Even though the pandemic is still going strong and certain industries are still recovering, there are still lots of new positions being opened every day. Across different industries, companies are hiring and it’s actually the ideal climate for growing your sales.
You may be concerned that the job climate is uncertain, but the truth is, economies in most developed nations are soaring and with them, the number of job openings is increasing too.
Whether you’re seasoned veterans in the staffing business or a new agency getting off the ground, here are some proven tips and strategies for growing your sales in a consistent way.
Let’s get started.
Table of Contents
Charge more for what you do
How much do you charge your clients for your staffing services? You may be thinking that your pricing is fair but chances are that you’re undercutting yourself by a good margin and missing out on new sales.
According to one research, the average staffing agency will charge their clients somewhere between 15 and 60% of the salary for the people they are hiring for.
Another research states that the average fee for a staffing agency is 25% of the salary for a given position or somewhere close to $20,000. Of course, how much you end up charging depends on a variety of factors, such as:
- the industry
- the location
- the required turnaround time
- the specific needs of the client
- and more.
If you’re not charging somewhere near these figures, this is a clear sign that you need to ask more for the work that you do. However, that sales trick may be easier said than done.
Look at the competition
Before making any changes to your pricing, check around and see what your competition is asking for the same or similar kind of work. Primarily, you need to look at staffing agencies in similar locations and serving a similar kind of market as you do.
Chances are that you will reveal a gap that you can fill. The entire job market was turned upside down because of the pandemic. Some jobs are no longer in demand, while others have soared in popularity.
Moreover, remote roles are becoming super popular too, with most employers switching to fully remote work models.
Some of your competitors may be struggling to cope with the new reality. The solution? Grab their piece of the market and their sales.
Stay on top of salaries
Most staffing agencies charge according to the salary of the role they are hiring for. Even if you work in a retained environment, the fees will be dependent on the budget and the final salary of the candidate hired, even if there is no direct relationship. That means that your rates will largely depend on the industry standards for the salaries for that position. Before you sign any sales agreements with a client, ask around to see what the people for this role get paid.
For example, a sales rep’s salary is about $65,000 annually, but that means that for your location, it can range from $40,000 to $80,000. This will make an enormous impact on your billing as the agency, so stay in the loop when it comes to salaries for your openings.
Provide social proof
One tactic that will convince any client to pay more is seeing proof that you deliver excellent staffing services. And if that work happens to be for a client similar to them, in their industry and niche, even better. Social proof is the marketing and sales tool you want to leverage here, most notably:
- case studies
- client and candidate videos
If you can prove that both your clients and the people you hire are happy with your work, you’ll have a much easier time charging more to new customers in the future and getting new sales.
Social proof is one of the most common marketing strategies that work very well in the staffing industry. Just a basic case study from one of your employers will make it easier for your sales reps to reach out to better prospects.
Invest in content marketing
You’ve probably heard it before, but out of all the marketing methods out there, content marketing has one of the highest returns on investment. However, you may not be convinced that your blog could be a source of new revenue for your business.
Visitors, sure. But new sales? It’s actually possible.
Let’s take a look at one example – Randstad USA. This is one of the biggest staffing companies in the world and a good chunk of their customers comes from SEO and content marketing.
Let’s take a look at their website from an SEO tool called Ahrefs:
In short, the website gets over 286,000 visits every month, be it from Google or other sources. If we consider that the average conversion rate for any website is around 2%, that means more than 5,000 potential new sales every month.
There are very few other techniques that could get that result, including various events, social media marketing and other relevant options.
So how do they do it?
The company ranks in Google search results for more than 167,000 keywords on their blog. That means that the blog has great content that both Google and visitors love. Also, they have more than 1,3 million links pointing to their site.
You can do the same with your website as well. Think of the most relevant topics that company decision makers are interested in. Then use an SEO tool such as Ahrefs to find keywords that could fit around those topics. Finally, get to writing great content.
For any staffing company, this could be a method to get sales without spending big bucks on PPC or social media ads. There are a few ways to do it properly, though:
- write about your area of expertise, but don’t push for the sale
- publish constantly but always favor quality over quantity
- have a place for every piece of content in your sales process and funnel
- always write for a specific keyword
- write for people, not for search engines and algorithms
- give it at least 6 months before you start seeing results from content
- spend as much time promoting content as you do creating it
If you can’t write any content on your own, you probably provided staffing services to a company that employed content teams before. So, chances are that you can find a great individual or agency quite easily.
The more niche-specific services you offer, the easier time you will have ranking on Google for your desired keywords – because there will be less competition and more sales opportunities.
