Talent personas are a superpower when it comes to attracting great talent to your organisation and gaining a better understanding of the job market and specific candidates suited to the role.

Today, candidates have an endless choice of which organisations they want to work for and in today’s competitive job market, attracting and retaining top talent is a key challenge for organisations. So by getting to know your ideal employee on a much deeper level, you’ll be able to attract and engage those with the right skills and values far more effectively.

When it comes to talent sourcing, creating talent personas will help you learn about the skills and talents that potential employees need when interviewing for a role. They let you be more strategic when you are trying to attract and recruit your ideal team member. Plus, you can use the information to find out how you attract your talent and if it aligns with your company culture.

Keep reading to find out how to build your own talent personas and download your free talent persona toolkit.

Step-by-step guide on building ideal talent personas

Step one: Conduct market research.

Firstly, you’ll need to define the role and identify the specific job role. You’ll then need to do some market research to get an initial understanding of your talent personas.

You can find many insights into talent personas online, through job descriptions and employee profiles on social media i.e. LinkedIn. LinkedIn over the years has become a goldmine for attracting talent, job seeking and finding the right candidates. The most effective way to research active talent on the platform is simply asking questions around the job role and allowing people to vote and by searching employee profiles in a similar role.

You can also collect data around your current employees and identify the characteristics that define success in the specific role – this is where persona workshops come in.

Step two: Host a workshop with your team

Once you’ve identified the roles and teams where personas will be most helpful, you’ll need to organise a persona workshop, inviting team members who know the brand inside out. You’ll ask them a series of questions to gain as much insight as possible into what talent the business needs in order to successfully grow. To discover what kind of questions to ask as well as how to run an effective persona workshop, we’ve developed a step-by-step guide to take you through the whole process here.

Step three: Survey your potential employees

While market research and workshops can provide many insights into your talent personas, these can be focused around assumptions. To validate your personas, survey your talent personas directly, and you’ll be able to gather first-hand information. With their answers, you can fill in any gaps and validate your research and workshop findings. You’ll also get an understanding of the types of skills you are looking for.

Your survey should be made up of the following types of questions:

  • Demographic – to determine which persona group the respondent belongs to
  • Attitudinal – to determine respondents’ opinions, judgements and perceptions
  • Behavioural – to gain an understanding of the respondent’s factual circumstances

Again, leverage the use of social media and put a call out, or put your questions on a forum such as Quora or Reddit to obtain your data. Platforms such as Survey Monkey to create your surveys, offer a service where you can find exactly the right people you’d like to target.

Once you have built this information into your personas, you should develop and define the job spec, so you can find your ideal talent persona. We have developed a toolkit where you’ll find talent persona templates and prompt cards to help guide you when running a workshop and creating questions for your surveys here.

If you aren’t aware of our Master Strategy programme and want to learn more about building a marketing strategy for your business, head to our course page or download our course brochure to find out more.