Before you dive into the ocean, you want to check the depth of the water first.

Likewise, until you know what your target candidates look for in a recruiting firm, who your major competitors are, and what separates you from them, there’s no point in creating an employment brand strategy.

Testing the employment brand waters and gathering as much information on your place within it as possible is imperative in developing your strategy. Knowledge, as always, is power.

So how do you gain this knowledge? Where do these employment brand insights come from? Here are just a few sources that will help you get to grips with your standing in the recruiting market:

Consult Google

How do you learn about anything these days? You Google it. Search for mentions of your company, from online publications, bloggers and commenters. You can even set up a Google alert to email you whenever your brand is mentioned on the web.

Search social media

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn; these social platforms give people a chance to broadcast their opinions on anything to anyone. Search for social mentions of your brand for a truly unfiltered look at your reputation.

Use a reputation monitoring firm

These firms are professionals at getting a read on any brand’s reputation. They could be well worth the investment.

Glassdoor

Glassdoor is a utility that allows employees to anonymously review their own company. Each organization is given a simple star rating, so it’s a fantastically transparent way to get a gauge on what insiders think of your brand. You’re also able to check written reviews, and it can be used as a tool to sell your brand (by highlighting your “4.7 star Glassdoor rating” on your About Us, for example). You can also keep tabs on your competitors!

Conduct interviews

Consult with past, present and future candidates about their feelings toward your employment brand. This could be in the form of a quick survey or an informal interview. Remember that the internal and external perceptions of your brand can vary wildly though, so be sure to get the thoughts of jobseekers who haven’t utilized your services before.

Over and above gaining insight into your own employment brand, you need to get a gage on your place in the recruiting and staffing market. Which competitors are most associated with a strong employment brand? What are they doing that you aren’t? How do those that are held in high regard differentiate themselves from firms like yours?

You can use the same strategies as mentioned above to identify and dissect the leaders in your industry. Once you feel as though you’ve got a good handle on where you sit in the recruiting and staffing market, and have identified what your successful competitors are doing to best sell themselves, you are in the perfect position to make the decisions that will define your future brand.

Download our resource, Build an Exciting Employment Brand, to learn more.