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Feb 20, 2019

In my last SourceCon article, I talked about how to deliver an emotionally intelligent message. This article will discuss how you can pick which emotional approach would have the most significant impact.

Building what the sales and marketing industry calls a “Consumer Persona” will help you identify not only the types of people (not the target market, but the exact kind of person) you should be reaching out to but also how to reach out to them most effectively.

The First Question to ask yourself is:

What type of candidate wants and needs the req and corporate/team culture I’m working on?

What do I mean?

Well, let’s talk about what makes your company special, unique, or appealing to people.

Are you a larger, well-established company?  #Stability

Do you have great and affordable benefits?  #FamilyFocus

Are you a small and fun, tight-knit shop?  #Junior&Single

Are you mid-size with nothing remarkable of enjoyable about your company?  #TimeForANewJob

Just kidding – there is always something(s) good, unique, or a selling-point about your company.

If you can’t find one, reach out to me, I’ll gladly help you – it’s there.

Second Question:

What data am I looking for and where do I find it?

 If your first thought was “LinkedIn”… Yay!  Now stop it.

LinkedIn is great for finding out about someone professionally, but that won’t build their persona, it will only show you their professional skill-set and career progression. It is essential, but that’s important for sourcing, not for messaging.

Time to break out the stalker-recruiter. Have you checked their Facebook? Twitter? Instagram?

  • How old are they? (Remember, you’ve already decided to message this person, you’re NOT to use this data to determine who to message, only to craft your message)
  • Where do they live? (Use Facebook for their town – will get more specific in the next section)
  • Are they married? (Facebook or Instagram – check status or pictures)
  • Do they have kids? (Same as married)
  • Do they have pets? (same as marriage and kids, you’ll know about pets – at least dogs)
  • What are their interests? (Read the Interests section on Facebook)
  • What are they posting about?
  • Do they go on a lot of vacations? (Check their pictures, if they’re not from the place you live, and they appear more than a couple of times a year, they like vacationing)

Now you’ve got an idea as to who the person is, now let’s do some background digging into their current role/organization.

Sites to check:  Glassdoor, Pipl, Homemetry,, LinkedIn

  • Find their company’s reviews (Glassdoor – are they good, do people like the CEO? Average salary, etc.).
  • Find the industry salary average for their type of role and location ( – compare this to what Glassdoor says about the comp at their current company).
  • Check for similar people (titles and keyword their skills) who used to work at the company on LinkedIn and see what types of companies they’ve moved on to, and also what their tenure looked while at the company in question).
  • Find their current address (Use Pipl to find out where they live precisely – the purpose of this is to find out what their current commute looks like, vs. the commute to your office).
  • Get their information (Homemetry – if you have their address, you can look it up on Homemetry, and often it will have the people who own that property/house and their contact information – pretty accurate. This will also show if they own or rent).

Third Question:

What inferences can you make from the data?

This is where building the actual persona comes from – I would WRITE THIS DOWN AND SAVE IT!


Are they married, with kids, making about the industry average, with a 45-minute long commute each way, owns their house, only seems to go on one or two vacations a year, and is interested in volunteering and philanthropic events?

Consumer Persona:  Work-life balance is essential, more mission-focused than money-focused, probably wishes the commute wasn’t so long, probably wishes they could spend more time (maybe vacation) with their family.

We’ll call that Persona:  Married with kids, mission-focused, work-life balance, no relo or travel.

Approach to reach out:  I would use joy or fear.

Joy:  Your company offers excellent benefits, including a lot of vacation time – you understand the importance of family. Or, if you provide high compensation and ability to work from home – you can pitch the idea of more time with the family and ability to do more things you love. Or, your company is very mission-driven, you love supporting X Charity, etc.

Fear:  Talk about the industry being a grueling one to work in, and how commute is often a big factor for folks.  Talk about how your company believes in X (whatever speaks to the work-life balance), or how too many companies aren’t focused on actually helping people, but you guys have a robust mission or community outreach, etc.

Do you see what we’re doing here? We’re reaching out about things that are relevant and important to the person as a human, not only as a professional.

The professional piece has to line up, or they won’t get the job, but that’s not what’s going to get them to respond to you and engage in the interview process.

Last point (4th if you’re into counting)

The reason we want to write these personas down and track things like, response rate and response rate vs. intro/qual call is; to determine which type of persona is most likely to engage you/your organization.

This will help you with your future sourcing efficacy! If you notice a particular type of persona is responding more, seems more interested in the role, and is moving to the interview stage more, target those types of folks!

Source for capabilities and experience. Message for connection and understanding.

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