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How to Sell Staffing When Employers Say “We’re Not Hiring”

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In times of economic uncertainty (like right now), it’s not uncommon to hear employers say, “We’re not hiring.”  

But that doesn’t mean the door is closed for your staffing firm.  

Instead, it signals an opportunity to pivot your approach and find new ways to meet client needs. Here’s how to sell staffing services even when employers are uninterested in hiring. 

#1: Shift from Reactive to Proactive

Traditional transactional sales tactics won’t cut it in a downturn. Asking, “Do you have any hiring needs?” or “When does your company use temporary staffing?” is reactive – and unproductive.  

The trick is to be proactive. Anticipate client needs and propose strategic solutions. Shadow your sales team and identify how many reactive questions they’re asking. Then, reframe their approach to focus on proactive problem-solving. 

#2: Identify and Address Client Pain Points

In a challenging economy, your clients’ pain points shift. They might not need more staff, but they are likely dealing with cost pressures, productivity concerns, and job security fears. Conduct thorough research to understand these pains and how the current economic climate affects their business. Use this knowledge to craft tailored solutions that address their specific challenges. 

#3: Offer Cost-Saving Solutions

When budgets are tight, showing how staffing can reduce costs is critical. Here are some strategies to propose: 

  • Boost Productivity: Bolstering your full-time team with temporary help means your core team can focus on higher-level business objectives. This keeps productivity high while keeping costs down. 
  • Reduce Benefits Costs: Temporary employees are often more cost-effective than full-time employees when considering the total cost of employment, including benefits. 
  • Implement Flexible Staffing Models: Encourage clients to adopt on-demand labor solutions that allow them to scale their workforce according to business needs, optimizing labor costs. 

#4: Educate and Demonstrate Value

Educate both your team and your clients on the financial benefits of staffing. Develop detailed financial models that highlight the cost savings and increased productivity your services can deliver.  

Make these models compelling enough to present to key decision-makers like CFOs and COOs. Equip your sales team with this knowledge to confidently address client concerns and demonstrate the value of your staffing solutions. 

#5: Identify and Capitalize on Growth Opportunities

Even in a downturn, there are growth opportunities. Help your clients recognize and seize these by providing the right talent. Ask them, “If you had the right resources, what strategic initiatives would you pursue?”  

Use their answers to position your staffing services as the catalyst for these initiatives. For example, make it clear how you could provide contract salespeople or telemarketers to boost sales without the overhead of permanent hires; or, temporary support for executives to allow leadership to focus on strategic priorities while temporary labor handles routine tasks. 

Selling Staffing in a Downturn Isn’t Easy… 

But it’s entirely possible. It just requires a strategic and proactive approach. Embrace it, and you’ll be positioned to not only survive, but thrive – no matter what the economy throws at us next. 

 

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