Are We Ready For Social Talent?

With the rise of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and other top-listed social networks, some candidates and recruiters have been commonly asking themselves the following questions: How do we leverage these new channels? Do they represent a threat or a real opportunity?

I headed to #rmsconf (leading social recruiting conference in France) a couple of days ago, and had a fantastic time there. In addition to this large event, a lot of smaller ones have been happening for four years, with hot topics such as employer branding, employee advocacy, digital HR, digital transformation and robotization (just to list a few). After all these tweets, quotables and brilliant posts, there’s this recurring theme: social talent.

social talent

Social Talent Is Different

We’re at the opposite of traditional employment, though social talent could be complementary as well. It’s about:

  • being part of communities and actively engaging
  • thinking collective intelligence and knowing when to be egoless
  • a thirst for emerging trends and learning something new on an ongoing basis
  • the habit of running small experiments and generating insights
  • being vulnerable and authentically voicing constructive opinions
  • going beyond the corporate walls while continuing to create serious value
  • connecting with peers from diverse backgrounds, networks and geographical areas
  • a bold purpose and set of beliefs
  • mutual empowerment and trust
  • understanding company goals and supporting the chosen strategy with adapted social media uses
  • having fun and occasionally meeting at informal or industry events (the offline part)

There’s no need for fancy titles to differentiate people, because “social” is a mindset first. We don’t do social; we are social or not (yet).

CVs and More…

The old good CV has been discussed a lot. Is it the end of this format? For the moment, recruiters still need to run through this document and organize interviews for shortlisting candidates. However, social profiles add another dimension that can’t be ignored, and it’s where social talent comes in. This latter deeply changes the rules, as candidates can tell their own story. All the connections, visible community building efforts and roles, lived values and built reputation are precious elements to better evaluate candidates at the end of the day. It’s been advised to keep CVs as short as possible, but now social talent takes it to more conversational lands.

Recruiters have to make a choice now: being conservative by only considering CVs and cover letters, or valuing and integrating all that social part.

Why Social Talent Now?

Below, some examples:

  • Having a team of active brand ambassadors is a clear competitive advantage. Employee advocacy is all the rage and a reality. The Zappos “Insiders Program” wouldn’t be that brilliant without devoted and connected “Zapponians.”
  • Hiring people that can do the job is one thing. Then, what about their values and principles? Social talent is about more transparency on these points, and employers could identify potential culture promoters.
  • Some CVs may be too atypical and eliminated by an ATS. A focus on social talent increases talent pool diversity.
  • Social listening is usually led by social media teams inside marketing/communications departments. Employees with social talent are not necessarily part of these groups, though they’re very skilled at listening, connecting and sharing what matters.
  • Digital transformation may keep on interesting more and more people in 2015, and new kind of leaders will be needed.

About the Author: Lilian Mahoukou is a French blogger and aspiring author who is interested in the future of work and the impact of social.

photo credit: iredes via photopin cc