Lessons on how to sell staffing from a Rush concert

About a week ago, I had the privilege of taking my son to his first rock concert. We saw Rush at the First Niagara Center in Buffalo, NY. Needless to say, we had a great time, and I was more than a little inspired by Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and especially Neil Peart.

If you’re not a Rush fan, don’t worry this isn’t a story about their music. It’s a story about exceeding (actually blowing away) customer expectations.

The show started around 7:45 pm. No opening act. The band members opened with some of their classic hits–and continued to play for the next THREE AND A HALF hours, rocking the house with more classics and most of their new album.

Did I mention that these guys are all around 60 years old? With the exception of a very short intermission that Geddy Lee attributed to their rapidly increasing ages, they rocked the house for more than three hours. That’s giving the crowd their money’s worth! (And I’ll also mention that unlike some of the other “old rocker” tours, ticket prices were quite reasonable.)

So where are the lessons for staffing firms?

Simple, if you want raving fans, deliver more than clients expect. Now I know of at least a hundred staffing firms that claim to “exceed expectations.” But more often than not it’s a platitude because there’s no process to back up the claim.

With Rush, expectations were exceeded by the length of the show, quality of the music, and their showmanship.

How can a staffing firm exceed expectations?

First, there’s the obvious. Deliver candidates whose skills are a little better than needed for the job. But honestly, most employers are expecting quality candidates. And if you overfill too much, the candidates won’t be happy. So good candidates are essential, but they won’t create a memorable impression.

To really exceed expectations, look at creating a service experience that truly stands out from the competition. Here are a few ideas:

  • Make it easier to place an order. Offer a database of pre-defined job profiles, so clients can give you a complete job order with almost no work on their part.
  • Provide better information about candidates. Don’t just share a resume and test scores, prepare a one-page profile that shows employers exactly why your candidate is a great fit for the job. Consider supplemmenting the profile with a video.
  • Provide supervisors with a summary of candidate qualifications.
    Immediately before a candidate arrives, provide the supervisor with your one page candidate profile.
  • Teach candidates how to make a great introduction. Show them how to present themselves, give them a copy of the job order to review with their supervisor, and ensure that ask the supervisor about performance expectations on day one.
  • Complete your QC calls – with a structured process. Conduct arrival calls and day one or days two follow-up calls using a planned series of questions to ensure your organization is consistent about quality.
  • Be proactive about looking for problems. Check up on assignments at predefined times to ensure that your candidates are consistently performing. Make sure your clients don’t have any concerns about your service.
  • Say thank you in a big way. Show clients how much you value their business. At a minimum, make time to send an email, personal card, do a drop by or take a client to lunch to say thank you to every supervisor, HR manager and other staffing decision maker.

So what makes you a ROCK STAR of staffing?

Please share your ideas for creating a memorable staffing experience!

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