NEWS + ADVICE
Recruiters: How You Can Build and Balance Your Brand
So, want to build your personal brand as a rock star recruiter. Before you start building, I think a good question to ask yourself is, “Why?” What do you want to achieve? Is your goal to land new clients, secure speaking engagements, find a new job, or take your career to the next level?
Whatever your reasons may be, know that building—and then balancing your brand—takes time, energy, and passion. It’s a long-term commitment, not a short-term campaign.
Assuming that you’re ready to make that commitment, how do you begin your career-enhancing journey?
Taking Your First Steps
One of my all-time favorite quotes is from Abraham Lincoln, who said, “Whatever you are, be a good one.” Whether you’re a new recruiter for a start-up or a seasoned pro working for a government agency, strive first to be a good recruiter. Better yet, strive to be great. If you don’t have the foundation, then building your brand could prove to be nearly impossible.
When you do good work, people notice. But if the right people don’t notice, you may need to start making a little noise! But how? There are three key ways to build your personal brand and stand out amidst the crowd:
- Networking, and
- Giving back.
The most impactful action that I took to build my personal brand was blogging. I know it sounds crazy, but it’s true. Fifteen years ago, I started my recruiting career as a headhunter for a staffing agency. But it wasn’t until two years ago–when I started contributing to Blogging4Jobs–that my professional world began to change. Doors started to open, I became even more engaged with my work, and my network increased exponentially.
But what if you don’t like to write?
Becoming a Part of the Community
In July, a recruiting guru friend said to me, “You’re at a place now where you can mentor other recruiters.” That meant a lot, and the ability to help others in their careers is a driving force behind why I love to blog, tweet, speak, and meet peers within the industry.
It’s about doing something more for others. Having a voice, paying it forward, and helping someone that perhaps you’ve never met—these simple acts can be rewarding on many levels. Within your local market, there may be ways for you to lean in and give back. You could:
- Participate in a SHRM chapter or join a local recruiter networking group.
- Reach out to your county’s workforce development program or volunteer at a university career center to help coach job seekers.
- Serve on the board or your alumni association.
Or, look within your own company. Is there a recruiter that you could mentor? Or, is there someone internally or externally who might be willing to mentor you? Sometimes we open our own doors, but other times, someone is there to open one for us.
Balancing Your Work-Life Brand
Let’s assume that you’re building your brand for all the right reasons and actively paying it forward within your recruiting community. It’s a year in the future and you’re now faced with the challenge of balancing your personal brand with that of your company.
I wish that I could tell you the secret sauce to striking a healthy balance, but I can’t. Balancing the two takes judgment, learning from others in similar situations, and figuring out what works best for you. However, here are a few tips to consider:
- Embed personal branding activities into your workflow—strive to make them part of your daily routine.
- Use technology to your advantage—schedule tweets in advance or automate blog sharing using a tool like Twitterfeed.
- Be authentic and professional in both places—you are an extension of your corporate brand.
Becoming a Part of Who You Are
Years ago, I heard someone say, “Everyone needs to know a good lawyer, a good accountant, and a good recruiter.” Thankfully, I’ve never needed a good lawyer, but I have surrounded myself with some of the best recruiters. And, I’ve learned this: it takes focus, time, and commitment to build your credibility both inside and outside of your organization.
But, if you love what you do, building your recruiter brand won’t feel like work. It’ll just be a natural part of who you are and what you do.
Shannon Smedstad is the Director of Employment Branding for CEB. Shannon is the keynote speaker at the ClearedJobs.Net 2014 Best Recruiter celebration.This entry was posted on Thursday, November 06, 2014 7:00 am