Just this morning I went on a sales call where I was told we have used your type of services before, I don’t expect much from you. Unfortunately, the common perception of staffing is that we are all the same. I like to respond with an analogy by asking them to compare us to the automobile industry.
When I decide to buy a car, I start by determining the price point I am comfortable with, the use of the vehicle, and anything else that may be important to me. I would think I am pretty similar to the average consumer. Like many of us, I also recognize that while a Mercedes and a Ford both have engines, four wheels, and doors, I don’t believe anyone would consider them the same car. Unfortunately, many businesses don’t have that same recognition for the staffing industry. But for those that do some research, they will quickly see how staffing firms differentiate from each other.
How Can A Client/Candidate Tell A Difference?
Look at the website of the firms you are looking at. Are they advertising the types of positions you are trying to fill? Do the positions they are advertising for match your salary range? What are they recruiting for? Temporary positions, temp to hire positions, or are they more in the model of an executive recruiter? Every staffing firm that knows who they are will have built some level of niche in their business. What that “niche” is, will depend entirely on if they are the right firm for you as a candidate or a business. Think of this way, is there an enormous difference between a Ford sedan and a Mercedes sedan? The real answer is no. They both are safe, they both are reliable, and they both can get you from Point A to Point B. But consumers still recognize a difference. Staffing is similar and if you are looking for a job or a new staffing firm, doing research on the different firms in your area will help you determine what type of firm is the right fit for your needs.
If we go back to the Ford vs Mercedes comparison, there is a wide variety of reasons to determine which car is better for you: Cost, reliability, look, engine size, options, acceleration, hauling, resale, etc. Within staffing, I would highly recommend you drill down to that same level of detail before choosing a firm. Here are some questions I would recommend asking to get that level of detail:
- Do you have any experience in this industry or type of position? How often do you hire for it?
- What type of client works best with your firm? Who do you work the best with?
- We have been working with, or interviewing, these other staffing firms, in your own words how do you compare or differ?
Cost vs Value
Obviously, if you are a candidate, the traditional staffing firms do not charge you anything for their services. But for the client, you will need to decide what is most important to you, cost or value? For most businesses, employees are the lifeblood of your success. Some staffing firms are completely comfortable offering high volume, low margin types of roles where cost is the paramount concern. Other firms prefer working with lower volume clients but will be looking for a higher price point because the employer values the impact that employee has on their business. These differing approaches don’t make one approach right and the other wrong, it just makes them different. It’s finding the right firm for you that matters.
Unfortunately, I know my one-man article is not going to change the face of staffing across the county. I know that tomorrow, next week, and next month I will hear people tell me all staffing firms are the same. While internally I may be screaming NO! I know externally I will be saying let me tell you about the automobile industry… If you are a business who is struggling to fill any roles you may have, give us a call at PrideStaff St. Pete/Clearwater. Let us see if we may be the right fit for you. If we aren’t, we will tell you and try to refer you to the right type of service.