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Alright, cough!: What does the Doctor actually do?

One of the recurrent features of my consulting life is someone – a close friend, a new acquaintance, or a potential client – asking me: ‘So what exactly do you do?’. If I say, ‘Well, I’m a consultant’, that often only makes the person more confused – because, really, what do consultants actually do? They consult. Which, without a lot of explanation and context, is pretty meaningless.

So it was with interest that I read a recent blog post by Tim Sackett. He is a prolific speaker, blogger, and man-about-HR – but he makes his living by running a technical staffing company. Did you know that? I know Tim, and I only sort-of knew that.

You’re now saying to yourself, ‘Ok, Doctor, so answer the question: what do you actually do to make a living?’

Ahem. Well…I consult with job boards and recruitment marketing companies to help them make more money. (And yes, about 6 years ago I made a stab at describing what I do – you can read it here). When you’re a consultant, the devil is in the details, as in: ‘Yeah, sure you say you can help me make more money – but how specifically?’. Ok, folks, let’s get specific!

In general, I work with three general groups of clients:

  • Startups: I help startups with everything they need to get going – finding a name, figuring out the right product and pricing mix, developing a launch plan, picking a software vendor, and deciding how to position themselves in a competitive market. I’ve worked with literally hundreds of startups, all around the world.
  • Established businesses: Whether they are a small but dominant job board in a niche market, or a multi-national organization, all businesses have challenges. I’ve helped them with revamping their sales teams, overhauling their product offerings, plotting out an expansion strategy, making an acquisition, or moving to a new software platform. I’ve analyzed sales problems and provided solutions to them, and I’ve provided long-term advice and analysis to clients. You probably know many of the people I’ve worked with over the years!
  • Research and advice: I provide competitive analysis to investment firms looking to move into the recruitment marketing space, and advice to those that are considering the acquisition of specific sites or services. I provide business valuations for those who are buying or selling. And I’ve helped multi-nationals move into new markets by identifying potential acquisition targets or areas for expansion. From Singapore to Greece, and Poland to Canada, I’ve helped clients in our global industry.

Why did I call myself the JobBoardDoctor? Well, it was catchy – and it got to the core of what I do as a consultant: I solve problems. If your business has an ache or pain, I will do my best to make it better. (And if I can’t, I’ll tell you!). Like a ‘real’ doctor, I tend to have long term ‘patients’ that I have worked with for years. No, they’re not chronically sick – but those aches and pains come around now and then!

So now you know how the Doctor pays the bills. I hope that if your recruitment marketing business needs to make more money, or has a problem that needs solving, you’ll give me a buzz. Who knows – I might even make a house call!

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