Staffing agencies supply needed personnel across various industries and in different stages of growth. Indeed, they play a key role in the development and success of many businesses. Such agencies are tempting choices for entrepreneurs who want to start their own companies.
Running a staffing agency comes with its own unique set of challenges. The business will live or die by the number and quality of personnel it can supply as well as its reputation. To get off to a strong start, there are four things new staffing agency owners should know.
Know the Potential Clients
An entrepreneur should define the market prior to starting a staffing agency. Will the agency supply personnel to any specific industries? What skills set is needed in a specific industry? Does the agency need to supply businesses with workers who have certain certifications or education?
As with any other product a company sells, a staffing agency needs to know the market for its product: personnel. When starting an agency, an entrepreneur should research potential clients in the industries in which he or she intends to operate. An entrepreneur needs to know what industries are common, what types of personnel they hire most often, what organizations outsource their labor most, and more. He or she should look into any competitors and learn why they succeed or fail.
Focus on Something Unique
While there are many successful general staffing agencies, most of the best ones cater to a more specialized group. This group may be a specific industry (e.g., construction or manufacturing), a certain skill set (e.g., accounting, tech support, or clerical work), a certain size (small, medium, or large businesses), or have some other defining characteristic.
A new staffing agency should know what it tends to focus on when it begins. An entrepreneur can identify staffing gaps in target markets and then direct the agency to supply personnel who can fill them.
A new owner may also wish to direct his or her attention to something that is important to them. For example, he or she may have worked in an industry for a long time and realized that there was a staffing issue that created problems within his or her area of expertise. Thus, the new staffing agency can address that issue with this (former) insider perspective.
Market the Business
If no one knows about a company, then no one will become a client. A new staffing agency needs a marketing plan. If the new owner has certain organizations in mind to contact and offer services, perfect. Otherwise, referrals and word-of-mouth are often the best ways to get new clients.
Because the staffing agency just started, it won’t have clients to make referrals and spread the word. In this case, warm calls are an effective way to reach out to potential customers. Never cold call a company if it can be helped. Researching a business beforehand, and even using your network to get an introduction, creates a much greater chance of successfully establishing a professional relationship.
New staffing agencies need to know the best ways to locate staff. Running newspaper ads and contacting companies to inquire about their staff can provide some leads, but using the internet generates more opportunities.
Subscribing to sites like Monster Jobs, The Ladders, and CareerBuilder can bring in countless candidates, but this may be an expense that startups can’t afford. Networking can be just as effective—and without the expense. LinkedIn, Facebook, and other social networking websites can help a new staffing agency reach out to potential staff.
Staffing agencies are a necessary tool in the business world, and they provide a new business owner with fantastic opportunities. The advice given here can help startup staffing firms succeed.