Your Recruitment Agency Is Boring

By Sean Withford - October 02, 2019

This is going to be controversial….

But your recruitment agency is probably bland.

Old news.


Before you lynch me, let me explain…. (and after that I’ll suggest a few solutions!)

Does your recruitment agency have a Unique Selling Proposition (USP)?

If yes, I will take a guess that it’s some combination of:-

  1. Your X number of years industry experience
  2. Your rigorous focus on service delivery
  3. An honest/fresh/refreshing approach to recruitment

Was I close?

Sorry… your USP just might be the Usual Selling Proposition and not that unique after all. Most agencies have a combination of these 3 points as what makes their recruitment agency special, and is regularly shared as part of marketing, sales calls, and pitches.

The worst part if that you probably are exceptional. Your business probably DOES have great experience, a focus on service delivery, and people that genuinely care – but in a market where everyone is saying the same thing then it just all becomes noise.

And in the market, if you aren’t different, then you become a commodity.

And what do buyers focus on when buying a commodity?


“What’s the cheapest price I can get on 5 tonnes of recruitment?” 
– Every PSA Agreement Ever.

One of the greatest challenges facing agency recruiters is differentiation.

Differentiation means you hold a special place in the hearts and minds of the industry you serve.

Don’t just tell your market that you are different. Find ways to show them.

So how can you differentiate your recruitment agency?

Grab your free download with 101 ideas to make your recruitment agency stand out

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It deserves another post all on its own, however as some quick suggestions:-

Have A Tight Niche Focus

It’s difficult to be the best recruitment agency in the world. It’s (relatively) achievable to be the best recruitment agency in the world for big data analytics roles in Sydney. By being incredibly focused on your niche, you can truly be the best in the world in your specialism and geography, and in doing so receive the lion’s share of the best opportunities and the best people.

Say No To Customers

Disqualify yourselves from working with some businesses. Don’t be afraid of saying who your business and service isn’t right for. It’s impossible to make everyone happy all the time, so by deliberately deciding what type of customer you work with and then actively promoting that fact then you help differentiate yourself.

Offer Value First

Gary Vaynerchuk says “The single best way to win is to give 51% of the relationship.” Gary is talking about trying to offer more value (service) than you are trying to take (fee.) One of the best ways to achieve this is by offering value to your potential clients and candidates before they ever need you. This might include things like creating great tools and resources for them, hosting an industry event, industry conferences, writing books, etc.

Have An Attitude

Speaking of Gary Vaynerchuck, have an attitue. Not a bad attitude, but definitely have a perspective on our industry and how things should be. By clearly stating the things that your business believes in and cares about, you will attract like-minded people that want to work with your business.

Hire Differently

Sometimes by structuring your internal team differently around a desired client outcome you can stand out. By deliberating structuring your people differently than your competition. As a thought, could you stand out from the crowd by supporting one of your Resourcers into becoming a Community Manager that purely works on turning your recruitment database (archive) into a living, breathing community?

I’ll put together a post about differentiating your agency and becoming an “agency of choice” next week – stay tuned.



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