The staffing industry, like many industries has changed over the last decade. There have been many technological advancements, clients have become very knowledgeable and like most industries our clients have had a big focus on cost. Having said all of that, at the end of the day our clients still want us to find them QUALITY candidates at the BEST PRICE … and they want us to do that FAST!
Lets talk a little about FAST … because in the staffing industry speed is a big factor in success and failure. In fact speed throughout the full hiring cycle can make a huge difference … I can remember being told by one client that they really liked our candidates (good quality), our prices were good (competitive) but we always seemed to be beaten in speed (not by much, just enough to lose!)
If you are a staffing company looking for the best candidates for specific roles then you must have a sense of urgency or your competition will find them first. Once the best people have been “locked down” by the competition your chances of success are minimal.
Even in proposal situations I sometimes have heard people say that the bid isn’t due for a few days yet so I’ll call tomorrow … forget it, the competition will have them locked down tonight! Take your time writing the proposal, but make sure you get the right candidates on your team NOW!
In a hot market … and we are not there yet, but it is not too far off … I have seen clients take their time to make decisions and lose the best candidates because they have offers from other companies. Contractors will try to get the best paying and most interesting jobs … BUT their primary motivator is having a contract in hand! So the “other guys” might scoop your contractor because they make the first offer .. even if your job pays more or is more interesting!
The same message goes to any organization that is hiring people … you need to have a well oiled, FAST process for identifying, qualifying and closing candidates. If you can get that process in place you will have the best chance of success in hiring the best people … if your process is slow and cumbersome (too many interviews, too long between decision points) then you will likely lose the best candidates to other organizations who really want them.
(I am not a big American football fan but an interview this weekend revealed that the quarterback for the Superbowl winning New Orleans Saints chose to join that team over other offers, because he felt they really wanted him … a sense of urgency will convey that feeling!)
So lessons learned:
1. In staffing NEVER WAIT to contact the candidates … the early bird gets the worm.
2. In any hiring organization develop a hiring process that (a) identifies the best candidates early and (b) moves them through a process very quickly arriving at a quick decision.