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Ask Barb: Differentiating Yourself from the Competition

Ask Barb

Dear Barb:

Everyone is saying business is better, but everyone I’ve contacted is tired of all the calls they are getting from recruiters.  You are always suggesting that we differentiate ourselves from our competition.  I don’t know how to get that done.  Can you give any examples of how I could differentiate myself?  I used to be a top producer, but I’m really struggling right now.  Maybe I’ve just lost my touch.

Diane J., Carmel, IN

Dear Diane:

Most recruiters are under the false belief that because they think their candidates or services are better, that customers will perceive them as different.  This belief isn’t necessarily true. The one thing you can offer your clients that your competition cannot is – You.  Here are some tips to help you differentiate yourself:


With the Internet as a resource, there is no reason to make cold calls.  You can make informed, planned calls targeted at your best business.


It is important that you show your personality and make working with you an enjoyable experience.  Clients and candidates tend to gravitate to individuals they like.  Learn as much about your candidates and clients as possible.  The more you allow them to talk about themselves, the more likely they will be to work with you.


It is not your answers that can improve your production or income; it is your ability to ask the best questions.  Knowing how to identify the priorities of your candidates and clients through effective questioning will differentiate you from other recruiters.


What separates you from other recruiters?  What do you offer that most recruiters don’t?  My business cards say I’m there for my clients 24/7. That perception has resulted in many client referrals.


Tie your presentations into holidays, current events and other attention getting events.  Send pizza’s to HR at lunch time with a missing piece to get attention.  Send it with a note that says, “We are the missing piece in your Staffing needs.”  You should also mail your marketing materials in unique containers.


Recruiting is a relationship building business.  Successful relationships are based on rapport which leads to trust.  You want to become more consultative and truly focus on the priorities of the individuals you represent.  Develop an outside/in attitude, seeing your services through the eyes of the people you serve.

Follow these six tips and you will differentiate yourself from your competition!

Barb Bruno CPC, CTS

Would you like to Ask Barb a question? Email her at support@staffingandrecruiting.com. Each month in The Fordyce Letter print edition, Barbara Bruno answers questions from individuals in the Recruiting Profession. We will bring you some of these Q&A responses from Barb each week on FordyceLetter.com.

About the author: Barb Bruno, CPC, CTS, is one of the most trusted experts, speakers, and trainers in the Staffing and Recruiting Professions. If you want to receive FREE training articles from Barb, sign up for her NO BS Newsletter! Barb has spent the last twenty years focused on helping Owners, Managers, and Recruiters increase their sales, profits, and income. Her Top Producer Tutor web-based training program jumps-starts new hires and takes experienced recruiters to their next level of production. Barb’s cutting-edge program, Happy Candidates, provides you with a Customized Career Portal in less than 10 minutes. Happy Candidates allows you to help the 95% of candidates you don’t place and eliminates the greatest time waster in your business. If you’d like to contact Barb, call 219.663.9609 or email support@staffingandrecruiting.com.

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