Do staffing firms understand what their clients want? If you judge by how these firms market themselves to potential customers, the answer might be “no.”
According to data from Staffing Industry Analysts’ recent Buyer Survey, there’s a gap between what companies sell and what their clients want. What exactly do clients want? Simply put, they want higher-quality workers. More than half of buyers indicated worker quality as their top criteria for selecting a staffing firm. Close to 80 percent listed quality as part of their top three criteria.
However, according to SIA’s blog, staffing firms don’t tend market themselves based on employee quality. Only 18 percent emphasized quality in their marketing. Other answers were related to service characteristics.
Sure, if every staffing firm emphasized nothing but the quality of its hires, there would be a problem in the market place. Staffing agencies need to differentiate themselves somehow; unique service, for instance, or the ability to make placements quickly, could be that differentiator. But given that less than 20 percent of firms currently talk about quality at all – there’s room for changing up the messaging a bit.
Put your money where your mouth is
Don’t just emphasize the quality of your placements: Actively make high-quality placements. In some ways, it’s not surprising that staffing firms don’t market their ability to place high quality talent. The reason? They aren’t doing it very successfully. According to a study from Inavero and CareerBuilder, only 31 percent of clients responded that the candidates they received met the specifications of their order. In other words, most clients think staffing firms aren’t sending them the right talent.
Make the most of your staffing software
Use the features in your software to make sure you can find the candidates your clients want. Your talent pipeline is your best resource. Make sure you can find candidates again once they’ve entered your system. Tag them appropriately so you can recover them as needed. Don’t just rely on resumes. Integrate data from social platforms for a bigger picture view of candidates’ skills and accomplishments. Use email marketing features to keep in touch with the best and hardest-to-find talent so they don’t fall off your radar. Don’t ever lose track of awesome candidates – you can return to them over and over.
The most successful staffing firms see where the tide is going. What will be the most sought-after jobs in the next few months? Start recruiting for those positions now, so you can be the first to fill these positions when clients begin asking for them. There’s nothing quite like being the fastest and the best. Clients will love you for it and they’ll come back again and again.
Be a partner
Inavero and CareerBuilder also noted building trust with clients has great benefits. For instance, you’re more likely to get a referral that way, which is the most trusted resource for clients, the report found. But don’t just partner with clients. Forming an alliance with candidates can also reap great rewards. While 31 percent of clients will actively encourage other companies to use a staffing firm when they’ve had a positive experience, more than half of candidates will. Candidate referrals tend to yield higher-quality applicants, so this is a win-win situation.
By emphasizing the quality of their placements, staffing firms could achieve real success. The main issue is being able to back up those claims with high-quality placements.
Jobscience | Beyond the Applicant Tracking System