Recruitment Agencies – Don’t be ‘unique’, be better

I’ve spent the best part of a decade working in recruitment, both for recruitment agencies and on internal recruitment teams, and I’ve heard every wild claim, overblown promise and unrealistic boast that you can think of. Recruiters by their very nature tend to be fairly sure of themselves and have a habit of offering clients and stakeholders what they know they cannot deliver, especially agencies that are battling for business in an increasingly saturated marketplace.

Yet the one claim that has always frustrated me the most, the one that always jars me when I hear it, is when recruiters claim to be ‘unique’.

“We offer a unique approach to recruitment”

“How we recruit is different to every other agency out there”

“We know there a lot of agencies but what we offer is completely different”

I see this kind of statement on LinkedIn every day and I constantly heard it when taking calls or meetings when I worked on internal teams. I have no doubt that there are agencies out there that even use ‘unique’ as the name of the business (sorry if that’s you) but it is the kind of claim that will continue to damage the reputation of recruiters, not enhance it.

Let’s be frank. What recruitment agencies do, what is at the core of what they do, is the same. Yes, methods do vary and those that are used vary dependant on a number of factors such as industry, location and the recruiter themselves but the day to day fundamentals of the business are very, very similar. Now do I believe that there are any agencies out there that are using methods that could genuinely be considered ‘unique’? Of course I do, I certainly hope there are! But is that every other agency on LinkedIn? No, obviously not.

So, what is my point? It’s really very simple. Don’t claim to be unique when you’re not, instead talk about everything you that you’re truly proud of. Talk about your industry expertise, the size of your network, your previous clients, your interview technique, all vital but not ‘unique’. At Pluris, we will often talk to our clients about the bespoke service we can offer them and how we can adjust our service dependant on their individual needs. Do we think we are the only agency that does this? No. Do we think we do it better than all our competitors? You bet we do!

So, to all the Recruitment Managers that are taking the daily cold calls from ‘unique’ recruiters, challenge them, push back and if they can’t back up the claims (and that is likely) then you’ll know they are not for you. And Recruitment Consultants, our reputation is not exactly stellar as it is so don’t feed potential clients these absurd lines about how you can do it like no one else on the market. Don’t be ‘unique’, just be better.

If you would like to hear more about Pluris and chat with an honest-and-very-good-but-not-unique agency, then contact me at