With recent figures from the REC showing that the recruitment industry is thriving, there’s never been a better time to go it alone and set up your own agency.
To be successful, you’ll need to convince clients that you’re the best when it comes to finding them the right candidates – having a strong brand behind you makes this infinitely easier.
However, aside from some of the biggest agencies, branding is something that is largely ignored, neglected or mishandled within the recruitment world with new agencies’ brandings efforts often hasty and unclear.
So how do you begin to create a successful recruitment brand? Here are 7 branding ideas that will help you.
- Remember what makes up your brand:
It’s difficult to fine-tune your brand if you’re not entirely sure what it is in the first place.
Branding is much more than just a name, logo and tagline. It represents how people feel about your company and therefore warrants significant time and financial investment if you want it to add real value and a significant ROI.
Your reputation is closely tied to your branding and a positive reputation can take two forms. One, people may regard you generally as a “great firm,” or two, they might know you for your specific expertise. This is a particular asset, as a reputation for expertise connects you directly to your service offerings, helping to answer one of your audiences’ biggest questions “What exactly do you do?”
- Understand the challenges facing your sector:
Branding a recruitment agency has its own opportunities and challenges compared to other types of professional services.
For a start, recruitment is immensely competitive. Though everyone has a general understanding of what recruitment is, there’s less awareness of what specific services different agencies provide – it’s imperative that you distinguish yourself and make these clear. Do you operate in a particular sector niche? In a particular location? What exactly do you offer that sets you apart?
Since you’re typically selling your expertise and advice, it’s essential that you communicate exactly what kind of advice and expertise you offer.
- Experts have an advantage:
Having experts on your team is a great way of boosting your brand. After all, research has found that firms with experts have greater visibility and command higher rates, driving the success for the whole company.
Though recruitment agencies often have clients that are repeat engagements, many agencies are sales-led, often manager owned by former successful consultants who have set up their own businesses. Having experts on your team helps generate more leads and strengthens your credibility in the marketplace, making it easier to close more sales and grow.
- Base your brand on reality:
It’s not uncommon for people to develop big visions for their brands, but it’s important to make sure your branding is rooted in reality.
Sure, you want to stand out from the crowd…but make sure what you’re saying is true. The fact of the matter is that, no matter how objectively you try to view your brand, chances are you will always be too close to judge it effectively.
That’s where research on your industry comes in, helping you to ground your branding in the reality of the marketplace. By studying your clients, prospects and influencers you can base your branding decisions on empirical evidence rather than opinions, creating a brand that truly serves the needs of your business.
- Know your USP:
You need to identify differentiators on which to build your new brand and set your firm apart from the rest of the pack.
Researching your competitors should help with this – keep an eye out on what they’re talking about, what areas they specialise in, and whether there are any areas of unmet needs in your market place. Some of the differentiators may be qualities that you already possess, others may be areas where you can actively decide to be different e.g. specialise in an unfilled niche or provide services through a novel business model.
Think about any challenges that your clients may be facing in the industry and how you can address these. Essentially, emphasise these potential differentiators in your marketing.
- Keep it consistent:
You need to make sure that your brand positioning is reflected across all of your marketing channels. Otherwise, your message will become jumbled – your audiences will become confused about who you are and what you’re trying to say.
- Grow your brand organically:
Real results take time.
Your brand will need to grow in the marketplace gradually, across many channels including your website, social media, blogs, articles and physical promotional materials. Search engine optimisation can help draw visitors to your website and public speaking, and seminars can raise your profile and cement your brand.
Ultimately, all these tips work together to raise your visibility and propel your growth.
Through strategic and deliberate branding, you can help your firm stand apart and get ahead.