Tips to Become your Client’s Strategic Business Partner
Staffing agencies have been under a lot of pressure in 2020. Federal and State governments have taken unprecedented steps to save the economy from a COVID-19-induced recession, but it’s pretty clear the future remains unclear and continued economic uncertainty will impact the recruitment industry. Ensuring alignment with your clients is the best approach to mitigate therisk of losing business to competitors.
Why Alignment Matters
Clients are the heart of your business. Without them you have no business. So, keeping clients happy should be your number one goal. You do this by supplying the right talent and the right time. You can’t do this if you aren’t aligned with your client.
What Is Alignment?
What does alignment look like?
Alignment just doesn’t happen. It takes proactive action and investments on your behalf. And, proactive action sometimes can feel like you’re putting in a lot of effort without seeing immediate results. This is the point when your competitors lose interest, move on to chase immediate wins and fall out of the alignment game. Your fortitude will pay off will pay off if you follow the simple Alignment Formula.
The Alignment Formula
Invest Time: Gain Knowledge of Client’s Current and Future Business Plan (map out initiatives, timing and skills)
Proactively Build: A People Bank of Aligned & Qualified SMEs
Alignment: Being Ready When They Need You
In a nutshell, alignment occurs when you are taking care of your clients’ long-term interests. To do this successfully, you must understand your clients’ short and long-term needs.
For many businesses, COVID-19 has compelled them to examine their strategies. Company executives are re-strategizing for the ‘new normal’. They are examining and redefining their values and their purpose. It’s your job to understand the changing strategies of your clients and to align your recruitment and staffing strategies with these. It’s imperative to build People Banks of candidates who align well with your client’s business needs.
How Can You Align with Your Clients?
If you haven’t had a conversation with your clients about their strategic direction, now is the time to do so. You should be talking with decision makers, building relationships, and exploring their changing goals. During these conversations, explain why alignment and understanding of strategy is important. And here is the secret sauce…
You aren’t simply building a pipeline of required skills. You’re targeting culture fits and character traits that align with and support your client’s objectives, values and purpose. The People Bank you build for your client should add real value and drive high performance. Understanding your clients’ strategies is key to achieving this.
Be More Than a Staffing Agency
During difficult times, the relationship you have with your clients will be the foundation of your business. Don’t simply be a staffing agency. Be a source of information, a resource center that shares relevant news and industry insights.
As your conversations deepen, you’ll learn more about your clients’ pain points and strategies. You become so well acquainted with them that you’ll be able to proactively advise on staffing initiatives that will help your clients achieve their strategic goals.
Your Biggest Resource Is Your Existing Customers
The next few months could be tough. Many staffing agencies will be trying to drum up new business from new clients. Your clients are likely to be on their target list. Yet the best source of new business is your current clients.
Acquiring new clients is time-consuming and costly. Instead, get closer to your existing clients. Have conversations about changing strategies. Understand their values and purpose, and align what you do to what your clients now need. Be your clients’ resource in the recruitment market by being proactive. Do these things and you should ensure that your clients view you not only as a staffing agency, but as a strategic business partner for the long term.
Alignment Helps You Create Ideal Candidate Personas
As you understand your clients’ changing strategies, you can begin to create ideal candidate personas that help clients achieve their strategic direction. This approach achieves three key objectives:
- It provides your clients with valuable information on the available talent market
- It enables clients to look outside their traditional talent personas
- It encourages clients to cast a wider into the talent pool
Is your business suffering from sales effectiveness gaps? Our assessments will help identity these and ensure greater alignment with clients to drive revenues, even in a recession. Contact EnabledForce to learn more.