Why is a candidate persona important in the recruiting process?

31 January 2023

Mismatches between candidates and job profiles are one of the issues that arise during the recruitment process. Frequently in terms of technical requirements, but also of cultural fit. As a result, the recruitment process becomes longer and more expensive. This article will explain why recruiters are so concerned with developing the persona of the ideal candidate.

What is the persona of a candidate?

A candidate’s persona description is an image of a person who is an exemplary match for the position’s requirements and the organization’s culture. The development of a candidate profile is based on an examination of the employer’s needs and expectations. The motivations of the target group, or potential candidates, are also considered.

Candidate persona is important for the recruitment process. Because it assists in focusing on the most important criteria for the position and the organization. It is a recruitment tool that assists in identifying and identifying candidates who best fit the needs of the position.

Is it possible to find the perfect candidate?

It is almost impossible to find a candidate who matches a predetermined persona 100%. This is an unrealistic and unhealthy approach to recruiting. As it is very rare that a candidate will have all the required traits and competencies. The focus should be on looking for a candidate who has some of the key traits and competencies. And has the potential to grow and learn new skills. Therefore, it is important for recruiters and HR departments to be flexible in their requirements and willing to make some compromises to find the best candidate for the role.

Benefits of creating a persona

This may seem like a nonsensical idea, since the invented ideal does not exist. Learn 5 arguments that show it’s worth creating a persona:

  • Increase the efficiency of the recruitment process 

Creating a candidate’s persona allows you to focus on a candidate’s key qualities and competencies. Which increases the efficiency of the recruitment process and allows you to find the right person in less time.

  • Saving time and money

With an ideal candidate persona, the recruitment process is more efficient and focused on candidates who best meet the needs of the position. This saves recruitment time and money.

  • Increase consistency in evaluating candidates 

Creating a candidate persona allows you to establish a common idea of what kind of candidate will best meet the needs of the position. This increases alignment in candidate evaluation and selection between the recruiter and hiring manager.

  • Improving company culture

By personifying the ideal candidate, you can better understand the needs and values of candidates, which helps build a better organizational culture and increase employee engagement. Employer branding can also be planned on this basis.

  • Enhance the company’s image 

The persona of the ideal candidate helps improve the company’s image as an appealing place to work by better selecting candidates and improving the recruitment process.

How to create a candidate persona?

Initially, the process may seem long and difficult. It is worth breaking it down into specific steps. This will help to systematize the information and create a picture of the person present. Not only in the mind of the hiring manager, but also corresponding to the realities of the labor market.

  1. Defining goals – first, clearly define the purpose of creating a candidate persona. Such as what qualities and competencies are necessary for the job, what needs and values are important to candidates. 
  2. Research the labor market – next, conduct a labor market survey to better understand the needs, expectations and motivations of potential candidates. This can be done by reviewing job postings, researching competitors or interviewing candidates.
  3. Data analysis – analyzing data from previous recruitments can help you understand what qualities and competencies were most important to previous candidates. And what best practices were.
  4. Interviews with employees – Talking to employees and supervisors who work directly with candidates will provide valuable insights into candidates’ needs and expectations.
  5. Combining the collected data – Once the data has been collected, consolidate it and draw conclusions about the qualities, competencies and values the matched candidate is expected to possess.
  6. Creating a profile – The final step is to create a persona profile of the ideal candidate. The profile should include information such as age, background, education, experience, skills, values, and a description of the candidate’s individual motivation.
  7. Regular updating – The candidate’s persona should be updated regularly. Because of meeting the changing needs of the job market and the organization.

Persona creation form example

  • Name:
  • Age:
  • Residence address:
  • Experience:
  • Personality characteristics:
  • Career objectives:
  • Individual candidates’ reasons for changing jobs:
  • Lifestyle:

This is a very condensed version. Supporting questions should be asked by the recruiter in charge of this process. The type and quantity of information should be appropriate for the job.

Now you know why you should create a profile of the ideal candidate. This is not an invention of recruiters. Ideally, in addition to the hiring manager, other team members should be involved in the process of creating personas. The candidate profile created is just a template. Just as there is no perfect job, it is almost impossible to find a person who meets all the requirements.

About the Authors


- LinkedIn

Tech Sourcing Partner and Brand Awareness Specialist interested in everything related to HR. Enjoys working in many areas, thus using layers of her creativity.