checkIn today’s job market, enticing potential clients to work with your firm can be challenging at best. With unemployment levels at consistently high levels, candidates are flocking to companies with openings. Now more than ever, it is imperative that we focus on branding ourselves as something new.  Rebranding has worked for soda companies, clothing designers, retail chains and just about every other business that’s succeeding today. So why not make it work for recruiters?

Gone are the days when simply being a recruiter made potential clients assume  that you have access to a secret hidden talent pool. Now we must brand ourselves as a way for employers to avoiding wading through the overwhelming, and most often unqualified, responses to openings. We need to present ourselves as someone who can deliver quality higher than the unemployment pool. Branding ourselves as career recruiters – people who help candidates and clients for the long term – is one way to do just that.

What’s a career recruiter? Someone who helps candidate’s develop their careers for the long term; someone who pays attention to individuals and doesn’t simply “sling resumes.” On the client side, great recruiters develop deep partnerships and understanding with their clients. They look for great companies and then promote these companies as such to their candidates.

Selling our strength of sourcing and prescreening candidates that have successful track records with their careers opens doors, even when the job market is ripe for hiring. Acting as a career recruiter, instead of just focusing on quick hires, can also help us persuade the right candidates into exploring their career options.

So often, recruiters get stuck in the “one more placement” mindset. A placement is the only direct way to positively impact the bottom line, and as a result it is our primary focus. Sure, we focus on keeping clients happy to enable the almighty placement to happen, but when you get down to the nuts and bolts of it, the placement pays the bills. The truth of the matter is, if we have no value to potential clients and candidates, we have no placements.

The key to successfully branding yourself as a career recruiter involves more than just a quick change of mindset. It also means that you have to look at the big picture. Sometimes the candidate with the most impressive background is not the right fit for the opening, even if it seems like an easy hire. Focusing on what is best for the candidate’s career, and your client’s long term needs, will ensure our own careers flourish despite the economic woes.

When people hear the word career, they immediately think “long-term.” Long-term is what every candidate and employer want during periods of high unemployment. Changing your practices and mindset to reflect long-term is the only way to ensure your business lasts, long-term. It’s easy to spend too much time mentoring and guiding candidates, but if you don’t put in some, it might be time to start.

in Recruiter Jobs]