The Leader’s Voice: Standing Out

How do we make ourselves stand out?  What makes us different from other Recruiters?

The one thing that I have always loved about recruiting is that the people we work with have very diverse backgrounds. My fellow coworkers’ educational backgrounds range from having no college degree to Masters degrees, from theatre backgrounds to science backgrounds.

All medical doctors attend Medical School and complete their residency in order to practice medicine. They follow a similar path and have similar training. I have thought a lot about this throughout my years in the Recruiting industry. I often ask coworkers how they came to recruiting. Think about whom you sit next to and their background. Trust me, it will not be the same as yours. It is what makes you different.

You get my point? Yet, when all of all our experiences come together, they work.  When you think about it, there are not a lot of industries like recruiting where people with such different backgrounds are able to do the same job and do it well.

You were most likely asked the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Chances are, you did not answer that you wanted to be a recruiter or be in the staffing industry. I did not even realize that what we do is a profession! I grew up thinking that I wanted to become a pediatrician. I certainly did not say that I wanted to be a recruiter. Yet somehow this is what I do everyday and I truly enjoy it.

You are probably wondering; why does this matter, does it matter how you grew up or what you studied in college or if you completed college or not? In my opinion, it really does not matter. I reflect on my own background and upraising. I am from a very small town in Connecticut. The population today is 16,068. It was even smaller when I was growing up. My Sundays were spent at my dad’s small town pharmacy that he still owns. This tradition started at age 4. I would go to work with him on Sundays, and work the cash register. From a young age, I was exposed to working with customers and the emphasis on providing excellent customer service was constantly being reinforced.

I grew up watching my dad do practically anything to make his customers happy. For example, there were many times on a Sunday afternoon where his store closed at 1 PM. We would lock the door. However, if we were there and someone called needing medicine or anything else really, he would insist that they come no matter what time it was. We never got out at 1 PM on Sundays. My dad made sure the customers’ needs were always met. Even today after 40 years in business, he will call a customer after hours or on weekends just to check on him/her and make sure that he/she is feeling better or to make sure that he/she is tolerating the medication. The point is that he goes above and beyond for his customers, he always has and always will. This is how he is able to keep up and be successful compared to the chain pharmacies. His ability to go above the call of duty made him different and made his customers want to be loyal to him. Recently, the town named a day for him in his honor to thank him for all that he has done for the people within his community.

The way in which I was raised has a lot to do with my outlook on recruiting. It makes me different and stand out to clients and candidates. Observing my dad go out of his way to make his customers happy taught me to do the same. Accommodating candidates and clients is always a priority. I make myself available when they are, even if it’s after hours and on weekends. The majority of my candidates have my cell number. It’s my belief that we must go the extra steps to make candidates and clients want to work with us. Customer service is one of the most important attributes in this business. My husband often hears me on the phone at night with candidates and at times has asked me if that was a friend or candidate. He can not tell the difference.

There are a thousand of recruiters who do what we do. We must make ourselves different by standing out and providing the best service possible. These efforts are noticed by the little things: (e.g., remembering your candidate’s child’s name, a birthday or where he/she is from). Once, I sent a bottle of wine to a client on a Saturday night as I knew she was going to dinner for her anniversary.

I learned from my dad how to differentiate myself by providing exceptional customer service.  Take a moment to think about what you learned, whom you learned it from and how you stand out to candidates and clients. What makes your stakeholder answer your phone call? What drives candidates to choose you to work with?

Just remember, the service that you provide and how you stand out from other recruiters will differentiate you in this business.

About the Author:

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Amy Rubinstein is a Vice President with PRIDE Health. She joined PRIDE Health in 2011 and works on the direct hire team. She works on placing all types of healthcare professionals including clinical and non-clinical staff.

Prior to working at PRIDE, Amy was with Response Medical Services for 9 years where she worked in direct hire as well. Amy graduated from Union College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology and Psychology. She lives in Westchester County, NY with her husband and two children.