Recruitment Marketing -Developing Your Candidate and Client Avatars

This is a transcription from a podcast and video new created on developing your Avatar. Excuse and rogue typing errors!

Today I want to talk about one of the critical areas that people often forget about when it comes to their marketing. And that is identifying your ideal clients, your ideal customer.

It could be a client; it could be a candidate. As you’re scaling, you’ll be wanting to identify your ideal consultant as well.

That’s what I want to talk about because it’s important that you put these strong foundations in place to really leverage and get that ROI that you really want to get from your marketing.

In this masterclass, I want to talk about three key areas when you start to build a profile of who your ideal customer is. I’m also joined on this particular class by the Superfast Staffy who’s in the background. If you do hear any slight snoring or any noises, that’s who it is!

Back to marketing, though. The three areas that we’re going to talk about today are demographics, psychographics, and then emotional drivers. I want to give you some examples of these emotional drivers because there are 40 to look out for and I am going to share some examples of them.

Understanding Your Demographic

Let’s start, though, with demographics because when I’m talking to business owners and sometimes marketers, and we talk about who are you targeting? who do you want to get your marketing in front of? Sometimes the conversation is quite big picture, and it might be an organisation of a certain size.

It could be corporate, it could be any size of SME, but really we want to get our marketing in front of an individual inside that business. You know, that could be an MD, an HR director, it could be an operations director; you will know the individuals and the certain rules that are key for you engaging with them so that you can sell your services and know who will commission your services.

When it comes to demographics, we’re thinking about an individual. They could be in a certain age range; they may well have a certain level of education. Also, you’d be looking for someone with a certain kind of business experience. It could be someone in the early stage of their career, or it could be a very experienced person.

Think about all those different elements. Think also about perhaps where this individual lives, what are some of their interests and what are the additional qualifications, perhaps, that they need to have?

Start to build up a general practical profile of this person. Now, psychographics is where we start to go deeper.


Demographics will be all the surface level elements that you want to consider, and psychographics is where we start to get underneath the skin of this particular individual that you’ve chosen.

Of course, it’s always good to look back at your historical data of the clients that you’ve worked with. The ones that you’ve had successful long-term relationships with – those that are in organisations that are growing – because they will give you some really great pointers as well when it comes to both demographics and also the psychographics.

Here, we’re talking about motivations. What’s important to people? What are the problems and challenges that these individuals have as they’re aspiring to achieve some of the goals that they’ve set for themselves, both personally and as a business?

It’s also thinking about some of the behavioural patterns that these individuals have. You might realise that you have a lot of success with individuals who are very strategic. It might be, in contrast, that you work really well with people who are very detailed and processed.

Sometimes, people are motivated towards achieving things such as success in the future, while other individuals are motivated by avoiding certain things. These are examples of what we call ‘towards and away from’ motivational patterns.

Sometimes it might be that you have a lot of clients who are very proactive, others may be slightly more reactive, and you might decide that you want to have a balance of both kinds of clients.

Emotional Drivers

Now, the third area is what we call emotional drivers. What’s interesting here, is we’re going down from level one and level two to a deeper level, in level three. Some of the psychographics will touch on motivations; but in level three, I want to go even deeper.

Now, there are four categories that we can think of around emotional drivers. Bear with me now. I’m going to give you some examples in each of these areas and let’s just start by thinking about people who want to gain something.

Emotional Driver – Looking to Gain

This is a driver that will look into acquiring something. Here, it might be ‘we want to gain popularity’, ‘we want our brand to gain popularity in the marketplace’. It might be that ‘we want to gain pride and recognition’ that could be achieved through clients testimonials and case studies. It could also be achieved through awards. Something else might be personal prestige.

Your ideal customer may be, let’s say, a director in an organisation and they know if they work with a real specialist recruiter like your organisation, they can recruit some of the best talent in the market.

Now, if they do that, those individuals will add value and contribute to the organisation.

The knock-on effect is that your ideal customer then gets recognised within their business as being somebody who is able to bring in and identify real high-quality talent that’s adding massive value to the business and is helping them take the business onto the next level. There are a variety of different things that we’re all looking to gain. It could be self-confidence, time; it could be improved appearance, it could be money, it could be advancement.

Emotional Driver – Saving Time

Think about in contrast rather than gaining, sometimes people want to save something. Now here, time is going to be a really important thing, isn’t it?

