Hey everybody, it’s Richard Milligan your host of recruiting conversations welcome back. I’m excited to have you, listening to the podcast today we’ve got something that’s fresh, I don’t know if how what the word fresh means, but it sounds cool, so with a with a preteen and a teen in my house, I get introduced to words all the time and fresh is one of those words that I’ve been introduced to. So, I guess because I’m in that you know mid for age bracket, I can create my own definition of the word fresh so it’s a fresh podcast, welcome to a fresh podcast today ladies and gentlemen.
We’re gonna talk about leadership branding, we bring this topic in, from time to time and with good reason, the good reason being that leadership branding is something that’s relatively new. Like if we went back five years ago, and I tried to convince someone that leadership branding was of importance inside their recruiting efforts, most people would not have believed that to have been true, but today data is really hard to deny, because all of the data says that look if you are recruiting leader, that’s someone who actually lead the team and also responsible for recruiting to that team. If you’re recruiting leader, your leadership brand is everything. Like those who don’t have a leadership brand are struggling at a level that they’ve never struggled to recruit in the past and what blows me away is that where data says that having a leadership brand is important to most important to CEOs and CFOs and COOs, that the large majority of them actually vacate this area of leadership brand. Look a specific data point that I’ve seen here recently was this, that recruits like 98.2% of them say that engaged and responsive executive management was critical to them making a decision for their next move. So, with that data being out there how can you deny that if you’re an executive that having a leadership brand is important to the growth of your organization. Look you just can’t be that disconnected from the data because that’s one of hundreds of data points today. That said that your leadership brand is is critical so one of the things that we believe is this idea of attractive leadership. Like so let’s have an attractive leader brand right and that attractive leader is clear on their value system clear on their core convictions, can articulate around them very well, and then simply looks to identify and document moments where they’re being an attractive leader, right? That’s a great way it’s a great framework for representing your leadership brand inside social media. What we’ve done is we’ve taken a play off of my company name which is 4c recruiting and we’ve taken and developed four C’s to having a leadership brand. I’m going to go over those four C’s with you today, and give you context around how does this how does this actually look, at a higher level like what are some of the very practical things that you should be doing on a daily basis in order to have a leadership brand. I think one of the struggles for most people is this idea that if I’m gonna have a leadership brand, that I have to become a thought leader. Look that’s a lot of pressure I mean I deliver content on a daily basis to a lot of different places, and I’m also intricately involved in the creating of content for other high-level leaders. So, I get that this idea of becoming a thought leader is overwhelming because to become a thought leader puts a lot of pressure on the content that you’re going to deliver, the thought that you put into the content, and look there’s just certain people that are gifted in this space that can do it and do it well and it comes naturally to them. I mean one name that comes to me immediately is John Maxwell, John Maxwell is definitely a thought leader, like he just fused these sentences and these statements that just give ultimate clarity to what his leadership look like, what does inspiration look like, like what things should actually be taking steps on. And so there are some people that are gifted in this space, but I would dare say that most of us, and if you can’t see me if you’re on the podcast if you’re watching the video you see me pointing to me that most of us are not thought leaders, right? And so we’ve got to take the pressure off of that, to say it’s okay to not be a thought leader. But how do we represent our leadership in an attractive way in social media because in the end, I get the importance of making sure that I have a presence on social media but if there’s not something that I’m going to get in return, then what’s the point, right? Let’s go invest our energy into something else that’s going to deliver results why would I go do something that’s just for likes and comments and shares that brings no value to my business. And for the recruiting leaders specifically which is what this podcast is designed for for that recruiting leader that’s wearing 12 to 15 hats and you’ve heard me say that over and over again because I’ve counted them. The person who’s managing the team has lots of responsibilities the last thing they need is another responsibility to oh by the way, have a leadership brand and focus on that we’ll just add something else to your job criteria but the truth is that the reason why it has to be a hat, that the recruiting leader wears today, is that it matters. It matters because recruiting data says, now that if you don’t have one you will have a difficult time moving people to you look if we go back five years ago. Direct solicitation was the name of the game if you were going