27. Apr 2020

Four things that seem like a good sign for your staffing firm but aren’t

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As anyone with a significant other know, the phrase “I’m fine” or “Nothing is wrong” mean anything but. The world of staffing is also fraught with signs that on the surface might seem positive, upon closer inspection actually reveal some problems or shortcomings lurking beneath. 

These are five things that might actually seem like a positive sign upon first glance at your staffing firm but are actually indicators of deeper problems and missteps that must be rectified.

One: No contact from the talent

No contact means no problems, right? Perhaps, but not necessarily. And even if there is an absence of problems, having no contact with our talent is certainly not a good thing. 

It could very well be the case that there are problems, though. It’s just that our talent does not feel comfortable enough with us to directly address them. Or worse, does not trust us enough.

This is why it’s us who should be continually reaching out to our workers, in order to place a finger on the pulse of things. We should make them feel valued and comfortable enough on a personal level to build a supportive, trusting relationship. 

In fact, our talent coming to us readily and openly to discuss matters is, in fact, a good sign: It means they trust us and have faith in our abilities to remedy what situations have arisen. 

Remember, just as in relationships, the cold shoulder is often the prelude to a breakup. Keep the lines of communication open, and remember they are a two-way road!

Two: An overabundance of applicants

The inbox is overflowing with applicants for your latest vacancy posting. You have every reason to be elated, you think. Well, not so fast there.

And overflowing inbox of applicants simultaneously poses and indicates a few different problems for any staffing firm. 

Firstly, a solid number of talent applying is indeed a good thing. However, an overwhelming number means an overwhelming amount of work for you: That’s a whole lot of sorting and sifting and box-ticking and interviewing you’re going to have to be doing, on top of all your other duties.

But more than that, an exceedingly high response rate often indicates a job ad that was written rather too generally or vaguely. Precisely written and targeted ads will attract fewer applicants indeed, but these applicants will be much more suited to the position. And those are the ones you need to be spending your time on.

Three: Clients not seeking to renegotiate their contracts

The contract is up and the clients renew it without so much as a word of renegotiation. Smooth sailing, you might say. And you’re not wrong. The problem is when things are going too smoothly with your clients. It might mean your contract is way below market value. And of course your clients will have no problem with that. However, it might mean you are missing out on some extra profits.

Clients seeking renegotiations is a good thing. It means you’re being competitive and making money. Clients not daring to have those terms altered? It could mean you’re losing out.

Four: No one is saying anything bad about you. 

In fact: No one is actually saying anything about you. Better nothing, than something bad, after all. Right? 

Well, as Oscar Wilde once famously said: “The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about”.

You want people talking about your staffing firm. Of course mostly good things, but of course there will be some bad as well. That’s the nature of popularity. It means you’re doing things that get noticed and waking waves, setting trends and breaking ground. Of course, you should be engaging in reputation management practices in order to best counter the bad things, but it’s the good things that are being said that really counts.

Remember: Don’t mistake silence for success. All too often, it can mean the exact opposite!