By: Kelly Services, Inc.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to work for the leading company in your industry? Do you regularly wish you had access to reliable, professional advice about career development in your field? Do you sometimes wish you knew somebody close to a hiring manager so you could get a referral for a specific job?
If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, then you’re in luck. Because nowadays, chances are the answers are closer than you imagined. Increasingly, employers are using online talent communities to engage with workers who are interested in their companies. Online talent communities are virtual spaces that allow talent to interact with recruiters, employers, and existing employees. Oftentimes they’re social media pages such as LinkedIn or Facebook groups, but they can also be dedicated company portals. Moreover, they’re easy to use. As SF Gate points out, joining a talent community is as easy as signing up and participating in the discussions.
For both active and passive job seekers, there are a number of distinct benefits to joining an online talent community. We’ll discuss some of the most important ones below.
- Build your network with professionals in your field. Unlike online job portals, online talent communities actually allow you to interact with others. Many are rapidly becoming hotspots of activity for job seekers, employees, recruiters, and experts; some are so large that employers divide them into specialized subgroups. If you’re interested in networking with others in your profession or industry, online talent communities offer easy access to other likeminded professionals.
- Gain access to trustworthy career and skill development information. According to research by Kelly Services®, approximately 40 percent of workers worldwide were interested in participating in talent communities in order to have access to reliable career and skill development information. Logically speaking, the best place to learn about developments in your field or the exact requirements for specific jobs is in a community where other professionals freely offer advice that’s rooted in experiential knowledge. This is useful for both entry-level candidates with relatively little practical experience, as well as for more advanced employees who want opinions from those outside of their direct circles of influence.
- Establish relationships with employers. This is perhaps the most important benefit of all. A talent community allows you to build relationships with employers without even having to be actively looking for a job. By participating in discussions and reaching out directly to decision makers, you can highlight your specific skills so you can stand out from the rest. Note that sourcing recruiters and other moderators will keep lists of potential candidates participating in the community, and will reach out to you if your skill set and experience match those required for a position. This simple system means you’re circumventing job boards and lengthy online applications, because you already have the attention of the employer.
Talent communities offer effective avenues to building networks and establishing relationships with employers. By participating in companies’ online talent communities, you can gain access to insider knowledge about your industry and specific companies, as well as learn about job openings that match your skill sets without having to apply through online job boards. And by being active in talent communities even when you’re not looking for a new position, you stand a greater chance of hearing about opportunities for advancement when the time is appropriate.
Source: 2014 Kelly Global Workforce Index http://mashable.com/2013/04/07/create-talent-community/ http://www.sfgate.com/business/networth/article/Online-talent-communities-replace-job-boards-5519751.php http://careerenlightenment.com/why-you-need-to-join-talent-communities-instead-of-trolling-job-boards