26 Jan, 2022

How to Use Candidate Personas to Boost Your SEO Strategy

candidate personas

Candidate personas are merely fictional representations of job seekers. However, many recruiters use them to select the right person for the job. Personas can also lead you to the right keywords for your SEO and paid ads strategy. 

First, take the time to create a candidate persona since it can help you:

  • Create an SEO strategy that will attract and engage the right candidates.
  •  Craft digital ads that will appeal to suitable candidates.
  •  Understand what your clients require.

Creating a candidate persona

A candidate persona is a representation of your ideal candidate for a vacant position. You need this person to create a method of obtaining the most suitable person for your client’s vacancy. Here’s a guide for creating a candidate persona.

Three parties involved in creating a candidate persona

Gather information by interviewing:

1. Stakeholders 

Before posting the vacancy, try talking with stakeholders to determine the qualities they are looking for in a candidate. You can ask the company’s hiring manager or interviewers about the:

a. Job Title – Not all companies use the same job titles for the same role. For example, a person in charge of growth can be called:

  •  Customer Acquisition Manager
  •  Growth Hacker
  •  Growth Ninja 

However, make sure the client’s job title is SEO friendly so it can appear on search results, job boards or LinkedIn.

b. The company where the perfect candidate works – Your clients may have a list of preferred companies where the candidates could be working.

The most likely demographic of the candidate – You can also ask them about:

  •  The ideal location of the prospective candidate
  •  Their age and level of experience
  •  The expected salary for such a position

c. Skills – What are the different abilities the client expects from a candidate? Finding the answer to this question will help make your search criteria more specific.

d. Education, qualifications, and certifications – Does the client require the candidate to have a particular college degree? Do they prefer graduates from certain universities? What educational background or certification do they need? Such information will help you focus on the right candidates. 

f. The candidate’s driving factor – What makes the prospective employee excited about their role in the company? Are they drawn to the position because it offers the use of certain technologies? You need to know why a job is attracting or driving away candidates.

2. Team members 

The common trait of the client’s team members is an excellent indicator of a candidate persona. It can help you understand what an ideal candidate should have to be successful in the vacant position. You may need to interview at least two to three people to know what those traits are. You can ask questions about their:

Goals – What are their career and even personal goals, and where do they want to be after a certain number of years? Does it include things, such as:

  •  Marriage
  •  Mortgage
  •  Children’s education 

b. Interests – What do the candidates do in their spare time? Do they visit a specific place or website? What kind of reading material do they enjoy?

c. Motivation – What motivates people to work for the client’s company? Why did they apply to the company and made them stay? 

3.  Candidates 

Interviewing the stakeholders and team members can help you create the client’s version of a perfect candidate. However, their description may not be realistic. You need to verify their assumptions by talking to the candidates.

You can ask the same questions to the prospective employees, including those who seem unsuitable for the job.  You can also ask them the following:

  •  What’s the reason they applied?
  •  Do they feel there’s something different with the vacant position compared to their previous one? 
  • You should also list down responses of the unsuitable candidates for comparison.

Use the candidate personas in your keyword research 

You’ve gathered all the relevant information from the stakeholders, employees, and candidates. Now you’re ready to apply the persona to your keyword research.  When you’re gathering keywords, check if they accurately describe your candidate persona.

Consider using an Excel sheet or a similar tool for processing the keywords you can use. Remove from your list search terms that are:

  •  Too low with regards to search volume
  •  Too competitive
  •  Not relevant enough

You can now use the remaining keywords on your job posts and web pages. Incorporate those words and phrases in the various page elements, such as:

  •  Title
  •  Meta descriptions
  •  H1 and other tags

You may even have to rewrite the page content to make the search terms more relevant to your target readers.

Incorporate the persona in your content

Make sure that you include the candidate personas when creating and promoting content to your audience. Consider what will likely stir the interest of your target audience. Can your content encourage candidates to apply even if they are currently employed? How can you help them achieve their goals? Also, don’t forget to communicate in their language.

Conclusion 

 A candidate persona is useful in your SEO and paid ads campaign. Start and fill out the essential details, such as their current employer, demographics, educational background, job designation, skills and qualifications. Talk to the client, employees, and candidates to gather relevant keywords to describe the ideal employee.

Creating a candidate persona for SEO and digital ad purposes requires careful planning and a significant amount of time and resources. If you need additional input and advice on making one, reach out and give us at Recruitment Traffic a call.

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