competing on quality


I admit it. I stole this title from an article in Forbes on Starbucks. When Starbucks first introduced a $5 latte in a 50 cent coffee market, people thought it was crazy. Now, Forbes reports, “spending $5 or more on a coffee drink is normal for 75% of the U.S. ready to drink coffee market.” Starbucks showed that providing a premium product to the market transcended price. We believe providing premium recruiting service to our clients, competing on quality,  provides far more value than any price we could charge.


Our goal is to provide the near-perfect candidate for the narrow niche our clients are recruiting in. We specialize so that our clients come to us for the impossible to fill role, or the role their in-house recruiters find so rare and unfamiliar they can’t ramp up quickly enough to fill it. We specialize so that our clients know when to come to us and when to search elsewhere. We don’t want every search, just the ones that fit into our areas of expertise. An expertise that leads the market through competing on quality.

Pain Point

Working through the recruiting process with our clients is often very revealing about the probability for success. Those clients that focus on the process used versus the person pursued usually miss out on the perfect candidate. In a 3.7% unemployment market, setting up lengthy case studies, personality testing and multiple interviews is often the cause of losing the right candidate for the opening. It isn’t compensation and expertise that cause the problem but remembering that it is a person being hired who needs to feel desired as much as the client wants the candidate to desire working for them.


Starbucks offers a product to people who are willing to pay a little extra for something that brings a positive experience to their life. Smith Hanley clients return to us again and again because we are able to fill those positions their in-house staff or in-house advertising can’t fill. We make the process painless and the hire a positive experience for the client, the candidate and their recruiting firm, Smith Hanley. We win by competing on quality.

Interested in utilizing our quality recruiting services? Contact Smith Hanley Associates‘ Partner Jacque Paige at [email protected] or 203.319-4310.

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