At last, staffing buyers have staffing firms at their mercy. The economy is in shambles. Staffing firms are cutting internal staff and offices. Many such firms, mom & pop outfits especially, will go under in 2009. Competition for the now shrinking pie of staffing business is fierce. This is the best opportunity in years for staffing buyers to finally stick it to their staffing suppliers.
That thought is no doubt occurring to at least a few people. We all want to save money, especially in these times. Anyway, all's fair in love, war and staffing right?
It would be fair, even practical and desirable, if this were a marketplace of innumerable ever-changing entities, like the stock market or commodities exchange. But staffing is about ongoing relationships a long series of repeated transactions between people and in a relationship you want to last, you need to preserve your partner.
A sizeable portion of the staffing community will be challenged for survival this year. Buyers may want to think, not just about doing business with their preferred suppliers, but about keeping those suppliers in business not just out of soft and fuzzy feelings but because preferred suppliers are preferred, and also because the more suppliers there are, the more competitive and responsive the marketplace.
Buyers say they want staffing suppliers to be true business partners not just vendors. This is the year the greatest opportunity in a long time to reach out and establish that partnership, not just with continued business deals, but by letting your suppliers know what is or isn't coming down the pipeline, so they can adjust internal resources as needed.
Take a genuine interest in the survival of your staffing suppliers in this troubled time, and you will win real personal loyalty, and establish a true partnership an intangible asset that will pay tangible dividends.