to have success recruiting it was all going to be done through direct solicitation. So, whether it was you that was doing the direct solicitation or whether it was a recruiting team that was doing the direct solicitation for you, if you had that piece and play, you were going to be successful. You didn’t even have to have that great a phone script you just had to engage people at some level and begin to move them through a next step process to have some wins. But in an industry like the mortgage industry for example where 94.6% of people would say that their content, they’re happy where they’re at, and then oh by the way this is spring of 2019 where this industry is also having lots of success. Partially because a lot of people left the industry eleven thousand originators left, the in the 2018 so there’s fewer people that take the applications and now we see an increase of spike in volume and so you’ve got happy people that are also managing full pipelines and if you’re trying to recruit in that type of environment, then you’re gonna struggle, unless you have a leadership brand because people are happy. This isn’t the 2008 to 2002 thousand 16 where there were a lot of issues in the industry, that made it easier for you to be a hunter. Now, today you’ve got to be a farmer and I think every recruiting leader no matter what industry you’re in has to be looking at it as though they are a farmer not a hunter, again this podcast is to recruiting leaders not to recruiting departments, okay? So, the recruiting leader is managing the team is fishing in a smaller pond this is a pond where there aren’t as many people, that they’re going to have exposure to or their brand matters a lot. Every meeting they have is a meeting that could change the trajectory of the team, that could change the trajectory of the of their career, if they get that top producer in their market. And so, having an attractive leader brand is what’s important so let’s talk about the practicality of that because my larger thesis that I talked about a lot is attractive leadership and the importance of that and it’s how specific that is to the recruiting leader in the market that they’re in that they have that attractive leader brand, but what does it look like from a practical standpoint to take that and apply it to social media.
Let’s talk about four C’s okay so first see of this is going to be connection, in social media how many connections you have matters and there’s several reasons why how many connections you have matters. One is going to be because you need engagement, and the best way to get engagement outside deliver and great content is by having a larger number of connections. LinkedIn data says that the average engagement on the platform is 0.04% so for every thousand connections that you have, you’ll get four people that will like or comment on something that you have. So, you can multiply that out, and you can say hey the person that has 300 connections versus the person has 30,000 connections which one looks more like an influencer if they’re delivering equal content. It’s the one that has the thirty thousand connections right if you’re in your market and you’re recruiting, and you come across that person that you want to connect with have a meeting with, move the next steps and have on your team, and you engage them and they go to your LinkedIn profile they see you posting and you’ve got one like, or you’ve got three hundred likes, which one has more influence to that individual I think it’s pretty obvious the individual look at the recruiting leader that’s the 300 likes and say they’re more of an influencer, right? there’s an advantage there and we’re looking for these advantages so number of connections matters what does that mean, you’re going to have to spend time connecting. Now the average CEO on LinkedIn has nine hundred and three connections I think that’s the number 903 okay so you have to have a lot more than that let’s just say that, and so that just tells you where we are in the evolution of this idea that leadership branding matters, if the average CEO, the average CEO is less than a thousand right there’s going to be some evolving in this and so we’re not on the edge of leadership branding but for a lot of people there’s still a lot of room to grow in the space of leadership branding because few people I’ve actually done a good job of actually representing themselves as an attractive leader. So connections matter, okay?
The second part of this is this ability to deliver content matters okay so content is that second see you’ve got to deliver content daily, and it’s got to be consistent now it’s not one of my C’s but now we’re on a roll well issues another word that’s a C word Consistent, and so if you’re going to deliver content, it can’t be sporadic content you’ve got to have a plan for how you’re gonna deliver content daily, because you never know when that recruit, that you’re wanting in your market is going to engage with you, see your content, move across to review the content that you’ve been doing on a daily basis hopefully if you’re doing it consistently and move them through this narrative of, hey this person this guy, or this gal, is a attractive leader right they won’t say that to themselves but what they will say is that this person’s either aligned with me, and I can see myself having value in their leadership, or they’re not in alignment with me and I don’t see any value in their leadership. So, you have to be delivering content daily if that’s gonna take place, okay?
