The best recruitment firms realise that “candidates are like consumers” and with 80% of the buying process happening without any direct-to-human interaction, candidates make judgments about your company and your branding before they speak with you.
So, with this in mind, where do you start? What does your recruitment marketing strategy look like? That’s where customer profiles come in. Building customer profiles – or semi-fictional representations of your ideal customers – will help your business target the right people through tailored messaging and content that speaks directly to them.
After all, you would use different language in an email to a customer than you might in a text message to your friend, so the audience really matters – not just for what you say but how you say it.
Creating customer profiles are essential for the recruitment industry. We’ll guide you through how to make customer profiles for your recruitment company, helping you to target the ideal candidates right away.
Do Your Research and Create Customer Profiles
For your recruitment firm, you could have buyer personas for three different purposes:
To determine who your own ideal customer is (i.e. which clients you want to take on board to help them recruit the right people for their company)
To figure out your client’s ideal candidate (i.e. figure out what job titles, characteristics, experience, goals, and so forth for who they will hire)
To find the right hire for your own firm (i.e. how to target the best recruiters in the biz)
No matter your purpose, you’ll need to do your research. When profiling what your ideal clients look like, think of who your best clients currently are and what they have in common. Create a fictional profile of their stand-out traits, demographics, key challenges, and so on.
When sourcing ideal candidates for your client, develop a candidate persona that matches what your client is looking for by discussing people who are currently in a similar role – what strengths do these current employees have? And what additional characteristics might make a candidate stand out from their competition?
If your recruitment firm is looking to expand, it’s worth creating personas for what your ideal employees look like. Consider what traits your best recruiters have in common, as well as the characteristics you’d love to see. This information will help you create a fictional persona that meets those ideals.
A solid candidate profile will ensure you get the right candidates every time.
The Ideal Customer Profile Has Many Overlaps
By this token, it seems like you may have to create fifty different customer profiles for each scenario, but that’s not the case at all. Many companies look for the same traits and qualities in an ideal candidate.
For example, you may have some companies that want to hire recent college or university graduates; these candidates can be trained and will be working at an entry-level base. On the other hand, some companies may want to hire the right talent who can hit the ground running with minimal training and, therefore, may be willing to pay top dollar (or pound) in order to get the perfect fit. You may only need three very high-quality customer profiles to meet your needs.
So, why have them at all? Well, the answer is audience awareness. Content is king on the internet, and if you aren’t targeting the right audience with the right language, the right message, and the right type of content, you’re missing out. If your understanding of your audience is currently slim, that may answer why you’re not getting the right candidates for each role.
For example, what social channels are your ideal candidates using? If they’re a Facebook crowd, you aren’t going to reach them on Google+. By that same token, you may want to look to newer social platforms such as Snapchat (and dare we say TikTok?) Also ask yourself: what kind of content appeals to your ideal candidate most? You’ll need to craft messaging that catches their attention, potentially contains video, and is short enough to digest (even without sound).
It’s worth putting in the initial work to understand who you are targeting. Otherwise recruiting will seem more like a “spray and pray” activity (i.e. writing the same messaging and targeting anyone and everyone in the hope that a small pool will fit what you’re looking for), instead of a more concise process. You need to know what kind of people you are looking for before you start your search.
According to Forbes.com: “Successful hiring companies reali[s]e that recruiting is like marketing – from creating a brand presence, to attracting candidates through multiple advertising channels, to nurturing applicants by bringing them seamlessly through a talent acquisition funnel.”
How Do I Create a Great Customer Profile?
Exploring personas and creating great customer profiles does take time and effort, but once they are done, all of your employees will have a clearer understanding of who they need to target. In marketing, every single employee reads, understands, and knows their target personas through and through. Why? Because if they didn’t, then their messaging would be disjointed and not reach the right people. Even if it did, it would likely not have the right message.
Even in the recruitment sector, without the right picture (even a fictional one) of who you are looking for or who your candidate is looking for, you’ll miss your targets every time.
Have you ever had that one client who was really unhappy with your candidate choices – so much so that they chose to work with another recruiter – and you lost out on commission and weeks of work? Well, that’s likely to be because your vision for and their vision were misaligned. Don’t let that happen again! Great customer profiles will go a long way in ensuring you don't repeat the same mistake twice.
Customer profiles don't have to be complicated - even though they do take thought, time, and planning. Once you have your profiles all set, you can update them as the industry changes and your needs change. Keep everyone abreast of any alterations and make sure everyone is on the same page when creating messaging.
Whether your team is writing emails, job postings, blog posts, press releases, or internal documents, every employee should understand who they are speaking to in order to target those ideal candidates.
Don't forget, creating great personas is just one element of a successful Inbound Marketing strategy for Recruiters.
Recruiters, what are you waiting for? Download your FREE Customer Profile Template today.
Need to create your customer profiles quickly? Our template is designed to help. You’ll be guided through the Customer Profile creation process, with tips on who you should target and why. Our step-by-step advice will support you in creating comprehensive and truly insightful customer profiles. Download your FREE Customer Profile Template today!