Recruitment Branding – The Smart Way to Hire

The basics of Recruitment Branding

Reading a recent eye-opening article in Ad Age: Left to Fend for Themselves, Employees Feel No Loyalty to Agencies.

I was reminded that agencies still don’t understand the power of their own staff, and why they should closely manage and grow this asset. It reminded me that I should dust off a whitepaper I wrote on recruitment branding. Recruitment branding is a misnomer; it’s really about retention. Smart agencies know that talent wins the game and they work hard to attract and retain employees. Retention is really the best recruiting strategy. But to grow, you need to attract. When I managed culture and HR for an agency, we had a reputation as one of the best agencies to work for in town. We had people pounding down our doors to work for us. That is the goal in the war for talent and the result of sound recruitment branding.

Benefits of an effective recruitment brand (as listed by idealpeople ltd.)

  • Motivates ‘target’ candidates to choose you as an employer

When you are “chosen” you are positioned well in salary negotiations. You do not have to throw money at people to join your organization. They want to join already.

  • Promotes strong external Public Relations through ‘word of mouth’.
  • Allows for greater consistency of message when ‘selling’ to applicants during the hiring process.
  • Enables external recruiters to accurately explain your mission, culture, ethics and goals to potential candidates without direct experience of having worked as an employee of the business.
  • Strengthens internal philosophy in what teams of individuals are trying to achieve as a whole and improves retention.

As your recruitment brand is strengthened and you begin to successfully attract the best and most talented candidates, you evolve into an Employer of Choice.

The rules of recruitment branding:

  1. Know your company’s compelling story – why should someone want to work for you? The compelling story also becomes part of the culture.
  2. Know what former employees say about your company – make sure you conduct honest, exploratory exit interviews.
  3. Realize hiring is a 2-way street – have open dialogue during the interview process. It’s not just about you the employer.
  4. Don’t have a candidate be grilled by potential future peers in a group interview. The peer interview should only support the hiring managers and company executive interviews…the decision makers.
  5. Respond to every applicant that contacts you.
  6. Personally call anyone who has interviewed that did not get hired.
  7. Hire attitude over skill if possible. Skills can be learned, attitude is ingrained.
  8. Realize your brand starts before they send their resume.
  9. Have a hiring process and stick to it. “Post job” is not a process.
  10. Be honest.
  11. On boarding does not mean filling out paperwork. Be prepared and ready for someone to start his or her first day. Have a plan for them. Welcome them.
  12. Have growth plans in place for the whole organization. These are “living” documents that constantly change but establish this structure early.
  13. Understand that people will leave your company. This can be a positive thing. But will they come back if you want them to?
  14. Keep a pool of future hires that fit your company culture and have the right attitude. Realize that sometimes the candidate may be right for your company but the timing or current opportunity is wrong. Be able to find this candidate in the future by staying engaged with them.

Recruitment branding takes work and it takes ownership. It could be one reason why so many agencies don’t pay attention to it. But putting the process in place and instilling it into the way you conduct business will change your recruiting cycles and make you more nimble and successful in growth.


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