As a marketer, it’s really easy to ‘think’ like one. It’s what I’ve done for the past 9+ years and I essentially see it differently than a non-marketer (think of ‘the matrix’).

When I see an email I think ‘I wonder what marketing automation tool they’re using and what actions they’ll take if I click this link?’. When I see an ad online I think ‘I wonder what retargeting software they’re using to do this, better check the source code…?’. When I see a software product I think ‘I wonder how many persona interviews they conducted prior to launch?’.

These are just a few examples of the dozens and dozens of things I can’t think about the same way. If I were to ask you dear recruiting professional about how you think, I’m sure you’d have a similar list. The cool thing is, you’re already doing some of the things marketers do; you just may not know it.

I’ve read 10 or so articles willing recruiting and HR pros to think like marketers. While it’s easy to say, it’s not easy to stage. Rather than changing your entire way of thinking, how about adopting a few, very important activities and behaviors?

It starts with you

You know people. It’s your passion. You’re very good at assessing a candidate on paper and in person and have heard every hope, dream and fear. Bottom-line; you know candidates.

Your candidate persona is the personification of your ideal candidate.

A marketer would see this as great buyer persona insight; you may just see it as the day-to-day. This is a great place to adopt an activity from marketing – Persona Research.

You may not think about it, but you know a good deal about your target candidates. Let’s round out that profile and build a candidate persona.

Your candidate persona is the personification of your ideal candidate. Knowing who your target is helps your recruiting efforts and your marketing efforts. Basically you’re going to build the perfect candidate based on research and knowledge.

Candidate Persona Outline

  • Name: Jane
  • Age: 35
  • Gender: F
  • Years on the job: 5
  • Title: Product Marketing Manager
  • Top responsibilities: Managing the marketing calendar, creating content, managing external vendors
  • Top obstacles: Getting leadership buy-in, coming up with content ideas, keeping up with marketing technology
  • How is their success typically measured: Net results of content, # of new subscribers, timeliness of project completions

A lot of this will come naturally from the hundreds of conversations you have with candidates. If you don’t have the information, use your next interview to understand what they do at work, what their obstacles are and how their success is measured.

What if you recruit for multiple industries? Easy, simply create a persona for each one. Remember, you have most of this information in your brain, just pull it out so we can use it later.

Put Your Persona To Work

Now that you’ve got a tangible persona to reference, the real fun starts.

Let’s take our example persona from above. We know that Jane is a marketer who is 30 years old. Jane, who’s been working in her role for 5 years, is ready for the next step.

So where do 30 year old marketers who want to advance hang out? Check local conferences, morning marketing events or monthly get-togethers.

From your persona, you know her responsibilities and obstacles, so look for events that address this and attend. Better yet, start your own group on Linkedin and provide helpful content for Jane to better her career.

Another example use is content.

You know what keeps Jane up at night, her priorities at work and how her work is measured. This information provides a huge resource when creating content. For Jane, a blog post about marketing KPI’s would likely peak her interest, where a post about node.js likely wouldn’t (more about this later).