The third part of this is communication so there’s two pieces here, content makes you visible, okay? But visibility doesn’t necessarily make you relevant, those are two separate pieces visibility, relevancy, visibility is necessary to become relevant, relevant is what takes you to that next level that allows you to actually engage in a real conversation. So the communication piece to me means this, yes I’m going to connect with you, yes I’m going to deliver daily content to the platform, but I’ve got to make my message direct to you at some point. I’m coming to your inbox to direct directly message you, okay? So, that’s where the communication piece goes from you just being visible on the platform to you being relevant to a conversation, whether they’re happy or whether they’re unhappy it doesn’t matter, okay? You begin a relationship where they are, and that’s when you become relevant. So there’s got to be a plan in place for communicating directly with those top recruits in your market, okay?
The last piece is this the last C is conversion, if there’s no plan for a conversion then what in the world are we doing. If there’s no plan for conversion that we are wasting our time, go put your energies and efforts in some other place, there has to be a plan for a conversion, this means you’ve got to define strategy this is not, this is not going at this, without some plan, this is not going at this, by just trying to muddy the waters like most I would daresay most salespeople go at it. This isn’t about sending out a mass message and getting for people to respond, this is a defined strategy that revolves around the authentic you and communicating that well. That makes you relevant and that makes people who aren’t on your team, want to be on your team. this means that you’re going to go directly with a message that goes through this lens of what I call to the audience of one, now to the audience of one to me says that when it shows up in my inbox it’s not a right hook, it’s not you asking for something from me like a meeting, or a face-to-face, or anything that I can push through the narrative of that. Because if you come into my inbox and you say hey Richard how are things going for you so many people are right hooking on the platforms especially on LinkedIn, where I will automatically have a narrative around that saying it’s a setup, right? How are things going, Oh things aren’t going well right that’s what I’m thinking that you want to hear, and so I see that as a pain agitators, I’m not a fan of pain agitators by the way when I look at a lot of sales models a lot of sales models are focused on pain agitators, where they ask questions like how are things going, or what things would you change, or what were the areas that are a weakness in your organization, right? What tools are you lacking to get to the next level, those are all paint agitators, when you’re in an industry that’s inundated with these recruiting conversations, you like my play on words there, that’s my the name of the podcast you’re listening to, but where there’s an industry that’s inundated with these non-stop right hooks, you have to be very careful to lean more towards relationship building than you would normally, because otherwise people think that it’s non altruistic and it really is altruistic that you’re trying to engage in a conversation, I’m not trying to recruit you, one I don’t know if I want you on my team, until I get to know you I’m not even convinced that our core values are in alignment, I’m not just trying to recruit, your recruit, I’m trying to build a dynasty here I’m trying to build the team of people that’s headed in the same direction, that has similar core values that want things that are of similar value and when I get there, we’re all willing to participate in a way where the intangibles are, you know integrity, honesty, hard work, right? Communicating while respecting each other, whatever those things are for you, then then you are looking for a specific individual, you’re not recruiting everyone and you can’t get there until you build relationship, I don’t know if I want you on my team, until I build a good solid relationship with you, and so you have to design this strategy around getting to a place where you have a core value conversation, and the core value conversation becomes the springboard towards the next steps, so if you’ve listened to one of my prior podcasts, we’ve talked that we’ve talked about this we’ve talked about the core value piece and how you use that as a springboard for success but this is where the conversion comes from, inside social media, right? So, let’s just go through this again I’m connecting with you, I’m connecting with lots of people, now delivering content to the platform, so I’ve got great visibility you’re seeing me in your news feeds. I’m coming directly to your inbox, I’m communicating to you on a regular basis, and I would say every 10 days, is a great rhythm to communicating to people, where you’re bringing something of value. When I say you’re