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Can You Relate? The 3 Biggest Sales Challenges Facing Staffing Firms Today (2024 Staffing Sales Survey Results)

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The past few years in temporary staffing and recruiting have been a rollercoaster. New challenges and shifts within the industry have made traditional sales approaches less effective, prompting a need for insights that can drive intelligent, strategic decision-making.

Looking to stay ahead of the next big curve – or drop off? We can help.

Our survey, “What’s Working Now? Staffing Sales Survey,” sheds light on the current state and future directions of staffing sales, and we’re sharing our results in a series of blog posts this spring. Our goal? To provide staffing firms and recruiters with the data, insights, and recommendations you need to thrive in 2024 and beyond.

Biggest Sales Challenges for Staffing Professionals

Staffing firms face challenges at various stages of the sales funnel. Our survey data illustrates patterns in key sales challenges:


Getting that first connection is no walk in the park.

  • According to the survey, over half of staffing firms cite connecting with decision-makers as their primary headache, with nearly 53% of respondents expressing difficulties in this regard.
  • Getting an initial appointment is another major obstacle, as half of the respondents reported struggling with it.
  • Identifying companies and decision-makers to target is another significant challenge, with more than two-thirds of respondents citing this as an issue.


How to get from hello to let’s go.

  • Gaining approval as a preferred vendor partner is a challenge for nearly 40% of people surveyed, highlighting difficulties in moving prospects to the next stage.
  • Pricing/mark-up pressure is faced by 3 out of 10 of respondents, showing challenges in negotiating and closing deals.
  • Differentiating services from current vendors is a concern for one out of three respondents, suggesting heated competition and a need to better present a unique value proposition.

Repeat business

Learn the art of the encore.

  • Getting the next sale, including upselling and retaining current clients, is a challenge for 20% of respondents.

Takeaways and Recommendations for 2024

  • Innovate sales strategies to stay ahead and adapt to dynamic business needs. Focus more on the pain points prospects are experiencing in the current market and how your services can alleviate those pains. Use multi-touch, multi-channel marketing to capture attention, demonstrate your value, and foster more productive sales conversations.
  • Build a digital marketing system. In today’s remote world, you need an integrated system of digital marketing (blogging, SEO, PPC, social media, and email) to reach and nurture relationships with staffing buyers.
  • Cultivate personal branding to increase visibility and referrals. Personal branding by salespeople and recruiters can boost your company’s visibility, open doors with prospects, support client retention, and help upsell.

How to Redefine Your Sales Process Post-Covid

The post-Covid landscape has forced a transformation of sales processes across industries, and staffing is no exception. Let’s take a look at how staffing firms are navigating a dynamic post-COVID world:

  • Increased use of social media and skill marketing. Your digital presence now speaks volumes more than a firm handshake ever could. Amplify your personal brand and showcase your expertise on platforms like LinkedIn. This isn’t just about being seen; it’s about being remembered.
  • Targeting new industries. The disruption has also led to new markets ripe for the picking. Branch out and explore industries that have thrived or transformed post-pandemic and could require your unique staffing solutions.
  • More remote selling. The in-person meeting isn’t extinct, but remote selling is the new norm. Harness the potential of virtual platforms to reach out and close deals without geographical constraints.
  • Attending more networking events. Networking is the lifeblood of sales. Face time, even if just over Zoom, can solidify relationships. As live events make a comeback, ensure you’re there, business cards at the ready.
  • More use of marketing automation. Efficiency is key, and automation tools are the gateway. Streamline your marketing processes to ensure you’re engaging potential clients with the right message at the right time.
  • Targeting different decision-makers. Sometimes, the key to unlocking a potential opportunity is to rethink whom you’re targeting. Decision-making processes have changed, and so should your targeting strategies.

Post-Covid Takeaways and Recommendations for 2024

Embrace New Sales Tools

  • Texting, direct messaging, and communication tools like WhatsApp and Slack can have a higher impact and achieve far greater response. Tools like video email and asynchronous selling can also improve response.
  • Use AI to improve the quality of writing in texts and emails and to segment audiences (to increase response personalization and optimize timing for email, social, and
    SMS delivery.)

Master Social Selling

  • Top salespeople use LinkedIn and other social networks to connect with buyers, build personal and company brands, nurture relationships, and facilitate sales conversations.

Use Targeted Skill Marketing

  • Present highly relevant talent to equally highly targeted audiences to increase your open and response rates.

Find the Right Engagement Mix

  • Use a combination of virtual and in-person outreach to connect with decision-makers

Looking for more insights to help your firm leverage the power of digital tools and embrace market shifts as new opportunities? Download “What’s Working Now?” Our Staffing Sales Survey provides data, insights, and recommendations for 2024 TODAY!

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