Employment branding is here and is a vital part of any candidate attraction strategy. I will not blather on for another post about why companies need to embrace this. No – this post is going to go to a different kind of brand strategy for hiring that is gaining a lot of momentum – “recruiter brand”. My friend J.T. O’Donnell has been on the forefront of this with her company Careerealism and has produced a lot of content around this topic (they also have some great services for recruiters on this – check them out). According to a Careerealism survey:
*On a Survey of more than 1,000,000*
Over 76% of candidates said they would like to know more about a recruiter before they decide to apply to an open position. Why did they want this information? Here are the top 4 reasons:
• Get a leg-up on the hiring process.
• Get an inside view on the company.
• Determine a way to stand out.
• See if the recruiter is “qualified” to recruit for my skill set
Seeing survey results like this (and they have more) cements what a lot of us had long known – as a recruiter your personal brand is key. I often ask my clients to think about the candidate journey through the candidate’s perspective – not theirs. Ultimately, when a candidate is emailed or called by a recruiter what do you think one of the first things that candidate is going to do? Of course they are going to look you up on Google, LinkedIn, Twitter and more. Even beyond an initial outreach, the candidates you are not yet conversing with but might want to engage with in the future are also seeing your activity on social media and other venues. If you come off as amateur hour for recruiting you better believe this will affect your ability to be effective. Whether we like it or not (and I like it A LOT) your recruiter brand is absolutely important and one you should be thinking about constantly. We are connected now more than ever before via technology – and the world is getting smaller as a result. Your brand is your business and reflects also the organizations you work for.
With this said, I am constantly amazed at one recruiter practice I see all too often on the very channels in which they hope to attract talent. I am talking about this “inside” industry joke posts being posted by recruiters on social media mocking the very candidates they want to engage with on social media. Just typing this I got the douche chills. This practice not only effects these recruiters personal brands but perpetuates a reputation of recruiters to the rest of the world as unethical, sleazy and out of touch salesmen and women. What in the world are these recruiter thinking mocking candidates? An analogy to better put it in perspective: pretend I am a Doctor (huge reach there – I know). I proceed to put out in emails and posts DIRECTLY to my patients memes and cartoons making fun of my patients and their behaviors. You think I would be in business long and have a line of patients waiting to come see me? Right.
I share the following examples as some of the most cringe-worthy I have seen. If one of these was posted by a reader I am sorry, but not sorry. This crap needs to stop – if not for the rest of us for your own personal brand.
Ugh – your current and potential future candidates are seeing this…..
No better way to tell your audience you care about them and their careers than to bitch about them in public!
Another behavior recruiters are overlooking that effects their recruiter brand is constantly blasting jobs. I ask you seriously – how’s that working for you? Now, if you are posting a job with a thought out, human written message and images you are exempt here (except if that is ALL you do). Unfortunately, most recruiters are lazily using the “set it and forget it” Bullhorns or ATS Du Jours. These machine written posts are blasting out jobs constantly and in the most non-human, 1950s personnel department language and style. Newsflash – no one says “Now Hiring!” or “Job Vacancy” anymore. If you think your audience doesn’t know that you are in the wrong profession. To make matters worse, this constant barrage of job posts in people’s social feeds are perceived as spam, and often gets you blocked or unfollowed. Crazy that people don’t want to be barraged with soul devoid robot job blasts all day huh? Wondering why you don’t have a larger Twitter following? I don’t think there is a human alive who would willingly sign up to follow someone who is constantly spamming them.
These are just a few very common behaviors that are happening today that can greatly hurt your recruiter brand – and the company you represent. C’mon peeps – I love this industry and we have some really incredibly talented peeps working in recruiting. Let’s all step up our games and understand our audiences better. It will help you and the people you want to engage with.