Maximising the value of your recruitment brand
Rachel Bell, marketing executive at I-COM
Whether you are a start-up, going through a period of growth or planning your exit strategy it is key that you consider the value of your recruitment brand. Brand value comes down to distinction: your ability to set your brand apart in the industry. You have to be able to tell a better story and it has to be consistent across all marketing channels to remain strong.
Brand equity is the perception customers have of your recruitment services based on what they think of your brand. It is difficult to assign a monetary value to a brand, but no matter how intangible brand equity may seem, a strong brand reaps considerable business benefits from:
All of these points will assist you in building a valued brand. And although placing a value on an intangible asset is not easy, and incredibly subjective, you need to do everything to enhance your business worth and future profits.
So how do you go about achieving this?
There are a number of steps which you should go through and review to ensure that you are best positioned not only as a recruiter of choice, but as an employer of choice.
- Defining your brand
Every business should be able to define their brand identity. But how do you do this? This is no easy feat - and time needs to be invested in going through this process. I suggest that you ask yourself and your team the following questions to try and assist you through the process -
What is your company’s mission?
This is an external statement - not internal. Your company's mission needs to sum up your plans and how you differentiate yourself, in order for people to listen to what you have to say.
What are the benefits and features of your recruitment services?
To differentiate yourself from your competition you need to distinguish yourself through establishing a unique set of messages that are used consistently across your marketing touchpoints. Think about why you were established? What were your reasons behind starting where you did? Think about your culture and ethos. You will be surprised at the key messages that you can pull from this which can be the difference between you and your competitors.
Establish your core values within your business?
Taking the time to identify your organisation’s core values has many advantages, including:
- Defining your culture. Your core values will set the tone of your business.
- Changing the way you do business. When you have a solid foundation, everything else falls into place. It gives you a standard to hold to, and helps you operate more efficiently.
- Attracting like-minded people to your business.
- Assisting in identifying any employees that do not adhere to your core values. A clear set of core values give you a measurable standard, and make it easier for you to show appreciation and recognition to your team.
If your business has not firmly established its core values, don’t worry. They probably already exist; they are just lost or buried in the day-to-day activity of your business. If you look hard enough, you will find them.
Do your research...
Don’t do things because you think you should, and don’t do it because you like it. In business you need to adapt to your surroundings. Do what your current and prospective clients and candidates want, because at the end of the day, they are the ones who pay the bills. What works for your clients/prospective clients? Ask them. Don’t rely on what you think they think. Know what they think.
2. Giving your brand meaning
- Do you have a strong brand identity? You need one. Create a strong logo. Make sure your logo is attractive and place it everywhere
- Formulating your brand message is massively important. Every single employee (new or old) should be aware of your brand attributes
- Make sure you integrate your brand. And by branding, I mean every aspect of your business. How you answer your phones, what your consultants are wearing on their visits, all the way down to your email signatures
- Does your ‘voice’ reflect your brand? Your voice is how your staff talk about you. This should be applied to all written communication and should be incorporated into all of your marketing materials, both on and off line. You need to make sure everyone in the business talks about you in the same way and also make sure what they say reflects you in the right light
- Do you have a tag line? You should have a memorable, meaningful and concise statement which captures the heart of your brand. This can be used in your marketing materials but can also contribute to your company’s voice
- Consistency is key. All of your marketing channels l need to match - otherwise what is the point in building a brand if you’re not planning on being consistent?
3. Creating your most important brand ambassadors - your employees
Your employees need to be singing from your hymn sheet. What you say is important for the reputation of your business so you can’t afford for your employees to be saying something else. If you have a clear disconnection between how you present yourself to the market and how your employees view the company and what it is like to work there, your brand will have a confusing message and will fail to engage with both internal and external stakeholders.
It’s key to remember that your employees can either be your company’s strongest brand ambassadors, or your biggest critics.
Your employees need to ‘live’ your brand, which includes demonstrating the brand's desired behaviours, beliefs and culture. This won’t happen overnight and you need to make sure you invest in your current employees. There’s no point in promoting great ethos, ambition and innovation if this isn’t reality.
The best employer brands accentuate the positive aspects of the company but are also realistic and create a picture that people can relate to.
4. Differentiate your brand through content
Content is a fundamental way to communicate your brand’s value. It can demonstrate thought leadership to your audience, help you build trust and also create loyal brand advocates.
There are a number of benefits from generating relevant and unique content, including:
- Create shareable content that gets your name in front of your target audience
- Create linkable content that bloggers and journalists want to tell people about
- Drive traffic to your website
- Create a positive brand image that can persuade clients and candidates to choose your business over your competition
- Demonstrate expertise and thought-leadership
- Generate leads and data capture.
Remember, don’t create things for you, create them for your current and prospective clients. What do your audience want to see? It’s about adding quality for your audience, not quantity for your company.
5. Building loyalty and gaining trust
Loyalty is the emotional connection that you develop with a brand that you begin to trust and wish to be associated with.
It’s important that your first step is to ensure that you educate your employees on your brand and ensure that not only do they believe in your brand but they believe it strongly enough to advocate it. If you can’t get your employees to believe in your brand - how do you expect your customers to believe in it?
You want to be in the position whereby your candidates and clients are coming back to you time and time again. Repeat business is critical to your success, not only that but you want your loyal customers to be referring you to new clients and candidates, creating exposure to your brand and adding value to your business.