30 Most Reputable Companies of the Year 2019

An Interview with Rachel Murphy, Difrent CEO: ‘We are Wildly Committed to Helping you Do Best Work in the Most Efficient, Accessible, Forward-thinking Way Possible’


“We are committed to using our skills to future proof organisations that make an impact on lives.”

To be digital, companies today must have organizational velocity approaching light speed while serving up individualized offerings that result in fanatical levels of customer satisfaction—all with laser-focused cost control.

And from applications to infrastructure, processes to operational models and interfaces to experiences—there are digital forces driving change in every part of your organization.

In light of the above-mentioned scenario, we’re thrilled to present Difrent.

Difrent provides digital transformation solutions in addition to its cost-effective business consulting services. The company caters to private and public organizations.

Difrent was incorporated in 2014 and is headquartered in London, UK.

Rachel Murphy, Difrent CEO, spoke exclusively to The Silicon Review. Below is an excerpt.

Q. Why was the company set up? And how did you expand your company and its offerings over the years?

Difrent was initially set up to provide recruitment services. To effectively offer a better service and change within a stagnant industry, a decision was taken 14 months ago to build a professional services business that would provide end-to-end digital services for public good organisations on an outcome basis. Over the last 12 months, Difrent has doubled its turnover and increased its permanent headcount from two to 25 people, further supported by a pool of 30 associates.

Q. How successful was your first project roll on? Share the experience.

Our first project roll-out is still on-going with the UK's National Health Service(NHS); building out the Jobs service.

We’re transforming the NHS Jobs service; improving its recruitment journey. This involves developing a full applicant tracking product and candidate job board to cover the depth and breadth of roles within the NHS. From Wardley mapping, capability modelling and market analysis, we’ve defined the best solution and identified commoditised components such as Solr Search to underpin the new service –coupling open-source and re-usable components rather than off the shelf systems. The service will ultimately reduce the time to hire by 10 days and release over £50 million savings. It will also reduce the use of third-party recruitment systems (ATS’) and candidate drop-out rates.

Q. What challenges did you face in your initial years?

The three key challenges we experienced were probably similar to others creating a new business: cash-flow, building a brand and being taken seriously as a delivery business, not a recruitment firm. As the company grew so did our relationship with lenders, which allowed us to move from a factoring arrangement to an outcome-based financial service. We invested heavily –in really understanding our marketplace, competitors and our USPs – to build our brand and embed that within Difrent. Being taken seriously as a delivery business came as soon as we started delivering for clients and moving them through a structured process of understanding the user needs; through the Discovery, Alpha, and BETA. We have managed to win awards for the services we provide and more importantly delight the clients with our ability to deliver.

Q. What do you feel are the reasons behind your company’s reputation?

We have hired some of the best in the business. These individuals have done real heavy lifting within central government and delivered in environments where failure is almost expected.

Moreover, Difrent being accepted onto the Mayor’s International Growth Programme was a pivotal moment for us. This allowed us to springboard our desire to explore international opportunities. To-date we have explored UAE, Canada, and a number of US cities including Salt Lake City, Washington DC, and City of Irvine as potentials for an International HQ.

The political situation in the UK right now is also influencing the work we will be bidding for; the advent of Brexit means that our focus will likely be on government (Health, Defence etc.) work with strong ministerial commitments.

Q. If you have to list five factors that have been/are the biggest asset to your organization, what would they be and why?

We are authentic– We are honest, straight-talking and upfront. We believe in transparency to create trusting partnerships that last. We do this by sitting side-by-side with the teams within the companies we work with. In doing so, we can be sure that there’s trust amongst the teams, that we’re all clear on our journey to the outcome.

We are bold– We are boldly ourselves, and that takes courage. To show who you are, to bring your whole self. We want everyone to fully show up at work because it brings new ways of working, new ways of thinking.

We are positive disrupters– We are disruptive for good. There’s no turning back, just forward, for good things happen, in our culture of positive disruption.

We are innovative– Authenticity and boldness, in a thriving culture of positive disruption, create innovation. Innovation that transforms such as the NHS campaign to ‘Empower the Person’; the app now sits in Apple’s Top 10 in Health apps.

We are passionate– We bring our A-game to everything we do. We do it with everything we have, and with everything we are.

Q. Do you have any new products ready to be launched?

We are a services company but are exploring productising some of what we do. The Applicant Tracking and Candidate Recruitment Joboard product, that we are developing to support recruitment across the UK's NHS, is entering Private Beta in April 2019.

Q. Where do you see your company a couple of years from now?

I see the company continuing to deliver services to public good organisations and improve the lives of citizens across the UK and hopefully on a global level.

In an expansion move, we’re already exploring the South West as a potential third base, in addition to International headquarters in the United States.

Leadership | Difrent

Rachel Murphy: Rachel Murphy is the Chief Executive Officer of Difrent. She’s a confident and dynamic CTO/CIO/CDO with delivery experience across public, private and consultancy sectors. Ms. Murphy is a born entrepreneur harnessing learning from old school organisations and translating that into services for public good organisations.

Steve Dhillon: Steve Dhillon is the founder of Difrent. He’s an experienced outcome delivery entrepreneur; initially in recruitment and more recently in professional services for public good organisations.

“We are known for developing true, inspired partnerships with our clients. We will never act like a faceless supplier with no skin in the game.”