Take a good look at your contracts
You probably know the saying “always read the fine print”. This is especially true for any staffing firm and the contracts they strike. Of course, your aim is to charge as much as possible for each opening while the client aims to pay as little as possible.
To achieve this, they sometimes slip in a thing or two in the contract, so you need to keep your eyes open.
First of all, make sure that there are no penalties if you take longer than promised to fill a role. Make sure that you have an upside when your candidates are instrumental in introducing your clients to the final candidate. Make sure that terms your replacement guarantees are simple, plain and fair to both sides. While you can make general predictions on how long the staffing will take, each hiring process is different and finding candidates can sometimes take longer than usual.
Second, comb through the contract to see if you need to run any background checks. Many employers will ask for one and they aren’t too complicated, but they do cost money, especially for a larger number of candidates.
Moreover, take a deep dive into the different forms of insurance you have to pay. This is one of the ways a company protects itself from hiring bad candidates. This can include professional liability insurance, general liability insurance and workers compensation insurance.
Take a good look before signing anything because insurance may cost your staffing company dearly.
Another thing that may frequently happen is that you find a temporary worker for a company that ends up staying with them. For example, your staffing agency finds a temp social media manager and they like the person so much that they want to keep them full time.
In this case, your staffing agency is entitled to a hiring fee, so account for this when creating your engagement contract. You want to maintain good relationships with your clients, but you also want to keep an eye on your bottom line.
In general, the contract is one of the most documents for your staffing firm, so make sure to take advantage of it rather than suffer from paying extra charges.
Get paid more quickly
If your staffing firm is losing money, it could be just the fact that clients are taking too long to pay. Sometimes, business owners get carried away and you’ll have outstanding invoices lingering for months.
This is a poor business development practice and you can stop it in several ways.
One staffing agency hack that you can use is to introduce payment terms that benefit you, rather than the client. This is where the contract comes into play again, so make sure to require them to pay as soon as they sign.
Moreover, having processes against late fees will benefit you greatly. If a client takes too long to pay, they’ll have to pay more than agreed, which will rush the payment process. Of course, make sure to send out your invoice as soon as possible to get paid more promptly too.
If things go down south, don’t be afraid to hire help externally to collect your debts.
Study your workers’ compensation claims
If you do temp or contract staffing, another lever is the worker compensation claim, which basically covers health insurance in case something happens with the employee, as they start working for the employers that you find them.
There is one major problem here – you cannot control what happens to candidates once you place them in a certain company. Their safety and health are the responsibility of the company and the employees themselves. However, if they do get injured, you take responsibility for it as the staffing agency.
There is no ideal way to keep yourself protected here, except for creating a superb Workers Compensation policy that covers both yourself and the candidates you end up hiring.
The policies will differ based on the industry, the type of company you’re hiring for and the specific staffing services contract you’re setting up.
Take a look at your current client portfolio
Before blaming your sales team for a lack of sales, take a good look at the portfolio that your staffing firm has at the moment. You want to see:
- how many clients you have
- how long they’ve been with you
- which of these clients bring in the most revenue
- how consistent you are with bringing new business
- whether you had any incidents that caused you to lose money with your clients
Many staffing agencies make the mistake of bringing on any firm just because it’s new business.
The truth is, you don’t need to win every deal out there because not every deal is good for your bottom line.
You may realize that customers from a certain industry take a lot of hard work for your recruiters but end up giving a modest return on investment. On the flip side, you may realize that you’re great at hiring digital marketing pros and that these openings may bring lots of revenue.
The bottom line here is, learn what type of opportunities to avoid because not every sum of money means that it will actually turn into a lucrative business opportunity.
Moreover, another look at your portfolio will reveal another important piece of information – which clients you haven’t talked to in a while. If you’ve had a happy customer before, reach out to see how you can help their business, what type of hiring needs they have and how you can meet them. If you’ve left a good impression, it’s a good idea to grab their phone number and reach out.
Use a great applicant tracking system
One secret that all great staffing agencies have?
They don’t just rely on their sales reps to bring in more revenue and cut down their existing costs. One of the best inventions for the staffing industry is a well-made applicant tracking system or ATS.
Using an ATS such as RecruiterFlow, you’ll be able to automate many of the tedious tasks that your recruiters have to do every day.
From sorting candidates, reaching out to them with emails and offers, reminding them about new opportunities, passing on the best candidates to the employer and more, an ATS does the work of 40+ people at once. Imagine having one tool that does the job of an entire team of recruiters for you.
RecruiterFlow helps your recruiters win more business by giving them tools for building relationships in an easier way.
Let us take care of the heavy lifting as your vendor, while you focus on finding better clients that pay more. Try it out for free today!