The Agency Dilemma

What is your hook? What makes you different from other recruitment firms? If you said, "we build strong relationships with our clients and candidates, or talked about how many years of experience your firm has, or the A+ candidates you can provide yada… yada… yada...", then I hate to tell you, but most of your competitors are saying the same thing. So what really makes you different?

Many of my colleagues and I have spent many years working in the staffing/recruiting space. Every day I would enter into a meeting with a prospective client only to see the folders of 3-5 other competitors on the client’s desk. We had delivered similar candidates along with a long write-up and detailed notes on why this candidate fits the clients’ needs. How was I different than any of the others? The truth is, I wasn't. 9 out of 10 times it came down to who would take the lowest billing rate percentage for a placement, and there was typically nothing I could do about it. The extra value added to our presentation or selling methods was similar to every other staffing agency – the only difference was in which candidates we presented for the job and at what rate.

It wasn’t until years later when I started understanding the benefits of digital interviewing, that I knew how firms could really set themselves apart. Creating a Digital Profile Talent pool changes the way business is conducted in a marketplace that hasn't had a real game-changer in decades. OnDemand interviews have not only increased efficiency in recruiting, but it has monumentally upgraded the talent pool that is available to prospective staffing clients. The flexibility and mobility of digital interviews has changed the game completely. The line of communication between a candidate, recruiter, and client is seamless, and processed in a fraction of the time it used to take to run ads, phone screen candidates, bring them in the door for an in-person interview, and present them to the client hoping all of your efforts will pay off with a placement.

Talk about a differentiator... The interesting thing is that the majority of competitors are still showing paper resumes and paper notes. Innovators in the industry are showing clients Digital Profiles of candidates on their Smartphones, tablets and computer screens, giving them the ability to formulate a hiring decision with ample information about a perspective candidate without the use of paper with bullet points describing an “ideal candidate”.

Recently one of my clients submitted a candidate's resume and a write-up to their client. The client looked it over, but wasn't really interested. When asked if they would review the candidate's digital profile interview, the client said "sure!" After watching the digital interview, they were able to see the candidate's personality, know right off the bat that they were a cultural fit and immediately brought them in for a face-to-face interview. The candidate was placed and the recruiter collected an $18,000 fee that they didn't have a shot at without showing their client the digital interview. Let’s face it, using digital profile interviews to get your candidates a better platform of presenting themselves to potential clients isn’t just good for your bottom line – it will also save a lot of trees.

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to ways that you can use Digital Interviewing to create a revenue stream and have a true differentiator in an agency market

Follow Digital Distortion for more tips on how to win the candidate race. Every 2-3 weeks I will be sharing success stories and best practices from the agency market.

You can connect with Doug Henkin on Twitter @HireVueDoug and LinkedIn at

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