In today's hyper-competitive job market, it’s becoming more and more difficult for recruiters to find the perfect candidate from resume submissions alone.
Technology has made it effortless for anyone to apply for jobs online, including droves of people who are not really qualified for the positions, making the hiring process dependent on software tools to “detect” strong candidates.
Also, with companies growing more comfortable with remote working arrangements, recruiters are now being flooded by submissions from a global workforce for the same positions that used to just be available locally.
So, what’s the best approach for recruiters to get out of this conundrum? Taking the time and effort to identify candidates who’ve taken the time and effort to develop a strong personal brand.
Candidates with a personal brand are a lot more attractive to employers than those without. In fact, in this article we’ll discuss 5 important reasons why.
What’s a personal brand?
A personal brand is the result of developing an online presence in an area of expertise by becoming a resource for people who are searching for that topic.
While there are many ways to develop a personal brand, one of the most effective ones is to provide answers to a target audience who’s searching online for problem-solving information in a specific niche.
Now, in the old days, a sure fire way to do so was to publish a nonfiction book in order to get recognized as an expert. Nowadays, digital channels of communication are a lot more effective.
Here are some popular channels job seekers typically use to develop a personal brand:
One of the most effective ways candidates use to develop a personal brand is to publish frequent blog articles in their area of expertise so that their content is regularly picked up by search engines.
By targeting keywords that are used to search for information in their topic area and then writing relevant blog posts, candidates can develop a strong personal brand that recruiters can easily detect by simply searching Google for their names.
YouTube is another good place to look for candidates with a strong personal brand. This is a medium that favors those who are more comfortable in front of a camera, and can be a great place to identify candidates with great verbal communication skills.
Again, a simple YouTube search for a candidate’s name will quickly unearth those who’ve taken the time to build a personal brand on the platform.
For candidates who aspire to have a career in journalism, then a podcast is a great format for showcasing their interviewing skills while they develop a personal brand.
Podcasts are a great medium for recruiters to see prospects in action, especially while they interview their guests, making podcasting platforms another great place to find candidates with strong personal brands.
For those with career interests that center on teaching, online courses are a great way to develop a personal brand as well.
Posting courses on popular online learning platforms like Udemy or Brilliant is a great way to develop a reputation as a sought-after educator and another source for recruiters to search for the right candidate.
Social Media Channels
Social media channels are a popular vehicle for candidates to develop personal brands as well. By crafting a posting strategy that aligns with social media algorithms, candidates can acquire a significant number of followers that generate valuable engagement metrics.
With patience and dedication, this strategy allows them to become influencers with their target audience, laying the foundation for a social media personal brand.
Over time, their posts begin to appear in other people’s news feeds, making them more likely to be discovered by recruiters.
5 reasons why personal brands make employees more attractive
So, why do personal brands make job candidates more attractive? Here are 5 important reasons:
1. A personal brand shows that they’re invested in their careers
By developing a personal brand, job candidates can show that they’re willing to go the extra mile for their career, and are always looking for new opportunities to learn and grow. This makes a candidate look more reliable and dedicated than other prospects.
For example, employees who are cross trained across multiple departments tend to be more attractive in the job market. Say, a marketing strategist who also has a sales background is a lot more valuable to recruiters than someone who only specializes in just one of those areas.
The work necessary to develop a personal brand forces candidates to wear many hats, allowing them to become much more cross-functional than a typical job seeker.
Also, since a personal brand helps build credibility and trust with an audience, it shows that candidates not only know their stuff but have also taken the time to get to know their audience's needs as well.
2. A personal brand showcases a candidate’s skills and abilities
In today’s job market, it is not enough to simply list skills and experience on a resume. With so many people competing for the same positions, candidates need to find a unique way to showcase their expertise.
Anyone can write a resume that states they’re an expert in this or that area, yet, saying that they’re an expert is one thing and showing it is another.
Developing a personal brand, say, through a blog, shows in clear terms a body of work that illustrates the depth of a candidate’s knowledge.
A personal brand also helps build a bond with potential employers before an interview, by providing common areas to explore.
3. A personal brand proves that a candidate is an expert in their field
By honing in on a niche, candidates can show that they have a solid command of the ins and outs of their subject area and that they’re passionate about what they do. This is attractive to potential employers, as it confirms that prospects can be trusted as experts in their field.
A personal brand will also set job seekers apart from other candidates who haven’t devoted the time and energy to develop one.
4. A personal brand demonstrates a candidate’s dedication to professionalism and excellence
Another great feature of personal branding is that it demonstrates a candidate’s dedication to professionalism and excellence.
By taking the time to develop a personal brand, job seekers can show potential employers that they're willing to put in the extra effort to be successful.
Since they’ve done all this work without being asked to, imagine how much more valuable they’ll become in the eyes of a hiring company. Employers will instinctively know that they'll be getting a self-motivated employee who can be relied upon to deliver the goods.
5. A personal brand helps candidates stand out from the crowd
Last but not least, having a personal brand will help job seekers stand out from the crowd since very few people are willing to invest the time and effort that’s necessary to become recognized by others.
So, when they’re in a situation where there are multiple candidates as qualified as they are for a position, a personal brand will give them an extra edge over their competition.
Creating a personal brand is a great way for candidates to get noticed by showing potential employers that they’re a lot more than a resume.
A personal brand will showcase their skills and abilities, proving that they're experts in their fields, and demonstrating their dedication to professionalism and excellence.
As a recruiter, you usually have to rely on impersonal software tools to sift through vast amounts of data points pulled out of candidates’ resumes in the hopes of identifying the best match for the position you’re seeking to fill.
And these tools are not that difficult to game with clever resume writing techniques, making it even more difficult to find the right candidate.
But by identifying job seekers who’ve also invested the time and effort that’s necessary to develop a strong personal brand, you’ll be creating a unique and much more capable pool of candidates to choose from.