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Make an Impact Idea #3: Understand Your Hedgehog

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Imagine, if you will, a hedgehog in the wild.

When faced with danger, this little critter doesn’t run or hide—it does something extraordinary: It raises its quills in a crisscross pattern, making its body a spiky fortress. The hedgehog then engages its belly muscles, back muscles, and even extra skin to tuck in its head, legs, and tail.

The result? A curled-up ball of protective spikes that predators find tricky to open up.

Now, imagine if your staffing firm could do something similar in the face of business challenges. Not physically, of course, but strategically by homing in on your key strengths – your firm’s “Hedgehog Concept.”

The Hedgehog Concept

The Hedgehog Concept comes from Jim Collins’ book “Good to Great.” The concept is a metaphor based on an ancient Greek parable that presents the distinction between a fox and a hedgehog.

In the world of staffing, your firm’s “hedgehog” isn’t about raising quills, but about identifying the intersection of what you truly care about, what you excel at delivering, and what drives economic value for your clients. Recognize these, and you can curl into a metaphorical ball that stands strong against market pressures, making your business a force to be reckoned with!

Why Does Understanding Your Hedgehog Matter?

In an increasingly competitive environment, staffing firms that stand out from the crowd draw the attention of the best candidates and clients. Understanding your hedgehog helps you differentiate in a way that resonates with your target audience and aligns with your strengths and economic drivers.

How Do You Identify Your Hedgehog?

Taking cues from your passion, what your staffing firm does best and what drives economic value, your hedgehog could be anything from specializing in a unique industry niche, obsessing about the client or candidate experience, or focusing on a hyper-efficient delivery model.

Practical Strategies to Implement

  1. Passion-People-Profit Evaluation: Take stock. Understand what truly stirs your firm’s passion, identify the unique strengths or skills you possess, and determine what drives your business model.
  2. Competitor Analysis: Assess how you stack against your competitors. Where the overlap exists between your Passion-People-Profit Evaluation and your distinctive standpoint is where your hedgehog lies.
  3. Communicate Your Value: Once your hedgehog is defined, package this value proposition into your messaging across marketing channels. Your hedgehog should filter through your website, social media, collateral, and your sales pitch.

Make a Bigger Impact: Be the Hedgehog!

Haley Marketing has helped staffing companies make a bigger impact with their marketing efforts for more than 27 years. Whether you’re grappling with uncovering your hedgehog or seeking advanced strategies to communicate your value proposition, we’re here to guide you.

  1. Get a free lead gen roadmap: Request a free, no-obligation, 60-minute strategy session with one of our marketing experts.
  2. Visit our Make an Impact resource hub for eBooks, on-demand webinars and more to drive sales (they’re all FREE!).
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