Be a “Customer of Choice”

ThinkstockPhotos-187251138Competing for and attracting the best talent in the market is key to the success of any organization. With this in mind, being a “Customer of Choice” is, well, the best choice – with the reward being the best possible service and response from suppliers and candidates in the market.

Here’s how to become a “Customer of Choice.”

  • Roll up smaller/single region suppliers under another primary supplier. This has the potential to drive costs out of the supply chain, to increase spending with a diversity-owned firm, and to decrease administrative burden (cultural alignment, single point of contact, and flawless compliance).
  • Provide additional opportunities for Statement of Work business on an exclusive or semi-exclusive basis. Suppliers that are valued will continue to reinvest in more innovation.
  • Partner with your supplier to design training programs for the skills most sought after by the industry.
  • Employ veterans using established supplier programs.
  • Simplify the contracts process. Programs with multiple or complicated discounts actually add costs to administer and audit for both you and the supplier.
  • Move to market-based resource pricing that periodically assesses and adjusts rate cards to reflect changes in the market.
  • Conduct legal/co-employment risk assessments and rationalize (or eliminate) tenure restrictions and other often-false protections against risk.

PREMIUM CONTENT: How to Expand Your Program Internationally – April 2015

  • Establish a “Net Promoter Score” evaluation program for internal users and external suppliers.
  • Hold a supplier Quarterly Business Review with procurement staff, other stakeholders, and business leadership. This allows suppliers to build a collaborative partnership based on performance metrics and to share industry trends.
  • Increase visibility into the work order approval chain so suppliers can provide advice and assistance to keep the process moving.
  • Forecast skill-set demand. Your staffing supplier partners can build strong pipelines of talented candidates for hard-to-fill skill sets if you communicate demands.
  • Provide a timeline for interviewing to enable suppliers to pre-schedule candidates and reduce the time it takes to fill positions.
  • Formulate payment terms that are favorable for suppliers that require cash flow for frequent payroll processing.
  • Host a forum, such as a monthly or quarterly supplier-sponsored breakfast, for suppliers to meet managers and learn about emerging needs.

In summary, the best results occur when both customers and suppliers communicate, collaborate and innovate to improve the bottom line and successfully put people to work.

MORE: Future recruiting trends

April Donaldson

April Donaldson
April Donaldson is executive vice president of Strategic Staffing Solutions.

April Donaldson

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