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Recruiters, what makes you so different?

by Ash Bennett/ Thursday 12th october 2017

A crowd of different recruiters

Generally, most recruiters feel they need to have a good USP or something different than their competitors. I’m sure you’ll have an elevator pitch or something that you think makes you stand out from the rest of the crowd. It’s important to know what makes you different because if you’re promoting your business on this basis, it’s crucial to know what is tangible and also beneficial to your clients, your candidates and your business.

It can’t be ‘we are more honest’ or ‘we give a better level of service’. Those do not make you different.

Some of the ideas below might not suit your business, your market or indeed your mindset but what I’d like to do is open your mind to the possibility of addressing some of these to your business.

This is by no means an exhaustive list by the way; I have plenty of other suggestions I can make. It’s merely to get the creative juices flowing!


The large majority of recruitment businesses will know their rebates and the usual response from an agency to a client is that they have a ‘sliding scale’ rebate system etc. But what if you were to suggest to your client something different with no sliding scale for a slightly longer period instead? If the candidate doesn’t work out then give 100% back. In return though, ask the client to pay the fee within 14 days.

What does that say about you? Firstly, you must be confident, you stand by your client and your candidate and you’re not in the rip-off business! The client will hopefully understand that you are not going to oversell the candidate.

You may be thinking - hang on a second, I will lose money here.

You won’t because if you analyse how many rebates you gave over the last 12 months (for example) it’s probably not that much. In the long run, you are going to gain a lot more business with something that stands out.

Counter Measures for Counter Offers

Does this situation sound familiar? A candidate turns down a previously accepted offer through you? It feels awful right? But how do you think the client feels?

We’ve all heard of the saying “Knowledge is Power”? We all probably agree that’s true. As a recruiter, knowledge is gaining information from our client and candidate. Knowledge will give you information so the more information you have, the more control you will have over the sales process. And where something goes wrong, if you are totally critical of yourself if you’d had more information at the right time, you’d probably have avoided it!

So, make sure you are armed with all the relevant information at every stage of the sales process. If you want some specific tips on how to do this then please get in touch with me directly. I’d be happy to help.

Service Level Agreements

Have you got a Service Level Agreement in place? Do both your clients and candidates understand your level of commitment? If you haven’t already, you could set up some sort of ‘procedure’ so that it is clear and understood of how you operate. This could subtly include the things that unique about your business which is, of course, part of the marketing of them without it being so overt.

Creative Pricing

Across the industry, the majority of consultancies will have a standard fee as a % based on the offered remuneration. What could you do to do something different? How about this. Instead of a 25% fee, what about a 5% per month for 6 months by Direct Debit?

Now, just for the moment, leave aside the cash flow impact which is clearly in your interest. From a client perspective this sounds attractive, they can spread the payments. However, they will be paying a 30% fee if the candidate were to last the distance.

You might not want to do this for reasons as we just mentioned and they might not want to take it however what it does do is make the 25% look better and it differentiates yourself from the competition. It’s demonstrating to the client that you are prepared to do something different which is in their favour.

So, to round off, I appreciate that some of these may not be applicable to your business but I hope I’ve opened your mind to the possibility of doing some things a little different to the norm to help your business stand out from the competition.

If you have any specific questions or ideas you’d like to discuss then please get in touch.

Thank you so much for reading this article on wearessg.com

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