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Meet Kathleen Duffy of Duffy Group, Inc.

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kathleen Duffy.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I started my company from my home nearly 30 years ago. I am the founder and president of Duffy Group, Inc., a global recruiting firm. I impart a strength of purpose to my entire staff, and the result is one of the strongest recruitment teams in the business.

My commitment to serving candidates and clients alike motivated me to develop the Recruitment Research model which enables Duffy Group to harness marketplace intelligence, work as a discrete (and transparent) partner and deliver quality candidates with up to 50 percent savings over traditional recruitment fees.

I currently serve as the Co-Chair on 2020 Woman on Boards and as the Co-Chair of the No Longer Homeless Capital Campaign Cabinet. A founding member of the Arizona Human Resource Executive Forum, I was also Past Chair for the ASU Alumni Association National Board of Directors, served on the ASU Board of Trustees and Leadership Council, and as National District Coordinator for the National Charity League.

I am also an active member of the Kappa Delta Advisory Board. Recently I was honored for my leadership, community service, and dedication to mentorship by being awarded the 2018 ATHENA Business Woman of the Year Award in the private sector.

I earned a B.A. in Communications from Arizona State University and am a proud Sun Devil.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
When I started my business in the 90’s,we were in the midst of the .com boom.  Companies were throwing money at us to find candidates…It was great!

Then 9/11 and everything stopped. There was no movement for a two solid weeks. I wasn’t sure how my business was going to survive; I didn’t know how to maneuver in an environment of uncertainty.

I morphed our nontraditional recruiting model to include the traditional recruiting approaches (the ones that charged fees based on the candidate’s compensation) in order to survive.

It worked & now one company became 3 companies!  Before long, the 3 companies began competing & Duffy Group, my brand was getting diluted.

Fast forward to 2008 & the great recession.  I had been through several recessions, but not one that took so long to recover. This was the most challenging time I’ve faced since starting Duffy Group.  It was a new economy.

Companies had many hi-tech options when it came to recruiting talent – on-line tools, job boards, and a lot of unemployed candidates so they didn’t need to pay for the assistance of a recruiting firm.

In order to survive, again, we had to reinvent the business by
• getting in front of more people
• understanding more about our potential client
•  having more productive conversations with our potential clients
•  learning how to engage & cause our potential clients to share
information…and ultimately recommend us to others

It was hard to retrain our brand.  It’s been about getting a job order –a one & done approach in many ways.

I wouldn’t replace any of these challenges; I have learned from each and am a stronger, confident leader moving into the future.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Duffy Group, Inc. – what should we know?
Until 1991, there was only one recruiting model, and it was based on only one variable: compensation. Today, that concept seems almost quaint. Of course, compensation is a key criterion, but there is so much more that goes into a perfect match between employer and candidate.

The “more” is the foundation of Duffy Group’s Recruitment Research model. Developed in 1991 and constantly evolving, it delivers real-world, actionable knowledge to employers and guides the Duffy Group to unearth hidden talent.

Our approach, combined with a flexible pricing model that enables clients to pay only for services performed, is the core of the Duffy philosophy: to be a vigilant steward of clients’ recruiting dollars and serve as a virtual extension of the client’s team.

Our rigorous and comprehensive recruitment process is designed to both streamline the process and ensure the delivery of optimal candidates. The result? Searches that reveal interested, qualified candidates quickly (10-15 business days) and that save employers up to 50 percent on traditional recruiting fees.

Headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, Duffy Group represents and recruits for national and international clients across a variety of industries. Its extensive global network allows Duffy Group to source candidates in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Central America, Europe, and Asia.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
My sincere passion for my team and providing a work-life harmony environment has and, I believe, is critical to our success. The majority of our employees work virtually so they can spend the quality time needed with family and loved ones. Our productivity has never been better.

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