Empathy Mapping: A Strategic Approach to Attracting Top Talent

Empathy mapping is a concept that’s largely applied to the world of consumers. It allows companies to gain a deeper understanding of how customers or end users think, feel, and behave, making it easier to design campaigns or product and service offerings that resonate with their target market.

However, you can also apply the empathy mapping concept to job candidates. By figuring out what top talent are after, what motivates them, and more, companies can generate powerful insights that may reshape how they approach recruitment.

If you want to use empathy mapping as a strategic approach to attracting talent, here’s how you can apply the principles.

Understand the Four Quadrants

The foundation of an empathy map is four quadrants, each with a unique purpose. There’s one dedicated to how a candidate thinks and feels, what they hear, what they see, and what they say and do.

The thinking and feeling category focuses on what matters to them intellectually and emotionally. It may include worries and aspirations, personal values, and similar influences. With the section on what they hear, it’s an area to break down external influences regarding who they speak to regularly. For example, family members, friends, professional connections, and similar people may give candidates messages that affect their behavior.

What candidates see is a bit multi-faceted. For example, it can include a company’s public position or marketing, non-company-sanctioned imagery or content, and other types of external influences. Finally, what they say and do largely covers how they present themselves, how they treat others, and even how they manage their appearance. It can also encompass actions they take to secure a new position.

You can also include two other categories: pain and gain. Pain is a section dedicated to obstacles candidates encounter, their frustrations, and even their fears. Gain concentrates on what they want to get from a position, how they measure success, and what they hope to receive after navigating an obstacle.

How to Use Empathy Mapping in Recruitment

With empathy mapping, the goal is to use the quadrants to consider career opportunities and recruitment and hiring processes from the perspective of candidates. Essentially, the goal is to put yourself in the shoes of the top talent you’re hoping to attract and figure out more about their potential motivations, goals, challenges, and more.

In many cases, it’s best to begin by identifying your ideal candidate for the position. Then, assume their persona and consider each quadrant individually. As you have an insight, you add it to the empathy map, filling in each part of the grid until you get a holistic picture of who that job seeker is as a person and professional.

Once you learn more about what your ideal candidate wants, you can compare that to what your company offers. This creates opportunities for process improvement, making it easier to bring what’s necessary to the table to attract the top talent you need to thrive.

Ultimately, empathy mapping exercises do take a little time, but they’re worth doing. If you’d like to learn more about how to recruit effectively or want to partner with a leading staffing firm to secure the candidates you need to succeed, The Squires Group wants to hear from you. Contact us today.

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