Employer branding expert Celeste Sirin says candidates want real stories about the various personalities at work.

You might not have a formidable brand like Richard Branson, Oprah Winfrey, Steve Jobs or Jeff Bezos, but one thing is for sure – each one of us has a unique personal brand whether we like it or not. We all carry some form of brand identity and reputation that, managed correctly, can support and reinforce our company’s employer brand.

The personal brands of employees within an organisation can be viewed as by-products of the bigger employer and corporate brand. Personal brands are interrelated with employer brands and are inseparable when it comes to accelerating a company’s reputation in the talent space.

Harnessing the power and benefit of these collective voices can create a massive impact on positioning and elevating a favourable company brand. Organisations utilising their employees to generate authentic content to promote an emotional connection are often able to attract best-in-class talent.

Nowadays, job seekers are curious to peek behind the curtain to understand the real stories of the various personalities at work. This goes beyond them wanting to understand the qualifications, experience and skill set requirements, but the culture, values, attitudes and qualities of the employees.

Companies should not be short-sighted to the fact that partnering with their employees to support their personal professional brands can be highly effective in promoting employer brand positioning.

Recruitment and talent acquisition teams

It is a given that every recruiter, talent acquisition specialist, headhunter, HR consultant and the like should be actively building their personal professional brands, especially because sourcing and attracting the best in class talent forms an integral part of their job. If these individuals are encouraged to shape their personal brands, they will soon become known in their field of expertise; building connections/networks, which will lead them to become far more resourceful and making their jobs a lot easier. An affiliate “talent magnet” that works on raising their profile within an organisation is bound to build not only their personal brand but that of their company. Outside of the evolving technological world, candidates thrive on high touch and are hungry to have that human connection to understand more.

CHRO’s and their trusted advisory team of HR brand ambassadors are central to attracting and retaining their people. With this is in mind, it is worth the heads of human capital focussing on encouraging their team members to build and continually evolve their individual profiles. This can be accomplished through their talent teams following interesting thought leaders, making every effort to join influential online interest groups and attending professional workshops/interactive seminars.

Being proactive in profiling themselves beyond just being a talent specialist in their respective fields will provide the perfect opportunity for them to create a respected candidate following, thus building a credible personal brand. There is no doubt that candidate dependability is gained through the favourable human interaction and personal experience talent leaders provide, outside of technology. Talent seeks to build trust and a strong understanding of the value proposition on offer through hearing it from trusted talent representatives.

(first published by CHRO South Africa on 16 March 2020)