Love him or hate him, Donald Trump is undeniably good at one thing – being in the spotlight. From the very beginning, harkening back to his “You’re fired!” days on The Apprentice to his current status as Republican frontrunner for president, Mr. Trump has understood the immense importance of personal branding, and he’s become a master at it. This election cycle, he has taken up an unprecedented amount of media time and has successfully interjected himself into the Facebook feeds and television screens of nearly every American.
So, how does he do it? And why does it matter to recruiters? All politics aside, it is clear that employers have a lot to learn from watching Mr. Trump’s unorthodox yet seemingly successful campaign.
A major attraction cited among supporters is that Trump “doesn’t act like a politician.” Somehow, the billionaire real-estate mogul and reality television star has convinced a large number of supporters that he is actually “one of them.” The success of this message is not so much hinged on details or talking points, but on tone and delivery. The same way corporations look to connect with candidates in recruitment marketing campaigns, Trump aims to connect with voters, and it’s working.
So, what can recruiters learn from Mr. Trump’s campaign? Simple – deliver authenticity over corporate messaging every time. It is clear that people are getting tired of the same old message time and again, whether it be a politician speaking from carefully formulated talking points or a corporation espousing tales of a “dynamic work environment” or the need for “passionate self-starters.” By distancing yourself from the entrapments of corporate language, you allow candidates to feel connected with a job opportunity as something they can relate to and trust.
In the age of information, most voters have become pretty good at spotting inauthenticity when they see it. Just as voters see through generic platform promises, job seekers are no longer fooled by big smiles and “innovative companies” who all promise the same couple of perks. The script is obvious, and job seekers aren’t impressed. By taking your corporate message, bringing authenticity to the language, and broadcasting that message to your audience through recruitment marketing, you can begin to stand out among competitors as an employer who can truly bring something desirable to the table.
Recruiters are undeniably so much more than just recruiters, they are also marketers and salespeople. They have to sell their company, sell their jobs, and sell all the perks that go with it in order to attract the best talent. One of the biggest challenges recruiters face, like Trump, is that all of that selling is subject to popular public opinion. Your best perk might be your stellar 401(k) offerings, but if that message doesn’t resonate with job seekers, you’re out of luck. Similar to voters, job seekers are attracted to authenticity, passion, and simplicity.
As a recruiter, creating an employer brand that is simple yet passionate will work wonders for your success. The attractiveness of your company should be easy to remember and have a lasting impression on job seekers, which is something Trump knows a lot about with his now iconic “Make America Great Again” slogan. His messaging is clear, simple, and incredibly easy to repeat and remember.
Now, no matter how long Mr. Trump lasts in his bid for the Presidency he undoubtedly continues to hold his own with his authentic, straightforward, and passionate approach. Similarly, recruiters and employers can find success with this no-nonsense take on marketing their employer brand. Trust me, it’ll be huge.