Why It Is Important to Become an SME

Becoming an SME is not easy. It takes time, but you will find it is worth it when you can share your knowledge to those who are seeking to increase their awareness and be the change that we need in our industry as we move forward. Have you thought about what it means to be an SME? What have you done to position yourself as an SME?

Some definitions of what is a Subject Matter Experts:

  • Leaders in their fields.
  • Establish trust.
  • Are chosen by communities more often as sources of information.
  • Are sought-after as speakers, presenters, and industry representatives.
  • Are the people you want to be associated with and learn from.

Simply stated, SMEs are trusted advisors within our industry, who are making a change, developing innovations, solutions, and sharing knowledge to create successful solutions of some of the toughest issues as we move forward in this technology world. They minimize questions like “Who are you?” and “Why should we listen to you?

The good news is that anyone with in-depth knowledge of our industry can become an SME. The opportunity exists for you to influence your reputation; it’s essential that you all understand that passion, growth, and continuously having constructive conversations.

Let’s face it, no one likes a know-it-all, but everyone needs experts. The staffing industry has empowered recruiters/sourcers to research, learn, and compare all on their own. So many choices, however, can leave even the savviest among us feeling overwhelmed. By establishing yourself as a subject matter, expert (SME) is the key to projecting your professionalism and setting yourself apart from your competition.

Becoming a subject matter expert in a particular field does not necessarily require a standard set of credentials or specific educational background. But it does require a visible commitment to your career growth.

Joining our variety of organizations, dedication and of course commitment so people can count on you. You should attend, learn, teach and write about (post about, blog about, etc.) We all have knowledge that we have gained, we have grown, influence, share not only positive but how we have dealt with negativity in our industry.

Subject matter experts inspire, gain trust in our community, by demonstrating a keen understanding of their passion or brand and staffing industry. They call on their experience to underpin this knowledge and work from a solid base of credentials. Becoming a subject matter expert is not something that happens overnight. But chances are, if you’ve been working in one area for some time now, you have some subject matter expertise already. Don’t let it go unnoticed by your colleagues and prospects who you are trying to attract. Let’s explore some ways to demonstrate this expertise.

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Being an SME is worthless unless you communicate it! In addition to the content you produce (you are creating content, aren’t you?) your blog, your, LinkedIn status and other platforms which provides ways to connect and prove to the knowledge that shows the Subject Matter Expert inside you!

You can even be recognized as an SME in areas, such as on-boarding of new candidate or offering career advice. Making sure your prospects know that you will take good care of them after they have reached out to you. You can build a vast network by offering advice. This can become a competitive advantage for your company.

To maintain your influence in any field means having to keep up with the latest industry news and trends continually. Knowing what’s working and what’s not, you have to put yourself out there and not worry about what others think. As long as you are authentic, and adding new, positive and wanting to make a change, you will be fine.

We SME’s are continuous learners. We practice what they preach and teach others what they know. Most leadership roles in our industry are rewarding and provide benefits beyond the reach of many. When you are an SME in your field, you’ll be noticed of the competition. Don’t wait, start establishing yourself an SME, find a focus, and work on being the go-to person!

Kay Kelison is a respected social media strategist and a principal sourcer who has been in the recruiting industry over fourteen years. She currently works as a Principal Researcher / Trainer for Zillow Group where she partners with both business and recruiting functions to build candidate pipelines, develop targeted sourcing plans, build and manage successful sourcing initiatives, and manage customer/partner expectations. Additionally, she is involved in the developing and managing diversity recruiting efforts through social networking platforms on websites including LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, etc. Kay is an open networker and encourages you to connect with her.

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