Read Time 5 minutes
Author udrafter
Date February 14, 2022

How to Create an Ideal Candidate Profile

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In the past, when you’ve written job descriptions for your company, have you had a specific type of person in mind? Were you just hoping that someone would apply for the job so you could fill the position as quickly as possible? If you haven’t taken the time to create an ideal candidate profile, you might accidentally be alienating people who could be great assets to your team. This could also be hurting your company’s productivity and performance.

Explained below is the importance of building an ideal candidate profile. You’ll also find out what you need to do to develop a profile and improve your hiring processes.

What Is a Candidate Profile?

A candidate profile (sometimes known as an ideal candidate persona) is a detailed blueprint for recruiters and hiring managers. It helps them to figure out the desired personality traits, qualifications, and attributes that are needed for someone to do well in a specific role.

A well-crafted profile answers the most important questions a recruiter or hiring manager might ask about a particular candidate, for instance:

  • What is their educational background?
  • What is their previous work experience?
  • What motivates them?
  • What are their long-term career goals and aspirations?

How Do Candidate Profiles Help the Recruitment Process?

When your HR strategy includes developing ideal candidate profiles, your recruitment process becomes a lot easier and a lot more effective. The following are some specific ways that candidate profiles and personas improve hiring:

1. Easier Job Description Writing

Writing job descriptions is one of the hardest parts of hiring talent, whether you’re trying to appeal to Gen Xers or members of Gen Z.

When you know to whom you’re writing, though, and what kind of skills, personality traits, and experience they should have, it becomes a lot easier.

Understanding the members of your audience allows you to write to a specific person. You can then easily tailor your job ads to those who will work best with you and your team.

2. Easier Candidate Sourcing

Another one of the benefits of creating an ideal candidate persona is the fact that it sets you up for easier candidate sourcing.

When you have a clearly developed candidate profile, you won’t only know what kind of person you’re looking for, but also where to find them. You’ll know which job boards to use and which social media groups to frequent.

This knowledge will streamline the talent acquisition process. It also helps your ad to get attention sooner from the people who are the best fits for the job. This allows you to fill positions more quickly and reduce recruiting costs altogether. 

3. Better Candidate Matches

In addition to helping you to source candidates more easily and fill vacancies faster, creating an ideal candidate profile also helps you to find better matches who would work better with your team and align with the company’s mission and goals.

If you find great fits the first time around, you’ll notice improvements in your team’s innovation, productivity, and performance. You’ll also reduce your employee attrition rate and ensure you’ve chosen people who are in it for the long haul.

How to Develop an Ideal Candidate Profile

At this point, you may be convinced to sit down with your HR team and develop an ideal candidate profile. You might also be wondering, though, what it should include to help you experience the benefits listed above.

If this is the case for you, here are some steps to follow. They’ll simplify the process of recruiting talent and help you find people who can take your company to the next level:

1. Clarify Job Requirements

The first step to creating an ideal candidate profile is making sure you and your team have a thorough understanding of the position you’re trying to fill.

It’s not enough to just say you’re looking for a graphic designer or an administrative assistant. The better you understand the requirements and responsibilities of the job, the easier it will be to figure out who the ideal candidate is and what characteristics they need to have.

One of the best ways to clarify job requirements is to talk to the person who currently has that job. Find out what their day-to-day responsibilities include and what professional skills enable them to do their job well.

You may want to check out job ads posted by your competitors, too. This can help you see what kinds of skills and qualifications they’re asking for and ensure you’re not missing anything important.

2. Review Company Culture

It’s important to find someone who has the right education, skills, and work experience when you’re trying to fill a position at your company. However, another key component of developing an ideal candidate profile is reviewing company culture.

Most employers include information about company culture in their job description because it helps them attract people who share their values and align with their vision. Before you can put these details in a job description, though, you need to ensure you understand them yourself.

Spend some time thinking about your company’s mission and core values. Consult other members of your team if you must. Then, consider what kind of person is most likely to share that mission and possess those same values.

3. Evaluate Top Performers

If you’re not sure what your ideal candidate looks like, a good option is to evaluate your company’s top performers. Pay particular attention to those who are currently in the same position or a similar position to the one you’re trying to fill.

What kinds of skills do your top performers have? What is their educational or training background like? What kind of personality and attitude do they have?

Be sure to talk to your top performers directly, too. Ask them questions about their day-to-day responsibilities, how they handle problems, and what kinds of incentives motivate them. This will provide more insight into what kind of person is a good fit for your company.

4. Identify Desired Hard and Soft Skills

After going through the first 3 steps, you will likely have a better idea of the kinds of hard skills your ideal candidate needs to possess. What about soft skills, though?

Hard skills are sometimes referred to as teachable skills. An example might be knowledge of a specific coding language or an ability to type a certain number of words per minute.

Soft skills, on the other hand, are personality traits that make someone more or less capable of doing a specific job. For example, the ability to communicate well with others is considered a soft skill.

Keep in mind that soft skills are often just as important as (if not more important than) hard skills. You can teach someone how to code or how to be a better typist, but you can’t always teach someone to be a good communicator or to be a self-starter.

5. Consider Candidate Communication Options

Speaking of being a good communicator, when you’re putting together your ideal candidate profile, you should also consider how you’re going to communicate with candidates and encourage the right people to apply for the job.

In other words, where does your ideal candidate spend the most time? Are they hanging out in LinkedIn groups for professionals in a particular field? Do they frequent some online job boards more than others?

If you know where to find your ideal candidate, you’ll have an easier time attracting them to your job ad and getting them to apply. You also won’t have to worry about wasting your time posting ads in places that ideal candidates don’t visit.

6. Revisit the Profile Regularly

If you want to establish a high-performance team culture and improve your recruiting process now and in the future, make sure you’re regularly revisiting your ideal candidate profile. This helps you ensure you’re looking in the right places and attracting candidates who are good fits for your company.

Don’t be afraid to revise your profile and make adjustments as needed, too. Over time, you might find that a particular skill isn’t as necessary as you once thought it was, or you may decide that future applicants do need to have a particular skill (hard or soft) to be better suited for the position. If you notice these things, go ahead and change the profile so that it’s more accurate.

Start Working on Your Ideal Candidate Profile Today

Taking the time to develop an ideal candidate profile will make the talent acquisition process easier and more effective.

When you hire the right people the first time around, you can improve productivity and employee engagement while also reducing employee turnover. Follow the steps listed above so you can identify your ideal candidate and tailor your job ads to them.

For more help fine-tuning your hiring strategy and appealing to Gen Z at work, check out Udrafter today. We make it easy for you to find interns and early talent who are good fits for your company and will help you achieve all your performance goals. 

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