There is a difference between marketing and branding for agency recruiters and search consultants. They are NOT the same thing.
In short, marketing represents your efforts to get the attention of another person. In the case of agency recruiters and search consultants, these other people are typically candidates and hiring managers.
On the other hand, branding represents your efforts to communicate information about yourself (and your agency) to these people once you have successfully gained their attention. And everything that you say and do—and don’t say and do—affects your branding efforts.
This is also known as the recruitment experience that you provide to others.
The recruitment experience and . . . paper towels?
There is a pivotal point in the business process where marketing becomes branding. This point is when you make your first contact with a prospective customer or client. Up until that point, all you’ve really been doing is marketing yourself and/or your agency, with a little “pre-branding” thrown in.
The reason it’s “pre-branding” is because the prospect is forming an opinion of you based upon your method of marketing. What customers think of you based on your marketing materials is just one part of the branding process.
Think of it this way. We are bombarded by commercials and advertisements on a nearly non-stop basis. They’re seemingly everywhere, touting every type of product known to man (and woman), and they all claim to do this or that.
But do you make any concrete, definite decision about a product or service just because of the information contained in that commercial? Of course not. Decisions like that aren’t made simply through a dispensation of information, especially when it’s subjective in nature. (In fact, some people are pre-disposed to NOT believe the information for that very reason.)
So when have you made a definite decision about a product or service? After you’ve used it. Or to put it another way, after you’ve experienced it. This is why first impressions are so important. From the very first encounter, people are forming opinions and judgments about you and your services, whether you—or they—realize it or not.
Bounty Paper Towels has branded itself as “The Quicker Picker-Upper.” Sounds great, but did anybody really believe that the first time they heard it? No. But once they used the paper towel, their experience showed them that was the case.
The paper towel absorbed liquids more quickly than other name brands. Therefore, the information they received about the product was validated by their experience using it. True branding was taking place.
Saying, “Our search firm specializes in providing targeted hiring solutions for high-tech companies in the Automation industry” is both marketing and “pre-branding.” Actually providing targeted hiring solutions, as well as an outstanding experience in the process, is TRUE branding.
And you achieve it through the validation of the recruitment experience that you provide to others.
Enhance your recruitment experience through training
If you’re an agency recruiter or search consultant and you’re looking to improve the recruitment experience that you provide to candidates and hiring managers, you can do so with continuous training and education. The good news is that we can help with the Top Echelon Expert Recruiter Coaching Series of webinars!
These webinars are conducted by some of the most popular trainers in the recruiting and staffing industry on the second Tuesday or Wednesday of every month. If you register for a live webinar and can not attend, we record the sessions so that you can access it at a later date. These recorded versions are then posted on our website as free recruitment agency training courses in the Top Echelon Recruiter Training Library.
Top Echelon’s coaching series of webinars addresses the fundamentals of the recruiting and staffing profession. They also include the latest tips, trends, and strategies in the industry. These topics deal with candidates, clients, and sometimes both, depending upon the speaker and their areas of specialization and expertise. As always, our goal with these webinars (and corresponding videos) is to help agency recruiters and search consultants make more placements.
Training videos about the recruiting experience and branding
Below are two of the videos in the Top Echelon Recruiter Training Library that deal with the recruitment experience and branding. Click on the title of each video for access.
- “Advanced Branding Strategies for Recruiters” by Jon Bartos
- “Personal Branding: Your Secret to More Applications and Better Candidates” by Brad Bialy
In addition to training and webinars, Top Echelon offers other recruitment solutions. These solutions include the following:
Find out more about the recruiting solutions that Top Echelon offers to agency recruiters and search consultants!