Seek to serve

Seek to Serve Spotlight: How HireBetter Remained Relevant During a Worldwide Talent Upheaval

Once COVID-19 hit in early 2020, companies around the world pushed pause on hiring. In fact, for many the situation demanded downsizing, dismissals and layoffs.

For HireBetter, a leading talent management firm in Austin, Texas, this meant a sales pipeline drying up and a bleak prospect for the unknown in the months ahead.

In the face of this, many professional services firms would show their desperation. They would push marketing harder and more aggressively, demanding the sales team call more often and in new markets. The results would likely be slim, if not negative for the long-term. For HireBetter, they chose a powerful response that provides audiences value here and now.

“The COVID-19 upheaval presented a unique set of circumstances for not only HireBetter but also the organizations we serve,” said Kurt Wilkin, CEO of HireBetter.

“With cost-cutting measures in full swing – often as a means of survival – organizations needed to balance the labor savings with longer-term objectives for both the company and employees. Over the course of the pandemic, we have sought to bring insights and counsel from the HireBetter team beyond — tapping into executives managing the dynamics within their companies. The engagement with the marketplace has spoken volumes about the need and the valuable wisdom being shared.”

HireBetter embodied Seek to Serve, Not to Sell™. Knowing hiring will resume once more — if not uptick due to the personnel layoffs and dismissals — HireBetter chose to be a trusted advisor to their target businesses and industries rather than pushing for sales in an impossible time.

Remaining Relevant During Upheaval

  1. Meet Target Audiences Where They Are

  2. Be Honest About the Current Situation 

  3. Focus on the Future

Meet Target Audiences Where They Are

A novel virus was spreading and businesses suddenly found themselves dotted around their cities, spread among their respective teams’ homes. HireBetter saw an opportunity to meet their audiences where they were — online.

An entire digital resource hub was created on HireBetter’s site for anyone to access. The “Business Resources for COVID-19” page includes a diverse mix that touches on all the pains of the current situation with relevant solutions — from financial resources for business, leadership guidance, crisis-related government programs, to COVID-19 updates. These were not resources thrown together either. They are thoughtful and insightful.

Additionally, CEO Kurt Wilkin took to LinkedIn and Facebook, and holds a series of live interviews with business owners and leaders from the HireBetter network along the theme of “Prepare to survive. Plan to thrive.”

Not only are HireBetter leaders speaking to their target audience — they are also listening. They host four weekly CEO forums that bring together 11 leaders for 90 minutes — connecting with a total of 44 CEOs. The discussion focuses around navigating the pandemic and coming out on the other side stronger.

Be Honest About the Current Situation — But Focus on the Future

HireBetter embraced its market’s pains. As a services firm, it helps its clients navigate through a suite of strategic talent solutions, including talent planning, talent sourcing and capture, talent on-boarding and talent coaching. While a subset of these services were not necessary in many companies during the pandemic, HireBetter spoke to the honest situation: streamlining teams. Essentially, layoffs — or alternative options.

This is not something you will find consistently with organizations in the talent arena – especially “recruiters” focused on the transaction. In fact, many avoid this conversation altogether.

Yet, HireBetter has unique insight into what traits make effective and productive employees. They have keen knowledge on how to assess people and their skills, so their clients have the right talent for their precise situation. And these capabilities became paramount when teams suddenly needed to change from 80 to 50 people strong – like we have seen during the COVID-19 situation that arose. They know all the ins and outs of the entire talent lifecycle, which means an equal insight to the alternatives.

As I have said in my Revenue Rebound article, when we look back from a business perspective, we will be able to see what actions B2B leadership took to prepare for eventual response and rebound of life and business.



HireBetter chose to prepare for the rebound now to thrive into the future. They have cemented themselves as a trusted resource and advisor in the marketplace they serve. They are helping audiences make sense of these confusing times. By Seeking to Serve, they have supported long-term survival for not only themselves but for the clients and prospects they have committed themselves to helping.

To learn more about the art and science of Seek to Serve, Not to Sell™, download our free eBook.


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