The number of new recruitment companies launching in the UK has reached an all-time high. But launching a recruitment agency and growing it into a successful, long-term business are two very different things.
How you position yourself in the market – especially when you’re in a sector as competitive as recruitment – is key to carving out market share and that comes down to your value proposition (VP).
What is a recruitment agency value proposition?
What is it that makes your agency unique and that sets it apart from everyone else?
Just imagine for a second that you’re a business owner looking to source your next workplace hire. A quick Google search for recruitment agencies returns hundreds of hits. How do you decide which one to approach?
That’s where your value proposition comes in. It’s what differentiates you from your competitors. Get it right and it will grab attention, promote trust in your services and ultimately inspires clients to pick up the phone to you.
Why do I need a value proposition?
A value proposition isn’t unique to the recruitment sector. Indeed, every business working across every industry should spend time defining their VP.
How effectively yours comes across and how appealing it is to your target market will both be factors in your success - which is why determining a value proposition should be a top priority for all start-ups.
When you’re a new player competing against recruitment companies that are already established, you will need to convince clients that you can offer them greater value than they’re already getting. Your value proposition is the reason clients will entrust their business to you over competitors.
It’s not what you do, but how you do it and why. Making sure this comes across clearly is the key to standing out from the crowd.
Your value proposition shouldn’t just be a throwaway claim you make to entice customers through the door. Your agency has to live and breathe your VP - otherwise you will be caught out and risk damaging your reputation.
Here are five steps to help you arrive at a VP that accurately reflects your business:
1. Know your market
You may feel you know your industry well but lots of external factors such as advances in technology, politics and recruitment law can all affect it. Considering the wider picture is always a good idea when narrowing down your VP. Is there a niche sector no one is covering? Is something coming into effect that could impact the industry? Being first to market with a unique service offer can help you quickly convert new business and future-proof your business.
2. Research the competition
Getting to grips with your competitors’ businesses will reveal their weak points and show you any gaps in the market you can exploit. It’s a bit like going up against a champion boxer. You should study your opponent and get to know how they operate before stepping in the ring. Finding your VP as a new recruitment agency is no different. You need to know what you’re up against, so you can come up with a winning strategy that knocks out the competition.
3. Identify your strengths
Listing out your company’s strengths will help you define the benefit you bring to clients. Write these yourself and then approach other people for their perspective. Getting an external opinion can open your eyes to attributes you never knew you had, while checking you are communicating things clearly and understandably.4. Rank your benefits
Now that you’ve got a comprehensive understanding of the specific benefits your company delivers, it’s time to place these in order of importance. Remember, your value proposition is your trump card. It’s what you have that no other agency has and it needs to come across loud and clear when customers land on your website, see your marketing materials or speak to you. Ranking the benefits can help you determine what matters the most. What is that crucial USP and differentiator that sets you apart?5. Write a value proposition statement
With everything you’ve learnt in terms of market research, competitor profiling and your own benefits, you should now be ready to create your VP statement. This should be a one or two line statement that summarises your agency’s primary benefit. Don’t worry about getting it word perfect first time around. It can also help to reinforce your value proposition in a couple of supporting bullet points. These can be used to strengthen client-facing communications, such as your website, press releases and email marketing campaigns.
If you’re struggling to arrive at your VP try this simple exercise. Imagine you’re in a lift with your dream client and you have twenty seconds to sell your services. What would say that they’ve never heard before? Remember, your value proposition is the unique thing that sets your business apart, so what is it that makes your agency different from all the others out there?
A few questions to ask yourself:
Is your VP true and can you prove that with evidence?
Fake statements can damage your business’ integrity and turn-off clients. Never be dishonest in your value proposition, nor make claims you can’t back-up with demonstrable and measurable proof.
Is your VP statement concise and easy to understand?
Your value proposition should succinctly summarise your business’ primary benefit in simple, plain language that doesn’t alienate your target market.
Does it differentiate you from your competitors?
Every recruitment agency will offer comparable services. Your VP needs to communicate how you’re different from other agencies operating in your sector. Does this come across loud and clear?
Does it address your clients’ pain points?
Have you demonstrated an understanding for your target market? Pushing a benefit that solves your clients’ pain points will help your VP resonate with its audience and instil confidence in your services.
Is your VP prominent on your website?
Your website is your number #1 conversion tool. Studies show that 80% of people make a purchasing decision based on a company’s website, so reinforcing your VP throughout your website is a must.
Do your employees know and understand it?
Your VP is the foundation of your agency and the reason clients choose to give their business to you. It’s vital that everyone in your organisation is familiar with your VP and can talk about it confidently.
Defining your value proposition is crucial when launching a recruitment company, but there are loads of other elements you need to think about too!
For more expert advice, download guide to starting your agency.