The momentary pause recently created by “stay at home” efforts, and a slowing down of business, must be viewed as an opportunity, but the window is closing and closing fast! Collectively, our “timeout” is at an end, however, thinking that our old “normal” will return is not a positive course of thought to our future. Greek philosopher Heraclitus once shared, “You cannot step into the same river twice, for other waters are continually flowing on.” The same applies to our nation and our businesses. While we may desire a similar look and feel, we cannot avoid that change is constant. Change will ensure that we will not have the normal again, and sitting idle may lead to the possibility of your business being left behind. As result, it is right now that you have a very unique chance to reaffirm your businesses’ brand and to retool services so that you excel moving forward. This brief break in the action is the time to address complacencies and to recalibrate business development goals. It is now that you can help ensure staff are accountable in their roles and to communicate to them about how the consistency in their future hiring of dependable performers will be a difference maker in earning business from clients.
This is crucial because since 2016 the staffing sales game has been easy. Considering that unemployment was basically “zero”, sales and marketing teams were relaxed and confident. Knocking on new doors, expanding networks, and following up to build new relationships dropped. The pressure was on the employer and their reliance to use outside agencies to fill placements with people they could not find. The flip side, obviously, was recruiters were also hindered by the low availability. So, to overcome fewer available people the industry accepted increased risks and allowed hiring standards to suffer.
Too often, the next individual who walked through the door immediately went to assignment. Qualified or not, the boxes were checked, policies relaxed or ignored, and the race continued to find the next applicant. This was done without too much consideration to outcomes. Lower quality, too, wasn’t enough to really heighten concern about client retention. Life was good and if an employee didn’t last the impact was relatively low. Staffing enjoyed the sales advantage while employers remained hostage to placement needs to fill production. The employer continued to call, but times have changed.
While the above stereotypes do not fairly describe all staffing companies, and multiple firms have emerged in recent years as quality leaders, it remains important that today’s opportunity not be ignored. You are not too busy to review your staffing business and before it’s too late, effectively address improvement solutions as part of your reopening and new hire plans.
To assist in getting started, here are five questions you can discuss with your team today:
- Have we sacrificed our standards to find client placements?
- Have we ignored or turned our hiring policies into inconsistent “guidelines”?
- Have our sales team become complacent in their confidence and are they prepared to earn clients?
- Do we use legal and valid solutions that allow us to make wise hiring decisions in support of our clients’ needs?
- Why is our competitor doing it better?
As the proverbial chess game continues, the unforeseen has allowed employers to seize the advantage back and staffing firms will be forced to regain their footing. As such, this moment in time is essential and has created the opportunity for the industry reestablish standards in selection and quality. In moving forward, dependable employees, and those with consistent performance, will be the differentiator to earning new client business and retaining those relationships. Now is your time to act by assessing, planning, and executing actions and implementing solutions to enable your firm’s future success.