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4 Business Development Tips for Staffing Agencies

By Timerack

April 5, 2022

Staffing agencies are flourishing at the moment, with employers from all sectors seeking their services. This spike in demand is largely attributed to the economy coming back to life post-shutdown, but the workers themselves not coming back. This is leading to unprecedented staffing shortages. 

Currently, there are approximately 11.3 million vacant jobs in the U.S. that employers are struggling to fill. So, businesses are now turning to staffing agencies in droves for help. 

Considering this market, with demand for workers greatly outpacing the available supply, many entrepreneurs are now considering opening their own staffing agency. If they can attract and retain a reliable supply of labor and build a steady client base, they can reap profits before long.  

But building a client base can be easier said than done and staffing agency marketing by itself doesn’t always deliver the quantity of leads that you need. With this in mind, here’s a quick guide to business development for staffing agencies.

1. Attend Networking Events

With the world returning to normal post-lockdowns, in-person networking events are springing back into action. Research all the relevant business networking events within your local area and start attending all the ones that time permits. Business relies on relationships, and forming relationships with decision makers at other local businesses is the best way to start building trust, understanding their needs and getting your company on their radar.

2. Join Online Business Groups 

Online business groups, such as those focused on local businesses or entrepreneurs in a certain location are another great way to start building relationships. It’s important to understand that this is part of a long term strategy. Simply joining these groups and announcing what you do is unlikely to win you any business, and nor are there going to be other people in these groups explicitly asking for your services.

Instead, treat it as a way to get to know decision makers at companies that are a good fit for your agency. Sharing non-promotional content can be a great way to start building engagement, especially content that is specific to your local area or business community. This could be an opinion piece about the industry you specialize in or a poll on a timely topic.

Try and cultivate connections into “real world” relationships, by adding users to your LinkedIn network and other social platforms. As you get to know people better, offering to meet up for a coffee can be a great way to take the business relationship one step further and really get to know them and their needs. 

3. Incentivize Referrals 

Client referrals are like finding a $100 bill down the back of the couch, it feels great but you can never predict when it might happen. Seize the initiative and find ways to incentivize existing clients to make referrals into your agency. The most obvious way is to offer a bill rate discount for any new clients you sign that are referred into you.

But you don’t necessarily need to make a financial offer when being proactive with referrals. If you have very strong relationships with your clients, there is no harm in asking if they know anyone in their network that is in need of a staffing agency. If they appreciate your work they’ll likely be willing to help you out and provide a favor. 

4. Produce Case Studies and Testimonials

You need to present your best self to prospective clients, but it doesn’t really matter how great you say you are, what matters most is what others say about you. This is where case studies and testimonials are vital. Produce some succinct summaries discussing a few clients you work with, how you solved their needs and the benefits this delivered.

Data points are always great in this context. How many hires did you place? What was the timeframe for this? How quickly did you place these hires? What was the retention rate? 

Request testimonials from these clients and include these in each case study. Go one step further and ask these clients permission to share their contact details, so prospective clients can reach out to them as a reference. 

Final thoughts

Successful business development is all about leveraging the networks you have and building new relationships with the right people. Go for the lowest hanging fruit first, by working through your existing network. Reach out to friends and professional contacts you have close relationships with and ask around if they know of anyone in need of a staffing agency.

One you’ve worked through your relationships, start building new ones with the right people at the types of companies that align with your agency’s niche. And remember, you’re playing the long game, so be patient yet resilient.   



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