Personal Branding: The Game-Changing Approach to Winning Trust 

Building trust is crucial in recruiting. A personal brand allows you to win trust in scale.

Last month, I spoke at the ERE Recruiting Conference in Washington D.C on Personal Branding and was surprised by the attendance and engagement from the session. In today’s hyper-competitive market, recruiters are looking for every advantage they can get to recruit top talent.

The opportunity to dialogue with recruiters from around the country further validated my observations and experience that personal branding in recruiting is not a gimmick. It’s a growing trend that’s producing real results. Personal branding promotes awareness, creates differentiation, expands your network, and most importantly, builds trust with candidates. 

I once heard Glen Cathey, the Boolean Black Belt and legendary recruiting thought leader, say that a cardinal rule of cold calling was, “If I don’t know you, I don’t owe you.” In other words, if I don’t know who you are or what you want, I don’t owe you my attention. Having a personal brand that lives online is a way of communicating who you are and what you do, without having to do it yourself over and over. I liken an online presence to reputation passive income. I create a piece of content (video, pic, article etc.), publish it online once, and it pays me in the form of social equity for a lifetime. 

Over time, the content you create begins to form a body of work. This body of work becomes like what a portfolio is to an artist. 

Much like you can get to know an artist through their artwork, you can get to know a recruiter through their content. 

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I’ve even had “high maintenance” and uncooperative candidates completely change their attitudes towards me as a result of Googling me. That’s because they got the essence of what I was about through my content. Those were aha moments for me. I was able to build trust with candidates without having to do the “work” of selling myself to them over the phone. What an asset when so much of what we do as recruiters is cold calling! 

One of my clients in staffing sales told me, “If closing a sale was from A-Z, my personal brand allows me to start at M while my competitors start at A.” Having a personal brand enhances your ability to build trust in recruiting and as well as sales by humanizing the process and establishing yourself as the go-to expert in your industry. 

I inadvertently stumbled onto my personal branding insights from my passion project, The Pathways to Success podcast. Becoming intentional about my personal brand has led to me quadrupling my number of Linkedin followers, attracting sponsorships, getting signed by a premier talent agency, high-profile speaking opportunities, getting cast in an Amazon Docu-Series, and starting my own branding and marketing company to help others develop their personal brands. 

Looking back at the content I’ve created over the last three years, I realized that I’ve been documenting my life’s story. I’ve learned that your story is the single-greatest asset that you possess to winning trust. Telling your story online using the tools of social media enables you to reach thousands (if not millions), therefore enabling you to win trust in scale. 

Julian Placino is a recruiting professional with 11 years of experience in agency and corporate staffing. He has been instrumental in advancing the careers of hundreds of technology, creative, and sales professionals around the country. For seven years, he led talent acquisition for Bottle Rocket, one of the premier mobile development firms in the world. He is the host of the Pathways to Success Podcast on iTunes, where he conducts in-depth interviews with world-class performers to discover their mindsets, tactics, and behaviors. Having a passion for helping the staffing industry evolve, he founded the Pathways to Success Training Co. which helps staffing companies gain new clients and recruit better candidates through personal branding, professional development, and leadership training.