Recruitment Grapevine | Executive Grapevine International Ltd

Keep it professional

The importance of developing a personal brand on and offline...
Keep it professional

Within business, it’s important to create a consistent, professional brand. However, in recruitment building a personal brand should take equal precedence. 

“When people talk about their experience with a recruitment consultancy, the conversation doesn’t typically start with ‘I dealt with Michael Page.’ It starts with ‘I dealt with Bob’,” Nick Kirk, UK Managing Director at PageGroup explains. “That’s how people think about our industry.”

During a panel discussion organised by Feefo, Kirk described that a common challenge for PageGroup – which employs around 7,000 members of staff – is ensuring all workers represent the brand’s values. “That’s the aim you should have if you work in the industry and want to stay in it,” he said. “For our best consultants, most of our clients and candidates don’t even know who they work for, they could work for anyone."

And as it stands, many recruitment conversations initially take place online meaning this concept of personal brand transcends to the digital space too.

Here, Recruitment Grapevine speaks to Lorraine Thomas, Managing Director of Metzger Search & Selection, for her top tips on building and maintaining a personal brand both on and offline.

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Why is it important for recruiters to have their own personal brand?

"Just as any corporate entity manages their reputation, thus increasing brand value, individuals could also benefit from this approach and manage how they are perceived.

When undertaking an assignment, I prioritise instilling trust and confidence, both of which are valued in the recruiting world by clients and candidates.

Building a positive, empathetic relationship, is crucial to being a trusted advisor for both parties. It underpins my credibility, just as much as my professional aptitude for delivering a good service.  These are strong elements of my personal brand; so are confidence, confidentiality and a professional outward demeanor, all help to inspire positive outcomes."

 

What advice do you have for those starting to build their online presence?

"With any professional online presence, to which existing or potential clients will have access, it should not be ill-conceived and random.  It’s an interactive extension of your brand with a potentially huge audience.

It’s better to reflect thoughtful professional opinion, preferably topical, informative and even inspirational. If you plan to be controversial in any way, then make sure you can defend your position, that your facts are correct, and any criticism is constructive.

On purely professional networks, keep your achievements, appointments and qualifications up to date. Also, your involvement with any CSR activities, mentoring or giving back to the community (whether local or professional) is worth sharing."

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Are there any pitfalls to avoid?

"Treat your professional online presence like a personal PR campaign - don’t say anything that you wouldn’t want reproduced. It’s a good idea to keep professional and personal online activities separate.  Your clients or potential employers don’t need to see photos of the family picnic.

Respecting confidentiality also underpins the recruiter’s service and must be maintained online also. Any inappropriate online content that is attributed to you causes reputational damage, risks litigation, and of course, the loss of that all-important trust.

Be careful about being political and avoid the temptation to rant. Certain topics are emotive but should be handled with care.  Offer a rational, professional opinion, even if it’s controversial."