24 May 3 Questions Most Staffing Firms Fail to Ask
Here are some common questions that likely float around your staffing firm:
What’s our gross margin look like this week? Are we on track with our revenue goal this quarter? Is our fill-ratio still above the industry average? How’s our placement number looking?
The reason these questions fill your conference room and team huddles is that they help give you a proper pulse of your business’ financials.
They tell the story of inputs and outputs. They help you decide when to hire, when to expand, and when to cut back.
These are crucial questions.
But they’re common questions. And by definition, the great things are not the common things.
If you’re looking to further differentiate yourself from your chief competitors, you’ll need to ask uncommon questions.
Here are 3 questions most staffing firms fail to ask:
1) Do Our Candidates Stay?
What happens when your contractors finish a contract? Do they find another job with another staffing firm? Do they often flip to a direct role in the company you placed them in, rather than continue through your firm? Great people take a lot of resources to find, qualify, and place. It’s important you understand, therefore, what percentage of your candidates are likely to result in repeat placements for your firm and why.
If you’re unhappy with the number of candidates leaving after only one or two assignments within your company, here are some deeper questions to address the “why”:
Do contractors feel respected when they work with your recruiters?
Do your recruiters excel at developing meaningful relationships with their candidates?
Does your recruiting team emphasize the long-term benefits of working with your firm or the short term assignment?
2) Do Our Candidates Promote?
Think of one brand you’re truly enamored with.
When this company releases a new product or service you instantly think, “I need that!”.
Now, think about how often you talk about this company with your friends or family. Think about how much you sell this company without getting paid a single cent. Why do you do this?
Because you’re beyond satisfied: you’re a promoter.
Most staffing firms consider their current clients to be the chief promoters of their business. As a result, they pour resources into client surveys and client visits to ensure their most “valuable people” are happy.
Common staffing firms often overlook the value of their candidates. As a result, recruiters are notorious for treating their candidates quite poorly. Indeed, common recruiting teams have created such a stigma that Google guesses these common search strings when a user types in “recruiters are…”
Great recruiting teams, however, truly value their candidates. Why? Because they recognize their candidates as their “chief brand ambassadors” – positioned uniquely to promote their business to prospective candidates.
Turning your candidates into true promoters of your business is the most organic (and effective) way to keep a steady stream of skilled candidates in your pipeline.
3) Do our Candidates Create New Business?
Beyond promoting your business to their peers, candidates are uniquely positioned to create new business for your firm.
Each day your contractors interact with various managers and departmental leads that have constant hiring needs. If your recruiters have developed great relationships with these contractors, you should be getting new business leads from their insights.
No, this strategy will never replace your business development team. And yes, these opportunities may not come in regularly. However, great recruiting teams understand that their contractors can offer valuable insight into upcoming needs, current needs, and prospective changes in company structure.
This is not to say that your business development team or account managers will not be actively seeking this information as well. However, considering that internal communication is difficult enough for a business, external partners are often the last to know pertinent information.
Don’t neglect your candidates and you may be surprised at the leads you receive as a result.
Are your recruiters asking the right questions? Download our Recruiter Performance Appraisal to give you more insight.
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.