Competition is heating up.
You already know that recruiting is difficult in times of low unemployment. On top of that, 95 percent of recruiters believe the job market is going to get more competitive—which means if you haven’t already, you need to start thinking about how you’ll stand out. Why should clients and candidates work with you? What makes you so special?
Developing a compelling personal brand is an important part of answering that question. And if you’re an agency owner wondering why you should support your recruiters’ personal brand-building initiatives, consider these stats from the “Relationship Economics” report from the Altimeter Group:
- Employees at organizations that support personal branding are 27 percent more likely to be optimistic about their organization's future
- 20 percent are more apt to stay with the organization
- 40 percent are more apt to believe their organization is more competitive
Don’t just get by. Make goals, surpass them, and succeed. A personal brand can help you do just that. Your competition is building a killer personal brand as you read this; are you building yours?
Start by writing a personal brand statement
Open up a new document tab (or grab pen and paper) and start writing what makes you, you. Don’t worry about finessing the exact language; you can do that later. Answer these questions:
- What makes you different from your peers and coworkers?
- What are your strengths as a recruiter?
- What is it about your personal and professional history that makes you unique?
- What do you value?
- What are you passionate about?
From the answers, craft a personal brand statement, anywhere from one to three sentences. Think of it like the elevator pitch of who you are and who you want to be. And don’t be afraid to put some personality into it.
Once you have that, run it by a few trusted colleagues or friends. Incorporate their feedback as appropriate. You’ll know when you’ve arrived at a personal brand statement that accurately captures who you are and aspire to be.
Then what? Well, that’s up to you. You can include it on your LinkedIn and any other social profiles you use for work purposes, sure. But really, its purpose is to guide you as you carry out the tactics below. Filter all your career activity through this statement; as long as the two mesh well together and there’s no incongruity, you are well on your way to building a strong personal brand.
Now, let’s look at several tactics that help you build that personal brand.
Develop your social media presence
First, if you are going to have a professional presence on a channel, do it right. It is better to not be on a particular channel than to do it poorly. Of course you have a LinkedIn, but if you’re going to use Twitter or Facebook or even Instagram for professional purposes, make sure you have the time to devote to them.
That said, social media is probably the most prominent mechanism to building your brand. Done right, you can use social media to:
- Establish yourself as a recruiting industry leader
- Connect and engage with colleagues and experts
- Stay on top of trends
Don’t just talk about yourself online. Read, comment on and share others’ posts, and participate in meaningful conversations online. Let all your online actions add value to those you are sharing with. People will appreciate your authenticity, and it goes a long way to building a strong personal brand.
Get on industry discussion boards
Participating in industry groups and discussion boards is another great way to build your brand and establish yourself as an expert. If you don’t know where to start, read our post, 11 Must-Join LinkedIn Groups For Recruiters (yes, technically, LinkedIn is a social network and belongs in the above section; there’s some crossover here). Then check out:
Use these boards to comment on current events and trends, establish yourself as a thought leader and generate discussions.
Speak at industry events
Conferences and events are wonderful opportunities to build your brand. Public speaking gives you a platform on which you gain credibility and prove your expertise. The mere act of stepping on a stage sets you up as a leader.
Where to find good speaking opportunities? Start small. You don’t need to book your TED Talk next week. Look at local networking groups and association websites to see if they have speaking opportunities. And don’t forget about webinars; you could be the featured guest one week. If you have a favorite recruiting webinar, reach out to the host to see what opportunities are there.
Get your original content published on other sites
Also known as guest posting, this is another fantastic way to establish yourself as a thought leader and boost your personal brand. Publishing original content on respected industry blogs gets your name out to a wider audience and helps you become a trusted resource. Plus, publishers almost always give you an author bio at the end of your article, where you can include at least one link to a social profile of your choice; this is a great way to build your following.
To find opportunities, visit your favorite blogs and look for a link or a tab that reads “Write for us” or “Guest contributor guidelines.” That will explain how to get published on the site.
Invest in yourself
This will take some cash on your part, yes, but you definitely want to spring for a sharp, well-tailored wardrobe and professional photography. You might need to hire an editor to edit your articles, a speaking coach to help you become more polished, or a web developer to build you a professional website. These investments will be well worth it.
Get to know TrackerRMS
Long before we were a software company, we were recruiters. We took those years of experience and built the leading end-to-end software solution for recruiting agencies. Use it to manage your sales, recruiting and onboarding needs, run searches for candidates and manage your relationships. TrackerRMS helps your agency become more productive and profitable. Schedule a demo today.