Recruiters – the hidden gem behind personal branding



Guest post from our Main Sponsor, yu:talent

Personal branding in recruitment works on both micro and macro strategic levels. Having a rock solid brand, as a recruitment company, attracts talent, making your business the industry’s “go-to resource” when career advice and staff are needed. Therefore, on a macro level, creating a powerful brand means improving the quality of each candidate interaction and getting yourself noticed across the major social and professional networks.

Now, on a micro level, personal branding means managing the brand of each candidate you meet. Sounds quite like a lot of work, right? However, by helping your candidate to polish their personal brands provides you with extra brownie points for your own brand – positioning you as a leading expert.

As a recruiter, you put your best effort in advising and educating the candidates: strategic placement, ideas, suggestions, tweaking   CVs, boosting motivation. But how often is personal branding introduced into this equation? How often do you channel your efforts into shaping your candidates into powerful professionals, ready to be presented to the market as solid talent? With this question in mind, here are a few suggestions on drafting your candidate’s branding:

Strengthen the skills

Every brand, starting from a Swiss chocolate factory to an activist group from Nicaragua, needs a rescaling of its core values and a constantly improving effort. When a potential candidate lacks the consistency of a successful brand, maybe it’s time for some work. You can either suggest volunteering activities, freelancing, or getting involved in meet-up groups related to the area of expertise. Any extra skills can enhance the career brand, so you can even propose enrolment in classes/courses to obtain different certifications.

Promote the brand

What makes a consumer buy one product over the other product – and what makes one candidate (job seeker) more sought than others? We could say marketing, but it’s actually the power of good branding, which, these days, is not only for products anymore. But what’s a brand without proper promotion? It’s a product which doesn’t sell, so you must outline the power of self-promotion and define the subtle line between it and bragging. The best option is to recommend aligning all the tools in creating a strategic flow: writing an outstanding CV, creating a powerful portfolio, “dusting off all the old medals” and spreading the word.

Advise on the use of social media

Social media can provide passive channels for sharing knowledge, but also updates on the latest activities, hobbies, preferences or thoughts. So, unless there are filters and privacy settings, almost everybody has access to a candidate’s profile. Therefore, you can advise your candidate to create a professional image and to stay consistent to it. In addition, for candidates with creative profiles, you can suggest a separate Facebook page or an Instagram/Pinterest account etc., in order to showcase their work. In this way, control over the professional image won’t be altered by those Saturday night photos from the pub.

Skyrocket the brand towards the expert level

Becoming an expert in the field raises credibility and enhances the potential of the candidate. So let’s say, you have a potential job seeker, in between jobs, with a great deal of experience. You can suggest that your client starts a blog or a website, a medium to write about the experience gained in the field and to showcase their knowledge. Encourage tutorials, speeches and presentations, as they can be a perfect means of recognition in labelling the candidate as an expert. The employers will be vying for his services in no time.

Network ‘til you drop

We established that marketing is not exclusively used for goods or services promotion, but it can be applied to professionals as well.  Word-of-mouth techniques can bring valuable support in creating the personal brand of your candidate. Suggest networking, letters of recommendation, and affiliation with professionals from different companies and organizations, both online and offline.

Watching the progression of recruitment, there is an increased necessity for seeking not more, but better candidates. Companies are aiming for top performers with visible brands, in order to reduce their turnover and improve ROI. So ultimately, recruiters are the main reinforcing stimulus of a candidate’s brand.

Tom Peters, author and business thinker, praises the power of branding in his book “The brand you 50” highlighting the imminent necessity of adopting a Unique Selling Proposition (USP) when looking for a job. According to Tom: “Regardless of age, regardless of position, regardless of the business we happen to be in, all of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are the CEOs of our own companies: Me, Inc.”  In conclusion, “You’re not defined by your job title and you’re not confined by your job description”, but you are totally entitled to “The Brand called you”.