Leveraging Your Personal Brand, When the Company Brand Won’t Cut It
When it comes to recruiting and hiring top talent, an organization’s reputation matters – a lot. Three-quarters of job seekers consider an employer’s brand before even applying for a job, and 73% of recruiting leaders worldwide think employer branding has a significant impact on hiring, according to LinkedIn. Young companies that have yet to establish a name for themselves may feel this particularly acutely, with just 33% of employees saying they’d apply for a position with a business they’ve never heard of, according to PwC.
Of course, it makes sense that people are reluctant to take a gamble on an unknown quantity, especially when the employment landscape already seems unstable. But this presents a difficult hurdle for anyone hoping to quickly build a high-performing team to fuel a new venture, such as founders, hiring managers, and recruiters tasked with supporting them. All is not lost, however. Prior to launching or joining a startup, many entrepreneurs have spent years of their career earning distinction and making connections as employees at prominent companies. They can leverage the personal brand they’ve created to start conversations with exceptional job candidates, including individuals who aren’t necessarily looking for new roles. Recruiters can also take advantage of company leaders’ name recognition and personal profiles when advising talent to consider a lesser-known employer. Here are some techniques that can help.
- Make outbound recruiting work for you.
If you’re a founder or hiring manager at a fledgling organization, you’ll likely begin by reaching out to those candidates who are most likely to trust your judgment and want to partner with you: people who already know you in a professional context. These could be former coworkers or any other talented individuals you’ve worked with over the years, such as a freelancer who contributed to one of your past projects or a connection at a company you’ve done business with.
But what happens when you exhaust all your personal contacts and referrals, but still need more people to build your team? Job postings can only get you so far: Inbound applicants may not have the credentials and experience you seek, and the highest-qualified among them may be wary of pursuing a role with an unfamiliar employer. It’s time to proactively identify the best and brightest outbound candidates, and then reach out to them in a scalable and effective way. With its massive global database, advanced search criteria, and suggestions powered by machine learning, RecruitBot can help. You can also use RecruitBot to develop personalized outreach emails that link to your bio, highlight your personal accomplishments, and tell a persuasive story about who you are. Even if you’re hiring for an established brand, this can help build excitement about the role and spark candidates’ interest in working with you directly.
2. Reach out directly.
Imagine you’re a seasoned professional with an established career and satisfying job. You get an email from an unknown recruiter containing stock language about an opportunity at a company you’ve never even heard of. That’s not very compelling, is it? Now imagine you get a friendly, customized email straight from the personal address of an individual whose name you recognize, or whose merits and experience you can easily confirm with a little research on LinkedIn or elsewhere. That’s going to be much more effective at grabbing your attention.
It’s not easy, however, for founders and hiring managers to draft and send personalized messages to each and every candidate in a scalable way. That process takes a lot of time and energy – when they’re already overwhelmed with the herculean task of getting a new business off the ground. With RecruitBot, recruiters can easily send messages on behalf of anyone in an organization, straight from that person’s very own email address – without needing full access to the entire account. This direct outreach can significantly boost response rates, while ensuring that managers don’t get swamped with busywork. Two-way data sync means that any replies from the candidate are also captured, so the recruiter can get a prioritized list of respondents and schedule next steps as needed.
- Add a personal touch.
When established brands recruit passive candidates, the company name alone is worth a thousand words. Recruiters don’t necessarily need to do the legwork of describing the business, outlining its mission, and telling its unique story in a powerful and persuasive way. Instead, candidates recognize the organization and immediately understand what it does and what it stands for. That’s simply not the case with brand-new businesses, and it makes recruiting much more of an uphill battle. The personal brand of a well-known founder or manager can certainly help, but so can high-quality messaging that captivates candidates and comes across as customized to each individual recipient.
RecruitBot makes it easy for recruiters, hiring managers, or anyone else to quickly craft highly personalized drip campaigns that can pique the interest of candidates when the company name isn’t instantly recognizable. You can choose from a variety of customization methods to send hyper-personalized emails or reach out to candidates in bulk, using template variables to semi-personalize each message. For instance, you can insert language that speaks to a candidate’s particular skills or mention specific aspects of the company that might appeal to them. Recruiters can use these tools to propose a drip campaign to a hiring manager, who can then tweak the language to add their own authentic voice. Even when employer brands are household names, a high degree of personalization helps to increase engagement rates, so it’s always a worthwhile step to take.
There’s no question that new and unknown companies face unique challenges in their quest to hire the best and brightest talent. These are just a few of the ways that leveraging prominent employees’ personal brands can compensate for a lack of renown. Need more ideas? RecruitBot can help. Request a demo now.