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6 Tips About How To Source Passive Candidates

If you are a recruiter or works in the staffing industry, I’m sure you know that passive candidates are usually the best candidates. But passive recruiting is often easier said than done. You’ll have[...]

November 13, 2018

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Brand Yourself: Why You Need a Personal Brand ASAP

Everyone knows the importance of having a personal brand in today’s day and age. Whether you’re looking for a new job or just trying to find some followers on Instagram, creating a personal brand is the key to standing out in the faceless horde of the digital world. Entrepreneurs especially understand the value of branding – and as an independent recruiter, you should too.

In case you haven’t heard (though I’m sure you have), the gig economy is growing rapidly, and with that, so too is independent recruiting. The tightening labor market has created a prime environment for consultative recruiting. Businesses are struggling more than ever to find and attract top candidates, and now, the most sought-after recruiters are those who focus on making high-quality matches, not simply making placements. As more and more workers ditch their 9 to 5’s and embrace the flexibility of contract work, the need for specialized, highly knowledgeable recruiters will increase substantially. And what’s the best way to position yourself as a thought leader? You guessed it – through your personal brand.

Yes, Personal Branding Matters

Back in 1997, author and business management master Tom Peters penned “The Brand Called You,” an article which forever changed the way we think about branding. He suggested that branding should no longer be for just enterprise companies – ‘personal branding’ would be the next big thing. Branding is how we stand out, how we project our voices, how we become a “free agent in an economy of free agents.”

This was novel thinking at the time. Remember, it was before the internet and social media were ingrained in our everyday lives. These days, personal branding isn’t a suggestion, it’s a requirement. Consider a few of these eye-opening stats:

  • People tend to trust other people more than companies. In fact, 92% of people trust recommendations from individuals over companies, even if they don’t know the individual personally.
  • Social media is a key channel for building your personal brand – 77% of all social media discussions are people looking for advice or information on a subject. What a great way to help out and build your brand at the same time!
  • Here’s something you should keep in mind when promoting your client’s company culture: marketing efforts achieve 561% more reach when individual employees share brand messages, and those messages are shared 24x more frequently than those shared by companies themselves.
  • Knowledge is power when you’re trying to brand yourself as a top recruiter. The vast majority (90%) of recruiters do online research about their potential candidates, and 78% of recruiters find their best candidates through referrals.
  • Finally, take some inspiration from sales reps who use social media to build their brand… they outperform their peers by 78%. Think about which channels make sense to your brand before you commit. Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram are a few of the top networks recruiters use to market their brand and build relationships with candidates.

Tips for Building Your Brand the Right Way

Successful branding isn’t about shameless self-promotion (although some self-promotion is necessary), it’s about knowing your audience, how to connect with them, and most importantly, how to help them. As an entrepreneur, your brand must reflect not just your company, but you. If your messaging doesn’t clearly convey either of these, you’ll have a hard time gaining the trust of clients and talent alike. Thankfully, Dan Schawbel, bestselling author and managing partner of Millennial Branding, came up with an easy, four-step process for building your personal brand:

Step 1. Discover your brand by exploring who you are and what you want to do, keeping your passions and goals in mind. In terms of recruiting, this might mean identifying the niche or niches you want to specialize in and brainstorming ways to convey this throughout your brand messaging.

Step 2. Create your brand through whatever content makes sense to you. Traditional examples include business cards, resumes, and portfolios, but as an independent recruiter, you may have better luck using social media, blogs, and videos to promote your brand. Blogging and social media offer excellent opportunities to demonstrate your recruiting expertise.

Step 3. Communicate your brand through self-promotion. The key is to strike a balance: you need to get your name out there without being too spammy. Schawbel recommends guest posting on industry blogs, writing articles for magazines, and speaking at networking events.

Step 4. Maintain your brand as it grows by consistently communicating your achievements – it’s okay to brag about happy clients and candidates. You’ll also need to watch for negative reviews or comments, so you can respond (while staying true to your brand voice, of course).

C’mon, Everybody’s Doing It

The internet has given rise to the age of entrepreneurship. Never has it been so easy to be in business for yourself. But while technology may have given us ample opportunities to work for ourselves, it’s also created a fiercely competitive playing field. Having a personal brand is no longer an option. As Tom Peters said in his groundbreaking article:

“We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You.”

Your personal brand is your megaphone in a crowd of voices clamoring to be heard – make sure you use it wisely.

Scott Giroux
Scott Giroux
A long-time innovator with extensive leadership experience, Scott served on the executive team of a leading North American staffing firm prior to joining our team. At Crowdstaffing, Scott leads the company’s global operations and account management team and also drives growth of the talent supplier side of Crowdstaffing’s hiring marketplace. "There is so much untapped potential in our industry I’m thrilled to be part of a movement that is pioneering a connected marketplace for everyone in the hiring ecosystem."
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