Marketing brand vs. recruiting brand: what you need to know

As a marketer at TopFunnel, I spend my day building and nurturing our brand so that potential prospects engage, and eventually convert, into happy customers. While on the surface my day-to-day schedule doesn’t emulate that of a recruiter, there’s more overlap than what meets the eye. Specifically, both marketers and recruiters have to develop and manage their brand to attract the right audience and grow their business.

Building a Brand:

If you’ve scrolled through Medium or LinkedIn lately you’ve probably seen a plethora of content regarding ‘brand.’ Today, ‘brand’ is everywhere. There’s your personal brand, your business brand, your brand when you’re networking, your brand when you’re at a corporate event. The list goes on.

And, just like marketing, recruiting has its own brand too. While it’s easy to confuse the two, there are some fundamental differences to be aware of. A marketer’s brand–or, in general, a company’s outward facing brand–is created to appeal to potential clients or customers. A recruiter’s brand is designed to appeal to potential employees. This key differentiation is what recruiters need to pay attention to when publishing content and communicating with candidates.

If you don’t know where to begin when building your brand for recruiting efforts at your organization start by asking these questions:

  • What kind of candidates are you looking to attract? Tech savvy, creative, personable?
  • Is your organizational work style professional or laid back?
  • Are you looking to hire seasoned professionals or do you want to attract entry-level candidates?

Once you’ve answered these questions, you can begin to develop a messaging and branding strategy that aligns with your hiring goals.

Let’s highlight an example:

Doreen, a renowned hairstylist in San Francisco, just opened her second hotly anticipated hair salon in the downtown area. She’s looking for experienced stylists that can cater to her professional clientele during the typical weekday lunch hour. She needs serious candidates who are both professional and personable so her clients can rest assured they’re in good hands!

If Doreen wants to attract the right type of talent she needs a recruiting brand that communicates these messages. Professional branding showcasing the growth and entrepreneurial opportunities available under an award-winning hairstylist is likely to attract serious professionals. Additionally, by highlighting specific requirements like the need for certifications at a top cosmetology school and extensive prior experience, Doreen can communicate the quality of the organization and the position.

Here’s an example of some outreach that might work for Doreen’s Salon while staying true to her brand:

Hi Sara,

Michael here from Doreen’s Salon in San Francisco. I’m not sure if you’ve heard, but Doreen’s Salon will soon be opening a second location in the area! I’m reaching out because Doreen saw your past experience and thought you’d be a perfect addition to the team as we begin to build out our new location!

We’ve heard great things about your past seven years at Patrick Evan’s Salon and would love to hear more about how you’ve grown your team there. Doreen is looking for professional hairstylists with 15+ years of experience who are ready to explore new opportunities and manage their own salon under an award-winning name.

Your qualifications certainly are exactly what we’re looking for! If this sounds interesting would you be available for a quick call to discuss this opportunity more?

Looking forward to connecting soon!

Best, Michael Bell

With compelling copy, Michael’s note to Sara can showcase Doreen’s premium brand. A few things to point out here:

  • Notice how Michael specifically mentions that Doreen inquired about Sara’s experience. Sara, who’s worked in the industry for a long time, will likely know this name. Michael leverages Doreen to convey the importance of the opportunity available.
  • Additionally, see how Michael calls out Sara’s experience at another top salon in the city. Michael shows Sara he’s done his homework and understands Sara’s professional accomplishments.
  • Finally, take note of the requirements laid out within the email. Michael mentions explicitly that Doreen is looking for a stylist with 15+ years of experience. Thereby, he’s signalling to Sara that Doreen isn’t just looking at every generic stylist to fill the role.

Just like marketing, recruiters need to communicate their brand within all messaging they send out. These messages include job postings, career pages, sourcing emails, and even general communications with candidates.

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