Lisa Everts, Test Developer, Business Development
April 3, 2017
Digital badges are an important way for individuals to display their skill sets or levels of proficiency in specific areas, and they are equally as useful for employers seeking out candidates with those skills. The author of this blog post details the benefits to credentialing programs of implementing a badging system, the importance of badge design, and how to choose a digital badge hosting service.
Digital badges displayed on a credential holder’s social media profile present an infographic for specific knowledge or skill sets demonstrated by the individual. At a time when the workforce has a large presence in social media, easily verifying the earned credential or certification associated with the digital badge adds value to the holder and potential employer. According to CareerBuilder.com, 60% of employers are using social media while they are researching prospective job candidates.1 While badge earners and employers follow each other in social media forums, the additional benefit to the credentialing program becomes built-in advertising ultimately reaching the target demographic of the credentialing organization.
For effective marketing, the digital badging program should align with the goals of the credentialing organization. Consider the demographic who will participate in the micro-credentialing program when deciding how to refer to digital badges. While some candidates may respond positively to earning badges, the target group might regard that terminology as juvenile or game inspired. However, a game inspired level-up type of micro-credential may be the right approach for certain target groups.
The design chosen for the badge should be reflective of the credential’s logo, branding and purpose. For example, if it looks like something earned in a game, there might be a reluctance to display it on a LinkedIn profile depending on the target group. Digital badges can also reflect different levels of expertise in the credential. A stepped path to success for the candidate can be illustrated in the design of the badge and suggest further participation in other micro-credential offerings to badge holders and badge viewers.
The choice of a digital badge hosting service is critical to successful marketing of a credentialing program. The service provider should be reliable and interactive with social media sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Badge holders should also have the ability to share the metadata about the micro-credential through the service. Seek out a provider like BadgeCert who will provide analytics regarding the effectiveness of the badge, such as badge sharing, usage and overall clicks to allow credentialing organizations to readily evaluate the marketing value of the digital badges.
Special emphasis should be placed on digital badge development when planning a micro-credentialing program. A well designed digital badge can be a valuable tool to promote the program by leveraging ready-made networks of badge earners, employers and their associates.
1 Number of Employers Using Social Media to Screen Candidates Has Increased 500 Percent over the Last Decade http://www.careerbuilder.com/share/aboutus/pressreleasesdetail.aspx?ed=12%2F31%2F2016&id=pr945&sd=4%2F28%2F2016