HR Trends 2017: The benefits of designing employee personas

As HR and Marketing are growing closer together, HR finally starts to use marketing techniques. Not many organisations know their employees as good as their customers, but it is slowly changing. The use of personas comes from marketing. An employee persona is a representation in a fictional figure representing a certain segment of your employees, with comparable demographics, behaviour patterns, motivations and goals. The personas are designed based on research and data.

Based on your analysis you can design different personas. It can be one persona, who represents your core customer and employee (like the Hunkemoller Shero) or a larger group of 10-15 personas, if the organisation is large and diversified.
Personas make it easier to communicate your intentions, as people relate a lot easier to personas who can come to live, than just a series of bullet points on paper.

Personas and the Employee Journey

In another excellent Deloitte article (“Design thinking meets HR process transformation“) I found a nice graphic explaining how to use personas to redesign the employee experience (see below).

Employee Journey

You can make a simple matrix (see below), in which you mark the main elements in their employee journey for each of the personas.

Employee Journey Personas

Techie Tom and TV Tom

Life at the HR Trend Institute is simple. As we must practice what we preach, we have also done some research, and based on our data set and some focus groups, we have been able to define two typical personas: Techie Tom and TV Tom. Below a summary of their profile.

Persona 1

Persona 2

The two personas at the HR Trend Institute

Will Candidates fight back?

Organisations are using personas to design the employee experience to fit specific segments. Recruitment teams are increasingly using chatbots and avatars to communicate with candidates. A question is, how candidates will try to improve their social profiles, to make a better impression. There are various fake LinkedIn profiles. Probably there is already software available (Persona creators, your personal chatbot), that enables candidates to create personas, that perfectly fit with the companies they want to work for.


This article was published earlier on the website of the HR Trend Institute

Tom Haak is the director of the HR Trend Institute where this article has been curated from, which follows, detects and encourages trends in the people and organization domain and in related areas. Where possible, the institute is also a trend setter.

Tom has an extensive experience in HR Management in multinational companies. He worked in senior HR positions at Fugro, Arcadis, Aon, KPMG and Philips Electronics.

He has a keen interest in innovative HR, HR tech and how organizations can benefit from trend shifts.

Related reading