The One Tactic That Will Boost Your Staffing Agency’s Performance

February 3, 2016

In the past, staffing and recruiting firms were referred to as full-service or generalists. A recruiter might work on filling an engineering opportunity one day and then switch over to a clerical position the following day.

However, because of today’s technology and the competitive job market, this tactic no longer works. Instead, the best way to improve your staffing agency’s performance is to become specialized.


Think about the considerable amount of time you spend on job orders, contracts or temp assignments that amount to nothing. This usually happens because the business is not in your niche, you may have never worked on the specific title, you have no established network or this could be the proverbial search for a purple squirrel. 

On the other hand, there are positions that you instinctively know you will fill. This represents the business that is within your niche or area of expertise. You’ve successfully filled this position in the past and you have an established network of this type of talent. This is the business you should be focusing on.

The benefits of strategically targeting your business and becoming specialized

You may be thinking, ‘oh, I don’t spend that much time on job orders that don’t get filled.” But to make sure, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. How many job orders, contracts or temp assignments did you write in the last six months of 2015?
  2. How many of them did you actually fill?
  3. How many of the job orders, contracts or temp assignments should never have been written?
  4. How many hours were wasted working on the business that provided no results?

If you’re not happy with the number of hours it turns out were wasted, it’s time to get more targeted. The benefits of doing this include:

  • The ability to recruit a pipeline of talent in advance.
  • Shorter reaction time.
  • Recruiters and account executives know where to focus their efforts.
  • You will fill a much higher percentage of business written.

How to identify the business you should target

The most effective way to identify your business is to conduct revenue modeling by completing the following steps:

  1. Review where you have made placements or fills. 
  2. Study your placements and fills for the last twenty-four months.
  3. Write down the following information:
  • Industry
  • Job title
  • Salary level
  • Location
  • Fee percentage
  • Payment history

This process will help you identify usually less than ten titles that represent the majority of your placements and fills.

If you’re wondering it this is worth the effort, consider this example:

Recently, I was consulting an owner of a staffing firm who insisted his business placed talent in fifty-seven various job titles. After he conducted revenue modeling, he was shocked to discover that almost 85% of his business was filling contracts that represented only five titles. When he reviewed what percentage of those five titles he filled, it was 32%. This was due to the fact that his recruiters were working on fifty plus titles.

When the recruiting and marketing team focused 85% of their sales and recruiting efforts on the five titles, in less than six months they were filling almost 75% of this specific business, which dramatically increased sales and profits. This leads to the next step…

Now, focus 85% your marketing efforts on your best business

When you know your best business, you can pipeline individuals with the credentials you know are in high demand before business is written. Often, especially in the temp and contract segments of the recruiting and staffing profession, there is barely any time to surface talent after business is written.

The fastest way to your next placement is to mirror recent business you've successfully filled. You have back-up candidates in your database that could be a match and often very qualified candidates surface, after you have successfully filled business with another client.

In addition, when you work several opportunities that are similar, you can also present more than one order, contract or assignment to your candidates. Unless you are working retained search or you have an engagement fee up front, you need to submit your candidates on more than one opportunity. If you don’t, technology and social media has made it very easy for them to surface other opportunities themselves.

Final thought

When you bring in orders, contracts or temp assignments that represent your best business, your recruiting team will be able to fill those positions faster than your competition. And, by providing better results, you will be able to generate more business from your satisfied clients. This often leads to them recommending your services to other hiring authorities in their company or subsidiaries.  

*Image from Death to the Stock Photo

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