Today we have another guest post by Halogen marketing coordinator, Vicki Foliot. In today’s article, Vicki shares the importance of building a strong employer and personal brand, and why this matters to both organizations and Millennials.
I recently had the opportunity to attend the Partners 4 Employment Career Fair in Kitchener, Ontario as an employer brand ambassador for Halogen.
Handing out information on Halogen’s career opportunities to students on a USB key and directing prospective applicants to Halogen’s Talent Community on LinkedIn got me thinking.
Recruitment in the Millennial world has changed a lot from the way my parents found their way into a career.
I’ve been told again and again that a lot of my career will be influenced by the way I build and maintain my personal and professional network.
This was true, too, for the Gen Xers and Baby Boomers, but never before has your personal and professional network existed in a semi-physical form: online, for the digital world to see and know.
Some of the students I spoke with at the fair didn’t have profiles yet on LinkedIn and asked me whether it would really be worth it for them while still in school. “Definitely,” I would answer.
I asked the candidates to think of it this way: Add all of your friends on LinkedIn now, take some time to explore its professional resources, and in 5 years when you and all of your friends have started your careers, all of a sudden you will have this rich network to tap into for information and support.
Managing your personal brand
75% of Millennials have created a profile on a social networking site. Not all of these profiles are created for professional networking, but with a few clicks they can still be accessed by a potential employer. Millennials should be keen to note that managing these profiles is an important step in managing our careers.
Each profile is a face, a part of your personal brand, and since Millennials are natural sharers and collaborators, it is important that we be aware of the impact that our words and actions online can have in our offline lives. It is possible that the content of one of our social profiles would land a Millennial in hot water with either prospective employers or current ones.
As long as we are careful, though, accessing our online social networks can be a huge advantage to the Millennial job-seeker. By signing into a social network, especially one designed to highlight professional connections, we are instantly and intimately aware of how we are connected to a prospective employer.
This allows us to prepare for career moves from the comfort of our computer or mobile Internet device, combining the online research we love with valuable, real-life connections.
Being a digital employer
While the importance of managing your online presence as an employee is quite obvious, as an employer in a digital world, maintaining a positive presence on social media can be extremely important, too. Approach each bite-sized, social media message as an opportunity to share all the reasons that make your organization a great one: its character, its culture, its people. Developing a strong employer brand via social media can not only drive candidates to your organization, but keep current Millennial employees engaged.
A study last fall has shown that among Millennial employees, employer reputation is the most frequent threat to engagement. This suggests that while highly engaged employees feel proud of the organization they work for, should the reputation of their employer be called into question, engagement levels will drop. Social media allows employers to create and manage dialogue around their brand both internally and externally to their organization.
Halogen’s Talent Community has been designed to engage candidates (including the many Millennials we met in Kitchener) with our employer brand. The type of information shared between employees and prospects in the group help to create transparency in who we are as an organization and as an employer.
It also showcases one of the greatest benefits of working with the company: our culture. The hiring process is a two-sided one after all, and the Millennial generation wants to know before making a commitment that we’ll be working somewhere where we fit in.
For more on attracting the Millennial employee to your organization, check out this webinar from the archives: How to Make Your Company a Millennial Magnet with Molly Foley, Next Generation Consulting, and Annabella Green, SPHR, Director of Human Capital/Firm Administration, PKF Texas P.C.
About Vicki Foliot
Through her Millennial Musings series, Vicki shares how the attitudes, outlook and expectations of this unique population are changing today’s workforce dynamic.
When not blogging for Halogen, Vicki loves to explore the great, big Internet, bake deliciously unhealthy desserts, and dabble in various arts and crafts.
*Image of ‘social media heads’ sourced via Rosaura Ochoa