Ensuring a Solid Value Proposition, Part 1

Oct 13, 2009

An effective value proposition is essential in any relationship. Whether it is between a recruiter and a candidate, a client and the recruiter, or the search firm leadership/ownership and the recruiters at the firm, a fair and solid value proposition is what is necessary for a long-term, mutually beneficial relationship.

If a candidate is extremely cooperative and willing to work anywhere for almost anything but has been fired three times consecutively for incompetence, it is doubtful a quality recruiter would work with this candidate. If a recruiter never returns phone calls or emails from a client, it is doubtful that the client will work with that recruiter very long!

What Value Do We Provide?

A great question for every search firm leader/owner is what is that value that we provide? In many situations, the answer is that the owner “gave the person a chance” and/or “taught them the business.”

This loyalty is understandable and well deserved but for how long?

How many placements is sufficient payback for the opportunity and initial training? How much is rent, a long distance phone bill at 2-3 cents per minute, a computer, desk, Internet connection, website, FICA, and benefits?

Do you think most successful recruiters think what percentage they are getting or rather what percentage they are giving up and what the VALUE PROPOSITION is for what they are giving up?

There are several areas where a search firm can create value. Ensuring a solid career path where recruiters can build whatever it is within the walls of the firm instead of outside the firm is critical. Having robust technology and a solid brand with an integral marketing communications strategy is essential.

Team models, capable operational professionals, and financial rewards including but not limited to equity are all parts of the value proposition. Culture is probably one of the most underrated but important aspects of a solid value proposition.

All of these components and many more form the value proposition to a recruiter by the firm ownership and leadership. If a recruiter fails to perform and contribute in all areas at an acceptable level, he or she will be fired just as if a recruiter fails to receive an acceptable value proposition in return he or she will ultimately leave the company on good terms or perhaps even bad.

Editor’s note: Tomorrow, in part 2, learn more about training and “learning to learn” in all dimensions.

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