When There’s Not Enough Talent to Go Around: Non-Traditional Recruitment

from Kathleen Duffy

Ask today’s corporate leaders what keeps them up at night and chances are good that recruiting and retaining employees are near the top of the list.

With the national unemployment rate hovering around 3.6 percent, there simply isn’t enough talent to go around.

At Duffy Group, we turned this dilemma into an opportunity for companies to look at recruiting differently.

Through a model called “recruitment research,” we take a deep dive into our clients’ businesses, workplaces and talent. Then, with insights in hand, we use rigorous sourcing techniques to find and contact the right candidates who can hit the ground running on Day 1 and whose personalities mesh with the hiring companies, too.

It’s a non-traditional approach that brings research to the forefront of the recruitment process. And — good news — it is paying dividends for our clients while propelling Duffy Group to an even higher level.

In fact, 2019 was Duffy Group’s best year yet. Not only did our company post record earnings, but we also were enlisted as a trusted recruitment partner in a greater number of C-level searches. We added five recruiters to our team and invested time and resources into our existing staff, too.


In the 1990s, Duffy Group was one of the first companies to innovate and lead a virtual workforce of long-tenured recruiters. Although we do not see each other in a traditional office environment every day, we continue to work hard at building a close-knit, cohesive culture, with “intrepreneurs” interested in marshaling their talents and leading one of the company’s 11 dedicated recruitment practices. Last year, we launched a new Pathways program to groom members of our team for positions of greater responsibility while helping to grow our business. Through training, coaching and mentoring, Pathways enables our recruiters to hone their leadership skills and leverage their business development expertise.

Along with training, we continued to build a culture of respect, integrity and collaboration. And importantly, we devoted even more time giving back, lending our time and collective expertise to a plethora of community causes and philanthropic endeavors.

About Duffy Group, Inc.

Duffy Group Inc. is a global recruitment firm whose innovative model called “recruitment research” helps unearth top talent with not only the skills to do the job but who are a cultural fit for hiring companies, too.

Since its founding in 1991, Duffy Group has grown from a startup into a flourishing company with a reputation that is second to none.

Of course, becoming a premier recruitment firm did not happen by accident. Rather, it was Kathleen Duffy’s single-minded dedication to help individuals find joy in their work that became her life’s mission. After all, she believes that people deserve to be enriched by the activity to which they dedicate more than 500,000 hours of their lives.

Along with her passion for guiding individuals on a path to workplace fulfillment, Duffy and her firm’s 28 recruitment leaders have an unyielding desire to help companies fill critical roles on their teams. Acting as a virtual extension of their clients, Duffy Group employs a rigorous, five-pronged search process that is guided by two core values — trust and integrity — that are missing from many recruitment firms nationwide. The idea is to deliver real-world, actionable knowledge to employers.

It’s a model that is effective and economical. That’s because, unlike retained or contingent search firms that charge a fixed percentage of the candidate’s salary, Duffy Group develops a customized recruitment strategy for each search, doing only as much or as little as each search requires and billing only for time spent. The result: Clients pay only for the time dedicated to their searches instead of a hefty retained or contingency fee.

As an added benefit, Duffy Group provides clients with a detailed report with the results of its research — a proprietary targeted and qualified talent pool, including all the market intelligence gathered — that they can use for future recruiting.

This winning approach to business is what attracts new companies to Duffy Group and also keeps existing clients coming back again and again. On average, 82 percent of Duffy Group’s clients come from repeat business and the company also enjoys a healthy referral business.

Headquartered in Phoenix, Duffy Group has an extensive global network that allows its team to source and recruit candidates in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Central America, Europe and Asia. The firm specializes in a wide range of industries, including highgrowing fields such as renewable energy, higher education, nonprofit, construction and manufacturing.

This is one part of the December 2019 cover story. To see the full story, click here.

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