Recession – Catastrophe or Opportunity for Staffing Agencies?

Survive and Thrive Through a Downturn

The economy is going to suffer a tough time during the next few months. Some say the COVID-19 downturn could last several years. Hard times ahead for staffing agencies?

Whatever the shape of the recovery (‘V’, ‘U’, ‘W’, or ‘L’), it’s pretty clear that the recession will be a catastrophe for staffing agencies. Or will it? Could it be an opportunity to grab market share from your competitors?

“Companies won’t be hiring”

There’s never been a recession when companies have stopped hiring. They just hire differently. If companies had stopped hiring in 2008, the recruitment industry would have been flushed down the pan. It wasn’t.

Sure, we might see realignments of workforces. Some companies may shut their doors permanently. There will also be those who start to look for new skills that will boost their competitive advantage and set a new course for success and sustainability.

Pare and regroup will be the typical strategy. Businesses are going to need help to find the specialist skills they require. There may be less direct hiring for a while, but facilitating specialist hires could be a lucrative addition to business in the new normal.

“Business still needs to continue”

Businesses should find hiring lower-skilled workers becomes easier (because more labor is available), but they might not make direct hires with so much uncertainty in the market. So how do they carry on doing business while remaining agile with their staff numbers?

The answer is by sourcing contract staff from staffing agencies. This provides the staff they need when they need them. It’s cheaper for them to maintain their business this way and satisfy the needs of their customers. Plus, they can take on specialist skills to enhance their business through project and technical work.

How Can Staffing Agencies Prepare for the Recession?

Staffing agencies face the same conundrum as other companies. You’ve got to protect your profits. That usually means reducing staff numbers.

But there’s a problem: the shape of the damned recession. If we get a fast bounce back, cutting staff will hamper your ability to benefit from it. In fact, you’ll probably come out the other end a lot weaker against your competition.

You’ve got a balancing act to do. Get it right, and you could build market share. You’ve got to prepare for this, and work even harder to keep your clients on board.

Even if clients aren’t hiring, stay in touch. Let them know you’re there for them, and ready to supply the talent they need. Recessions are real opportunities to develop lasting relationships that will pay dividends as soon as the recovery kicks in.

Be the Competitive Advantage Your Clients Need

Your clients are concerned about their finances. Position your staffing agency as their competitive advantage. Remind them of the agility you offer, the employment risks you take out of the equation, and all the employee admin you handle. You make their job much easier, allowing them to manage their business more effectively. That’s a powerful message.

Agility is key to developing a resilient business that will survive and thrive during a recession. Don’t let the downturn beat you. Act now to develop the proactive strategies that will give you the competitive advantage.

Contact Enabled Force to learn how our consultancy services will help you be a winner through any downturn.

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