The Importance of Creating a Candidate Persona for an Interview

A candidate persona is a trump card for any recruitment agency or employer that can help realise the true objective. It can help you identify the characteristics of the correct candidate and, accordingly, helps you with strategic sourcing and recruitment.

Are you on the lookout for the right candidate for your job opening? Well then, as Abraham Lincoln said, you should focus more on “sharpening your axe”. And, the candidate persona for an interview is the axe that you must sharpen and refine to attract and hire the best candidate. A candidate persona for an interview is your trump card to find the perfect candidate for the job.

Recruitment is a complicated process. For employers and recruitment agencies in India, designing a recruitment strategy for generic job seekers is like doing guesswork. Quantitatively, you will have a huge pool of candidates, but qualitatively, the results will be disappointing. Thus, wasting your time as well as money.

A candidate persona is a trump card for any recruitment agency or employer that can help realise the true objective. It can help you identify the characteristics of the correct candidate and, accordingly, helps you with strategic sourcing and recruitment.

A candidate persona can help a recruitment company or an employer in the following ways:

  • Devise a sourcing and recruitment strategy to identify top candidates
  • Gain a deeper understanding of your requirements from different stakeholders
  • Create an effective recruitment marketing strategy using emails, introductory materials, application form and job descriptions

So, whether you are a human resources professional or the firm’s recruitment agency, it is critical that you know this.

What’s a candidate persona?

It is important to understand what a candidate persona is and why it is so relevant in finding an ideal candidate. Also, how do employers benefit from creating an ideal candidate persona for an interview?

A candidate persona is essentially a fictional portrait or profile of the ideal candidate or a particular job position that is detailed and driven by data.

Creating an ideal candidate persona for an interview involves accurate research and discussions with stakeholders and HR professionals, to identify the most significant characteristics that the ideal candidate should possess to be a successful asset for the company in that particular job opening.

According to HR professionals, the characteristics that define an ideal job candidate persona involves:

  • Work experience
  • Relevant education
  • Specific skills
  • Good communication
  • Professional motivators and goals
  • Preferred work atmosphere
  • Personal social media and online presence
  • Geographical location

All this may look like plenty of data to collect and organize. But it is worth the effort. After all, it is better to spend ample time sharpening the axe than to waste your resources towards an inconclusive outcome. This data will help you create a perfect persona of the ideal candidate, which will help you attract the right candidates for the job.

The importance of creating a candidate persona for interviews

Creating a candidate persona for every job role helps the company understand what exactly they are searching for in an ideal candidate, before starting the actual recruitment process. Also, it efficiently helps with the various key aspects of the recruitment strategy:

  • Tailored job descriptions

A job description is the first point of contact between the employer and the job candidate. And, a first impression is mostly the last impression. So, it is important to make a perfect first impression on your prospective employee.

By writing an engaging job description that reflects your ideal candidate persona, you can make the perfect first pitch to the right candidates about the job offer. Remember that employee branding is just as important as employer branding.

According to human resource professionals, job candidates who understand the traits a company wants in their ideal candidate, helps them determine whether their credentials match the job and organization. It will ensure filtered applications.

This filter will help you use your time and resources more efficiently and productively. Not sure how to start your job description? We can help you with it.

  • Optimize recruitment marketing and sourcing

By knowing the “who” you will be able to find the “where”. Knowing whom to target will aid in getting a better insight on where to find them. This will help you pool your resources to optimize recruitment marketing, resulting in efficient and strategic sourcing.

For instance, if you are searching for a senior software systems engineer, you would post the job description in dedicated software engineer job portals to reach your targeted audience. However, if you are searching for a graphic designer or social media specialist, then you will most likely find them on Facebook and Instagram rather than on engineer job portals.

Additionally, a company’s talent acquisition strategies, as well as employer branding strategies, greatly benefit from an ideal candidate persona, as your marketing team can create better content that resonates with your prospective job candidates.

  • Integrates your diversity initiatives

Candidate personas help to identify the gaps in your talent acquisition strategy. You can stitch these gaps by creating an ideal candidate persona of the kind of employees you want to boost diversity in your organization. This way you will implement more diversity in your hiring initiatives. The right persona will help you proactively target the right type of applicants, who will bring diverse personalities, fresh ideas and new experiences.

This will supplement your effort at creating an inclusive and diverse environment at work and will help you with employee branding. Your workforce, in turn, will be further engaged innovative and productive, which will inevitably boost the profitability of your business.

  • Improves your recruitment metrics

As per recent studies, the success rate of finding the right candidate through an unstructured interview process is only about 20%. The candidate persona will give a structure to your recruitment processes, which will inevitably increase your rate of success at finding the right job candidate.

Moreover, the candidate persona will stay throughout the recruitment process. This will help the human resource professionals take proper and efficient hiring decisions, greatly saving your money, time and resources.

An ideal job candidate persona will help in the following ways:

  • Create efficient application forms as per your target audience to optimize the completion rate of applications
  • Reduce the time required to hire employees
  • Decrease your expenditure per hire
  • Filter out the unqualified candidates, providing you with quality leads

When your elaborate candidate persona is actively incorporated and reflects in your recruitment marketing strategy and job description, it will improve the offer acceptance rate.

Finally, when you have the right job candidate, it will greatly increase the satisfaction rate of the employer as well as the employee, increasing the retention rate of employees. This helps with better employee branding.

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