Which brand is more important – the client or the agency?

Knowing who you are and your brand is important, as is promoting the brands you work with…

This is the final part of my three-part talk with James Whitelock (part two is here) about brands, marketing vs. technology, and the current effectiveness of recruitment agency marketing activities. James is the founder of Think in Circles.

Steve: Will recruitment agencies be superseded by inhouse?

James: No. I think the process of recruitment agencies is ingrained into the workflow, so businesses understand it. They’re not going anywhere, they’re always going be needed, but recruitment agencies can help themselves significantly by making sure that the message that they’re putting out into the market is what they actually stand for.

The amount of times you go into a recruitment business and they tell you what their core values are and “this is what they stand for” – then you look at their marketing material, their website and it has absolutely no match to what they’ve just spoken about. So getting that in line, that’s your first step. Obviously pushing this to the market and making sure that everybody knows what you’re talking about internally and externally is critical too.

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Steve: How much do you think there’s a shift where the representation of the client brand by the recruitment agent is becoming more important than the brand of the recruitment agency itself?

James: Obviously agencies are always going to want to shout about the brands and clients they’re working with, so that’s always a key driver. However, there’s still a need for someone to understand that this is an agency that works with this brand and people aren’t stupid, they understand where the recruitment agency sits in that process.

I’d say the Rec vs client brands are almost on equal footing. Knowing who you are and your brand is important, as is promoting the brands you work with – good brands attract good candidates and other premium brand clients to your business.

Steve: James, thank you very much.

James Whitelock (@thinkincircles) is the Founder and MD of Think in Circles.

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