With the impending employment crisis budding, barrier to entry being virtually null, margin erosion, and a new and provocative competitor around each and every corner (better job board sites, RPO, Off Shore, ATS that screen and assess candidates), now more than ever, staffing industry sales people need to differentiate ourselves against the sea of competition.
We already knew there was a sea of competition. Now that sea is turning into a very vast ocean, and that ocean has inlet water streams that flow to many other industries, as well as many other countries. Not to mention, last time this country faced a people shortage, every shoddy sales person who loved making a quick buck penetrated our market and pummeled our industry’s reputation, so that even in some circles the word “RECRUITER” has some people react as if what they just heard was a sound not that different from nails on a chalk board.
If you thought you had to be good on a daily basis to keep your clients coming back, NOW you have to be great. And you have to be different. Saying you’re different and actually being different begins with your unique selling proposition. What is yours?
Do you provide the BEST qualified and matched candidates in the least amount of time, for the best price? Many RPOs actually say the same thing and are delivering on their promises by adding services such as assessment and behavioral interviewing to their staffing offerings so they can validate hires against the predetermined benchmarks created specifically for their client. Many of these RPO clients also employ Organizational Development professionals and utilize these credentials in their selling process.
Is your firm the one that really does head hunting? Are all your candidates passive and employed? Are you more connected than the rest on the social networks?
Did you know many large companies are building their own executive search operations internally? There are even seminars and workshops provided by firms specifically for the purpose of eliminating search fees from their clients’ budget.
Did you know the job boards; specifically Monster.com is establishing social networks in every industry with the purpose of connecting with candidates for the life of their career rather than just during search time. When Monster accomplishes this feat, Yahoo HotJob, Career Builder and the Ladders won’t be far behind. As boards know if they are not continuing to innovate they too will evaporate.
Does hiring your candidates come with a risk free guarantee? Did you know when a customer hires someone through SearchPath they get a 12 month guarantee?
Do you provide on-boarding and new hire integration? Does your firm aid your clients in developing the candidates once they are placed? Did you know Manpower, Spherion, Apple One and Korn Ferry all have the systems, power and resources to offer these types of promises? Over the past four years all of these companies have added Human capital consulting to their service offerings, either through an acquisition or through grass roots home grown efforts.
Do you remember when it was value add to background check candidates? Now it is no longer a unique value add, it is standard operating procedure and it’s expected. It is my belief that the more talent astute CEOs and Business Leaders become, the more they expect from us.
We can no longer operate as business as usual, we need to get into our customers’ world, see what they see, feel what they feel
Once that happens and you come up with your core differentiator and unique selling proposition it’s time to evaluate your selling strategy and determine if it is sufficient in the present day world with present day conditions.
If your selling system isn’t effective, I’d recommend registering yourself in a course and committing to getting better. Sell the way differentiated value service providers sell, not the way transaction based vendors sell.
The time to lay the seeds for tomorrow is today, while everyone else is resting, sleeping, coasting, or freaking – this is your time to stealth forward.