What are Talent Communities?

In last week’s #TChat, we dug deeper to understand social communities, specifically focusing on talent communities. Of course, this is another topic that I enjoy learning more about because my background is in HR and I’m currently in a recruiting role. For those who don’t know what a talent community is, it can be simply defined as a social community that deals with social recruiting efforts. These communities open up opportunities for two-way communication between recruiters and job seekers. Talent communities can be an essential way for job seekers and recruiters to determine if there is a fit between what the company needs and what the candidate needs.

So what are some examples of talent communities? Here are some that come to mind:

  • Social media: sites like Linkedin are designed to connect professionals with other professionals. This is a great way to network, learn, and develop. It’s also a fantastic way for recruiters and job seekers to find one another and open up opportunities for communications.
  • Chats and discussion groups: once again, this can be located on social media sites such as Linkedin and Twitter. These social media sites have created discussion forums and chats that are focused on talent acquisition and human resources topics. They also open up chances for recruiters and candidates to participate in discussions so they can build potential relationships and networking opportunities.
  • Career fairs: career fairs are a great way for recruiters and job seekers to get some meet and greet time in. Career fairs are specifically designed for job opening promotion and discussion (sometimes even interviewing). Every instance involves some sort of communication in this talent community.
  • Networking events: networking groups and events are another great way to create and maintain a talent community. Individuals can meet each other in a casual way and perhaps even gain referrals for business development, expertise, and/or potential job openings (or candidates, for recruiters who are looking).

I am a strong believer in talent communities. I enjoy the social aspect of it and believe that it can be a very strong resource, both for recruiters and job seekers. These communities are created organically and maintain strong engagement because it has a central purpose that is of interest to those involved. The strongest aspect of this community is the fact that candidates can get a deeper understanding of job openings and company culture to determine if it is a fit for their personal needs and values. Additionally, recruiters can gain more insight on what candidates can offer in addition to their past work/education experience. All in all, I think talent communities create opportunities to help connect and fit the best job openings with the best candidates.

If you like topics like this, be sure to join #TChat on Twitter on Wednesdays at 7pm EST.

More Links:

The Talent Community Leader’s Sweet Spot

Talent Community Recap by Kathleen Kruse

#TChat Insights on Storify

Talent Culture

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Company Branding to Attract Talent

Today’s little blog is going to talk about the importance of company branding and marketing. Although any company would give a big huge “duh” about that fact, I’m going to focus more about branding your company to attract talent. I do believe that more companies need to focus on this type of a branding for a few reasons.

1. Savvy job seekers will spend time researching a company before applying– A good portion of job seekers are getting a little crafty in their job searches. Instead of simply going on job boards and submitting an application/resume, job seekers are taking time to do their homework. A good portion of job seekers in this economy probably have dealt with unstable work environments, bad company cultures, or lay-offs. Therefore, to avoid being in a bad situation again, job seekers will take the time to find any and all information on a company to help them get a clear idea of what the company is about.

Some companies, such as GlassDoor, make it easy for employees or candidates to post information, salary, and reviews about their past, current, or future employers. Additionally, companies have taken the extra step to post on highly visible social media sites, write blogs, or even create videos posted on YouTube. For example, some local businesses by me have posted some great videos about their culture: Benefitfocus and PeopleMatter. These two companies give great examples on how to attract future employees. Their videos are engaging, entertaining, and get you really pumped up about working for them.

2. If you brand your company well, your employees will be sure to brag about how great it is– With social media today, it’s easy for people to post about how great or awful their employer is. It’s also extremely easy for people to read these posts. For example, I saw multiple employees of the following tech companies blow up my news feed about how they’re proud to be an employee of one of the 25 best tech companies to work for in 2012. Also, LinkedIn had a video of their HQ that made people completely awestruck over how amazing it is. How did I learn about this video? LinkedIn employees started posting it stating things like, “Reasons why I love working at LinkedIn.” Soon afterwards, I saw non-LinkedIn employees posting the same video with statements like, “Why I want to work at LinkedIn.” (Totally guilty of being one of those people).

Not only will employees talk about the company, but they’re also free advertisements. How many times have you heard of Apple employees talking about how excited they were for the new i(insert product name here) coming out? Not only are they talking about it, but some may even buy the product and show others. Simply put: get your employees engaged in your company/product/service; get free marketing. Not to mention, they’d be the ultimate marketing tool because they can respond to inquiries from their friends, social media acquaintances, and family in detail and in real time.

3. You’ll attract talent and create a workforce that dominates the world– Not sure how much detail I can go into this one: if you brand it, they will come. Eventually, you’ll attract a ton of talent and have a pool of candidates ready to give their left arm to be in your company. Before you know it, you’ll be like Google and be rated a top employer for a bunch of years in a row. You could even get cool enough like them and make your company have a “verb” of itself. How would you like it if your company name became part of everyday vocabulary? I’m sure Google is loving it.

Seasoned companies and start-ups should take note of this. It would be smart for any company to invest time and resources to create a company culture that they would be happy to boast about in their branding. Employees that feel like they are working for a great company will be happy to work hard for them to ensure they stay employed there. Great candidates with exceptional talent will flock to you. The business world will be yours, at last!

Links to look at:

Employee engagement: http://www.business2community.com/strategy/the-importance-of-employee-engagement-for-high-performance-results-0144924

Benefitfocus culture: http://www.benefitfocus.com/culture/

PeopleMatter culture: http://peoplematter.com/company#article-604

25 Best Tech Companies: http://www.businessinsider.com/the-25-best-tech-companies-to-work-at-in-2012-2012-6?op=1

LinkedIn HQ video: http://www.businessinsider.com/linkedin-office-tour-2012-7?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=linkedin

Companies mentioned:

http://www.glassdoor.com
http://www.benefitfocus.com
http://www.peoplematter.com
http://www.linkedin.com
http://www.apple.com
http://www.google.com
http://www.youtube.com