Monday, October 13, 2008

Starting With 'A' Differentiator

It’s every hiring agency's dream to have that ‘Special-Something-Extra’ that gets them more clients and loads of money through the door. More importantly, they are always on the look-out for a differentiator that would give them the much needed head-start, compared to their competitors. The search for the differentiators more often than not takes away some basic functionalities that is driving the business.

The question I asked was: “If you were to start new, what would be the big differentiator?”

Here’s my take on it: There are 2 parts to the solving this issue, i.e. Internally & Externally.


This is driven more within the organization. Among internal teams catering to clients, in various recruitment related activities.

I would like to take an analogy of the game of football. The playing field, rules, parameters & all else is the same, the main ‘differentiator’ is the team’s core strength in:

1. Identifying the right players, vis-à-vis right person to work with

2. Hiring a good coach, who can strategize, has a short-term & long-term realistic vision, recognize talent, and promote talent. Replace Coach with the Manager & the Talent with the Candidate.

3. Cash in the bank to try out new experiments. My reasoning here with this point is because it takes time & effort to hire the ‘right’ people to work for you! You need to be able to get the best returns for your investment

4. The ability to have a star-player supported by the rest of the team, too many stars will only hurt the team in the long run


The client definitely expects positive results, that what they are paying for in first place!

1. From a company’s stand-point, they are trying to identify a ‘Business Partner’ in the literal sense, rather than working with just another recruitment agency. The partner should be able to take the same risks & also enjoy all perks in-tune with the company. The company wants the agency to become more accountable.

2. They want to be working with agencies which treat them as their ‘No.1’ client and not use their name with the agencies other 10 clients! So stand-apart from the crowd & your risk will be either worth it or not, based on your selection of the client & their performances.

3. A big differentiator that a new agency can have is the ability to say ‘NO’ to business that one cannot support. The effect of starting new & getting initially cash-strapped, missing deadlines & lot of other factors forces us to take on more than we can service.

Hope this helps.

The HR Store