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By David Searns, Co-CEO of Haley Marketing Group

We’ve had a great run in the staffing industry, but our current market has become more challenging for firms. Selling staffing now requires significantly more effort – you may need to work twice as hard for half the results. 

This situation can feel stressful and challenging, but it’s not all doom and gloom. In fact, quite the opposite.

You just need to work smarter…and find new ways to LEVEL UP your marketing.

Let’s explore a few strategies that the most successful companies have used during previous recessions to minimize sales losses, accelerate recovery, and drive growth.

Step 1: Level up your positioning

Are you struggling to differentiate your staffing company from your competitors? Do you find yourself making the same claims and offers as everyone else in the industry, inadvertently making your services look like a commodity? If so, it’s time to take a step back and assess your company’s mission, vision, and values (MVV).

While great service and expertise are important, it’s your MVV that truly sets you apart from the competition. As Simon Sinek famously said, “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” Your company’s mission should address critical problems that employers face and motivate your ideal clients to want to work with you. Does your mission clearly identify your target audience and the value you can bring to them?

In addition to your mission, your company’s vision is also crucial for attracting top talent. Have you established a distinct, compelling vision of where your staffing firm is headed? Does your vision address your staff, company culture, service experience, and how you will fulfill your mission in the years to come? A great vision gives your employees something to work towards and helps align everyone toward a common goal.

Lastly, your core values are the guiding principles that your company lives by. Are they clearly defined? Do all of your people live by them, with every client, every day? Do your values provide clear direction for outperforming competitors on service delivery and experience?

By focusing on your company’s MVV, you can differentiate yourself from the competition and show your clients why you are better qualified to serve them than anyone else in the world. So take a hard look at your MVV and see where you can LEVEL UP your positioning in the staffing industry.

Step 2: Level up your messaging

Once you’ve developed a strong foundation (i.e., well-defined mission, vision, and values to properly position your firm) it’s time to focus on your messaging.

Why? While your MVV helps you identify your ideal clients and the value you bring to their organization, you need a clear message to capture busy decision-makers’ attention and interest.

In the past, simply finding qualified candidates for your clients was sufficient. But in today’s competitive market, being good at recruiting is no longer enough. It’s essential to position your services in terms of the business problems you solve and the economic value you offer.

To successfully sell to CEOs, HR managers, department heads, or frontline supervisors, your team needs to understand how staffing can be used as a strategic tool to solve business problems, capitalize on market opportunities, control costs, improve workforce productivity and flexibility, and mitigate employment risk. Here are a few examples:

  • Convert fixed labor overhead to variable cost 
  • Create healthy churn by confidentially replacing underperforming team members, teams, or departments 
  • Free key team members to focus on more strategic priorities 
  • Reduce or eliminate overstaffing (i.e., having more FTEs than needed) 
  • Gain competitive advantage by accelerating project implementation
  • Upskill teams by bringing in temporary, contract, or consultant SMEs
  • Improve production quality and reduce scrap and rework 
  • Provide access to resources (people, skills) to pursue new market opportunities 
  • Reduce benefits costs and payroll administration
  • Minimize liability associated with independent contractors and workers’ comp

Ask yourself: Does every sales rep and recruiter in your firm understand the strategic value of staffing…and how to apply these concepts to your clients’ and prospects’ business challenges?

If they don’t, it’s time for training. Ensure that your sales reps and recruiters are trained to ask questions that delve deeper than just staffing requirements and uncover the underlying business needs and challenges of your clients. Illustrate how temporary staffing, temp-to-hire, and direct hire services can serve as powerful business tools that deliver tangible bottom-line results. And coach your team to help clients with workforce planning and to sell them strategic staffing solutions that align with their business objectives.

Step 3: Keep learning

This article shares just two of the 12 strategies our team has created for staffing firms to minimize sales loss, accelerate recovery and drive growth in today’s economy. My bio below has a link to the full eBook with 10 more ideas.

David is Co-CEO of Haley Marketing Group. Web design. Recruitment marketing. Blog writing and social media. SEO. Reputation management. Automation strategy. Integrated direct marketing. And corporate identity. Haley Marketing makes world-class marketing easy, fast, and affordable. Let us help your team drive sales by downloading our free LEVEL UP eBook.