It seems so simple - and so obvious - to say, "Know your audience." But, for talent acquisition, that audience includes a variety of stakeholders: hiring managers, colleagues, business leaders and, of course, the candidates who come in many flavors. Profiling your target candidates is definitely a challenge - but a challenge worth taking.
Given the theme of our March 2018 CareerXroads Colloquium [#103]: Operations and Analytics, we conducted a Design Thinking Exercise to explore how employers are collecting data on stakeholders and developing insights to help their recruiting and branding colleagues improve their messaging. What are the gaps between how we see ourselves and how qualified candidates see us?
Using research drawn from a Universum study, we first asked attendees to prioritize key employee values related to corporate reputation, people & culture, job characteristics, and rewards. Then in a twist, we asked each group to consider those same elements but from the perspectives of very different target candidate audiences:
- Veterans in transition
- This year’s college grads
- 2008 graduates in top 10% of software engineers. (Gen Z)
- 1998 graduates in top 10% of software engineers. (Gen Y)
- Women returning to workforce after six years
Finally, we asked them to note any gaps and consider whether it would add value to TA strategy and decisions if quality data could be collected back home.
What can recruiting, operations and recruitment marketing teams do with this target candidate info?
Developing these audience profiles (or personas) can help talent acquisition shift the message when recruiting for specific roles to better address the actual needs of their target candidates...and not just generically but based on real insights from real candidates. Specific candidate personas can also help hiring managers and talent acquisition teams consider their internal programs, opportunities and the “nice-to-haves” that candidates really want and can make the difference in closing hires in a tight talent market.
What did our teams discover during this exercise?
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