This week a client I was keen to work with wouldn’t sign my Terms of Business. They were happy for me to send resumes and said would happily pay the fee if they were the right candidate but didn’t see why it was important (to either of us) that they sign our terms.

I mulled over whether I was being stubborn and that maybe, since it is early days, I needed to be more flexible. Should I show my hand to prove my candidates are as good as I say they are? We are of course a new business and we are only little…

While I sipped on my oversized mug of Ovaltine, I got to thinking about size where recruitment agencies are involved. Big agencies work hard, they can be a powerful resource and they definitely have their benefits over a boutique in the right circumstances and for the right client. But, that doesn’t mean to say the little guys have to sell themselves short just to win the business, we have our purpose and benefits too, and here are five reasons why this one does:

Service

As the business owner, I value the quality of the service I provide over everything else, and it’s personal, my entire reputation and future success is on the line. Every client I work with is my livelihood. With no interview KPI’s, I’m not forced to spend 15 hours of my week interviewing people who won’t work for my clients. That’s 15 valuable hours a week where I’ll be looking for and meeting with only the best of the best, and you’ll see that from your shortlist. In addition, I only work on roles exclusively; not because I’m scared of competition, quite the opposite. I just don’t want my approach and subsequently the quality of service to be affected by the temptation to throw shit and hope it sticks just so I can get the placement first. Exclusivity shows a commitment from you as a client, and that is exactly what you’ll get back from me.

Jobs List

Ours will be small, intentionally. I’m not in this to become a millionaire – I’m in it to have a comfortable life, be a role model for my mini me, and to feel confident that I have my integrity intact and a strong reputation in my market. Working on less jobs means I can focus on you. I won’t be distracted with some random hard to fill role from a new ‘client’ who isn’t even fully invested, because they aren’t paying unless they get someone from it anyway. I don’t have sales targets, so I don’t have to worry about turning business away. I’m in this for the long game, not a quick buck.

Competition

A big agency has what, 20 or up to 40 consultants? With, let’s say 10 clients each. That’s between 200-400 businesses they can’t approach passive candidates from for your roles. You do know generally where your best candidates are, right? They’re employed…by your competitors. Their only route to market with those candidates is on a reactive basis, and do you know what passive (read ‘the best’) candidates don’t do? Apply for jobs. Due to the size of our client base, and the plans for that in the future, it leaves the door wide open for us to go in there and find your people, without any breach of contract or reputational damage. If that doesn’t sell small over big to you, nothing will.

Fees

I know you love this one! Ours are significantly lower than most big agencies, not because we’re not as good, but because they can be. Our overheads are less, way less. No flashy branding and reputation to keep up with using vanity projects. No pimped-out offices, no psychometric or typing tests you didn’t ask for or need (unless you do want those). All the bells and whistles sold by the larger agency as standard, if you don’t need or want them, why are you paying the same as those who do?? IT. MAKES. NO. SENSE.

Temps

Aha! We don’t do temps. Chasing timesheets, liaising with payroll, questions about how to put annual leave through, calling no shows while running a hybrid desk, take away from sourcing time and time spent with you getting to know your business. Great continuous revenue and a safety net between those bigger perm fees, but still, for me perm roles are where it’s at.

But, if you can drop a contract for a temp, and payroll them yourself, and I happen to have a candidate between jobs who fits your criteria – assuming both parties are happy, you can have them as a temp with no charge. The only time that isn’t true is if they end up going permanent, in which case the standard perm fee applies, which is still a pretty good deal!

So, there you have it, she talks a good game for one so little. How about next time you need help finding staff, you give us a call and see if it’s as strong as I say??