Psychographic segmentation in employer branding [podcast #109]

Blog header #109 Psychographic segmentation in employer branding  - Building a modern, magnetic employer brand podcast with Susanna Rantanen

Is psychographic segmentation familiar to you as an employer branding practitioner?

We typically profile and segment our talent audiences based on their demographics such as education, work experience, years of experience and location when we hire.

Of course, many organizations spice up the demographic profiling with attitude and value-driven attribute, but when it comes to decision time, no matter what most hiring managers say, their decisions are based on demographics.

In this episode of the Building a Modern Employer Brand podcast, I introduce you to psychographic segmentation very beneficial in modern employer branding.

In this episode:

  • Psychographic segmentation explained.
  • Why psychographic segmentation makes so much more sense in modern employer branding?
  • What does psychographic segmentation look like?

What is psychographic segmentation?

When demographic segmentation tells you who your ideal candidate or talent is, psychographic segmentation tells you what appeals to them, what they are likely to aspire and what they value in life.

It is a marketing technique where target audience is divided into groups using psychological characteristics such as their interests, opinions, attitude, values, personality, lifestyle and social status.

We do talk about these a lot in HR and talent acquisition when we plan or discuss does this candidate fit our company culture. But because it is much more difficult to recognize and trust our observations about their true psychological characteristics, we end up deciding upon actual skills and experiences.

Segmenting your target audiences based on demographics works pretty well in talent acquisition. After all, you are looking to match a candidate with the requirements of the role.

And very often the actual hands-on abilities and skills are vital in making a good hiring decision. Especially when you are unable to spend a lot of time teaching, mentoring and instructing your new employee.

Why employer branding benefits from psychographic profiling?

Three key reasons why this type of profiling fits employer branding are:

  1. In employer branding, you are not matching anyone with an actual role and therefore, profiling based on work experience and skills can actually limit the power of your employer brand.
  2. Your employer brand needs to position your entire organization as specific type of an employer and a place to work. Recognizing psychographic commonalities between your people is key to success in this.
  3. Employer brand must have longevity. It needs to deliver employer brand value on the long term. Are you sure, in 5 years time your business needs exactly the kinds of skills you hire today? I would be worried if you did.

Why employers use psychographic segmentation in employer brand marketing?

There are a couple of solid reasons why targeting your employer brand messages based on psychographic characteristics makes sense.

(1) Your messages and content reach your intended audience better

Key to success in all marketing is to create as appealing content as possible.

What appeals is not the design but the message. Even if something looks really cool and is able to win attention doesn’t mean that attention lasts and leads to anything valuable for your business.

Tapping into the psychographics helps to dig deeper into the motivations and aspirations of your target audience.

When you know what matters to your target audience and you modify your messages and marketing accordingly, you are more likely to influence, convince and convert over time.

Over time is what matters because over time has a lasting impact on our decision making.

(2) The use of mutual psychographic elements create the match

When you are looking for a new job elsewhere, are you choosing any organization that happens to hire for the role you look for?

Or, out of these organizations, let’s call it your long list. do you opt for organizations matching your values and preferred ways of work?

Your honest answer is the latter.

How do you know which organization matches your values and preferred ways of work?

You can only know this by getting to know the organization like it was a person.

Googling, browsing through the content they have posted, checking out what kinds of people seem to lead and work in this business and looking for testimonials from their former and current employees as well as applicants.

It isn’t enough for you to know that they have the kinds of roles you are interested in.

You want to know whether they match you as a person. Because if they don’t, you probably will find it difficult to be yourself in that organization.

Then ask yourself, how much time do you have for this kind of research?

Probably not that much, especially if you don’t have 8 hours a day to spend on it.

What your mind does for you is remind you of a couple of employers in your line of profession you’ve paid attention to before. You’ll notice some of those attracting you more and some a bit less.

Next, you are likely to invest your available time into those couple of organizations you are attracted to.

Soon, you recognize you have already made up your mind about which of these organizations are going to receive your application if they have vacancies matching your next career need.

Why does this happen?

These companies have been building their employer brands for long enough to have made it on a top of your mind.

They didn’t market their jobs to get there because you didn’t look for a job before. They did something else.

These organizations have spoken to your heart long enough to rise up on the top of your mind.

Their employer brand messages and marketing have appealed to your psychographic characteristics. These are your values, beliefs, your interests, motivators, your aspirations and desires and your preferences for the life you want to live.

That’s why you remember them. And now that it’s time for you to make a career move, you already have your short list.

Psychographic segmentation is the most powerful way to select and segment your target audience for employer branding.

Not only does it enable you to position as a distinctively different employer, it magnetizes your employer brand and pulls closer matching talents regardless of their current role, education, prior experiences or specific skills.

Just like couples do not need to have the same education, work history and current job to fall in love and pair for life, neither do employers and employees. As long as you share the same values, beliefs and hopes for the future, you can have any kind of a background.

Additional reading and listening about employer brand target audiences

Who exactly are your target audiences in employer branding?

Two mistakes to avoid when choosing target audiences for your employer brand

Why do we get so confused about our talent audiences?

Like what you hear? Learn more about how to build the Magnetic Employer Brand at Talent Marketing School

Subscribe online to Talent Marketing School and start learning how to build the modern employer brand based on the Magnetic Employer Branding Method™️ I developed and have tested already with hundreds of growth organizations over the years. 

This method gives you a systematic approach to storytelling based employer branding. When you learn the system, you can apply it to other talent marketing too. When you become an online student at Talent Marketing School, you get access to all core lessons and courses teaching how to build the modern employer brand based on this method. You cannot learn this method anywhere else but at Talent Marketing School.

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