How Can David Staffing Outshine Goliath Consulting

Graham Halonen

With over two decades of experience in business development and recruiting across diverse industries, I understand the challenges faced by small to mid-sized firms competing against larger counterparts. In this fiercely competitive landscape, I firmly believe that successful staffing sales and recruiting require not just a scientific approach, but also the agility to adapt in real-time and a proactive mindset across all internal and external operations.


My conviction in the power of proactive operations was solidified during the EMR boom of the 2010s. Leading a fledgling startup's team of Account Executives and Recruiters, we found ourselves grappling with five major accounts in the healthcare sector yet struggling to stay afloat amidst the vastness of the industry. It was a classic David versus Goliath scenario, demanding swift adaptation or perilous demise. We commenced by modernizing our recruiting technology, but it was our subsequent decision that truly defined our triumph.


Opting for a proactive approach with candidates, we streamlined all sales and recruitment efforts towards five key skill sets. This strategic pivot catalyzed a remarkable shift in synergy between our sales and recruiting teams. Rather than fixating solely on wins and losses, our focus shifted to identifying the best talent and cultivating their trust.

Building genuine relationships became ingrained in our culture, not just among Recruiters, but also extending to Sales and Senior Leadership. Proactively engaging with candidates, even in the absence of immediate opportunities, proved pivotal. Our candidates felt valued, setting us apart as their preferred representation amidst fierce competition.


Over the ensuing six weeks, we meticulously curated a network of thoroughly vetted "rock stars," and by the seventh week, our efforts began yielding significant returns. As aligned roles began funneling in, our erstwhile sense of panic gave way to a plethora of options for every opportunity, simplifying the process to a mere game of connect-the-dots. Sales gained unwavering confidence in our ability to deliver, armed with compelling use cases to bolster their pitch. It was a convergence of supply, demand, sales, and recruiting, culminating in a remarkable 56% year-over-year growth over the subsequent three years.


I've since championed and mentored these strategies across various organizations, including my current role as Practice Manager of Talent Services at PSM Partners. While the settings and characters may vary, the narrative remains consistent - I am David, relentlessly striving to triumph over Goliath.

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Graham Halonen

Graham serves as PSM’s Practice Manager of Talent Services, where he oversees all aspects of sales and recruiting to support our Talent, Professional, and Deployment Service Practices. With over 20 years of experience in business development and leadership, Graham has successfully led numerous successful consulting and professional services relationships with prominent clients, including Astellas, Blue Shield of California, Walgreens, Allstate, AbbVie, Crowe, and AWS.