As businesses rapidly grow and evolve, the demand for skilled professionals follows suit, presenting staffing firms with lucrative opportunities. However, with the influx of new competitors, the landscape has become increasingly fierce.
To maintain and enhance profitability, staffing firms must stay agile and adapt to the ever-changing environment.
In this guide, we present you with 11 powerful strategies to bolster your staffing firm’s revenue, ensuring sustainable success in this competitive market.
11 Essentials to Increase Revenue of your Staffing Firm
Many firms lose revenue because of the most mundane of reasons, which can be rectified without much effort. The following points discuss how firms can score long-term and recurring clients and whether they are leaving money on the table.
#1 Study your Client’s Industry
Staffing agencies that try to become “Jack of All Trades” most often end up as “Master of None.” You cannot be everything to everyone. And it is better to become everything to someone rather than something to everyone.
To begin with, select an industry where you think you can do your best job, i.e., provide the best candidates with minimum Turn Around Time (TAT). Learn the ins and outs of your selected industry and the government regulations around it. Study the needs and expectations of your client’s customers. Identify the market leaders and the upcoming challengers to these leaders.
Keep track of the updates and trends in your client’s industry. Checking job postings is an excellent way to understand the expectations of your clients. What are the skills, qualifications, and training that they look for in their prospective employees?
You can solicit more information about your client’s industry by requesting them to fill out a questionnaire.
#2 Zero Down on a Niche
If you can recognize a niche within your selected industry and make it your own, even better. You can concentrate your efforts on a few particular positions and types of candidates instead of spreading yourself thin trying to find candidates for various posts.
Devote time and effort to identifying the pain points and the problems they throw up in your client’s industry.
Offer solutions for these specific pain points. Preferably select niches that most of your competitors are unwilling to touch.
Master your niche.
This will ensure a unique identity for your agency while also reducing competition. And most importantly, it will allow you to charge premium rates for your services.
This has at least 2 aspects: your Online Presence / Avatar, and your Communication Tools.
With technology improving faster than it has ever done before, communication channels have multiplied like never before.
It may not be possible to tap every one of these communication channels, but it is essential to harness the mainstream ones. Job boards, newspaper advertisements, TV commercials, cold emails and calls, and all the other ‘traditional’ forms of communication, though still effective, have lost their charm, and have become limited in their reach.
To win clients from among the younger talent, and among the new-age firms, you have to be present where they are. Are you leveraging the attraction of the multiple Metaverses? Does the AI powered ChatGPT, or the New Microsoft Bing recommend your agency?
Your best bet is to achieve a fine balance between the traditional and new-age modes of engaging with your clients, and their prospective employees. As a bonus, this approach will also help you attract top talent for your own agency.
Your choice of media / tools should depend on who you want to communicate with, externally as well as internally.
Your employees may be your best bet to understand this. The Gen Z and later generations prefer more visual communication, while handling multiple tasks on multiple screens. They can figure out which apps and tools let them do this intuitively with minimum friction. Millennials may prefer slightly more formal and text-based communication.
Efficient workers bring more business, and keep clients happy, in turn increasing profitability. Empower your employees by giving them the proper communication tools. Increase their productivity by training them for the newer apps and media. Synergies can be harnessed when all generations of employees collaborate on the same platform.
Automated communication tools also contribute to achieving a balance between personal and professional lives, thus producing happier employees.
#4 Cold Calling Script
This is always a tricky game to play. If executed improperly, it can backfire big time. And it does backfire big time, most of the time. And it puts off your prospective clients.
Cold calling without proper research will waste time for both you and your prospective clients. Do this if you want your counterparty to avoid you like the plague.
Otherwise, put in the time and efforts to research the party you hope to win as a client. Prepare an efficient, i.e., short and crisp script to speak into the phone. Follow the KISS – Keep It Simple Stupid – rule.
Practice mock calls with your team.
Record these calls and listen to them.
You are sure to identify so many areas of improvement and missed ‘foot-in-the-door’ moments.
Check – Cold Calling Scripts
#5 Referrals are your Best Friend
Talk to a few staffing agencies, and you will realize that they swear by referrals. Most rate referrals among the top 3 sources for landing the best talent.
Ensure that your best candidates are placed at the best of opportunities. They will become your word-of-mouth promoters. They will not only refer your agency to other good candidates, but may also refer you as a hiring partner to other organizations. They will definitely come back to you when they or any of their colleagues or acquaintances are looking for a change.
Referrals are also a rich source of accessing passive candidates, who are a huge ‘hidden’ revenue source.
#6 Non-profitable clients
Save your time, effort and costs on clients who don’t pay enough for the work that you put in for them. Cut back on clients who are a drain on your resources.
This can be a very difficult decision to make, and should be your last resort with that particular client. A simple analysis of the client’s account with you will aid you in making this decision.
A word of caution: Ending a client account does not mean ending your relationship with them. As far as possible, do not burn your bridges.
#7 Task Automations
As the name suggests, put on auto mode as many tasks as possible.
Majority of staffing firms are still using manual processes, or are semi-automated at best.
Use various software solutions available in the market to take care of routine administrative tasks. Free up employee time for more productive tasks like client servicing, networking, hiring for your own agency, creating candidate pools, etc.
Within the defined parameters, your employees want to schedule and select their own assignments. They want to spend less time on background verifications, scheduling as per availability of candidates and clients, sharing job details, scheduling eleventh hour replacements, etc.
Though these are necessary processes, they don’t generate revenue. On the other hand, they can exhaust your employees, leaving limited time and energy for profitable activities.
