Audience segmentation will help you effectively promote and describe different open positions increasing engagement and application rates.
While recruiters are not content marketers, they’re definitely in the content production business, or at the very least in the copywriting arena. Every single interaction with a candidate can be qualified as a piece of copy. From the most basic, like an interview email reminder to a job description on a career site — it’s all copy.
But, is it good copy? So often the answer to that question is negative, which is a huge missed opportunity. If recruiters can tweak their messaging strategies to connect with their candidates more effectively, the returns are immediate, no expensive resources required. All your team needs is a strategy that will help them craft engaging emails, job descriptions, and social media job posts/ads that are meaningful and relevant to their desired audience.
A great way to start is by figuring out who that audience is, their behavior, their preferences, and then writing specifically to them. Marketing has had buyer personas up its sleeve for years and for good reason. It works. It’s a simple exercise of researching your demographic, and building a profile with a name, a personality, and important traits. This fictional person will be who you write to from now on. Who they are will inform your tone, your content (references, jokes), your distribution channels, and even your posting times.
The Marketing team at Talkpush thought it was time recruiters got in on the fun, and came up with a list of steps to get you started building those personas.
1. Segment your audience by open job positions
The first step to start building your candidate personas is determining how many you’ll need. For recruiters the best way to do this is dividing by open positions. You may choose to cluster some together, depending on similarities between skills, education, location, etc.
Here’s a list of characteristics you can use to make your segments:
Once you have each segment it’s time to start researching what the ideal candidate looks like for each of them.
Picture your ideal candidate for each segment, what skills do they have? What are their qualities? Once you have that in mind you can start searching for the people that meet those criteria and build your data set according to their online behaviors and other stats you may find.
For example you already know your ideal candidate went to college, but you might want to find out what college grads in your area and in that age group tend to read, what online platforms they interact with the most, the likelihood that they’re married, etc.
These are questions you can find answers to via searching online. Facebook ads has great audience targeting tools which you can use to your advantage. By running a few job campaigns you can see who’s interacting with your posts and get closer to your target.
Interviews with recent hires, or candidates who turned down the position, can also give you insight into the types of lives your candidates lead. You could also read market research reports, send out surveys to candidates and employees to spot trends, and even post a persona research question on LinkedIn and see what answers you get!
You should be asking things that help you align your persona, for example: how they learned about and applied to your company, their background, goals and concerns, and how they prefer to communicate.
You’re building a picture that should look a little bit like this:
Hard and soft skills
Current job status
Job searching habits
3. Putting it all together
Once you’ve got all the information you need from a variety of sources it’s time to look for trends and do a little bit of generalizations. Personas aren’t exact replicas of every single one of your candidates, but they do help you write personable and relatable copy. Give your candidate personas a face, name, age, and fill out all the relevant information that will help you communicate with them and make them want to click on that apply button.
Here’s an example we did, meet Carrie Fischer!
👇You can use this free template to create your own. 👇
4. Using your candidate personas
Now that you have all this information down in one place, with a face and a name it’s time to take full advantage of it. When writing about any opening, look to the candidate persona it belongs to to make decisions such as: tone, channel, time of posting, and content.
Always write in the first person, even if it’s a job description or a mass email. The point is to get as personal and far away from “corpy” as possible. Knowing who you’re writing to will help. You can make references that appeal to that demographic, choose the appropriate social channels where they like to hang out, and even maximize your reach by choosing to send out communications at the times you know they’ll be most likely to see it.
The point is to make candidates feel like they’re on the inside, give them a glimpse into what being part of the team feels like. You can achieve this subtly through your messaging by writing like you already know them. With your candidate personas you will.
Examples from the Internet
→ This ad just says “Pilots Wanted,” but it instantly appeals to… well, pilots! It’s generating inclusion of a specific group of people and it does so in very few words.
→ This ad also nails its demographic of graphic designers by playing a little inside joke on the skills needed for the job. It makes candidates feel like insiders and also sets clear expectations on the skills required.
What do you think? Ready to start creating your own persona strategy to increase engagement, conversions, and retention? A super-focused audience strategy will not only help you get more candidates, but it will increase your chances of hiring the best fit for the job, reducing employee turnover.
If you want to learn a little bit more about copywriting for recruiters check out this webinar recording — a 50 minute writing workshop for TA professionals.
👉👉👉 If you’d rather have a conversation about it and see how Talkpush can help you spread your message to the right candidates at scale, schedule a call with us 🚀