Ed NewmanMay 12, 2017
Topics: Candidate Experience

Two Must-Have Tools for Designing a Hyper-Personalized Candidate Experience

As a founding board member of The Talent Board and six years of running the CandEs, I have been heavily entrenched in all things candidate experience for a while now. In the last couple of years, efforts to improve the candidate experience have become a top priority for many companies.

As with any leading trend, there is a lot of buzz about things you can buy to solve all your candidate experience problems. However, just like any trending business challenge, there is usually no silver bullet.

So, how do you go about designing a better candidate experience?

One thing I’ve learned is that there is already a very well-defined discipline – Customer Experience Design. Honestly, we can draw a lot of inspiration from what’s already out there, and then adapt tools and techniques to apply to Candidate Experience Design.

We recently launched The Definitive Guide to Talent Relationship Marketing, a groundbreaking guide that uniquely applies customer journey mapping and design thinking to each role in the recruiting process.

To kickstart your journey, here are two very valuable tools you can use to get a better understanding of your target candidates, allowing you to design a compelling and hyper-personalized candidate experience.

The Candidate Persona Canvas


A candidate persona is a representation of what the ideal candidate for a particular role at your company looks like. Your candidate personas should be a healthy balance between the aspects of your company that a rock star candidate would be attracted to, and the skills, personality, and background you're looking for in that candidate.

The number of personas you design depends on a number of factors:

  • How many different roles are you trying to fill?
  • Do you need varying levels of experience?
  • How many different locations do you have?
  • Do you have highly specialized or hard-to-fill positions?

Once you know how many candidate personas you need, you don't have to create one for every position right away. Begin by focusing on the highest priority ones first.

To get started, you can download our Candidate Persona Canvas tool here.

The Candidate Journey Map


The candidate journey map outlines the process an individual goes through during their job search. It's not a reflection of a single journey by a candidate, but rather an aggregation of the many unique journeys taken by your candidates.

A candidate journey map allows you to see the collective thoughts, feelings and actions of candidates as they go about discovering new opportunities, researching companies, and deciding whether or not to apply to a position with your company.

Resource: How Marel Transformed the Candidate Journey with Talent Marketing

It should be developed completely from the candidate's perspective, capturing their needs, wants and interests. This allows you to consider each touchpoint, identify gaps in your processes, and determine how to optimize the overall candidate experience at your company.

To get started, you need to outline the stages of the candidate job search process from beginning to end. You can download our Candidate Journey Map Tool here.

Struggling to get started? Download the Definitive Guide to Talent Relationship Marketing

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