As recruiters, we have 101 things to do. Whether it’s sourcing, meeting candidates or clients, working on active deals or negotiating (the list goes on!), it may feel near impossible to fit another task into your week.
The recruitment industry was built on traditional headhunting methods but as the world becomes increasingly digital, building a personal online brand as a recruiter, which goes further than just posting job ads, has become more important than ever.
This guide shares how a recruiter can build a personal brand and use it to generate more business for their desk by investing less than 3 hours per week.
What is a personal recruiting brand?
A personal brand embodies your reputation as a recruiter. It’s everything that builds your credibility and trust in the market from your experience, to your personality and success stories.
Here are a few reasons why you should consider investing in yours:
Rise above the noise
Although recruitment is a new industry compared to others, the industry has grown exponentially in recent years. Hundreds of new recruiters enter the market each month and compete for the same business. This has only accelerated with COVID-19, with many entrepreneurial recruiters taking this as an opportunity to start their own businesses. A personal brand allows you to communicate what you can offer up and above your competitors with your target audience.
Create touch points
Your clients and candidates are browsing LinkedIn when they’re ready to hire talent or when they’re looking for new opportunities. By promoting your personal brand, you can create touch points so that your target audience becomes familiar with your name as a trusted resource in your industry, before you’re even introduced. This will increase your chance of generating a positive outcome when it comes to headhunting and business development.
If your personal brand is strong enough, qualified candidates and clients will reach out to you for business. People you’ve worked with in the past will also see your activity and will come back to you if they had a positive experience.
Define your brand
Start by defining how you want to be portrayed online as a recruiter. Are you an expert in your practice? Do you specialise in permanent or contracting recruitment? Are you more focused on long-term relationships over quick wins? What has your experience in recruitment taught you?
Generate a social media presence and optimise your profiles
Choose social media outlets that are appropriate to your practice. LinkedIn is one of the best options to manage your personal brand and we’ll be focussing on it a lot in this guide, but think about other outlets too. For example, if you’re working in Digital or Product Management recruitment, consider more visual platforms to build your personal brand, such as Instagram.
Optimise each profile and take advantage of the features they offer. LinkedIn has a great tool where you can feature your most impressive content, such as an update, article or podcast.
Ask your candidates and clients for recommendations on LinkedIn too. Recommendations are a powerful tool that confirm that you are who you say you are and give your audience an example of some of the success stories you’ve had on your desk. You’ll be surprised by how many people go to this section to check your credibility.
Start creating informative content
Write articles about your market
As a recruiter, you are constantly speaking to candidates and clients. There aren’t many people out there who have more knowledge about hiring activity than you. You have an opportunity to share this knowledge at scale with your candidates and clients.
Think about publishing market outlooks, career guidance or how-to’s for changing jobs, targeted at your industry. Not only does this add value, it makes you look extremely knowledgeable. With a few engagements, there is no doubt it will create leads.
Consider platforms such as LinkedIn or Medium.
In addition to writing content, you can also share industry news from other respected publications. This demonstrates to your connections that you are constantly in the loop across your industry and your name will often be front of mind.
Start a podcast
Podcasts are trending for both listeners and creators. You can start a podcast by interviewing people in your market – candidates or clients. Think about trending topics within your industry, or topics focused around career development. A podcast enables you to associate yourself with credible individuals in the industry, building engagement and trust with your audience.
An example of some recruiters who have started podcasts are Eifion Jones’ Cyber Security Unlocked podcast, James Abraham’s A New World In Commerce podcast and of course, Andrea Ross’ Talent Talk Asia podcast.
To get started with podcasts, there are many free tools out there that you can use to record your own podcasts such as using Zoom (which we all have downloaded this year!) to record the conversation. From there, you can use platforms such as Spotify, Soundcloud or iTunes to publish the audio. You can even go a step further by recording the podcasts in a video format and uploading them to YouTube, too.
Start a vlog
Videos are trending in marketing and even more so in recruitment. They create a much higher engagement rate than written social media updates and can accelerate the reach of your content in the feed. People are curious to know how you come across and what you sound like. Creating a video can help people feel more comfortable with you as they get to know you behind the photo and text.
Start a monthly vlog updating your audience about the activity in your market, the roles you’re hiring for and share updates from your company.
Spice up your job ads
“Hi All, I’m currently recruiting for this position. Please click on the job title below to view the Job Description and apply to it!” – we’ve all been guilty of using this before!
Start creating descriptions that entice and create curiosity with experienced candidates. Talk about what’s great about the role, how the candidate can develop their career and an impressive highlight of the company. Enticing visuals attract attention too.
Take it a step further and use videos in similar fashion to vlogs but for job updates. Create a short 1 minute video talking though the role, company and opportunity for the candidate.
Plan and execute
Create a content calendar and use schedulers
Organising content can become messy when planning around the 101 other tasks you need to get done in the day. Allocate 30 minutes on Fridays or the weekend to get the creative juices flowing and plan out what content you’ll be publishing for the upcoming months. Allocate another 2 hours in the week or weekend to produce the content. Create a buffer of 2 – 4 weeks so you are not always under pressure to meet deadlines if something comes up – which it often does in recruitment!
Use tools like Hootsuite, which is free, to schedule your content in the 30 minutes that you allocate so it’s all done at one time and you don’t have to worry about it throughout the week when you’re headhunting.
Learn the LinkedIn algorithm
It’s not as simple as posting content on LinkedIn and expecting results. You have to learn the LinkedIn algorithm to get your updates and articles to reach all of your network in the feed, rather than just a handful.
The key is engagement. The more engagement you get on your posts, the further they’ll go in the feed. The simple way to get more exposure on your updates is by writing or publishing high quality content rather than writing up rushed articles.
The LinkedIn algorithm also reduces your reach if you include external links. Updates without any links get the most exposure (provided they get engagement in the form of likes or reactions). Most of the time, however, you’ll want to direct people to a blog or podcast. The sweet spot is including one link to your content, rather than multiple. Sharing updates posted by your company also gains limited exposure in the feed.
Get involved on LinkedIn
Start engaging with professionals and crediting others who have posted great content or insightful updates. Get involved in discussion, start meaningful conversations and shine a light on others achievements or promotions. The more active you are on social media, the more others will engage in your content.
Analyse your results
With all of this effort, it’s important that you are getting return on your investment. A measurement can be as simple as counting how many candidates or clients reach out to you as a result of your content production, or looking at the amount of engagement you get on each article or post. You can also monitor your LinkedIn profile views to make sure the graph is increasing.
Be consistent or don’t start at all
Building a personal brand and creating content is a long-term game; you won’t see the results after publishing one or two articles. If you’re consistent, you will develop a reputation for yourself in your area of expertise. People will genuinely look forward to your content and you will start to generate more leads that convert into business because of it!
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