Executives; don’t under estimate the importance of personal branding for successful hiring.


I recently gave a webinar titled “Maximising your personal brand equity to accelerate your executive career”, for the executive career networking site GatedTalent.  Many people immediately associate personal branding with a job search, but it’s certainly not just about dusting off, updating and making changes to a resume once every few years.  Over the 40 minute webinar I covered the concepts of personal branding for C suite executives, along with how important personal branding is a multiplier for business success and consequently executive careers, which in turn adds even more value to a personal brand.  But of the many areas I touched on, one stood out for me as an area many executives don’t appreciate its importance for, and that’s hiring.

Personal branding is an integral part of every Executive to be enhanced on a continual basis and I’m extremely passionate about how important it is for executives to get this right, and how impactful getting it right or wrong is on an executives’ career.  Done well it leads to success in your current company, which adds even more value to your reputation, which you amplify through your personal branding.

As every executive knows, your value is only as good as what you’ve achieved in business as a leader, and ultimately that comes down to your workforce.  No amount of cash, or no matter how great a product or service is, will make a business successful without the right workforce to sell, deliver and service it.  If your staff are great at what they do, you will be a successful leader, which in turn gives you the performance metrics as an executive you can keep with you for your career, and adds to your personal brand.  If your personal brand is developed as being successful in business and as a great hiring manager, people will want to work for you, that is probably one of the most powerful personal branding tactics as an executive you can develop.

The leading public relations firm Weber Shandwick with KRC Research conducted a survey of more than 1700 senior executives across 19 countries, and 77 percent of respondents said a strong CEO reputation attracts employees.  Ultimately, it’s executive personal branding that will firmly establish CEO reputation, and it’s certainly not reserved just for CEOs, same goes for executives at all levels, across any organisation.  Fact is that executives with strong personal branding gives them great reputations, which provides them with a distinct advantage in attracting top talent over their competitors. 

Every executive tells me they only hire the best talent out there, always the top 10% of talent, the A Players according to TopGrading, and it makes me smile wondering where the other 90% of the workforce is.  But it is so true that by creating a team of A Players, and your business is more likely to succeed; keep a lot of B and C Players on board and you’re more likely to fail. It’s as simple as that.

Personal branding enhances reputation which is everything when it comes to attracting top talent, and done right it will make it easier for you to do one of your most important executive tasks, hiring, in particular attracting A players.   Attracting A Players makes executives so much more successful, and their lives so much easier compared to the headache of mis-hires, because:

  • A players are the performers who will be achieving their targets, which in turn are your targets and successes.  These are your accomplishments that add to your personal brand.

  • A players will attract other A players, whereas B players will attract B or C players.  It’s what is known as the halo effect.

But this will only work if your company is seen to have A Player Executives as well, and so if you are an A Player Executive, you need to ensure your reputation is articulated through personal branding.

Take this example of a candidate I recently spoke with.  He’s a top performing senior sales professional and got his sights set on senior management in the future, and the most important thing he is looking for in a move at the next stage of his career is a mentor, a proven C suite sales leader with a great leadership track record, someone he can look up to and learn from, because he knows it will set him up for sales leadership in the future.  This is where personal branding of his next hiring manager comes in, because to engage this candidates’ interest to interview in the first place, and then through the interview process the candidate is going to need to see the quality and value of that executive as an A Player – truly buying into his next managers executive brand. 

As you can see, personal branding is critical to developing a great executive reputation which in turn will help you hire top performers, the A Players, who will provide you with the business success you desire.  This success further enhances your reputation which you amplify through your personal branding to leverage both in your current company, and when the time comes in your resume for seeking that next top executive role.  Get your personal branding right to enhance your reputation and it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy to enhance your executive career!

If you're a securities fintech, data or research provider looking to attract A Players, and want to work in partnership with a search firm that will articulate your executive reputation to the market in order to attract the best talent, then contact us to discuss.

About the author. Shawn Rutter is the Founder of Excelsior Search, a market-leading, niche search company, specializing in international executive search and recruitment solutions for financial technology (fintech), data, and research providers to the global capital markets and investment industry. With experience delivering search assignments across the Americas, EMEA and APAC, he founded Excelsior in 1999, having previously worked as an Army Officer and for the international search firm MRI.  Shawn invites you to connect on LinkedIn.