Are recruiters marketing the Burgers or the Fries?

I had one of those moments this morning, the red light came on - "you are out of gas". I drove to the nearest global gas station, pulled up to the fuel pump, threw the nozzle into the car, and it all went downhill from there...and it made me reflect on the way we market recruitment.

My mission: Fill my car and quickly get back on the road

I pulled into a familiar gas station - a global brand, a giant with multiple staff, multiple pumps, bright lights etc not a sole trader just scraping by. Has this ever happend to you?


I missed the little sign saying "Pump on Prepay see the cashier", so as a multi-tasking male, I was washing the windows while the pump was hanging out of the car and eventually realised the fuel pump was not pumping.

"No problem - I'll prepay some fuel and I'll be off!"


I walked across the well-lit, busy forecourt as cars zipped in and out. I went straight to the open counter... and stood there for 5 minutes while the staff made coffee and sold pies. Rather than taking an $80 prepay transaction the helpful cashier "released the pump for me"  and I went back to the car - "I must be sorted now".

I replaced the hose and reinsterted the nozzle back into my now quite thirsty car. The pump filled my car with $100+ of petrol "Boy was I lucky I did have more than the $80 I asked for", I went back inside to pay and waited another 15 minutes while they steadily sold more coffees, pies, newspapers and everything but the petrol I was after. Eventually I paid and dove away.


Here is the thing:

As a consumer when I go to a barista I buy coffee and accompanying products that compliment my coffee - but I don't have to wait for Guy (my Coffee Guy) to fill his car with gas. I went to a Petrol station to get gas and was surprised that the business was really more focussed on ice blocks, papers, milk, bakery goods and coffee. Maybe there is more margin in those goods (it's quite likely given the competitive nature of the oil and gas industry).

As recruiting owners, managers and recruiters are we doing the same things in our respective industries - have we lost focus on what our core business is (to give our customers the solutions they want) as we diversify, change focus, up-sell or cross-sell?

Are we so busy asking "would you like fries with that" - that we are just selling fries and not the burgers?


Today I really needed the burger not the fries. If they miss that message next time I'll try a new burger joint.

Views: 119

Comment by Katrina Kibben on March 4, 2016 at 10:15am

I see where you're going with that... and it's probably true far too often. Losing focus is easy in this world of diversifying revenues. 

Great post, thanks for sharing 


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