By now you’ve realized that your brand is more than just a logo or a name. It is an extension of yourself, your company and the values and mission statements that have grown alongside your business. Your brand is something that is disseminated, examined, talked about and promoted within the industry. As a leader, it is your mission to cultivate and expand your brand image. One way to ensure your brand keeps moving forward is by hiring the right team. Naturally, there is a catch — your future employees might already be judging you, based on your brand reputation and perception.

Often, your brand will evolve and shift with or without your direct input. There is only so much you can control, some of it is left to the whims of your industry peers and consumers. Yet, your branding message begins with you and your company. Branding is your way of showing the marketplace what your company is about, what kind of values you hold and what kind of culture possible recruits can expect when they come to work for you.

I have found that the best way to show possible recruits what makes my company one of the best to work at is through our brand message. This isn’t to say that all our recruiting materials are laden with catchphrases and targeted keywords to sell ourselves to a possible recruit. Rather, I know that my human resources team is performing with passion and passing on our shared vision and goals to the future team members they are talking to. If you have a passionate, engaged team that believes in your brand and its mission, they are the key to sharing that message with future employees.

Recruiting is an investment and a necessary one. The first step before making those phone calls or setting up those meetings is having a clear brand message. When your recruitment team believes in your brand, it is much easier to show new team members what your brand is all about. That message is translated through passion and energy in the recruitment process. Thankfully, your human resources or recruiting teams are not left alone to translate your brand message into the marketplace.

Every piece of marketing material and advertisement that goes out is part of your brand message that will be not only examined by consumers but by your future employees as well. They see you. They do their research and see how you are represented in the marketplace. While it’s rarely a mission of the marketing team to tailor advertising with possible recruits in mind, it is the mission of the marketing team to make sure your brand message is on point and resonates well within the marketplace.

Your brand message must resonate with your future team members in a way that transcends subjective perception. This means that the more consistent a brand message is, the more success your recruiting teams will find in translating this message to recruits. The more muddled your brand message is, or if it is constantly in a state of transition, the harder it will be to show future employees what exactly your brand is all about. Sure, they’ll know what the job entails, but when it comes to vision and culture, they’ll have questions that could be avoided by showing a strong and confident brand message.

That’s what it’s all about — perception. You can’t always control how someone perceives your brand, but you can create a clean and consistent brand message that makes it that much easier to translate into the marketplace and recruiting. Your recruiting team is the front line in communicating your brand message and culture to future team members and it’s your job as a leader to ensure they are receiving a clear understanding of your vision. We sometimes might take our branding for granted, believing it to be directly tied to advertising and nothing else, but our brand message is much more than that and paves the way for future leaders to help bring our vision into the future.