05 May Staffing Firms Lose Out If They Just Hire Recruiters
“If I had 6 more recruiters I could double my business in the next 3 months.”
“I don’t need any more accounts at this time. I’m getting 30 new requisitions each day and I’m only filling 5 percent of them.”
Have these problems manifested for your business? Is your demand for new recruiters now outpacing anything you could have imagined months ago?
If so, you are not alone. Not even close.
Nearly every company we speak to is now facing the same dilemma: an unequivocal shortage of workers. That’s across all sectors, making it almost endemic.
The knee-jerk response is to fixate on better recruiting. That’s what your competitors will do. Right now, other staffing companies nationwide are laser-focused on the efficacy of recruiting: hiring recruiters, honing their processes, and deploying augmented staffing tools to find more people faster. It’s the highest priority for staffing firms of all sizes.
Yet by itself, this approach is a bit myopic. That’s why you also need to focus on hiring salespeople for your staffing firm.
Why It’s Not Okay to Skimp on Hiring Salespeople
A single-minded focus on recruiting alone puts your staffing process out of whack. Imagine you’re at the gym. You aren’t going to do intense bicep and triceps work on your right arm while leaving the muscles on your left to atrophy. There needs to be balance between the two. Although focusing on unfilled openings should be a predominant priority, staffing companies need to go full throttle on selling.
It’s easy for your salespeople to get caught up servicing current clients and trying to fill their open positions. They’re probably asking “what’s the incentive to hunt new business when we can’t fill the open requirements that we have right now?” In the present, it doesn’t seem like a bad question, but it really neglects the cyclical nature of the staffing industry.
You can bet that sometime in the not too distant future, the market polarity will reverse and the competition for candidates won’t be as fierce. Hiring budgets will decrease, businesses will fail, and the economy will ride out on the low tide – as it always does. We don’t know when that will happen, but it’s inevitable.
When we enter those lean years, it helps to have been hiring salespeople all along to have built up a cache of client contacts. Because in the end, we have to remember who pays our bills: the clients do.
Why You Need to Be Hiring Salespeople Now
The best time to sell is when your competition isn’t out there pounding the pavement. Most staffing companies are trying to extinguish fires of their own, but their clients still have a significant pain point that needs to be addressed. What better way to build a new relationship with a potential client than by succeeding where their current vendors have missed the mark?
On average, a vacant position remains open for 25 working days. Though the reasons for this are varied (a shortage of candidates, a lack of client urgency, a salary that isn’t competitive, etc.), none of them are going to placate clients’ angst. Those positions need to be filled fast and any staffing company that can save the day will earn that business.
It’s one of the best lessons I’ve learned firsthand.
Much of my early success came through this tactic. In 1997, when technology accelerated and resources were hard to come by, I spent 80 percent of my efforts on new business development because I knew my competitors were having a difficult time securing the resources required to hit client objectives. Even though we weren’t able to fill every position or staff every project, new opportunities became available at a very rapid rate and we managed to fill more than our competitors.
Client relationships built at this very moment can turn into multimillion dollar, long-term relationships. This opportunity won’t be available forever. And hiring salespeople for your staffing firm when others are letting them wither on the vine could be the vital component that keeps your business growth reaching for the sun 2-5 years down the road.
With more sales hands on deck, you’ll have the manpower to make pitches and build your client base. However, you still need a larger lead gathering net to funnel prospective clients your way. Thankfully, that’s the easy part. echogravity specializes a full range of direct marketing services that help you get found, get leads, and get on with the rest of your business. Just shoot us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kevin O’Brien is a Co-Founder and Partner at echogravity. Kevin’s credentials include being a top recruiter for a international Big 8 consulting firm, top business development rep for a global consulting and staffing firm, and consulting with over 100 companies across North America.