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What do you call your staffing customers?

Have you ever really thought about the terms you use to describe the employers with whom you do business?

And what about the people who come to you looking for work?

These labels matter.

The names you use to describe clients and candidates makes a big difference in their perception of, and experience with, your agency. Let’s explore this a bit, shall we?

1. The organizations you do business with.

Over the years, we’ve seen staffing and recruiting firms refer to this audience with a wide range of terms: employers, customers, clients, partners, employer-partners and more. These terms aren’t interchangeable. Each connotes a slightly different type of business relationship and evokes a unique feeling.

Not convinced? Try this quick experiment: Imagine you’ve been invited to a prospect’s strategic planning meeting. Would you prefer that your contact introduce you to their team as a “vendor” or “partner”?

2. The people you place.

As you undoubtedly know, our industry uses a dizzying array of terms to describe individuals who engage with staffing and recruiting agencies: job seekers, workers, contractors, team members, associates, temps, temporary employees, field associates, consultants, candidates, talent, temporary associates, professionals, laborers…I’m sure I’m leaving a few out!

Put yourself in a job seeker’s shoes for a moment. Which of these terms would make you want to apply for a job through a staffing service? Which would make you want to connect with a recruiter on social media? Which would make you proud to work for a staffing agency – and refer other talented people to work there?

People do business with people.

Whether your staffing firm interacts with customers virtually or in real life, it’s incredibly important to use language that is welcoming, inclusive, respective and reflective of both your brand and values. The labels you use should humanize your audience, strengthen connections and make more great people want to work with you time and time again.

What do you call your customers? Think about it. If you need to refine the language on your website or collateral, our marketing educators are here to help.

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