When speaking to our customers here at Bond International Software, conversations around driving operational excellence all come from the same motivational reason – better servicing the clients of a staffing and recruiting agency. The staffing industry is a competitive field for finding and placing qualified talent and for obtaining and keeping new clients. Businesses are always looking for the best option among staffing vendors, which creates a lot of pressure to constantly work toward customer satisfaction. There is an overwhelming amount of information on the subject of client retention, but generally speaking most sources conclude that retention is more profitable than constantly finding new business.
Some staffing managers make the wrong assumption that competitors are at a disadvantage stealing away customers without in-depth knowledge of the client’s unique business needs. However, some clients still choose to try other agencies hoping for better services despite having long-standing relationships with their staffing vendors. To avoid these scenarios, it’s important to incorporate the following seven client retention tips for better profitability and remaining the best option for a staffing agency among competitors—
Salespeople often have plans and strategies in place to connect with prospects, but what about after a sale has been made? Reaching out on a regular basis through birthday and holiday cards, invitations for lunch, or sending an email to simply stay in touch indicates to clients that they are considered more than just dollar signs to a recruiting agency. By constantly focusing on relationship management with clients in addition to delivering quality candidates, your staffing agency will be set up to be the top choice vendor for providing talent. Because businesses select staffing and recruiting firms who respect and remember them, ensure your entire organization knows how to show how much they appreciate the business of clients.
2. Walk the Walk
Success is often measured by delivery of promises made. Staffing sales professionals should avoid setting unrealistic expectations when speaking to prospects, but in doing so must work closely with recruiters to determine reasonable recruiting strategies to pitch to potential clients. Ensuring that sales people are aware of talent pipelines and that recruiters are aware of promised being made to prospects avoids unpleasant conversations to clients about not being able to deliver what they were expecting. A broken promise can easily overshadow excellent service.
It is imperative recruiters have a thorough understanding of the job they are recruiting for that isn’t listed on a job description. By learning the client’s culture and the soft skills needed for job orders, clients will appreciate the effort and commitment made to provide not just needed skills for the job, but also personality traits that fit in well within the organization.
Know your organization’s recruiting and staffing strengths and help your team further their expertise to become unstoppable in their specialized market sectors. A thorough training program for your recruiting team that guides them to becoming experts in their niche will strengthen your agency’s reputation as the best staffing vendor for your specialized recruitment efforts. Avoid diving head first into markets your team lacks experience in. Without the needed strategy and right resources, it may cause operational hiccups that your current clients ultimately suffer the most from. Calculate your risks when looking to grow and diversify your staffing business. If the risk that you could alienate existing clients is high then consider alternative strategies.
5. Ensure Clients are Given What They Ask For
Sending a stream of weak candidate submittals for a difficult job order can be tempting for some recruiters who hope that something is better than nothing. However, submitting weak or unqualified candidates will cause more harm than good for client relationships. Touch base with your recruiters and ask them which job order is going to be their toughest to fill to see how you can assist. Unless you ask where recruitment challenges are, you may not know that a recruiter’s misinterpretation of the opportunity could potentially damage the reputation of your staffing firm.
6. Extensive Training
Training new sales reps can be time consuming and expensive, but avoid letting them learn by their mistakes at the clients’ expense. Providing extensive training, mentoring and backup support prevents internal staff turnover and helps inspire enthusiasm as they grow into their position confidently to help improve and maintain client relationships.
Powerful recruiting software like AdaptSuite and AdaptUX help staffing sales team close deals efficiently and allows for recruiters to fill jobs faster and more effectively. Your clients won’t really know that automation is the difference between your team and your competitors, but they’ll feel the difference.
While it’s important to be growing your company through onboarding new clients, remember how easy and cost effective it is to retain existing clients. Invest in retention. Make sure your clients know they are important, appreciated, and are utilizing a staffing agency with the best operational practices.