What do we mean by strong brand? A brand isn't just a logo. We're not talking about having the best logo, although that is a part of a strong brand. We're talking about being clear about what your brand stands for and being consistent with it. So that every touch point of your recruitment business is an articulation of this.
Whether it's your website or a call with one of your consultants, your brand is your identity to the world and tells people who you are as a recruiter. Your brand is your personality. It's what you are offering your candidates, your clients and indeed your consultants, who will ultimately be your brand ambassadors.
In a market where skills and talent shortages are worsening (REC Dec 17), you need to stand out among your competition and ensure your brand resonates with and attracts the best candidates.
Here we explore how a strong brand can help with candidate acquisition :
1. Birds of a feather flock together.
If your brand attracts particular candidates, they will also tell others, similar to them, about your brand. They will become brand ambassadors for you. Similarly, having a strong brand will also attract clients with clear and strong branding themselves.
In turn, having these brands on board will then attract great candidates that fit perfectly with your clients. It's not all about well known brands here. Do these client brands offer other things ; an opportunity to progress, flexible working and inclusive culture?
2. Can you represent me?
Candidates want to know about the company that will represent them with clients. Take just one group of candidates, the Millennials. They are looking for brands to stand for something real. Do you 'get' them? Do you understand what they are looking for? Do you share the same values? Candidates will want to be able to relate to you.
In a survey last year by Deloitte, 22% of Millennials said they planned to take an extended break from work to develop new life skills and qualifications. How are you demonstrating you can help them do this?
3. The real deal
How can you make your brand authentic? Consistency is key. Every time a candidate experiences your brand, they should feel, hear, see similar messages about your brand. Consistency across channels such as social media as well as the tone of voice and the overall experience should all come from your brand and its values? Perhaps you are all about being fresh and challenging the alternative? How does this translate in your application process? How do your consultants demonstrate this on the phone with candidates? Consistency creates authenticity. Authenticity attracts candidates.
4. In it for the long haul
Having a brand that resonates with a candidates, and gives them a great experience, will help to build longer term relationships. You want them to keep coming back to you throughout their career. This is the ideal scenario - building brand loyalty with a candidate. However, this does not come without a great deal of work to maintain the brand experience the candidate has pre, during and post job search.
In a world where competition for the right candidates and indeed the right clients is tough, your brand can be the one thing that differentiates you. Can you afford not to have a strong brand?
Claire Best has supported recruiters big and small, to define their brand and promote it. If you'd like to know more, please contact Claire.