I would like to get feedback on the best ways to brand ourselves in the recruiting industry, especially as an independent recruiter in the world of social media.


The question is, do we use a different strategy to brand ourselves to jobseekers than we do to clients?

Do we want jobseekers to relate to us by our personal name or by our company name?

I see job postings by companies, yet I see social media profiles by personal names.


How do we decide, and if there are reasons to brand for both, do we do it seperately or find a way to bridge the 2 together?



Brian Jaeger



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If a brand is not a name then there would be no point in putting a name on any product they could all just have a plain brown wrapper. There would be no point in building a reputation if we didn't identify something with a name.

I think you just proved my point with your disagreement when you said that "the term brand got hijacked."

Would you agree that if someone says i won't buy that brand they are saying so because the reputation of that named product is shoddy or bad? Anything can become a bad brand just as easily as it can become a successful brand. Success is based on building a good reputation for the named product, thus enhancing the reputation of the name.

Toyota is a brand name. The reputation for quality is down the tubes ergo the reputation has been destroyed but the name or "brand" has not changed.

A badge in fact is a brand. If you go to a convention wearing a button that says XYZ corp you identify yourself with that brand or name. If you act like a jerk you cast aspersions on the reputation of that company but you do not change the name of the company only the perception of yourself and potentially damage to the company name.

Branding or naming something does not build the reputation. What you do after you name it makes that Brand what it is as in your example of Marlboro being associated with manly , cool etc. Should manly and cool go out of style the brand name would still be Marlboro.

Moving back to the world of recruiting and the subject of this post. Craig Silverman, Steve Levy and multiple others have the reputation for being top recruiters. They can go to any firm and build the reputation of that firm. Their "brand "is their name if they screw it up their names/brand does not change their reputation may certainly do so.

If anyone ever tries to sell you a horse with circle 7 brand on the left hip trust me when i tell you that it may kill you. The reputation is so bad that when you see that brand name run don't walk. The brand identifies a bad minded, treacherous animal. Or if you do buy it, name it Toyota because once it starts it just may not stop.

A brand is a name /identifier.
What i think is fun here is that everybody who says a brand is not a name immediately lists proper names of people or companies.

If our names are not our brand why not sign our posts anonymous, why set up a profile with a name on it. Why not title the Facebook page "Delivery lady"?

If brand and name are not the same why worry about image or reputation. We could all simply use the name "recruiter" use an avatar and become generic.
Job postings go by company names, because unlike reaching out to your personal or professional network, you're placing an advertisement to reach out to a larger (largely unknown) community of professionals who don't know you personally or even professionally.

Imagine you finding a job ad placed a recruiter using his/her own name. Your first instinct may be to determine what organization that recruiter works for, so you're back to trusting a company name until you develop a relationship with a person from that company. Then on, it's person to person.

Thus, getting your company's name out there serves a good purpose. Building a brand/name/goodwill is very important. Chief among the reasons is to use 'it' to attract people to your personal 'brand' (if I may call it that).

Humans still (largely) tend to prefer associating professionals with a set of values/attributes/qualities belonging to a tribe (company) to determine whether they should even bother working with them.

Just a thought.
This is a very funny debate. Basically no one ever got into the Top 100 companies in their field by branding themselves purely by their own name - and Coca Cola would be called 'John Pemberton'. When setting up a company the name is what people will associate with first and foremost. The company will build a reputation so when people talk about them they will say generically that that company has a reputation for blah blah blah. If an individual or individuals within that company screw up then equally it is the company name that will be tarnished. In short, one brand, or company name, is what you should be aiming for and then you build your reputation from there. Unless you solely deal with people who already know you of course, but then why set up a new business to do that if your company is going to be known as your own name?
So basically what we are saying here is that Coca Cola is the brand or name of soft drink that has built a reputation. So the name is what people will associate with first and foremost. Over and over i see a link here between name and brand be it a personal name or a company name so the brand is the name and what we do with it or how we develop it is reputation, image, delivery, service, production success, failure. So when we "brand" it we give it a name , a logo, a tag line, then after it has a name we build it or destory it.

Ambrish, in many situations i agree with your analogy of tribe and personal brand. My question would be does the tribe have a name and is your personal brand your name? If your personal name is not your "brand" then how do i ask for you personally? Do i say , "may i speak to a smart, productive, honest recruiter or do i say, "may i speak with Ambrish"?

Suppose Cocal Cola had been branded Permberton Cola i suspect we would be ordering a Pemberton instead of a Coke.

What i am beating the drum about here is that we have gotten silly, fuzzy and trendy about the use of the word branding. My take is that when we are building a reputation we are not "branding", the brand has already been stamped on the company or person in terms of the name. We build a reputation for the brand /name by providing quality products or services, we promote a brand name with advertising, some of us "ride for the brand" when we talk about loyalty to the company name. A person's name is the only thing they have that no one can take away from them. They are branded with it and unles they change it no one else can. What they do with it is not "branding" that happened the minute momma and daddy hung that one on you. That happened the minute you filed your articles of incorporation.

Branding happens once, reputation of that brand can change in a heartbeat. I rest my case.
Hi Brian,

I've found that candidates are less concerned with the name of the recruiting company and more interested in the actual recruiter's name, especially when it comes to referrals from other candidates we've worked with. That's why I have my name on Twitter instead of my company name. I've also been doing quite a bit more through Facebook and while I have my company name listed on both Twitter and Facebook, it's my personal name that is more the focus.

I think for clients, it's both, we want them to know our company name and what we specialize in, but at the end of the day they are going to remember how the recruiter performed more than anything else.

I think really the two should always be together for maximum effectiveness. So that when they see your name, they also see your company name and connect the two.

I think with social media the key is to be consistent. I don't spend much time at all on it, but I do tweet all my new jobs, and post on Facebook and LinkedIn regularly with job related updates, and keep my LinkedIn profile udpated and filled out, making it clear what kind of searches I focus on, and it has been paying off with a real increase in candidate referrals, and just last month, a new client found me via LinkedIn.

Great question. Ultimately, you brand both yourself and your company. You leverage the larger brand to generate more visibility to the brands your promoting. Additionally, because your promoting yourself and your company there needs to be a cohesiveness amongst the brands so the message your communicating is clear to the audiences your targeting.
Hey Brian,

There are different answers to your question. Depending on your answer to this question: Do you want to appear as though you are an established firm, or, do you want to give a more personal/devoted/chummy air to your clients and talent?

I would say go with all business on both client and talent fronts. That being said, there is nothing to stop you communicating with either in social media outlets (just remember it's business first). I think that way you will be taken more seriously and less inclined to baby either.

However, there is a lot to be said for coming across as more personable and giving either client or talent the feeling that they are special, you don't necessarily want to do it via social media though. Phone calls and visits are still more intimate.

If you need any help branding your business let me know, I have oodles of experience in graphic and interactive design.
Neither name or company, but by function. Look at one of the most successful brands: Harry Joiner. MarketingHeadhunter.com. This would make a great audio live show.

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