Innovating Through Choice

Over the past few weeks, Bullhorn has been working on some innovations to address feedback we’ve received from customers and prospects. We’ll be making an announcement early next week, so I won’t give any thing away other than this: it all hinges around making it easier for people to do business with Bullhorn. Whether you’re a prospect or an existing customer, we’re trying to tailor our products and services to better meet each customer’s needs. In this climate, buyers of any service are in the cat bird seat. And this is especially true if you’re a buyer of staffing services. Demand is down 30-40% and there are a lot of unemployed workers flooding the job boards. Any one who is willing to leverage 3rd party recruiting firms in this climate knows they have a lot of bargaining power.

So, what have you done to make your service meet the market? In many cases, the answer is unfortunately, “we cut our price” or “we cut our margins”. These are blunt instruments. The idea is that you’ll raise your price when the market picks up, but doing so without adding more value to the customer is a risky proposition. A few firms that I’ve spoken to recently are keeping their prices in tact, but are breaking up the service that they usually provide as a bundled offering. They’re looking at the spectrum of activities that they typically perform for clients and break them up: sourcing, pre-screening, interview coordination and on boarding. The idea is that a cost-sensitive client can spend less to fill their open positions, but the provider isn’t delivering the same level of service at a lower price. And, over time, the firm can up-sell the client to use more of its service. It’s a shift in the way sales people and recruiters have to position their offerings, but it also potentially positions firms as partners and solution providers rather than just “vendors”.

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