Economic Slump. Personal Branding Boom.

We spend a lot of time on how companies can differentiate themselves from their competition, and connect and recruit the right candidates for the right roles. We have seen how social has turned businesses upside down and forced companies to rethink their talent attraction strategies. However we have also seen how quickly all has changed within the last 2 years in the job market. As the economy tanked and jobs were slashed machete style through the markets, we find behavior changes towards social, and recruitment advertising.

Advertising messages
In recruitment advertising much like consumer advertising, we see the message hierarchy changing. Before we focussed on brand impressions and immersive, entertaining story telling as the top priority point to drive differentiation, then built the relationship with associated employment content that supported the story. This model is still fundamentally solid with the exception that the hierarchy has simply changed. We still need to produce smart, great creative and the old Bernbach rule still applies; “It is not just what you say, it’s how you say it”

Now we have a job market in that more people have been laid off and are looking for work. They are going through some stressful times in that even what they purchase is under scrutiny of their tight budgets. (sound familiar?) So every purchase, and every resume submission is made with more critical expectations. They are still in need to see your culture and people. But they also want a job that they won’t get laid off from right away, they are willing to apply themselves to different roles that require the same core competencies of their previous job. But the fact is that they have more competition, and they need to stand out themselves.

Personal branding
This is not a new term. It has been around for some time. Personal branding has never been more popular and more in need for candidates to stand out. The same fundamental social strategies that companies need are now being executed by the candidates themselves. From personal blogs, twitter feeds to their social networks and bookmarks to the latest in resumes; Visual CVs.

Visual CV is a gem of a product that Guy Kawasaki has backed so you know it is good. It is basically an interactive socially connected resume. Or Resume 2.0 for buzzword fun. Now your resume has video streams, blogs, articles relevant to you, widgets, games, referrals, sharable content. Loaded with social activities. And now companies want in on this community because it delivers a more rich in depth knowledge of the candidates.

Social networks
Aside from connecting and sharing with their friends, the candidate’s social network behavior is more towards lead generation and referrals. They want to get connected to the right person in your company who can help them get a job there. They want to have authentic conversations with a person, not a logo. They want to feel that they are talking to a real person that is responsive to the conversation. Not an autobot. So in other words if you are on Facebook, or Twitter, make sure that any conversations you have is coming from a person that represents the company. Personal profiles, pictures of you as icons within the branded page goes a long way. Even links to your own blog. Again we say this quite often, cultivate the most relevant communities as a person not as a marketer.

TMP Worldwide
Written by TMP Worldwide

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