profile for what your ideal candidate will look like. You want to spend time with your top performers asking a wide array of questions that help drill down and hone in on their motivations. You’re looking for a lot of why and what questions to be answered. Why did you apply for this particular job in the first place? Why do you stay? What drew you to the position and what source did you use to find us? Just as marketers drill down on what motivates a customer to buy their product by creating a map of their journey from advertisement to purchase, so should you chart your quality job seekers course from applicant to full-blown quality employee. Finally, use the information you’ve gathered from top performing employees and sell those benefits in your job ad.

Concerned because you don’t have a “star” employee to build a job seeker persona around? Our hiring experts can help (free for thirty days)! Contact us to get started, today.


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