How often do you ask for someone’s opinion or their recommendations? It’s surprising how much we actually do this and I’m sure it’s all the more prevalent at this time of year…Can you recommend a good place for Christmas drinks? Where’s good for celebrating New Year’s Eve? (I know this one; it’s indoors avoiding the battle for over-priced taxis!) I was listening to a webinar earlier this week and picked up an interesting stat… 92% of consumers say they trust recommendations from friends and family above all other forms of advertising Would you recommend you? It’s no surprise that we trust the opinions of people we know over and above advertisers, but it did make me think. Would your customers and candidates really recommend you? In fact, would you recommend you? So many recruitment conferences and seminars this year have made the point that success is about differentiating yourself, about standing out from the crowd. Where’s the extra mile? Recruiters, from your client’s perspective are you truly putting forward the best candidates? I’m by no means an expert in attracting and sourcing the best talent, but our business is fortunate enough to work with plenty of recruiters who are. When ISV hired earlier this year it was an easy decision to contact recruiters who had helped us in the past, those that took the time to provide great service, had met our team and had a real feel for the personality and skill fit that was needed. What’s more, prospective candidates were skill tested and personality profiled to ensure they had the best possible chance of success. Not only did this give us a great experience, the candidates felt so much more than a number. They mattered and, ultimately, isn’t that what we all want, to matter? Does it really work? Word of mouth recommendations are such a powerful tool. This week we reviewed our annual sales figures including the sources of new business. Nearly 10% of new orders we received this year was put down to a direct recommendation or referral. People felt good enough about our product and service to tell someone else, who then picked up the phone. They mattered to us. And yes, that really does give us a warm fuzzy feeling on a cold December day! ***** ISV.Online is the leading supplier of skills testing software and services to the UK Recruitment Industry. Used by 9 of the top 10 UK agencies, by number of offices, and 7 of the top 10, by revenue, ISV.Online offers candidate skills assessment and evaluation software and online training tools, allowing agencies and in-house HR/recruitment teams to validate the skills of potential candidates and existing employees across a wide range of areas.