Subadhra Sriram's Blog

There’s a Staffing Firm-Buyer Disconnect. And it’s in the Marketing.

Are staffing firms marketing what customers are buying? The short answer is no. In a recent Staffing Industry Analysts’ Buyer Survey, we asked buyers of staffing services, when you think of recruiting a staffing firm, what criteria do you use?

We asked this is two ways. The first question: What’s your top criteria?

The second: What’s your top three criteria?

By both these measures, worker quality dominated. More than half of the buyers surveyed said worker quality is the top criteria by which they pick a staffing firm. And when answering the second question, 78 percent said worker quality in the top 3 criteria.

Looking at this, you would think that staffing firms are emphasizing worker quality in their marketing. Right?

Wrong. In a different survey of staffing firms, we asked what staffing firms are focusing on.

Staffing firm managers were asked to identify what qualities of their service offering they most emphasize in their sales and marketing efforts. Answers varied broadly; 12 different characteristics of service were selected, and no single characteristic of service scored more than 27%.  Only 18% of staffing firms emphasize worker quality.

Buyers, if you want the worker quality you seek, then ask for it. Staffing firms are taking it for granted. They think quality is part of the deal, but they are not marketing it, even if they have it.  And for the staffing firms, if you have quality, sell it. Marketing 101 is selling what people want to buy. Don’t be shy about it.

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