Each year, the winners of The CEO Magazine Executive of the Year Awards are recognised for their skills, expertise and accomplishments, but would you want to work for them? First, congratulations to the nominees and winners of the 2016 awards. These individuals were nominated and recognised for their incredible achievements in their businesses and industries. Chorus Executive conducted a Leadership Branding Audit on the winners and runners-up of the awards. We wanted to see how effective the online brands of some of Australia’s top executives are. What did we learn? Of the 89% that had a photo, almost half of these were blurry or unprofessional; 54% hadn’t personalised their unique URL; 39% didn’t have a summary; and 42% had titles but no explanation of their work experience. No-one had a banner, and few had any information that reflected their brand or their organisation.

What does this tell us? These people are at the top of their fields. They are leaders in their organisations and industries. They are supposed to inspire and engage their teams. We know this, but it isn’t reflected in their profiles. With the rapid growth of the economy and low unemployment of recent times, Australian organisations are in the midst of a skills and talent shortage. Exceptionally talented people have their choice of jobs. They are discerning about the opportunities that come their way. As a leader in your organisation, are you doing everything you can to attract the best people to your team?

As a leader in your organisation, are you doing everything you can to attract the best people to your team?

LinkedIn research shows that 76% of candidates view an employer’s profile when considering a role. A CareerArc study found that 62% visit multiple social media channels to assess an employer’s brand. Outstanding talent are investigating you. They are researching your organisation and your leadership team, and they are using these sources to determine if you are an employer of choice. 

Does your brand hold to this scrutiny?

LinkedIn and other social media platforms are playing a growing role in talent attraction. Many executives hold the opinion that they don’t need to invest in their online brand — after all, their work speaks for itself. We often hear the comment, “It’s not about me; it’s about the company.” The reality is that the managers and leaders within an organisation are ‘the business’.

One of the key factors driving talented people to join and leave organisations is still the manager. By the time a candidate comes to an interview, they will know whether you are an employer of choice. More importantly, they will know whether managers are managers of choice. 

We live in an information-hungry world, and a lack of information signals a lack of credibility. A ‘bare bones’ approach to your profile can be just as damaging as a non-existent profile. Discerning talent looks for a credible work history and strong thought leadership. They want to know about you, how you communicate within your industry and with your team. What are your areas of expertise? Do you hold authority on a particular topic? What are you known for? How do you lead your team? What can they learn from you and what is important to you?

In a survey we conducted of our candidates, 60% said that they would take a pay cut to work for an inspirational leader. Research has also shown that a strong employer brand can lead to a 43% decrease in cost per hire and increase your stock prices by 36%. Top talent want to work for engaging and passionate leaders. Your profile needs to clearly communicate who you are and the kind of leader you are.

These statistics emphasise the importance of your brand in the war for top talent. If a candidate looked at your profile, would your summary tell them what matters to you? Does it explain why you love what you do and what it would be like to work with you? Does your work history highlight your successes and achievements in each role?

Look at your own profile. Based on what you see, would you work for you?

Talent aren’t the only ones looking at your digital footprint. Potential business partners are looking to decide if you’re worthy of doing business with or investing in. Your peers and colleagues look to determine whether you are an expert in your field. And yes, future employers are also looking at your profile. A strong online brand projects a powerful impression of success and directly increases profit.