Influencing the Influencers – Setting the Right Pitch for Talent Management Influencers
Apr 16, 2019
The wild-goose chase for that elusive, but not yet mythical perfect employee is in center of the talent conundrum. The stage is all but set for the talent tango and the intention is to charm, if not woo, the best that industry has to offer. While talent managers are busy wooing the top talent, the question remains, who woos the talent managers? The question has completely escaped the corporate consciousness for so long but is rudimentary; all humans need to be impressed to be engaged.
Behind the scene, knowledge makes talent managers skeptical of any engagement drive that comes toward them. The dictum of ‘you are not in my shoes’ is heavy and those impersonal workshops and trainings may not wash it down completely. Skepticism seems to be the order of the day. Fear not, however, as the influencers are there to save the day.
With employee experience setting the mood of the talent-scape, talent management becomes the product and talent managers, its customers.
Engagement is a precursor to influence and no one does it better than a known face. Celebrity brand endorsement is almost passé with influencers replacing them in the battle for attention. For talent management influencers, it’s a blank slate with no ‘celebrities’ and virtually no above the line marketing strategies. It is not re-writing the marketing pitch, but creating a brand new “script” and strategies to ‘sell’ the most effective talent management tools.
Influence is necessary, but then who is an influencer? An average social media influencer is just an ordinary face who is a subject matter expert in a particular niche. Unlike other SMEs, influencers showcase their expertise to the world. Being a subject matter expert is one of the basic subsets of being an influencer, but there is more to the story:
Ask yourself why will they even listen to you? Talent managers differ from the common demographic and essentially do not suffer from the flaw of naivety. Before you even start with the influencer journey, check for the credibility factor in your essentials.
They believe what you say, but why will they take time to listen to you? In a perfect world, the most honest person would walk away with the gold medal for the best orator. But, sadly the world is not perfect and maybe that is why the need of influencers arises in the first place. Create a compelling content strategy. One effective way is to follow the 5-3-2 strategy. Out of every 10 content pieces you publish, five should be high value content by someone else, three should be educational pieces written by you and two breezy reads about you. The strategy may look like counter-intuitive to the basic premise of being an influencer, but sharing the content of other influencers will boost the much-needed intra-influencer networking and give you the necessary engagement and attention.
Great content needs the right platform to publish. Visibility is important. Your work or content should reach the right people. Talent management is a niche and with the abundance of social media platforms, selecting the right avenue for your voice may look like a winding serpentine road. The best strategy is to get the answer from the horse’s mouth. Ask, what platforms do your intended group use and put the first foot forward.
INFLUENCING THE INFLUENCERS
Grandiose is a common trap that many influencers, talent management or otherwise, may fall prey to and it can be lethal for your credibility. Start with a closed circle that includes people in your direct network, build relationships and engagement with each of your followers. Do not just answer ‘’thank you” to someone’s comment on your content, but initiate a discussion. Build trust as you go and starting with a small group will help you to customize your entire individual engagement strategy.
A loyal following deserves a loyal influencer. Do not abandon ship once you have established engagement; keep old followers close as you gather new ones. When you are catering to a niche as intricate as talent management, remember that word travels faster than your post’s outreach.
Advocating what you do not follow may be the biggest bone of contention between your content and your audience’s trust. One glaring flaw with social media influencers is that as they gather more followers they move away from reality and begin advocating before using. Truth be told, most of them can afford to do so in generic demography surrounded by people who are keen to look through the pink tinted lens.
Talent management influencers need to have a different stance. Value addition and maintaining your niche is crucial to influence and you should never stop or even commit the crime of a small overlook. Upskilling for influencers should never stop as staying ahead of the curve is the new “normal”.
Forecasting the trends, analyzing the present should be clubbed with the First Principle Thinking approach. The approach advocated by Elon Musk was in different context but does not lose its relevance here. Creating a disruptive thinking pattern destabilizes the status quo of finding a solution based on past experiences and introduces out-of-the-box thinking based on objective fundamentals. To think ahead and come up with solutions that increase the impact focuses on the capability that has the potential to influence talent managers.
Credibility, Consistency and Capability are the three C’s of Talent Management influencers and they need to follow these edicts to perfection to create ripples of influence. Staying ahead of the mark should come with an empathic approach to the current issues of talent management that need a thorough knowledge of best practices and disruptive thinking.