The New Year is upon us, and with it come new challenges and opportunities for your staffing firm. To kick the year off right, here are three key takeaways from CareerBuilder’s Staffing Advantage Report to help you beat your staffing firm competition to new business and the best talent.
1. Focus on candidate relationships
Winning new business starts with your candidate relationships. Candidates are the true branding stakeholders for any staffing firm, and the experience you provide them will determine the retention and referral network built by them on your behalf. They will complement your current marketing initiatives and eventually act as your champions in the field. You can’t pay money for this type of marketing. It’s value with a voice – their voice – and it matters.
Firms that work on building stronger candidate relationships will continue to be ahead of the new business development curve without exception. Based on my experience, a firm loses approximately 15 percent of clients every year on average by “natural” attrition. I work with firms across the country and help them strategize ways to overcome this client deficit as they enter each year.
In a recent study our firm conducted, it was revealed that 51 percent of senior executives have never met their clients in person. This is simply not acceptable. You have to get involved, be involved and stay involved. If you don’t, you lose every time.
One of the biggest – but often missed – opportunities a firm has is performing consistent relationship reviews from top down, not just the “account.” This is very different from your typical account review and should be initiated by the firm, not the client. Taking the initiative here will set any firm apart from those who continue to operate based on antiquated processes because that’s the “way they’ve always done it.”
2. Make technology work for you
Technology today has changed the sales landscape with a “no return” concept. Today’s client is savvier than ever. They take time to research, investigate, communicate and make educated decisions based on the intel they gather. It is no longer acceptable for a firm to expect the client or candidate to seek them out based on a few sales slicks or a couple of blog posts.
Having a great website will help but you must give it legs. It has to have strong call-to-actions in the most simplistic format. I always say, “Don’t make the client think if they don’t have to.” Firms today must be willing to deliver quality content and communicate on the platform where their clientele lives – not the other way around.
In most cases, this means the same content delivered across a minimum of three to five platforms. You have to cut through the noise and deliver a solid, meaningful experience for your clients and candidates. Gone are the days of two to three page applications. It’s quick hit information on their platform that keeps your audience moving toward you, not toward your staffing firm competition.
3. Identify connections
I am a big proponent of using heat mapping concepts to assess overlaps where clients and candidates connect. If done correctly, this strategy also shares insight on gaps that exist based on current sales and recruitment efforts. You can ghost in several overlays of information that will tell an exciting story and reveal amazing opportunities for new client development or gaining stronger leverage in relationships.
As mentioned above, clients and candidates are savvier today and more interested in receiving quality content over quantity. A great blog that upholds an interactive community is another good way to engage and help educate the end user of staffing and recruitment services. Also, the use of heat mapping strategies (mentioned above) can help showcase a firm’s position over another in terms of candidate pool, market share and overall footprint.
By focusing on your relationship with candidates and using technology to build new avenues for connection, you can make 2017 the year your business becomes best in class – and beats the staffing firm competition.
CJ Rodriguez is a senior-level executive with over 15 years of entrepreneur and corporate experience. She specializes in building sustainable growth for nationally and globally recognized organizations in the areas of sales, recruiting, training and operations. For more insights from CJ, visit her website: http://www.evolvehealthcaresolutions.com
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