When management guru Tom Peters defined the term “personal branding” 16 years ago, little did he know how prevalent it would become – or how much it would evolve. Ten years ago, it was still relatively easy to manage your personal brand. Employees defined themselves by their job titles and experience – and little more than that was needed.
Today, it’s a lot more complex. “Each employee has a brand that’s separate from the role our employers’ might have given us,” says Samantha Naidu, JobMail Group Digital Sales Manager. “It’s important that that is reflected in the way we search for work – and how companies find their new employees.”
The reality is that individuals have become used to consuming information in different ways. We live in a multi-channel, digital world with video, text, visuals and online information merging to form singular pictures – and it’s a world where the standard Word document CV and covering letter no longer cuts it. The employment market has simply become too saturated.
“Every single piece of content you create should support your application – your twitter, your LinkedIn profile…there should be a variety of different stories painting a picture of who you are and what you aspire to be, and those stories should be brought to life across the written word, video, audio and imagery,” says Naidu.
JobMail, as part of the JunkMail Group’s greater digitalisation strategy, has enabled job seekers to add video and other rich media to their applications, allowing them to present the over 51 000 companies using the portal with a clear representation of who they are. “You are definitely more likely to get noticed if you add multimedia to your application,” says Naidu. “Companies are looking beyond simple qualifications – they want to see how candidates present themselves, and they want to engage with them on a much more personal level.”
The portal also has numerous benefits for potential employers, Naidu adds. Job Mail manages to fulfil the vast majority of the vacancies which are posted on the site. “The multi-channel approach – comprising of print, online and rich media – definitely assists companies with making better matches. Video, in particular, acts as a good fraud filter – you can physically confirm that the candidate applying is the same person as represented on their CV. You will also get a good sense how they dress, speak publically and present themselves.”
As to whether employers and employees are making full use of the new portal, the answer is a resounding “yes”. “To give you an idea of the size of Job Mail, our print, online and mobile platforms get around 1.5 million unique users a month. We have over 500 000 current CVs on the system with around 5000 new CV’s being added every week, a third of which are uploaded from the mobile portal. There are around 25 000 vacancies posted and 60 000 applications every month,” she says.
Naidu attributes the success rate to giving the employers the right tools to find the people they are looking for. The first step lies in making sure that everyone who registers on the site uploads a CV and that the right questions are asked to give employers accurate and pertinent information about the candidate.
Premium Job Mail customers then have the ability to search for CVs and create filtering questions to narrow down the pool of candidates which are being looked at. Furthermore, the employer has the ability to set up alerts to notify them when CVs meeting certain criteria are uploaded onto the system.
“In the end, both parties win,” Naidu concludes.