A candidate persona enables us with a deeper understanding of the talent pool and increases the likelihood of rich, valuable engagement. Combine existing employee data with your intuitions and educated observations, and you're closer to identifying the perfect hire.
Swap unrealistic expectations for a clear definition of a candidate’s distinct needs and behaviors:
To define candidate needs, try these questions. What is ideal for them? Are they looking for a work environment where community service is important? Do they want to grow their skills as a specialized, individual contributor or do they want to lead a team as a manager?
What is your candidate hesitant about in their career? What do they consider a pain point? An example of this could be a reluctance to speak publicly, or a highly visible role that attends conferences and serves as a mouthpiece of their organization. It could be a lack of growth in their current role because they don't thrive in a large organization.
Finally, consider the barriers or objections they could be experiencing presently. It could be something intangible like a culture fit, or a skill deficit. The goal in identifying these critical buckets is to frame your communication around them in a customized way they will find appealing.
Think of your persona as the perfect snapshot. Peruse social media to source people using what you’ve already gathered, and connect the dots with their similarities. Note their previous experience like internships, societies, or volunteer work. Notice if they all seem to share career stages, age, or hobbies. Avoid making decisions based entirely on demographics, but rather interests and unique qualities.