Growing a business is tough work. When you’re in the staffing business, it’s easy to forget that at least 50% of your job is expanding your business: building new clients, reaching out to new job seekers, and understanding as much as you can about both the staffing industry and the various industries in which you place people.
With that in mind, here are five ways you can grow your staffing business before the end of 2013:
1. Dispel common staffing myths. There are many common temporary staffing myths floating around. Some people mistakenly believe that temporary jobs never become permanent, that temporary jobs only offer part time hours, or that temporary jobs never come with benefits. It’s your job, as a staffing agent, to dispel the myths, and to push those myths aside even before that first job seeker interview takes place.
For example: the myth that temporary jobs do not include sick days, vacation time, or a 401(k). To be successful, you can’t just put “we offer sick days” on your website. Job seekers have seen that line before and have gotten burned — some agencies, after all, only offer one paid sick day if an employee has worked 140 consecutive business days. You’ve got to make your advantages and benefits loud and clear. Your agency places 80 percent of its candidates in full-time positions. Your agency offers 15 minutes of paid sick time for every full day worked. To dispel the myths, you have to literally shout them down.
2. Understand what job seekers are looking for. Do some searching on what job seekers are in the market for. If you are running a boutique staffing agency, for example, wealth management expert, Jason Robinson Waldwick, has a great article about what high-level job candidates need to do to make a good impression with you, the recruiter. Reading articles like these help you understand why certain job candidates come in ready to “put everything on the table,” and why they won’t accept just any available position.
If you understand what job seekers are looking for — such as opportunity, a chance to grow new skills, and a chance to secure a full-time position at a good company — you’ll be prepared to offer them the kind of jobs they’re happy to accept.
3. Write your own guide. Follow your own example and include a section on your website advising potential job seekers on what to do before they meet with you. Include any administrative details, such as whether people should pre-download an I-9 form or bring two kinds of photo ID, as well as other suggestions, like coming prepared with a list of ideal companies or a five-year career plan.
Why does this type of guide help you? First, it saves you time — every meeting with a prepared job candidate is a meeting you don’t have to reschedule. Secondly, it gives you additional information on how to grow your business: if everyone in town wishes they could work for Company X, it’s time to give Company X’s hiring manager a call.
4. Give your hiring managers what they want. This is a no-brainer, but it’s something many staffing agents forget in the day-to-day rush of business. Your hiring managers are your clients. They’re the ones paying you, and hiring your job candidates. Your first job as a staffing agent is to make them happy; after all, they’re where the money comes from.
So: use your How to Win Friends and Influence People skills and get to know your hiring managers. Learn exactly what they want and how to provide it. Read guides like this excellent Net-Temps “How to make your staffing company stand out” summary, that provides a detailed, action-based list of how to differentiate yourself from the competition and provide hiring managers with solutions, not just noise.
The more you can give hiring managers exactly what they want, the more your business will grow.
5. Pay attention to the bottom line. How do you grow your business? You look at the bottom line. If it’s trending upwards, nice job. If it’s trending downwards, something has to change.
What has to change? Depends on what’s changed since the downward trend began. Maybe you took on more work than you could do. Maybe you’re not taking on enough work. Maybe you need to expand to another industry with additional growth opportunities. Some hard-looking analysis of where your business is working, as well as where it’s losing money, is essential to ensuring future growth.