Posted by Mitch on 26th January 2017
I love it when recruitment people talk about wanting to build or develop “a brand” for their agency.
I don’t really love it. It drives me fucking insane.
I don’t think recruiters (or worse, recruitment marketers) know what Brand means. I didn’t either, so I looked it up.
Here’s what Seth Godin thinks Brand means:
“A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another. If the consumer (whether it’s a business, a buyer, a voter or a donor) doesn’t pay a premium, make a selection or spread the word, then no brand value exists for that consumer.”
To put that into recruitment parlance, agencies like Hays, Michael Page and Robert Half would get clients to work with them, above all other agencies, and pay them more, simply because of their name and reputation.
As you can see, we’re in polishing a turd territory here.
So if we’re comfortable with the notion that the big agencies don’t have more talented recruiters per capita than the boutique agencies – and that in all probability the opposite is true – then it’s probably safe to say that no agency has a brand.
At least not by any modern definition of the word.
All of which means you can safely ignore advice like this. Be careful if you want to add a comment on that link – it seems the author deletes anything he doesn’t like.
Many a recruitment agency director will say that job advertising is only a part of their overall marketing spend. The bulk of that spend is reserved for polishing the turd. The more creative recruitment marketers sprinkle glitter on those turds.
The reality is that job advertising should be the only part of a recruitment agency’s marketing spend – until they get that part right.
Because if your marketing is telling people you are experts in talent acquisition and your job ads demonstrably aren’t acquiring any talent, then you’re in a bit of trouble.
Advertising, for most job disciplines, is the most cost-effective method of reaching large numbers of potential candidates quickly.
It’s also the place where the brand bullshit stops and measurable marketing starts.
As a postscript, back in the early 90s, Michael Page built their name and reputation by publishing lots of high quality job ads. No brand marketing, just attractive, well-written display ads in places like The Daily Telegraph and The Grocer. And that shit wasn’t cheap back then.