An Employee Scheduling Software is the perfect solution for this. It can automate all of the above tasks, and then some. Besides the benefits of having happier employees, the competitive advantage that this generates far outweighs the costs.
#8 Gamify for Improved Involvement
Who doesn’t love games and some good-natured competition?
Consider the following:
- A Gartner report says that organizations achieved up to 250% higher growth relative to their competitors, as a result of increased employee engagement due to gamification.
- A Gallup survey says that good employee engagement leads to companies being 21% more profitable than those where employee engagement was found to be wanting.
Games encourage strategic thinking and teamwork. Camaraderie and collaborative synergies flow from gamification of everyday activities.
Gamify tasks and objectives for increased employee engagement, and see your profitability zoom.
However, don’t do this half-heartedly. It will defeat the purpose and may frustrate employees further. Make sure to provide all resources necessary to create a game-like experience.
#9 The Mobile Experience
Google’s algorithm, and any other search engine worth its salt, checks whether a website is able to adapt to various hand-held mobile devices. It ranks such websites higher in its search results. This is a no-brainer, since most of us work on our mobile devices at least half of the time.
You can be sure that your competitors are winning if your website is not as mobile-friendly as theirs. Pay attention to the color combination, font type and size, placement of various menus, etc. All these need to be optimized for the small screen. Your contact information should be easily available from any page on your mobile site. Navigation should be as intuitive as possible. It will help if the need for scrolling or clicks is kept to a minimum, but without cluttering.
Besides website designers, firms may engage art designers for that aesthetic appeal which increases time spent on their website and also ensures return visits.
Another important aspect, which may get overlooked, is that of your email client (platform). The emails that you send to prospects, clients and candidates, should be easily readable on their mobile devices without much pinching or zooming.
Massive amount of business is lost just because of this one aspect.
#10 Case Studies and Testimonials
Most of us read reviews online even while making small ticket purchases. Isn’t it a given that firms do the same before spending big money on engaging staffing agencies?
Get your most satisfied clients, and the candidates that you have placed, to write reviews and testimonials for your agency. Video testimonials are even better, as they provide more credibility. Clients may be more willing for this as it also promotes their organization free of cost. Firms hire professional cameramen and video editors to churn out an elegant output.
Consider converting some of your most difficult successes into case studies. Hiring professional writers for this purpose is highly recommended. They can present the facts in an interesting and easy to read manner.
Strategically place these case studies and testimonials on your website, social media, YouTube and other relevant locations.
#11 Fine print in contracts
This is a very practical, and often overlooked subject.
After all the hard and smart work put up by you, you don’t want to be losing revenue because of a technical or legal issue.
If you don’t have an in-house legal team, hire a legal firm and get them to draft your contracts. You don’t want any rude shocks when it’s time to get paid.
Any refund, reimbursement and penal clauses should be unambiguous and mutually agreeable to both parties. Which party will bear what costs should be clearly enumerated. Similar for the clause pertaining to regular hikes in your agency’s fees.
The demand for staffing agencies is only going up. As the meaning and nature of ‘work’ changes, businesses need employees with newer skills and more adaptability. They are willing to outsource this work to staffing agencies, who are masters of this domain.
Business executives want to narrow their focus on their own companies’ growth. Staffing agencies need to support businesses in this endeavor as it’s a mutually beneficial proposition. To achieve this end, staffing agencies need to continuously reinvent themselves and adapt to constantly evolving demands of their clients. For this they need to find ways to turn obstacles into opportunities regularly.
FAQs on boosting profitability of staffing firms
What is one marketing strategy for staffing firms to grow business?
Staffing firms employ many strategies to garner business. But perhaps the most effective one is showcasing your best candidate at places where companies can notice them. The qualifications, skills and experience of your best candidate – whom firms now refer to as ‘Most Placeable Candidate’ (MPC) – are a representation of the efforts and skills of your firm. Your MPC represents the quality of your candidate pool. They are also an indicator of how fast you can fulfill your clients’ need for top talent.
How do I grow my staffing business?
Staffing firms adopt different strategies for growth, as per their own circumstances and business environment. Some of the necessary and most effective ones are listed below:
1. Study your client’s industry
2. Choose your niche
3. Communicate effectively, internally as well as externally
4. Perfect your script for cold calls and emails
5. Double down your efforts on getting more and more referrals
6. Increase employee engagement in your firm
7. Create an amazing mobile website, and app if needed
8. Automate as many tasks as possible
9. Get as many testimonials as possible and place them at strategic locations for your prospects to notice them
What are the characteristics of a successful staffing sales representative?
A staffing sales representative should embrace the following characteristics:
1. A passion for the service industry
2. Genuine interest in helping people grow and develop
3. Robust communication skills
4. Tact to calm down people’s anxieties
5. Strong management and organizing skills
What communication tools can a staffing firm employ?
A staffing firm needs to be mindful of achieving a balance between traditional and new age communication tools. It cannot afford missing out on any type of candidates or clients. The tools in its arsenal may include
1. Messaging apps
3. Phone calls
5. App of their organization
6. Print media
7. Audio-visual media
8. Metaverses like Decentraland, The Sandbox, Axie Infinity
9. AI powered searches
10. Employee Scheduling Software
How can gamification improve staffing firms’ profitability?
Games encourage strategic thinking and teamwork. Camaraderie and collaborative synergies flow from gamification of everyday activities. This increases employee engagement, and motivation. Happy and motivated employees can earn more profits for the firm. Gamification is also a fun way of measuring achievements and target fulfillment.