Think Different!

Do you remember that Apple ad slogan from several years ago? It wasn’t to long ago that Apple’s stock was trading in the single digits and today it closed at $162, adjusted for stock splits. I guess thinking differently works. It’s a theme I’ve heard over and over at this year’s Staffing World, whether it was from Erik Weihenmayer talking about vision, Danny Cahill speaking about Gen Xers, and today Seth Godin exhorting a room of 2,000 people to create great companies.

Let’s talk about Seth Godin. Seth Godin is the guru of permission marketing and the guy who created one of the Internet boom’s great interactive marketing companies, Yoyodyne, selling it to Yahoo in 1998. If you don’t know what permission marketing is, it’s the capability to build an intimate relationship with prospects to turn them into customers. Now, you may think you don’t need any more customers, but Seth’s point is you can use the same principles to build relationships with candidates to drive your placements. In the world of permission marketing (full disclosure – Bullhorn’s marketing practices this concept every day and if you’re reading this through our Show Daily, you are experiencing permission marketing), you use a variety of communications channels, email campaigns, electronic newsletters, events and your Web site to secure the permission of prospects to market to them. The trick is, what’s your company’s story? and in your case would candidates or clients find it compelling? Can you repeat it at a cocktail party and would anybody care because it’s so different? It’s like the old adage about Black and Decker drills – they sold more of them to consumers when they changed their story from selling drills to selling holes. That’s thinking differently.

Staffing and recruiting is a much bigger challenge though. You need to sell twice – once to the candidate and once to the client. I suspect this anomaly makes it difficult for staffing firms to create their story. Well, if you take Danny Cahill’s advice and think about what your niche is, and add to that how to work with Gen Xer candidates then all of a sudden you do have a story. You’re a company with a unique focus, and the clients to prove it, with candidates who represent some of the best talent in your market. Now there’s that matter of finding those candidates and clients. We know the best ones are hidden. Seth Godin’s prescription is don’t be a hunter, be a farmer – harvest those candidates through relationship building. Turn your contact and candidate data into a strategic asset. That’s where Bullhorn comes in. Bullhorn lets you track every communication from emails and notes to tasks and activities so you have a full profile on the candidates you have and the ones you’ll add. In fact, because you have all of this detailed information, you can personalize (another Seth concept) your communication to hit the pain point (a Danny Cahill concept) of your candidate at the right time. We even provide a complete candidate/client relationship management system (CRM) so you can conduct outbound email and electronic newsletter campaigns to add value to your candidate relationship.

Think about it, by sending information to candidates that add value to their careers (remember, according to Danny, the Gen Xers are about self-interest), you improve your chances of placing those candidates. That information could be about salary trends, articles about your clients that portray them as a great place to work or simple career advice (The Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek etc…are great sources). Staying in front of the candidate and building a relationship that adds value moves them to take on change Now that’s Thinking Differently!

It’s been a great week at Staffing World 2007 and we’ve loved connecting with you. Everyone at Bullhorn hopes you’ve found our Show Daily to be useful and informative. If you’re a Bullhorn customer, thank you for your business. If you’re not, we hope that someday you’ll heed what our customers say about us – Live in Bullhorn! In the meantime, talk with you again at Staffing World 2008 in San Diego, and have a great 2007 and 2008! Till the next time.

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