“Podcasting is just a fad; it will never last.”
Funny, that’s what they said about radio, movies, and TV. The fact is podcasting has gone from being “alternative media” to being “new media.”
Let’s look at the facts…
- 42 million Americans listen to podcasts weekly. That’s 15 percent of the total population.
- Only 3 percent go to movies weekly.
- The average podcast listener listens to five shows per week.
- Eight-five percent of listeners listen to all (or most of) a podcast.
Podcasting is one of the hottest forms of media…not to mention the easiest to listen to. You don’t have to remember to set your DVR. You don’t have to buy equipment (you already have a phone). You don’t even need to leave the house!
There’s no time clock like in radio, no studio audience, no limits whatsoever. It also allows for very candid, open conversations.
And that is why we started “Secrets of Staffing Success.” The only podcast dedicated to the staffing industry. If you haven’t subscribed yet, here are some of the valuable lessons you are missing out on.
What Makes a Highly Successful Staffing Firm?
This is the number one lesson we want people to take away from our show. I mean, it is the name of the show after all!
One theme that comes up often is measuring metrics. The best staffing firms in the country are meticulous about measuring the success of all of their marketing and sales tactics. How else will you know what’s working and what isn’t? Yet so many times my clients don’t have a good answer to, “where is new business coming from?”
Jennifer Lambert from Terra Staffing said one of the core metrics they look at is client retention. “Quarterly we look at retained clients in terms of billable dollars and numbers of clients.” She also mentioned “new gross profit” because they know, no matter how perfect they are, they are going to need to replace lost revenue every year.
Don’t Get Comfortable
Things have been really good for a long time now…maybe too long. Barry Asin from Staffing Industry Analysts thinks we only have one more year before another recession hits. Now is the time to begin preparing. Staffing firms who prepare for the downturn now will be the ones who survive. Those who don’t will probably have to close their doors.
When we spoke with Drew Godin from OTS, he mentioned how fear drives innovation at his firm.
Is your firm preparing for the downturn? You can bet your competition is. Now is the perfect time to start playing the “what if?” game. What if we lose 20 percent of revenue next year? Do we have all our eggs in just a few client baskets? What if they all quit at once? As a staffing owner, these are the questions you should be asking yourself.
It’s All About the Culture
Another defining factor of highly successful staffing firms is the internal culture they have created. When I asked our president, David Searns, why we’ve had such great success with hiring our staff, one of the first things he mentioned is our culture.
There’s no doubt that internal turnover is a huge issue in the staffing industry. A big reason may be company culture. At Case Staffing Solutions, Les & Chad have developed “The Case Way.” It’s an embodiment that every employee takes on. It centers around integrity and doing the right thing even when no one is watching. Does your company have a universal mission that every employee has bought into? I can’t tell you how many times we’ve asked 10 employees at a staffing firm what their mission is and gotten 10 different answers. If your entire team is not on board with management’s goals and objectives, there’s a limit to how much success you will have.
Confidence Is Key
When I ask guests what are some of the best lessons they’ve learned over the years, the word “confidence” keeps coming up. If you believe in what you are selling, and if you believe in the people around you, success will come. How many times have you had sales reps in your personal life try to sell you something and they are fumbling and don’t know their product or service like the back of their hand? It’s not instilling a lot of confidence in you as the buyer. I remember asking Les and Chad from Case if they ever get nervous going out on sales calls, and they didn’t hesitate at all when they said “no.” It was because not only did they know their service inside and out, they also believed in it. They had seen, and had the evidence to back it up, the success their clients had using their services.
The same thing goes for the candidate side. When staffing firms can show the positive impact having a job has had on their candidates, other candidates are going to want a piece of that as well. I like to call it the “power of work.”
Biggest Mistake Staffing Firms Make
As we have branched out and started interviewing vendors to the industry, this has become my favorite question to ask. I don’t ask it as a means to bash the industry, but vendors have the unique perspective of dealing with hundreds of staffing firms every day, so I feel their insight is invaluable.
When I spoke with Tom Erb from Tallann Resources, he mentioned “lack of differentiation” as the number one mistake he sees staffing firms making. And according to Tom, “because of that, our clients and prospects have no other means of sifting through than going just based on price.”
To take it to the next step, you need to be able to prove it. So many staffing firms say “we have the best people.” Ok, prove it! When I spoke with Matt Kolinski from USA Staffing Services, he talked about proving your worth not just to clients but to candidates. “Do you have the benefits packages in place? Do you have health insurance? Do you have PTO programs?” If you can show an employer you have the top talent because of the benefits you offer, clients will be willing to pay more. You just have to convince them that this is why we can’t charge such a low rate for our employees.
Everyone Has a Story
The most enjoyable aspect of doing this podcast has been listening to all the different stories our guests have to tell. Whether it’s how they accidentally fell into the staffing industry, or some of their biggest failures early on and what they learned from them, everyone has a great story to tell.
But my favorite of the series so far came from Chris Rickerson at Elite Staffing Solutions. Chris grew up with a mother who was a drug addict and he himself became one. Most people would have given up at this point, but through his faith, Chris got clean and started his own staffing firm which grew to a multi-million dollar firm in just a few years. And he did it by giving people who had similar backgrounds, a second chance. One clip won’t do it justice, so I suggest you listen to the entire episode.
This experience has been so great, and I hope our listeners get something from every episode. We look forward to bringing you more insights from some of the best minds in staffing in 2018 and beyond!
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Get the entire Idea Club article, “Secrets of Staffing Success Podcast lessons” here.