Although the marriage of technology and recruitment is nothing new, the recruitment landscape looks very different in recent years. Gone is the era of the posted hard copy CV, manual filing and generic application form.
The modern era of recruiting is all about meta-data, transparency, interaction and authenticity i.e. a digital identity - a far cry from the standard robotic, corporate hiring processes of 15 years ago.
What is a digital identity?
Digital identity is the version of yourself you present online. It is a culmination of your social media profiles and interactions, as well as all other online activity, such as using on-demand, interactive services and reviewing or downloading content; the virtual figure you assume while manoeuvring through cyberspace communities. It is a relatively new phenomenon that has arisen as new media communication platforms have grown to dominate.
Do I need to consider my digital identity when looking for jobs?
A professional digital appearance will always stand you in good stead with most employers, and showing initiative outside of your education or current role is never going to hurt. Nicholas Hemley, our Head of Development in Bristol explains: “Involvement in open source projects as a contributor - adding features or fixing bugs - demonstrates a proactive attitude to coding.
“Similarly, involvement in a community such as StackOverflow demonstrates a healthy attitude to knowledge sharing and learning; both approaches are good examples of how a passion for your chosen career can add to a digital footprint that is of interest to a prospective employer.’’
Other good examples include public GitHub repos, blogs, membership of local tech groups such as meetups and an online portfolio of any creative work you’ve developed.
Recruiters, are they digital too?
Just like your digital footprint helps to give recruiters a well rounded picture of who you are before they meet you in person, companies take great care over their own digital footprint. A brand will be presented very deliberately, both online and offline, to get across the unique values and culture of a particular organisation. These days, companies know how important it is for them to attract talent by being active online.
As well as publishing a blog, a news feed, and posting through several social media accounts, most firms are keen to hear from and connect to their audiences. Savvy firms want you to join them online in real-time conversation, including on LinkedIn, Twitter, and even review platforms such as glassdoor.
The modern era of recruiting is all about transparency and true two-way communication to effectively match the right candidate to the right opportunity, in the right organisation, for the benefit of both parties.
So, what can I do to give myself the best chance in the modern recruitment environment?
Research - Careers sections on company websites and blogs are great resources to learn about the company's unique culture and personality. Platforms such at Stack Overflow and glassdoor can provide excellent unbiased insight too.
Prepare - Make sure your CV and social media profiles are up to date with all relevant skills and experience, as well as getting across your personality. But also, tailor your CV and covering letter appropriately to the role and the company to which you’re applying. Don’t be afraid to mention accomplishments you feel will help you shine among candidates.
Engage - Connect with the company on networks like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Get into the company’s line of sight, be proactive and add value to the conversation.Apply - If you want the job, this is a no brainer. Try not to second guess what the recruiter may be thinking. Most companies will welcome it if you make direct contact with them for an informal chat to go over anything before you apply formally, but ultimately, hit that button!