Talent Acquisition

How to Segment Talent Personas for Recruitment Marketing

The first rule for any business, for anywhere in the world, is to know your clientele. And the same can be said for recruitment. The creation of talent personas isn’t anything new – in fact they were first introduced in the 1980s. This week our panel of experts tell you how talent personas can work with your recruitment marketing. Have a read and see what you think.


Joe Shaker

There should always be one EVP, but that message is going to be tailored based on the audience.  The same company is going to speak to an IT candidate different than a nurse or a cashier, but the articulation of those value propositions must stem from the same EVP. In order to do this effectively, you also must know each of your audiences’ unique needs.




Joe Shaker is the President of Shaker Recruitment Marketing.


Maren Hogan

Um, I could talk about this all day…and have. I believe firmly in building talent personas for every department you own. Once you get into the habit, it’s truly not that difficult and building these personas can change everything about the recruitment process, from the way you word the ad to where you place your virtual help wanted sign AND everything about the job, from the schedule to the benefits your offer to potentially outdated requirements. It could be argued that personas are more important to recruitment marketing than employer branding.

Maren Hogan is CEO and Founder of Red Branch Media.


Jared Nypen

I think you need to create and segment talent personas in a way that makes sense for your company. I would do the research, looking at the data on current employees and then surveying employees to find out what traits make them successful in their jobs. The last time I did this for a company, we created personas that I wouldn’t have expected. For example, one persona was about employees who leave our industry altogether and then come back. We can create content that is geared to this persona!

Jared Nypen is the Vice-President of talent at Great Clips inc.

Lisa Jones

Around their issues. What problems can be solved?

Lisa Jones is the Founder and Director of Barclay Jones.

Mark Cavanagh

Skills, Skills, Skills. First and foremost, recruitment and recruitment marketing are designed to bring together a skill-set and job that requires that skill-set, so it makes sense to start there, building your network based on skill-set not only makes your talent pool more searchable, but it also enables you to build a profile of candidates that you don’t already know. Combine this with location, history and digital behaviour attribution, this will provide you with the information you need to target similar profiles using recruitment marketing activity.

Mark Cavanagh is the Marketing Manager at The One Group.

Charlotte Jones

Talent personas are the target markets of recruitment marketing. Personas can be defined by critical talent or functions required for the business, hard to fill talent, or large scale hiring functions. Personas may be segmented by type of function such as engineering or finance.  They may be segmented further by type of engineering: software engineering, specifically defined by the job requirements.  Personas may encompass your target audience behaviors, preferences, job seeker behavior, demographic and psychographic profile. With the profiles, you may experience vastly different behaviors, therefore segmentation of the personas may need to occur – by location, by experience level.

Charlotte Jones is the Recruitment Marketing Manager at Lockheed Martin.

Phil Strazzulla

I think of it from the candidate’s perspective. What is the group of people would they like to sit down with at your company to learn about working there? Maybe it’s geographically based, or by function, or by their gender/age/race. For some candidates it’s probably a few different groups – maybe they want to talk to software engineers, people in New York, and Women in Tech. Whatever the case may be, it makes sense to segment these groups. You’ve never have a marketer sending the same messaging to the VP of HR and the VP of Engineering!

Phil Strazzulla is the Founder of NextWave Hire.

Shelby Burghardt

Segmenting talent personas will vary depending on the size, location, target audience, and the hiring goals/needs of your organization. If you have offices all over the world, a talent persona for a technologist located in California may not be the same as a talent persona for a technologist located in Hyderabad, India, because they may have different career motivators/drivers. You need to understand who you are marketing to, where they are located, what motivates them in their career, and what matters to them. For example, we focus on the top 3 job families we hire for: technology, sales, and research. We then look at the top regions where we’re hiring for those roles, such as US, UK, and Canada. We’ll then look at our organization goals, such as hiring more women in tech, and then we will build out personas for each role within each region.

Shelby Burghardt is the Global Talent Brand Manager at Thomson Reuters.

Rebecca Drew

It’s essential businesses understand their target audiences, to make sure the content they are producing will appeal to and engage them. Of course, no business will have a single type of person they want to attract, which is why segmentation is so important. This process needs to be driven by empirical market research rather than anecdotal assumptions.

To make this information useful, a persona must then be contextualised to help understand their values and the motivations in switching jobs. For example, if a bank is going through a process of digitisation, it needs to think about the kind of skills and personas it needs to make these adaptations and change its recruitment marketing strategy accordingly.  By generating this deeper understanding of a talent persona, a business is also setting itself up for a more effective hiring process.

Rebecca Drew is a Manager at LinkedIn Talent Solutions.

Bennett Sung

Like with consumer buyer personas, segmentation of talent personas is a critical tactic to deliver personalized content at the right time and through the right channel, thus optimizing engagement and hiring success. One common talent segmentation practice is by job family (e.g., marketing, engineering, sales, C-Suite, etc). Through active interview-based research, you will begin to validate what the talent segmentation needs are, uncover what marketing channels the segment engages with, how they make decisions to accept an offer, and more. Certainly, you can slice and dice a talent network across many demographic factors.

Bennett Sung is the Head of Marketing at Allyo.

By Ushma Mistry

Editor & Content Strategist at Link Humans, download our new eBook now: Measuring Employer Brand: The Ultimate Guide and check out our latest product The Employer Brand Index.