7 Key Things You Must Know About Your Candidates

Creating employer branding content for social media is just as much science as art. One of the key steps before you make any social recruitment branding content is to get very clear about your candidate audience.

Many HR & recruitment professionals believe that a ‘candidate’ is a person who is actively looking for a job or already in the recruitment process. Not so. Greg Savage, global recruitment guru, whilst addressing a group of HR Executives at an Oracle Business Series Breakfast defined a candidate as anyone who is available to apply for your job.

When you look at it like this you instantly broaden your candidate pool across various defined groups. Active candidates, warm passive candidates and cold passive candidates.

The secret is to get the attention of all your candidate groups. It is ineffective to send the same message out to all three groups. They all have different needs, desires and wants.

How To Create Candidate Avatars : The 7 Key Elements

An avatar is a profile, persona or ‘ideal’ that you are looking for in your candidate audience. To create impacting social recruitment branding content you need to understand your candidate audience intimately to ensure you are delivering content they are going to engage with, and be motivated by.

Here are the 7 key questions you need to ask to know your candidate audience.

1. What are they like?

Demographics and psychographics are a basic start, however you need to go beyond this by understanding them on a personal level. Start by putting yourself in their shoes and create a ‘day in the life of….’ for each group of your candidate profiles.

The purpose of going through this exercise is to get into their minds, so you can relate to them. Write content that mirrors their thoughts, their questions, worries, joys, preferences and attitudes based on their day to day stuff.

2. Why are they here?

OK, so they have landed on your corporate career page. Or your facebook account, or are watching your employer branding video. Why are they here? and what do they think they are going to get out of your content? How did they come to your content? Basically there will be two ways.

1: Directly: they were specifically searching for it. Either through their own motivation or by referral

2: Indirectly: they stumbled upon it whilst searching for something else. Distraction.

How do you capture their engagement based on their motivation for consuming it? Why should they continue to consume more? Procrastination can be your greatest ally, so make content that makes procrastination worthwhile for them.

3. What keeps them up at night?

Everyone has a fear, a niggling worry, a thorn in their side or even a worry they didn’t know they had that your content can cleverly bring to light for them. Build trust by letting your candidate audience know you empathise with them, and create a solution for them.

A friend of mine found herself in a tricky situation as a candidate. She was getting to the pointy end of interviews with two organisations that she was equally interested in. The job roles where slightly different, but offered equal opportunity. She did however have a slight preference for one based on location, additional benefits, and industry. The problem was that the one she favoured was moving slower than the other. The offer was on the table from the second preferred role, but the other was caught up in approval processes and additional interview delays. She was facing the risk of losing both, or accepting a less preferred position or starting her search all over again….

4. How can you solve their problem?

Here you need to ask what is in it for them to continue to spend their valuable time on your employer brand content? What is it that they are seeking to know and how can you solve it for them?

There are several content possibilities that can be created around the problem my friend was experiencing. It is a very common scenario that good candidates find themselves in. You can influence your candidates, or facilitate the problem with FAQ’s that walk them through ‘what to do’ scenario’s. Or you can focus on a piece of employer brand content that is specifically about the ease of location or transport. Provide links to maps of nearby parking stations, and private parking rental apps. Location is a real deal breaker for many candidates. If you can facilitate a way to solve that for them it makes their decision easier.

5. What do you want them to do?

The most valuable piece of real estate in your employer branding content is in the last three seconds of the content. But the majority of recruitment marketers leave this as a barren wasteland. It is a social recruitment branding crime in my book. You must be clear on what you want your candidate audience to do for each single solitary piece of content. In marketing terms it is called a ‘call to action’. It must motivate them to take a specific action. This needs to be tactically mapped out. It is not enough to leave a Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook icon and hope they click on it to share. You need to invite them to share. Some times depending on the value of the content you may need to incentivise them to share with receiving something in return. Or you may simply want them to apply. Invite them openly and warmly. Dump the old and cold ‘Apply Here’ and make it feel like a date. You need to seduce your candidates.

6. How can you best reach them?

Give your candidate audience what they want and how they want it. Where do they hang out on line? People vary in how they receive information. Your current employees are your best test dummies to obtain this information. Find out where they gravitate, what are the industry hangouts, blogs, platforms, influencers that they listen to.

7. How might they resist?

This is a really important step to cover, that many candidate persona guides forget. What will keep them from embracing your message and carrying out your call to action? This can range from practical issues such as your content being too long. Not engaging enough, or at worse, offensive or discriminatory. Brain storm all the objections, caution, fears and attitudes they may have that can thwart your goal of them following through. Think of political, social, resources, ethical and technical reasons for why they could resist.

Creating candidate persona’s is critical for creating target rich content that gets results. More than ever candidates are experiencing tailored marketing in other parts of their world as a consumer. Employers need to gain competitive advantage by creating employer brand content that is based on well researched and developed candidate profiles.

Go deeper… Don’t miss your chance to get the scoop on how companies like yours, who struggled to get top quality candidates ‘cracked the code’ of the power of influence…

Learn How To Develop An Irresistible Social Recruitment Strategy! FREE Video Series. How the best employers have dumped expensive recruiter fees and created a system of endless quality talent pools. Start viewing here now…