Put your hand up if you’re different…

I just returned from a new client visit… well… given that it is 7:30am, as I sit in front of my sexy little MacBook Air (cash for comments if you’re reading Apple ™ – don’t be afraid to send a newbie my way), I didn’t really just return from a new client visit – it was yesterday… Now that we have that cleared up let’s move on… quickly…

So… I was on a new client visit yesterday… the early conversation went a little like this…

Welcome… pleasantries… how’s the weather… blah… blah… blah… etc…

different1‘If you don’t mind me asking Mr Miyagi,’ I inquired, with my very best let’s get down to business voice. ‘I understand you have a strategic need within your business… but why did you reach out to me?’

‘Well,’ Mr Miyagi countered, with his predatory eyes stalking an errant fly buzzing around the board table, and his left hand – clutching chopsticks – steadily poised for action. ‘I have read your blog…’ probably never again after this post I’m guessing. ‘I have seen the research you have conducted into the industry… you have a very strong social media presence, and I have spoken to a number of senior people in the market and you come highly recommended…’

‘Really?’ I blushed, barely able to contain the excitement at being recognised… finally… for being able to add value to a client’s requirements… ‘Go on…’

‘Pardon?’ Mr Miyagi asked.

Did I just say that out loud, I thought… ‘Did I just say that out loud?’ I asked.

‘Say what out loud?’ Mr Miyagi questioned, as he sprang at the fly with his chopsticks… and missed.

‘Oh… nothing.’ I responded… well saved Craig.

Anyway, the remainder of the meeting went well. I took a detailed job brief… made sure Mr Miyagi was on board with our terms of business… and even tied Mr Miyagi down… not literally, he’s a black belt… to a month’s exclusivity on the role… and to all you ‘retained or nothing’ people out there, I gave it my best shot!

We were bringing the meeting to a natural conclusion…

Thanks for seeing  me… warm shake of the hand… do you have any plans for the weekend… blah… blah… blah… etc… And then Mr Miyagi hit me with one right out of left field…

‘Wax on… wax off… wax on… wax off…’ Ok, I made that bit up… what he really said was…

‘And just before we finish up here… tell me Craig… why should I use you? There are plenty of recruiters out there in your space…’

different2I looked at him blankly for a moment, before gathering my thoughts… ‘Well Mr Miyagi… you really answered that question yourself… earlier on. I have an extremely unique candidate sourcing channel via our blog… We have conducted extensive research into the industry to make sure we understand it and can consult on it better than our competitors, we are very active in social media meaning we have created an interactive community of candidates… and in your own words… I come highly recommended…’

Mr Miyagi smiled… and as I entered the lift he called after me… ‘I expect to see the profiles of three quality candidates by tomorrow…’

‘In your dreams…’ I responded.


Did I just say that out loud? I admonished myself as the lift doors closed…

Point is… we are in an extremely competitive market. Your recruitment process will rarely be the differentiator… and if your fees are what makes you different more fool you… so what’s left is what value you can provide that your competitors can’t… And the best way to ad that value is to be an absolute expert in your market.

Become the expert and you automatically differentiate yourself from your competitors… simple… and remember… ‘Man who catch fly with chopstick is capable of anything…’

Craig Watson


6 thoughts on “Put your hand up if you’re different…

  1. Avatar
    Scott Strickland on Reply

    Ok, you really should read this one…it is that time of the week again. As a marketing man that takes pride in his ProTech pitch this is from our friends down under…and the phrase “we’re different” comes to mind…I will let you read the rest…

    Scott Strickland | Senior Technical Recruiter
    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
    ProTech Systems Group, Inc. | Talent & Technology
    3350 Players Club Parkway | Suite 120 | Memphis, TN 38125
    Office: 901.257.3348 | Mobile: 901.619.5201
    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
    This email may contain material that is confidential and proprietary to ProTech Systems Group, Inc., for the sole use of the intended recipient. Any review, reliance or distribution by others or forwarding without express permission is strictly prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please contact the sender and delete all copies.

  2. Avatar
    Terry Edwards on Reply

    Craig, another excellent blog and very amusing. Really good points about what makes you different. You are so right that if it is just the price you are big trouble. Keep the blogs coming really good stuff

  3. Avatar
    Darren Ledger on Reply

    Hi Craig, As usual love the post and the humour which is always evident.

    If you want a real strong USP however check our unique candidate delivery and assessment platform which we use to deliver all of our search assignments – http://www.i-intro.com . We are now selling this to non-compete recruiters and in-house teams as a white label product.

    If you want to have a chat through it and an on-line demo let me know. But just imagine if instead of sending a bunch of CV’s you were actually sending a full i-Intro profile of your short-listed or prospective candidate which included Video, CV, Key Competency Questions, Key Facts, Geo-location Map and Behavioural and Cultural Profiling unique to your client company?

    As a candidate of mine stated who is Finance Director “Whenever I have had to enter the job market I have always had to rely on my CV and some snotty nosed recruiter straight out of university to try and represent me fairly and objectively, now I can influence the hiring manager directly and add quality content to my application..” His words not mine. But he is right.

    Imagine if your exceptional candidates could actually have a i-Intro profile where they have a 2 minute introduction video and everything else available for your client to view and review on a PC, tablet or smart phone.

    It is truly groundbreaking and our clients and candidates love it.

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