bringing something of value this needs to be something that is a creative idea for the industry that works right now, something that is a resource you could share, could be a podcast could be a great book you read, could be you know some sort of PDF that’s got you know either a white paper on it a case study on it, but something of value that I had that I that you went out you found as a gem as a nugget, okay? and you’ve delivered that directly to my inbox and you’ve done this again and again and again so you’re providing value, providing value providing value and when you do that it’s okay now to ask me into a conversation with you could be a phone conversation, it could be a face-to-face conversation and from that if you have a right strategy and right process and play you’re just looking for a next step, and a next step, and the next steps lead to a conversion where you’re representing yourself as someone with a clear value system, and you’re having a value system conversation before you’re having a company value proposition conversation, that means that, you got to be clear on your vision you got to be clear on your value system, you got to be able to articulate this extremely well, and if you can do that and you get in front of someone who’s in alignment with yourself you will create next steps, and those next steps eventually lead to a conversion. But you got to have a system around this, one of the things we say and semi coaching is that extreme systems always in forever lead to extreme success, so what’s your recruiting system if you’ve got a simple tool for identifying talent, and then you’re just making contact with that talent, and to some level you’re doing an average out of following up with them, that’s not a system. Like my system that I teach us 32 steps in it, and you don’t have to have my system to be successful at a very high level, but you gotta have a system in most people most recruiting leaders are using some sort of notepad, some sort of outlook, some sort of Google Doc, some sort of spreadsheet and at some level they’re logging from time to time some notes around that but it’s no way even close to a system. A system is gonna tell you exactly what your next step is it can tell you what the timeline is for it. It’s probably going to give you some sort of notification when it’s the day for you to actually to activate on that piece, and you don’t need you know a high level CRM to do this where you’re spending $300 a month for that CRM to do it, you can use some very basic crms that are $15 – $20 a month, to accomplish everything that I just said.
So, let’s just go back to this and just reframe it all one more time here the four C’s that you need to lay out in front of yourself and you need to build into a system how are you going to connect, how are you going to deliver content, how are you going to communicate directly to the individual, and how are you going to make a conversion. That strategy, is a strategy that will propel you in your recruiting efforts, and you will win at scale. The reason why we know? It is because we take action on those same ideas every single day for the recruiting leaders. It is not enough to just be visible in the platform, if you get to connecting and content it’s not enough to be visible on the platform, okay? A lot of people take a wrong approach inside this piece of recruiting when it comes to social media they see that the content, they think is the conduit to bringing people in and it’s not your newsfeed your social media newsfeed is not an advertisement feed, there’s a great quote that resonates with me inside this in the context of this “we’re drowning in noise while starving for wisdom” I’ll say that again “we are drowning in noise while starving for wisdom”. So if you look at just creating noise inside your newsfeed by posting something on daily basis, you won’t win, and you will eventually become convinced that social media doesn’t work for recruiting. You become relevant when you start to go directly to someone’s inbox, and that’s what we call communicating, I want to communicate to the audience of one and then I gotta have a plan for moving you to a next step. So, I’ll deliver you value, I’ll deliver you value, I’ll deliver you value, and then I will ask for a five to ten minute phone conversation with you the context that conversation is for me is I’m not trying to recruit you, I’m trying to build a relationship with you I’m going to use that five to ten minutes to get to know you better, and I will use some energy from that meeting to get into a face-to-face, and again in the face of face, I’m not trying to recruit you I’m trying to build a relationship with you. And then when I get into that face to face with you I’m going to take this approach, where I’m gonna definitely find out who you, are I want to find out what your why is, what your dreams are, give us a lot of great questions around that, I’m gonna share my vision in my core value system and I’m gonna create alignment with that with you, and then