Building the Story of a Recruiting Firm

One of our favorite (and longest) clients is Paragon Search & Strategies.  4.5 years ago, they hired us to give them a website they can administer, do a video overview of their services and record an audiobook for building better recruiting firms.  Yep, they’re so good at what they do, their CEO trains other firms on process management.  Paragon has several divisions that find talented individuals to fill open jobs in Industrial, Restaurant & Hospitality, IT & Finance and also have a Culinary and Temporary staffing division.

Recently, Right Here Interactive was hired by the temporary staffing division to help them build a functional website to process the influx of job orders they receive.  No promotions, just a functional medium for them to automate some of the work effort.  We launched Paragon Strategic Staffing Solutions in October 2012.

Not long after, we began working with corporate to help them come up with a program to better position Paragon for prospecting new clients.  The executives feel that they have a great system and promoting to candidates to fill open positions using LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and more direct communications.

When we sat down, we threw the question out to the group… “What is your company’s story?”  Like deer caught in headlights, we received little feedback.  At first it was difficult to get everyone to see that all companies have stories to share that can resonate with their customers.  The push back was “We’re not really different than other recruiting firms, but we are very good at what we do.”  Their belief was that the people of Paragon make all the difference (as is reflected in their current website).  While this is fundamentally true, it’s not the story the clients need to hear.  We asked “What if one of those faces decides to leave?  Does that mean Paragon can’t move forward?”  Of course not.  They, like any company can and will move forward when attrition happens.

We hear this kind of feedback a lot from clients.  They don’t feel like there is an interesting story to tell.  In the past, they tried to equate their business with puzzle pieces.  Their logo was based upon that visual metaphor (“We fill in the missing pieces”).  Not bad… BUT was it resonating with the clients?  Some in the group say yes and others weren’t so sure.  We pressed on to figure out the story.  After some time, the group determined that:

  • Paragon Recruits the “un-recruitable”.  The “un-recruitable” are those who are not active job seekers, but are best for the job.  Most firms just scour the job boards and saturate the clients with resumes of active job seekers hoping one of them will stick (which any client can do on their own), but not Paragon.  Paragon finds the right fit for the job.   Without giving away some proprietary information, let’s just say they go way beyond and find opportunity seekers.
  • Paragon’s President and Co-founder’s Twitter handle is @ATalentMagnet.  Hmmm… “Talent Magnet.” that started resonating with us.
  • For years, they’ve had a solid process for recruiting.  This process was well implemented, but never had a name nor was it emphasized.
  • In the past few years, they determined that 1 out of every 5 of their candidate submissions were hired by their clients. That’s big… it means the clients aren’t inundated with resumes, the clients don’t need to worry about screening and processing the candidates and that Paragon is earning every bit of their commissions.

Funny enough, nobody ever once talked about the metaphor of the puzzle and fitting in the pieces.  It was quickly determined that Paragon needed to rebrand their logo, moving away from black (which forced their website to be black to match the logo) and simplify it’s complexity.  So we set out to finish the story and rebrand the logo, which will ultimately lead to a rebranding of the website and an entire approach to promoting Paragon with inbound marketing tactics such as blogging, search optimization, email marketing and social media marketing.

After back and forth, a few meetings later, we got the key points of the Paragon Story, with some key differentiators from the competition:

  • We are Paragon Search, Talent Magnets.
  • We have deep experience in the industries we serve.
  • We recruit the “un-recruitable”, going well beyond the job boards.
  • Our 7-Step process for candidate screening (now known as) “RECRUIT” benefits our clients with a 1-in-5 hire ratio.
  • Our clients enjoy long term hires and smooth transitions bringing on the new hires.  This is why the clients stick with Paragon year after year.
  • We’re so successful with our process that we teach other recruiting firms how to run their businesses.

At the time of publishing this post, we’ve started on the rebrand of the logo and will be doing their web design by the end of Q1 2013.  Everyone at Paragon is feeling excited about the direction and we’re excited to be allowed to participate in the story of Paragon development.  We will publish more on Paragon in the coming weeks.

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