10 Factors That Determine a Great Hire’s Personal Brand

brand matchupBrand MysteryMarketing
team branding

What do you look for when evaluating potential employees’ personal brands?

The following answers are provided by members of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

1. Meaningful Social Interaction 

“Are the prospective employees tweeting left and right with zero engagement from their followers or are they taking part in meaningful conversations with industry insiders? This is something we consider in PR tech specifically, but it’s also a good indicator of how involved prospective employees will be with your team in general.”

Sharam Fouladgar-Mercer, AirPR

2. Consistency 

“I look for regular updates and consistency in voice. If someone’s Twitter profile is a random mix of professional and inappropriate posts, it’s a red flag for me. Likewise, if someone runs a blog, I look for consistent posting. They don’t have to post every week, especially if it’s just a hobby, but they should update it at least once a month and all the information should be current.”

Dave Nevogt, Hubstaff.com

3. Other People’s Feedback on Them 

“When I’m looking up the personal brands of potential employees, I’m looking for positive and negative signs online. I found a glowingblog post on one potential employee that mentioned her and how amazing she was at a service project years ago. Another employee had a scathing review about him on Ripoff Report. This isn’t someone I want working for my company as it could drag us all down.”

John Rampton, Calendar

4. Authentic Enthusiasm 

“I like to see signs that team members are passionate about their careers and not just using work to finance other interests. The top one percent of workers in any field can’t hide their love for their work — they will blog and tweet about it on their personal social media, as their passion for their field is ingrained in their lives.”

Ross Cohen, BeenVerified

5. Successful Track Records 

“When a potential employee has a string of achievements in their wake, you know they’re doing something right. But it isn’t only about those projects that have gone well. It’s also about the times they’ve encountered failure, how they dealt with it and what they learned from it. While you don’t want employees who take unnecessary risks, you don’t want risk-aversive employees either.”

Nicole Munoz, Start Ranking Now

6. How They Spend Their Personal Time 

“This goes beyond religion, politics or even creed. I want to know that the candidate actually has a worldview, even if it completely counters mine. This lets me know that they’re a risk-taker to a certain degree; however, it depends on what they align themselves with. I have interviewed a candidate that had similar interests as me and they were not afraid to offer pointers on how I could improve.”

Cody McLain, SupportNinja

7. Content That Contributes to Their Field 

“I make a lot of technical hires. One thing I look for is authorship of content that shows they’ve thought deeply about their field. Education and experience are important, but someone can have both and still not have engaged with ideas in a meaningful way. If they’ve published influential or valuable content, it’s a sign that they think deeply about the issues that impact their work.”

Vik Patel, Future Hosting

8. Their Email Communication Style 

“These days, the way you write over email is a huge part of how you interact with and make an impression on people in a professional context regardless of your specific job function. You want to look for people who are concise, thoughtful and clear in everything from the words they use to the way the email is formatted.”

Roger Lee, Captain401

9. Diversity 

“Unless a prospective employee’s values are clearly opposed to the values of the company, we don’t make decisions based on what they write, tweet or share on Facebook. As a technology company, we want the most expert and experienced employees. I would be happy to employ someone with no “personal brand” at all if I were confident in their ability to contribute to moving the company forward.”

Justin Blanchard, ServerMania Inc.

10. Anything Beyond Social Media 

“Too often we equate personal brand with social media presence. Social media is just one piece of the brand puzzle. I look for people who know how to interact in person as well. I’ve seen social media wizards act like wallflowers at events. And I’ve seen great writers fall apart on the phone. The best people can connect with customers via email, social media, phone and in person.”

Brandon BruceCirrus Insight