In November of last year Jessica Lee wrote a terrific blog entitled, “Come On Recruiters – Let’s Hold Hands! We Can Be Friends!” about interfacing with the competition and how we should embrace each other versus treating each other like the enemy.
It got me thinking about not only the recruiting industry but business in general. In business we need to interface more with other organizations and learn from one another instead of playing everything so close to the vest.

I am a big fan of the Ellen Show and also grew up watching Oprah. Even though their shows have different audiences or objectives they are both in the “talk show” business and in my area on television the same time at 4 pm. In a sense they are competitors. Why do I bring this up?

In December of 2009 Ellen made the cover of O Magazine as only the second person ever after our First Lady. It was Ellen’s New Year’s resolution to pitch Oprah to be on the cover. Of course it was funny to see all the various ways Ellen approached Oprah for the spot. Finally Oprah said yes and they started working together to come up with the cover.

When Ellen went on the Oprah show to release the cover she stated she wanted this to be the best month of sales ever for the magazine (sales figures still have not been released, but I read in one blog post that it was indeed the best sales issue ever). Why would Ellen want to help out a competitor? Because it ends up being a win/win for both parties.

Think about all the opportunities in business we pass up because it involves a competitor. I think we should think about what we can learn from one another.

Most Industry segments earn more than 40% of their revenue through a channel partnership. Software companies do this well with their partner and channel programs earning 60 to 70% of their revenue from this type of relationship. They work with organizations that can broaden their exposure and revenue in areas they would not have access to before without jeopardizing their position in the market.

Personally Twitter has opened the co-opitition door for me this year. I am interfacing with fellow recruiters learning their practices; providing me the ability to better my business and myself. This aspect of Social Media has proved to be a very valuable resource. The next time the competition is at your door, instead of shying away – engage and see where you can make it a win/win for both of you.

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