When you think about your ideal clients, everybody today is spinning so many plates. We generally lose count in recruitment. But, say, for an HR director, this is only a small element of everything that they do. And so, if they can collaborate and work with a fantastic recruitment partner, then what will happen is you will help save them time, and they can invest time in other areas of their particular role.

Saving time is going to be a really important thing. Let me give you some other examples, though.

Emotional Driver – Reducing Risk

Risks; perhaps saving some risks. Working and collaborating with a specialist recruiter who has incredibly detailed processes reduces the risk to your prospective clients of making an unfortunate recruitment mistake. The investment that they make actually saves them money in the long-term.

Emotional Driver – Goals

Let’s come on to number three, though. Now, an example here is if you ask somebody what is important to you about the job that you do and they say, “Well, I want to be a successful HR director. I want to be remembered as the HR director that really supported this business as a business partner through to its next level of growth.” Or it could be, “I want to be proud of the contribution that I’m making within my organisation.”

Think about some of the clients that are good for your business that you currently work with, that you’ve got a long-term relationship with. What are some of the things that they’ve talked about that they want, and that they want to be when you’ve had conversations with them?

Finally, what is it that they want? Now, bear with me because I can’t remember 40 off this list, but I want to be accurate when I’m sharing them with you.

Emotional Driver – Aligning & Expressing Values

People want to be able to express their personalities. They want to improve themselves.

If you’re thinking about, whether it’s an MD, whether it’s someone going into their first finance director’s role, for example, you might decide that the kind of individual that your business most closely aligns to is an individual who is constantly looking at pushing the boundaries, learning; they’ve got a real growth mindset.

You know that because  your organisation values that growth mindset, that you most closely align with individuals that you can work with that share that. Think about what do these individuals want?

That question that I mentioned, what is important to you about what you want from a recruitment partner? What is important to you about what you want to be in the role that you currently have?


You can use these questions in each of these particular categories. Then it’s about listening for those gems that people share. I think this is worth having conversations with the organisations and the individuals that you currently work with, to tease out as much criteria as you can. Then look at what are the commonalities and can you use those commonalities, or more importantly, how can you use those commonalities to then build this information into your value proposition, your marketing, more generally in terms of your messages, your content?

So that when you’re marketing out, your marketing is calling out. It’s known as a dog whistle. You’re calling out to a specific individual, and to anybody else your marketing justs appear as noise. It won’t appear as noise, though, to the individuals who you specifically want to gain certain things and perhaps they want certain things.

Nailing Your Avatar

This is an exercise that I’d really encourage everybody to do.

You might say, “Sharon, we’re sorted. We’ve already got our avatars”. That’s fantastic. Now it is fantastic. I stand by that statement, and the reality is that the markets are constantly changing. Our industry’s constantly changing.

What individuals, what your ideal customers – be that client or candidate – are looking for, that may well be evolving as well. Whenever you did this exercise, it’s good to do a couple of things. One is to go back, validate the persona that you’ve got, the avatar that you’ve built up, does it still stand and is it valid today? If not, how can that evolve?

Because the more criteria you can build in, the richer you can make your profile, the more effective your marketing will be as you start to market and message out to these individuals.

I think it’s an exercise that is worth checking in with and reviewing. If I think about mine and Denise’s journey over the last of 12, 15 years, our avatar has just constantly evolved, and it’s evolved because our business model and the services that we provide has evolved over time and what people want in the market has evolved as well.

Marketing itself, online marketing, the strategies that we’re using today, are different and on a different level to what we were using ten years ago. So each year, it’s like we get deeper and deeper knowledge and more clarity about the individuals in the organisations that we know we can add massive value to, to support them, to take their business onto the next level.

Take the time, invest some time, validate where you’re at or actually create yourself a really fresh new avatar that will make the difference to your marketing.


Before You Go

If you enjoyed this podcast and you are ready to take your recruitment marketing to the next level, then check out Superfast Circle. In our Superfast Circle Programme, we are with you every single step of the way as you scale and grow your marketing.

You get weekly calls with us, you get a fully comprehensive training programme online that you can watch and listen anywhere you are in the world. We have events; we have marketing collateral that’s provided for you every single month.

If you want to find out more, then head over to www.superfastrecruitment.co.uk/sfc and read what’s there. Watch the testimonial videos, watch the case studies, and then book your demonstration call with one of us, and we look forward to seeing you on the other side.



Denise and Sharon

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