Employer Branding

Why a Candidate’s Brand is Important

How do you define your personal brand as a job seeker? How do you as an employer assess whether a candidate epitomises your company’s brand? What is your personal brand? Do you have one? And is it important to have one, given our very “brand aware” society, to actually have a personal marketing strategy?

As an employer, what do you look for when considering potential employees for your company. Someone who will embrace your own company’s brand and values?

How easy is it to hire in this format?

Let’s take Innocent Drinks. A recognisable brand in the congested drinks markets. Their values are natural, responsible, commercial, entrepreneurial, generous. Their “work for us” section really talks to potential employees in their distinguishable and colloquial tone. Those candidates applying for live or speculative roles are encouraged to shout about how they are different and show innovation in their application.

You can carry your personal brand from beyond your CV with your social media presence. It is not new news that a potential employer is definitely going to look at you across all channels. Not just LinkedIn, but those pics of you in your bikini or getting horridly drunk at a party, are going to form part of their assessment of your brand perception. It is a risky strategy to behave without awareness unless you are working (or hoping to) for a brand like Diageo possibly!

What does an employer look for when considering a person’s brand?

  • Values: Shared principles and values such as integrity and passion are important, but how do you assess whether a candidate has this? Assess this during face to face interviews by asking them to demonstrate where these values have been prominent in their current or previous roles. In any action a candidate takes, in everything they say, you are assessing their brand value.
  • Experience: What is the commercial value of the candidate’s professional and personal expertise and how does this elevate your brand further? Of course, if someone has worked for a competitor, this could give a new employer a distinct advantage but this is a short term fix. In a cumulative assessment, what does their entire work experience present to you and is this to your benefit?
  • The person: If you took the DNA of your brand and understood what that looks like, does the potential candidate presented to you possess these qualities? Are they your brand ambassador? If the answer is “no”, think very hard about whether they are the right hire.
  • Potential: A brand is ever evolving and is not set in stone so does this person represent where the brand is heading on its journey? This for me is where a good partnership-led recruiter is worth their weight in gold as they will be the best insights into who is out there in the market looking for this next career move.

How do recruiters help brand perception?

As an employer- allow your recruiter to come and meet the key stakeholders in the business so that they can understand where the business is at currently and what the growth plans and strategy are. The recruiter you partner with, and develop this relationship with, then becomes YOUR brand ambassador in the market on-going.

As a job seeker, a good recruiter should build up a knowledge of your current skills and motivations to assist you in developing your personal brand.

A simple strategy I advise my candidates is quite old school; what is your elevator pitch? Think about this for a minute. A 20 second overview of who you are, what you do and what you want. A brand should be unique: it is how you differentiate yourself from your competition and if you remember that, then your personal or company brand will stand out.

By Lysha Holmes

Lysha Holmes is founding director of Qui Recruitment established in 2005 to completely challenge the traditionally poorly perceived service offered by other Rec 2 Rec providers. Lysha as Qui Recruitment is dedicated to representing the best talent to the best suited roles, focussing on placing recruiters of all levels in a candidate led service across the NW.