“You now have to decide what image you want for your brand. Image means personality. Products, like people, have personalities, and they can make or break them in the marketplace.” —David Ogilvy
In today’s mature talent acquisition world, employers have shifted their focus from “top talent from top universities” to “ideal talent for our culture.” In other words, the level of academic skill is less important than the person’s ability to apply those skills within the specific company culture.
Employers have also realized that diversity–academic as well as ethnic–strengthens their business. So mixing people from different universities and with different degrees is a high priority. At the same time, talent groups are continuing to prioritize cultural fit and values over financial benefits when they choose employers.
Earlier talent acquisition was characterized by demographic targeting, where certain schools were selected for focused campaigns. Universities were classified as tier 1, tier 2, tier 3 and so on. The classification was typically based on the reputation of the universities. Top schools became tier 1, and pretty much everybody focused their resources on those top universities.
The talent shift
Then several things happened: the Internet revolution, attitude shifts amongst talent groups, and the maturity of employer branding. Using technology instead of geographical presence made it possible to brand oneself at more universities, and more developed employer branding strategies made the corporate identity stronger.
Simultaneously, talent groups shifted from prioritizing salary and benefits when choosing employers, to putting greater value on corporate values and culture. Alignment of interests that complimented Talent and Employer Brand became the central focus at both ends in the Talent marketplace.
This resulted in Communities of Interest where Employer Brands started talking to Talent Brands.
Largely powered by Social media, users started presenting themselves to the world, revealing personal details and insights into their lives. There are research studies that are beginning to understand how some of this information can be used to improve the users’ experiences with interfaces and with one another.
Personality has been shown to be relevant to many types of interactions; it has been shown to be useful in predicting job satisfaction, professional and romantic relationship success, and even preference for different interfaces.
The strength of your profile
The social graph or social profile is becoming an important data-source for identifying passive candidates, vetting current candidates, and building talent pools. For the first time, powerful semantic filters and constant monitoring of status updates from more than 30 leading social media sites make it possible to manage and track this at a global talent scale.
In this changing talent marketplace powered by social media the power of your brand needs to have a compelling value story. What you are doing and saying on the social web is already building a story about you. The key question is about you being aware of your personality behind the brand that you are building on the social web.
Read in my next blog about a few examples and best practices on how to bring out your Personality in Brand Me!
Dheeraj has been a Community and Organization Builder and has successfully led transformational startups like Andale Inc. in India and also led large Global Enterprise Services teams in technology majors like Symantec Corporation and Microsoft Corporation. In his most recent role, he was heading the education business segment at Microsoft – India. He is currently innovating as Managing Director – BraveNewTalent a Web 2.0 technology platform company into building Talent Communities for Employers to attract, engage, educate and socially recruit Gen Y talent. He was awarded by Microsoft with a MVP Award for Management Excellence for his contributions in strategic thinking and deployment of Management Development initiatives and building the Community for Management Excellence.