4 Steps for Creating a Winning Value Proposition

In my previous blog post, I explained how your firm’s value proposition is the key to securing higher recruiting fees and more retained work.

Below are four steps for creating a winning value proposition.

1. Know the target market or niche you’re going after.

The more specific the market, the more added value you can offer.  This is the reason many individual recruiters and firms focus on niche markets.  Through in-depth knowledge of a market or niche, you become the go-to person or firm.  You possess the expertise to truly understand human capital needs and to present real solutions.

2. Define the specific needs you can meet or problems you can solve.

Focus.  Go after one vertical market and identify horizontal positions you wish to fill.  The more you focus on a specific market, the more you get to know that market intimately.  That knowledge and experience increases the value you can add.  One warning: Don’t get so specific that your market is too small to generate the volume you need to achieve your recruiting goals.

3. Explain the benefits your clients receive from your recruiting solutions.

The client needs to derive some very tangible benefits from partnering with you.  Will you save them time and energy?  Will you provide significantly higher quality candidates than anyone else?  Are they buying your expertise, your in-depth industry knowledge, or your skill at uncovering hidden top talent?  Every recruiter and recruiting firm possesses unique strong points.  Know them and quantify them.  Many successful recruiters track the results of placements they’ve made.

For example, I placed a superstar in a document management company.  He saved the business $50 million in his first year of employment.  This has become an integral part of my value proposition.  When potential clients hear huge results like that directly in their industry, you can bet they sit up and take notice.  It is vital that you let prospective clients know just how good you are and what superior results you and your candidates have achieved.

4. Know why you are better than your primary competitor.

Here it is.  The secret to success.  What differentiates your offering in the eyes of the client is ultimately what wins the game.  Know why you are better than your competitors.  Explain your unique strengths and accomplishments that make clients want (and need) to do business with you.  There are thousands of executive recruitment firms out there.  You’ve got to break away from the pack. Whether it’s through your vertical market, your expertise, your search level, time to fill, quality of candidates—establish what it is you do best.  Based on your differentiation, if the perceived value of your service outweighs the price the client has to pay, fees will no longer be an issue.

Get your message out there loud and clear.  If you remain just another recruiter or recruiting firm to potential clients, your perceived value is basically nothing.  Fees will always be a problem. That’s why recruiters who command the highest fees get more retained work than they can handle.  And why some are still haggling over 20% and struggling to find any good work at all.

In my next blog post, I’ll explain how you can make your winning value proposition work for you.

— — —

Jon Bartos, a guest writer for the Top Echelon Recruiter Training Blog, is a premier writer, speaker, and consultant on all aspects of personal performance, measuring human capital, and the analytics behind them.  In December of 2012, Bartos joined trustaff Solutions as the president.  Founded in 2002, trustaff Solutions has been distinguished nationally five times by Inc. Magazine as one of the fastest-growing, privately-held companies in the country.  Click here to visit Bartos’s website.