If you are a small business that is hiring, you may notice plenty of candidates look pretty good on paper.
An M.B.A. here. A perfect G.P.A. there. Experience leading a multi-national team.
All those things are added bonuses, for sure. But don’t forget that the perfect candidate must be compatible with your company’s culture. Unfortunately, that’s not something you can extract from a resume. An enthusiastic cover letter may help, but it does not paint the full picture of who the candidate is as a person, and if you and your team would enjoy bringing her or him in as part of the family.
How else can you evaluate job applicants before bringing them in for an interview?
Visualizing a cultural fit
Todd Silverstein founded Vizify after he identified an opportunity to help individuals “Make a great online impression today.”
Silverstein spoke with more than 200 individuals involved in Human Resources and discovered that their biggest pain point when hiring is finding candidates that fit the firm’s culture.
Vizify allows users to create customizable interactive graphical bios (personal infographics) that extract insights about you from your social media profiles (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Foursquare). Of course, users must first grant permission to link accounts.
Vizify bios highlight essential information about an individual — location, education and work experience — which viewers can drill down on. Recruiters, in just a glance, can easily digest top-level information about a candidate, faster than skimming a resume.
Also, a graphical bio, unlike a resume, tells the story about who the individual is as a person. In addition to demonstrating impressive qualifications, job seekers can demonstrate agreeable character.
Businesses can take full advantage of the platform to recruit better talent. Bios give recruiters a visual representation of who the candidate is personally and professionally to help HR decide if a particular candidate is a proper fit for the firm, and thus, worthy of a callback or interview.
The company is focused on helping users show off their personal brand. According to Silverstein, “we define our mission as helping to make you look awesome online.” He also disclosed that 1/3 of users use their Vizify bios in their job search, adding a link to their bio on their resume and LinkedIn profile.
“We’re a complement to the hiring process…. People deserve just as rich an online presence, identity… as they have offline. When you meet someone at a cocktail party, you don’t go through a dry list of ‘Oh, here’s what I did resume-wise.’ There’s color to it. You talk about places you’ve been, you talk about that holistically.”
Vizify in action
Silverstein uses his graphical bio as a personal website, which features bite sized infographics about the man himself.
What do these say about Silverstein?
His favorite author is Herman Melville, he likes his coffee 8 times a day, and if he could meet one person that has made history, that would be Genghis Khan.
Whether you’re a colleague, investor, Vizify user, or a complete stranger, Silverstein’s bio helps to paint a picture of who he is, and whether or not you two might get along. Mentioning Moby-Dick will surely win you points.
Former Director of Marketing Arwa Jumkawala thinks of her bio as “the place I’d like people to go to if [people] want to hear more, learn more about me because I’ve curated it to tell the exact story that I would like people to see about me.”
Winning with Vizify
Jumkawala’s bio has been particularly useful now that she is a freelance marketing and PR consultant who has to sell her personal brand in addition to her accomplishments, experiences and diverse skill set.
Another advantage of Vizify bios is its SEO-optimized pages. Differentiated names, like Jumkawala’s are certain to rank well in the search results (a Google search for her name puts her bio near the top). In many cases, Silverstein’s included, users may find that their Vizify bios show up above their personal LinkedIn profile and Twitter account. The latest post on the Vizify blog shares tips on how to improve your bio’s rank in Google’s search results.
Although Vizify doesn’t want to be seen as purely a recruiting resource, businesses can always ask job applicants to create a Vizify profile to help identify a proper cultural fit. Recruiters may also Google the applicant’s name and hope the applicant was proactive enough to create a Vizify bio that shows how (s)he would be perfect for the job.
When asked about how Vizify uses bios in its recruiting process, Jumkawala says, “We recently just hired someone to come in to do customer service and they were asked specifically to include their Vizify. We were a little surprised by the number of candidates who still applied without it.”
Absent-minded applicants aside, employers and job seekers have yet to fully adopt Vizify bios as part of the recruiting process. But they would be wise to.