More on Making Your Business Stand Out

Good JObA recent post here discussed ways to make your company stand out in a crowded market and appeal to companies and potential candidates seeking staffing services. I would like to expand on the idea and focus on specific areas in which you can stand out against the competition.

Have the Jobs for the People and the People for the Jobs
There’s a catch 22 in the staffing industry: you need high-quality jobs to attract high-quality candidates, but to get those jobs you need an established pool of reliable candidates.

An established staffing agency should have no problem matching candidates to jobs, but a brand new agency could have too much of one, and not enough of the other.

Back when I was actively looking for work, I went through a lot of staffing agencies. I felt that an agency would do all of the leg work in finding the job that matched my skills, and it would give me an advantage over approaching potential employers on my own.

But one thing that I realized was that there were several new agencies popping up all over, and that many of them seemed to be recruiting for the exact same job openings.

While it is entirely possible that one employer could have several similar openings, and use several agencies to fill them, it is also likely that the employer was shopping around for the best rate, and that these staffing companies were collecting resumes to make their talent pools look more robust.

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The problem with this scenario is that, no matter how attractive the listing, if you don’t have the contract, then the job doesn’t really exist.  If you call a candidate in for an interview and screening for a job that doesn’t exist, that reflects poorly on you – if you are willing to fudge the information on this, what else are you being less than up-front about?

The difficulty lies in finding the balance. One option could be to advertise that you are starting a new agency and looking for qualified candidates in all areas. Do not list specific openings, or interview people for specific clients, but mention that you are accepting applications to keep on file for when there is an opening. That way, you will have a healthy list of candidates without giving the impression that you are trying to fill a position that does not exist.

This method might be slower than using bait and switch tactics, but it will also create a better rapport between your company and potential candidates.

Your Office Image
When you are first starting up, you might be tempted to work out of your home, or the local Starbucks. After all, you can do your staffing from anywhere as long as you have a phone, Internet access and a computer to store all of your contacts, candidates and job information.

But, in today’s market, having a professional office space makes you appear more trustworthy. Having potential clients meet you at Starbucks, makes you look like a fly-by-night operation.

If you are serious about attracting high-quality employees and candidates, your best option is to rent an office space – even if it is in a co-office situation, where you share office space with other companies.

Your office décor also plays a large role in how you come across to others. If your furniture is old, soiled and mismatched, it looks like you just threw the space together and are not taking things seriously. It’s better that you furnish your space with some affordable new, or gently used, modular office furniture.

The rules for your physical office space also apply to your virtual office space. Your website should use a domain that is the name of your company (ie:, as should your email address. Using services like Gmail or free website services might be cheaper, but it also makes you look cheap.

Some web services can host a basic website for as little as $5 per month, and some will even register a unique domain name for less than $50 per year.

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Sara Stringer

Sara Stringer
Sara is a former medical and surgical assistant who now does freelance business consulting.

Sara Stringer

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