in that meeting with that I promised I won’t try to recruit you and we’ll talk about my company value prop, then I will ask you for a next step, okay? And the next conversation I have with you then can be a company value proposition statement, but I’ve got to know that I’m in alignment with you first before, If I ever get there and I hope that makes sense to you most people lead with company value proposition and that’s all wrong. The reason why it’s all wrong is that if you’re selling somebody you don’t have an idea what their value system is, then what if you attract them what if your best-case scenario that you’re after actually is fulfilled and you attract them to your brand, then what? Well that’s a scary, that’s a scary idea to have a team full of people that you’re not in alignment with, that you don’t have similar core values is, that’s not my dream team, that’s the team that I really am gonna have a hard time serving, with my altruistic values. So, there you have it, I think it’s a great strategy for every person that’s a recruiting leader no matter what industry in, to actually go execute in a way that will allow you to actually have results and that’s what we’re after here, or after results you don’t if you’re recruiting leader you have very time to do this anyways, so let’s just have a define plan that delivers results, because I don’t have the time if I’m wearing 12 to 15 hats every single day, to try and fail for it in this model, plus you don’t have time you’ve got a I mean we don’t have time, you need that you need to build a team now, most people are looking at people now, let’s add people to the team immediately. Here’s my data from 2009 to 2013 so about a four-year window of time, I used the same CRM from 2009 to the end of 2016 it’s the same one that I teach today cost less than $20 a month to have it. I don’t have any vested interest and even showing it to people but it’s what worked for me so I teach it and so when we put people when I put myself in the system in 2009 through 2013 I measured it when I changed my recruiting efforts at the end of 2013 and it was taking me about two and a half years to be exactly it was two point six years to recruit somebody to my team, okay? As a recruiting leader operating in a small geography, it does can take a lot a longer amount of time to get people to you, and so I thought that that was okay, I mean I’d grown at the time I’d grown three teams, I’d hired about 40-plus producers I think a lot of people in that wind of time would have said you’re winning a scale because I was also producing, I was also managing you know the pipeline piece, the sales piece, the marketing piece, and all the other things, the infrastructure of the team. Will come 2012, beginning 2014 when I changed my efforts and I re-measure it, through the end of 2016, it took me 62 days to move someone from that moment of engagement to the moment they joined my team, and so that data the only big change in those two seas, an those two seasons, well there were multiple big change, with the big change one of the big changes was my ability represent an attractive leader over representing my company value proposition. Let me just say that again “my ability to represent my values, my vision, and my beliefs” first, before I brought in company value proposition, and prior to that I had never even spoke of my values or my vision, I had only led with this sales pitch which was the company value proposition. Most people that I coach, are doing exactly what I did from 2002 to 2013 which is leading with company value prop, ok? So as part of this we will leave with our leadership brands and because of that, you will win people that you want to win, you will create a dream team, and it doesn’t take that long to do it and the environment is right for this because few people today actually have a leadership brand. So, it’s worth the effort to do it, a tie a bow and put it on top right now is worth the effort to do this the question is will you execute on the strategy. if I can help in any way, you know how to reach me be an activator in this space it is worth fighting for this a great man once told me anything worth having for Richard you will have to fight for it, this will not come easy, few people will do it because of that, but if you were one of the few, you will reap the rewards, there’s no doubt about it. Till I talk to you again on recruiting conversations, it’s been a joy it’s been a pleasure we always love delivering these to you, if you find value in this drop us a line, we’re pretty easy to find on any of the social platforms, you can probably find my email address somewhere on my LinkedIn profile, would love to hear from you. If there’s value in this, yeah we’d love to hear from you, if it’s bringing value to you, pass it on to somebody else, that you know will bring value to. Most recruiting leaders are engaged with other recruiting leaders, so yes, pass it on, and until we talk to you again here soon have a great week everybody, and all the best.