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Talent Personas: The Secret Ingredient to Diversity Recruitment

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Talent personas are a clever little talent recruitment aid that helps recruiters find the best candidates. Talent personas list the best possible qualities of a candidate for a role. Talent personas benefit your organization by clarifying the best qualifications and helping you better understand what you need. Talent personas are the most effective in helping with diverse recruitment because they reveal the benefits of diverse talent for every role.

What is A Talent Persona?

A talent persona is an employee’s version of a customer profile–it’s a fictional ideal persona of a role or position. Essentially, a talent persona is a thought exercise for creating an ideal candidate that you can judge real candidates against. 

Recruiters use talent personas to clearly illustrate and better understand their requirements for a position or role. 

Recruiters think about the following questions when designing talent personas:

The Benefits of Talent Personas 

Having the best talent persona is vital for diversity recruitment because it impacts your recruitment policies. A good talent persona attracts a diverse workforce for the following reasons: 

1. Attracting the Right People

It’s easier to attract the right people when your organization has a solid idea of what they want. A talent persona gives your company clarity about which characteristics and qualities matter to the organization. As a result, you tailor your job descriptions and posts around attracting the best people.

2. Lower Recruitment Costs 

Effective talent personas help companies identify the best people, which leads to fewer recruitment costs. Talent personas help recruitment managers identify and appeal to the best candidates, which reduces recruitment costs and time. Your company naturally has to spend fewer resources attracting talent when it knows what it wants. 

3. Higher Employee Satisfaction

Employee satisfaction naturally rises when an employee is a better fit with their organization. Employees are also likely to be satisfied with companies that value their abilities and recognize their importance and merit. 

Talent Personas and Diversity Recruitment 

Talent personas are an excellent recruitment aid, but they’re specifically powerful for diversity recruitment. The reason is that talent personas clarify the diverse talents and skills your ideal candidates should have. They demystify the best qualifications and experiences for a position. 

For example, your investment company may need three new graphic designers to prepare a new logo, design social media posts, and create billboards. Your conventional approach may be to just seek experienced graphic designers with impressive-looking portfolios and hire them. This approach might work, but a talent persona approach is better. 

With a talent persona approach, you’ll seek a graphic designer with experience in the banking industry and its aesthetics to design your logo. You’ll opt for a graphic designer with social media marketing experience for designing your social media posts. Lastly, you would choose a graphic designer who’s worked in the advertising industry to design your billboards. 

The talent persona approach gives you a diverse workforce that has a specifically relevant talent for their roles. As a result your organization better understands what it wants and hires the right diverse talent. You end up with better people faster. 

How To Build Personas For Diversity Recruitment

Thankfully, talent personas are easy to build for most occupations and roles–you just have to think about the qualities of the best possible candidate for a role. 

Deciding the qualities of the ideal candidate might be easier for some professions than others, but the following 6-step approach works for most positions. 

Step 1

Identify the most important functions and tasks of the role

Step 2

Collect HR data to understand the most common qualities of top performers in that role

Step 3

Identify which performance metrics define success in that role.

Step 4

Create a concise list of relevant qualitative and quantitative qualities you want from the ideal candidate. 

Step 5

Decide how closely you want real employees to match your ideal. 

The Do’s and don’ts of Creating Talent Personas For Diverse Recruitment

Keep the following information in mind when creating talent personas to get the best experience. 


  1. Use proven data when you can. 
  1. Speak to experienced professionals to get their opinion. 
  1. Prioritize the most high-impact qualities of potential candidates 
  1. Use as many external data sources as possible to build a better picture 
  1. Be objective in deciding what qualities matter


  1. Don’t set unrealistic standards 
  1. Don’t use vague standards 
  1. Don’t set standards that aren’t necessary for the role 
  1. Don’t expect to find a candidate that matches your talent persona 
  1. Don’t create talent personas for the sake of it. 

In short, a talent persona is a list of the ideal candidate’s qualities for a position or role. Talent personas clarify and demystify the requirements for a position and help your company find the best talent, specifically helping you with finding diverse talent.

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