1984. The year Apple aired its now-famous “1984” Super Bowl advertisement, the title of George Orwell’s famous book about a dystopian future, and the year new recruitment and staffing firm, First Search, opened its doors.
It was after having completed my Masterclass that Al approached me.
“David, nobody understands the power of branding to do good. Help us and work directly with us; you must. Hmmm.”
At first, I wondered if he needed to clear his throat and why he spoke in this unusual way.
After some back and forth and digging a bit deeper, we agreed to work together and focus on three areas:
- How to differentiate themselves and resist all temptations to be lured to what they call “the dark side”
- Developing language to eliminate being pigeon-holed in an industry famous for pigeon-holing people and employee candidates, and
- Relaunching themselves in a way that opened up people’s minds, so their skills, knowledge, and experience were put to work for companies and job seekers.
The Yoda Factor: Differentiating Between “Mature” and “Wise”
I’ve often joked that Al was the Yoda of recruiting, given how long he’s been in the industry.
When someone thinks of Yoda, they don’t dismiss him because of his age (unless they’re an ill-advised enemy). Instead, he’s embraced because of his wisdom.
Yet, in a world where automation and artificial intelligence have replaced human interaction and intellect, it’s become a real challenge for businesses to stay competitive if they don’t keep up with the latest trends.
One industry that’s seen this challenge in recent years is recruitment and staffing firms.
It’s the old idea that machines can somehow replace people (rather than augment human potential).
It’s Called “Artificial Intelligence” for a Reason
Despite the pressure to keep up with technological trends, this 38-year-old recruitment firm decided to rebrand itself and its business narrative to take ownership of its proven old-school approach: personal contact and direct observation, something no artificial intelligence solution can replicate.
In this article, I share their journey in nailing their brand in this very challenging industry.
The firm has worked with some of the biggest companies in the world and prides itself on its long-standing relationships with both clients and candidates.
From Fortune 100 to Public Companies, One Timeless Fact Remains Unchanged
For almost 40 years, First Search has transformed how companies hire and how candidates get selected outpacing the industry norms and averages for companies like Motorola, T-Mobile, Pulte Homes, Fluor Corporation, and the Salesforce partner community.
And they have worked with everyone from start-ups to NYSE-listed companies.
In an industry where many would say technology is the new frontier, this company doubled down on the tried-and-true methods that have remained timeless, working for them and their clients for almost four decades.
Per Chief Employment Officer Al Katz (on the left in the above photo, next to Sarah Katz and Bill Griffis):
“We have a philosophy that’s enabled us to outperform the industry and do what others see as unbelievable and envious. And it comes down to a core philosophy:
- We actually talk to candidates and hiring managers since we do not trust and rely on resumes and job descriptions. Relying on those is too shortsighted and naive an approach with too much falling through the cracks.
- We realize we are in the people-to-people business and remove today’s corner-cutting shortcuts, such as the use of keywords. We know keywords will never replace human judgment and direct observation. These shortcuts have compromised the whole recruiting industry and are not our philosophy and practice.
- We actually ask hiring managers a key question: What are the top three things we need to look for or ask so we know we have the right candidate for you? Surprisingly, the most common response is, ‘Let me think about it and get back to you in a day or so.’ “
This sheds light on how they embrace their philosophy in everyday practice, breathing new life into their brand.
Here’s a look at their rebranding journey.
Modernizing their brand was the first step.
When most people think of branding, they think of colors, fonts, and logos. Rebranding is so much more than that. It’s about finding a way to capture the essence of who you are and what you do and distilling it into an unmistakable presence that can be communicated to, and stand out in, the world.
Next in line was giving their website and language an entire overhaul:
Because it’s all about how the company is seen and experienced in the world.
The goal was simple: create a brand identity that successfully conveyed their difference, their philosophy, and their envious performance record.
And the video we created brought this all together in one powerful message:
Whenever you’re ready, there are 4 ways I can help you:
1. A free checklist of 10 immediate actions you can take to move the dial on your brand. Immediately downloadable (plus you join a community of thousands of entrepreneurs worldwide who are the first to get exclusive articles on branding, rebranding, and growing your brand):
→ Download The Lucky Brand: 10 Golden Rules of Branding to Outshine, Outperform, and Outlast Your Competition: Ten immediately actionable steps you can apply to your brand right now to elevate how you’re seen while expanding your impact.
2. Need further traction in your business? Grab my #1 Amazon bestseller:
→ Brand Intervention: 33 Steps to Transform the Brand You Have into the Brand You Need The exact strategies I use to go from zero to 100k+ followers, millions in income with no paid ads… sharing the tested and proven strategies, responsible for over $7 billion in sales for companies just like yours
3. Transform your business in 9 weeks and be mentored directly by me. My Brand Intervention Masterclass takes a deep dive into the exact strategies I’ve used to turn companies around and help startups craft a compelling story and an impossible-to-ignore brand.
What I teach you in this Masterclass has helped 100+ businesses and entrepreneurs generate over $457 million in revenue since graduating…
4. Work with me and my team 1:1 to transform your brand, isolate your differentiator, and elevate business impact and growth, ending the perpetual cycle of competing on price and watching competitors outmaneuver you.