Me, Myself & Marketing

Roger Griffiths, Founder, SynerG Ltd asks if modern marketing makes it harder for old-fashioned recruitment practises to exist.

In recruitment the one thing we are marketing is ourselves, our conversations invariably start with a single letter ‘I’:

“‘I can get you the best talent” or “I can get you an Interview”.

So, I find myself writing this article about just how we in recruitment have changed the way we market ourselves in a modern world of ‘Sharing’.

Steve Jobs once said about marketing, you must “Master the topic, the message, and the delivery.” And today that couldn’t be more true.

Over the last five years, possibly more, and driven by Apple as much as any other company, the way we market our services and brand in recruitment has shifted dramatically. The principal however is still the same surely: ‘People buy from people’.

That’s what we were told from day one as we began our journey in recruitment, and I believe this is intrinsic to the recruitment process. The client must trust you with their needs, and the candidate with theirs.

In the old days that meant picking up a phone and dialling a client or candidate completely out of the blue and using the skills you’ve learned, to navigate gatekeepers, assistants, any hurdle to get to the desired decision maker, or to the candidate not specifically looking for to move.

Your brand was your company name, and once established you could leverage that on every call. But things have changed and dramatically. Now people really do buy from people, the people whose lives they get to be a part of because of the change in how we market ourselves and lives online.

I remember precisely when the change happened. It was all about LinkedIn.

The Microsoft acquisition had gone through, and suddenly personal posts were in direct conflict to traditional sales posts. I lost count of how many times I read the comment “this is not Facebook” under someone’s personal post. These posts genuinely angered those that couldn’t see how things were about to change dramatically.

Out of nowhere, and I suspect actively encouraged by Microsoft, people began to share personal details about themselves. They started to get likes and that’s when things took off. Your brand was no longer your company name, your brand was YOU!

So how has this affected traditional recruitment?

Well firstly in an industry driven by ‘power hours’ and KPIs, can these traditional practises still have the same effect? Do they open doors like they used to? Or now should that time be spent cultivating your personal brand on your profile with details of that trip you took at the weekend?

Can the traditionalists of the industry keep up with the new breed of recruiter, and is it possible to adapt without appearing to force your personality into the feed, when sharing is completely normal for the new generation? Can you genuinely present your personality or is it all an act for the camera – the one that’s in your phone?

To be a success in the modern recruitment space there is no hiding behind that phone, as always to succeed you must adapt or die.

However, I do believe modern marketing’s focus on individual personality can complement rather than hinder old-fashioned recruitment practices.

In the end how we work and succeed in this industry is down to the individual. How we attract the best talent, and how we form the relationships that are key to being a success, all comes down to personal preference, but I can’t help think that those bonds are being formed the minute you scroll through LinkedIn unconsciously bonding with your preferred recruiter or supplier.

In the end people do still buy from people, it’s just that these days we know those people personally before we’ve even spoken to them.









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