March 28, 2018

Defining Your Employee Persona

Is your company looking to hire? Are you bombarded with countless candidates that all seem great on paper and even better in person? How can you choose the right fit for you and your company?

If you mentally checked yes to any or all of the questions posed, it’s best to start with creating an employee persona for your organization.

What Is an Employee Persona?

If you don’t know what an employee persona is, then let’s start off with a buyer persona. A buyer persona is a semi-fictitious profile that you and your company create that is a representation of the clients you serve and hope to serve. Pretty simple right?

If you can understand that concept, then you can probably guess what an employee persona is. An employee persona is a representative profile of those who are on your team and who you hope to add to your ranks.

Why Is It Important?

Just like making sure you are marketing to the correct prospective customers, you should consider developing an employee persona to make sure you are recruiting the best members for your team.

Creating this profile will help you save time during the hiring process. It will also make sure you are hiring the right people for your organization. You should be thinking of the long-term health and success of your organization. You want employees to love what they do and love doing it with you.

It’s important to note that a really good employee persona is aspirational. At PHOS, when we’re looking to add somebody to our team, we’re looking for more than just someone who can do the job. We’re looking for someone who will push our clients and us forward. Knowing who that person is will make it significantly easier to reach them.

Take an Audit of Your Team

If you don’t know where to start, don’t worry. The best place to start is with your team.

Company Culture

Look around your office. What is the environment? What feeling does it emit? Are you happy with your team?

The last question is the most important of all to ask yourself. If your employees spend the majority of their day glaring at the clock, praying for it to be 5 o’clock, then creating an employee persona is essential to you.

If you are lucky (like us here at PHOS), then your team members love coming to work. They arrive before they have to. You have fun at your company but are committed to achieving your deliverables.

Whatever the case may be, be sure to really think about what you want your company’s culture to be. Think about the strongest member of your team and multiply them by your company’s size. Can you imagine the possibilities?


Get your team together and brainstorm! Even as a digital agency, we’re a big fan of old fashioned sticky notes. Fill up a wall with adjectives that describe who you are and who you want to be. Or, to avoid groupthink, have team members come prepared with their own list, then combine, discuss and categorize.

Your team should be honest with how they see themselves in the workplace and who they want working alongside them.

Avoid terms like “nice, intelligent, hardworking” when choosing the words for your employee persona. Almost everyone you interview fits these adjectives – or at least they’ll come off that way in an interview setting.

Aim for terms that distinguish what you do at your company and what it takes to succeed. Are you a tech company? Maybe innovative is a good choice. Are you are non-profit? Perhaps you should include nurturing.

Think About Your Mission

Now that you’ve got a list of adjectives of who this desired employee is, you need to reflect on your company’s mission. You set out to make this company more than just to generate revenue.

Think about what you want people to think about your organization. Your employees are a tangible representation of your ideals.

Just like your body needs a healthy heart, your company needs happy and healthy employees to pump its veins.

Envision Your Future

Take a step back and envision where you want your company to be in a year. What about in two years? 10 years?

The only way for your company to reach these benchmarks is to have strong and supportive individuals to carry you through the years. Your team is the most important resource you have. Choose them wisely and you’ll see years of success.

Write It Down

Now it’s time to put all of this into words. You can follow HubSpot’s template for creating buyer personas to create your employee persona. HubSpot recommends including demographics, behavior patterns, motivations, and goals. Feel free to add and change any of these.

The biggest two areas to consider are motivations and goals. What drives employees to come to your company and carry out your goals? What makes them tick? All of these questions you ask yourself when you make your employee persona should be questions to include in your interview process.

Continue To Revisit Your Employee Persona

Your company and its culture will change over the course of time. Make sure to revisit your employee persona every 6 to 12 months, or every time you’re ready to begin the hiring process again! This ensures that it is reflective of where you are and where you want to be.

Your company’s success is dependent on your team. Developing an employee persona will help make the hiring process easier and ensure that you are choosing the right fit for your company. Invest in your employees and you will be making a huge investment in the longevity of your company.

Bailey Revis

Bailey is dedicated to infusing joy into every single touchpoint she has at PHOS with team members, clients, and our community. As Director of Marketing, she oversees our incredible team of marketers, supporting them as they foster great relationships and exceed our clients’ goals.

Outside of PHOS, you’ll likely find Bailey talking non-stop about Taylor Swift, enjoying an abundant amount of cold brew, curating incredibly niche Spotify playlists, or chasing sunsets.