13. Mar 2020

It’s a Jungle Out There: What Causes a Staffing Agency to Fail

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Since 2012, the number of recruitment and staffing agencies in the UK has multiplied by a factor of 4. It is also is predicted that in just 2 years, the UK will have over 1 million agency workers. Much of Western Europe is experiencing similar trends as well, with the number of staffing firms being on a rapid ascent.

These numbers can be interpreted optimistically, i.e. surely this is a good time to be in the recruitment industry, our numbers keep swelling! Or, from a more market-oriented outlook, they can be quite dreadful, i.e. there’s certainly not enough room for all of us.

In fact, there’s truth in both perspectives: Indeed, with much of the market switching from full-time, permanent contracts to contingent, temporary labour, it is a good time to be in the staffing industry. However, it is good only if you’re able to keep pace with an ever-changing market and provide exceptional service. Regardless of how great the demand is for temp labour, clients will always opt only for the most efficient, exceptional firms. And that means many firms not meeting these standards will fail.

Let’s take a look at a few reasons some of these firms will fail:

Providing subpar talent

In a race to be the first to supply workers, many firms will inevitably cut corners, hiring without a thorough vetting and qualification process. While this might translate to short-term gains, it will always result in long-term losses and ultimate defeat. No client will stick with a firm that provides shoddy workers, and potential clients will actively avoid a firm with such a reputation. To avoid this pratfall, be sure you’ve implemented reliable quality control procedures in order to make sure you’re consistently recruiting and supplying the best of the best.

Not respecting their talent

Even you do recruit and provide top tier talent, you’re not out of the red yet. Firms that do not connect with their candidates, fail to treat them with respect and don’t bother to acknowledge their successes and contributions will struggle to maintain an adequate, available labour pool. Simply put, if these workers do not feel valued and respected, they will move to other firms that provide these reassurances. And a firm not able to reliably and consistently supply labour will always be overlooked in favour of one that can. So it’s best to treat your talent like you would a long-term employee. Reach out to them consistently, talk to them, thank them and get to know them.

Failing to modernize

Hi-tech times call for hi-tech solutions – in every industry. Just as Netflix knocked out mom and pop video rental shops and Uber is quickly overtaking traditional taxi services, staffing firms that neglect to implement software and app-based solutions will soon be knocked out by tech-savvy firms that have already done so. These solutions include AI candidate evaluation program, candidate tracking and retention software and, perhaps most importantly, staff management and staff scheduling apps. These all help to simplify and streamline the whole staffing process, from hiring to scheduling, while saving time and making sure the right candidates get the right jobs.

Skimping on perks

With the sudden explosion of staffing firms, one way of enhancing your competitive advantage is by offering unique perks. Many firms are now beginning to offer gym cards and/or meal vouchers in order to entice candidates over to them. Firms that offer nothing more than a basic wage will more than likely be ignored by candidates, especially the most talented ones.

Not being reliable

Yes, life can get hectic. However, that is no reason to ever fall behind on such absolutely vital tasks as payroll. Firms that have a hard time paying on time quickly get a bad reputation. And in this industry, reputation is everything. Without it, we quickly crumble.

Lacking a social media presence

Today, a company without a robust online presence is a company that may as well not exist. You should be using every form of social media at your disposal to advertise your firm and job vacancies, as well as to interact with current talent and potential candidates alike. To elude the online gaze is a form of virtual suicide. Do not fall victim to this.