Breaking through the “noise” successfully requires a more personalized, relationship-based selling approach, and the staffing sector is no exception.
Additionally, staffing companies are facing a threat to what used to be their most valuable asset—their proprietary “database” of candidates. This is also the way that staffing companies traditionally differentiated themselves from the competition. With the advent of job sites and social media tools designed specifically for recruiting, companies don’t necessarily need to leverage a recruiter’s database to connect with the talent pool.
Quality service and experience has become expected in almost every service-based industry, including staffing. Because of this, firms and businesses have to find new ways to differentiate themselves. So how exactly can a staffing agency stand out?
1. Define your niche:
Identify a particular market where your company has expertise with finding candidates and filling positions. Whether it is technology, healthcare, engineering, manufacturing, accounting, finance, etc., concentrate on being excellent at it. Maybe it’s focusing on a specific skill set or technology experience. By doing this, your recruiters can become experts in the field. They’ll learn what firms often look for in a candidate and be able to speak the “language” of the industry. This leads to better understanding the needs of hiring managers, thus more effectively brokering recruitment opportunities.
2. Identify your “ideal” client company type based on your niche:
Depending on your firm’s resources and ability to handle a certain volume of candidates, you can then identify and target the “ideal” client. Create a profile based on company type, size, revenue, location, etc. Then make a list of target companies based on your ideal client profile. Establishing a list of ideal prospective companies will help your firm stay within your niche and gives direction for which new candidates to pursue as well.
If your staffing agency has a large pool of recruiters, you might be able to target larger companies with large revenue streams. If yours is a boutique staffing firm, you can build relationships with a few smaller companies. It’s more personal and could benefit relationship building in the long term.
3. Understand the difference between an HR professional and a hiring manager:
A Human Resources professional is concerned about cultural fit and “checking qualification/experience boxes.” They may not have in depth of knowledge about the specific position or team. That information lies with the hiring manager, the ultimate decision maker in the process. They create the job description and provide details around the type experience required to be successful in the position.
4. Identify the right decision makers within your target organization:
Understand organizational dynamics and figure out who will need to be involved with every hiring decision. Is it just the direct hiring manager? Or, is there executive involvement? Does HR act as a gatekeeper? DiscoverOrg’s company profiles will help with this process. By breaking down org charts, you can see who has a hand in the process. If there are many people involved, you can determine if there’s equal representation or who has the most influence in the hiring decision. Don’t forget about the all-important contact information. Recruiting is like sales. Knowing how to contact these influencers will allow you to build relationships and keep your messaging relevant.
5. Create ‘buyer’ personas:
Now that you’ve established your ideal client organization, you need to know who to target with marketing content and sales calls. Think of hiring managers as your “buyers.” By creating a buyer persona to describe your ideal prospects, you can get a clearer picture of your overall marketing strategy. Is there a job title you seek out? Are there certain teams or departments they should be in charge of? How often do they hire? Understanding their past behavior will give insights into future hiring cycles and what kind of candidates they hire. DiscoverOrg actually tracks upcoming projects, spending initiatives, job postings, and hiring cycles so recruiters can predict when a particular company might hire again. Having the inside scoop on clients’ needs will open the door for more engaging dialogue with hiring managers and more targeted marketing content.
6. Do your research:
Learn everything you can about your decision makers so you can develop highly targeted content that conveys that you truly understand the organization and its needs. Even within the same organization, different decision makers/influencers may need to be approached differently. Use DiscoverOrg sales and marketing intelligence to help you do just that.
7. Focus marketing efforts on building relationships:
Relationships are built on trust. How are your marketing and sales efforts building trust in the capabilities of your organization?
Clients want to feel as though you understand their specific needs and pain points, along with trusting that your organization can add value. Position yourself as more than just a staffing firm. Become a resource and knowledge hub by sharing useful, relevant content, information, industry articles, etc. to initiate productive dialogue. This dialogue could give you insight into long-term strategy, upcoming initiatives, and existing pain points through direct contact, interviews, and research. Nurture, nurture, nurture. It may not happen overnight but you want your prospect to think of YOU the next time they have an open position.
8. Allot time and resources to customer retention:
The fastest way to find new business is among your existing clients because new customer acquisition is costly and time-consuming. Continue to deepen relationships with existing clients and create new contacts within the same company by going wider. Don’t think of one recruitment deal as an automatic “in” for a long-term relationship. Produce continuous streams of content to let clients know you’re keeping up with the changes in the industry.
Brute sales force isn’t going to work anymore.
You need a strategic, integrated plan that aligns the sales funnel with marketing efforts to ensure you resonate with prospects and close more business. Having the expertise will be a driving differentiator for your staffing agency, but that won’t go anywhere if you don’t know whom to target. Know who the decision makers are within your ideal clients to distribute relevant content and open those channels of dialogue. Only then can you create lasting client relationships that will drive long-term revenue.