Marketing Vs. Recruiting Personas | @StephenODonn on The #SocialRecruiting Show

by | Oct 16, 2018

“A recruiting pro having trouble with technical issues? No way!”

While it was said in jest on our show, not being great with technology has become part of our own recruiting personas. Look at the way HR technology marketers target you with messages about great user experience. They’re playing into your mindset, your philosophies and preferences to capture your attention.

After our own issues last week, we discussed the persona methodology with our last minute guest, Stephen O’Donnell.

Stephen has a unique viewpoint on recruiting personas as the founder of the National Online Recruitment Awards (NORAs). As both judge and jury, Stephen has reviewed over 600 career sites to identify the good, bad and all too ugly across the UK and the world. After looking at so many websites, Stephen says there is no secret. However, there are a few things that will disqualify a career site immediately.

“If a site is not mobile friendly, if it’s not https, if it doesn’t perform the basic criteria of a recruitment website – then it is thrown out. But the most important thing for any site is that it’s appropriate to the audience.”

Building for who you are attracting is critical to building great content that matches your recruiting personas.

It all starts with an understanding of who you are writing for in the first place. Many recruiters, like Stephen, have built this knowledge over years of recruiting similar candidates. Recruiters who are new to the field or building a new department, have started to use recruiting personas to understand the candidates they’re trying to attract.

However, many have downloaded HubSpot marketing templates to get started, which our panelists warned against. “Marketing is not like recruiting when it comes to a persona,” said guest host Katrina Kibben, who is a former marketer and builder of recruiting personas. While a marketing persona is a step in the right direction toward personalising and bringing better empathy to the hiring process, it should be adapted to address recruiting needs.

How do marketing and recruiting personas differ?

  1. Marketing personas define 1 ideal buyer. They’re trying to attract many of one type of person. Recruiting doesn’t work like that. Many of the demographic details like age and gender may introduce bias to your search.
  2. Marketing personas focus on who. Recruiting personas should be focused on how – how the information about work translates into a recruiting strategy.
  3. Marketing personas aren’t as concerned about bias. We must be. Recruiting personas should use tools likes Textio to test language for bias.  

If you’re interested in learning more about recruiting personas, watch the whole episode to learn more. Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter to get weekly updates and blog posts delivered directly to your inbox.


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