(“Originally published on SIA Staffing Stream, December 08, 2014.”)
My daughter is an avid follower of Masterchef Australia. I recently got pulled in to watch a tough elimination round where both semi-finalist contestants dished up outstanding items. The criterion the judges applied to decide who advanced to the next round in the contest was illuminating, to say the least. It was simply this: Who did a better job on the core ingredient of the dish – in the way it was cooked?
An elimination round which poses a similar challenge to the players in our industry would be: When organizations choose staffing partners, what are the criteria they apply? Are the factors used five years ago still applicable today? Does each carry the same priority as it did previously?
One thing is for sure. We have multiple criteria which are of importance in the staffing world.This fact makes it very difficult to determine their importance and choose just one (or only a few) of greatest importance.
As the Managed Services Provider for many clients, DCR works directly with hundreds of staffing agencies, and is frequently involved in our clients’ selection of preferred staffing agencies. We noticed an interesting phenomenon:
In many programs, there is a significant disconnect between the clients’ stated supplier selection criteria and the actual selection criteria applied.
We asked DCR’s analysts to investigate further. A survey of 85 companies was conducted in which the Request for Proposal issued by the company was compared to the actual selection criteria applied to creating a preferred vendor list. It revealed the following:
Alignment of Supplier Offices with Client Hiring Locations. DCR found that the responses varied by the types of skills needed. Clients with large populations of general commercial (LI/Admin, Clerical) workers were seeking local support. Those focused on Professional and Technical workers were less concerned about this issue. The use of social recruiting has also decreased the priority of this requirement.We should note that there was a wide variance of responses, and the rankings reflect the weighted average of these responses. While additional research would be needed to validate these results, there are some indicators that could possibly be derived from this analysis.
Other factors emerged that set some staffing agencies apart from others and make them the winners.
Now, it is up to you to decide which of these factors takes precedence over the rest. Of course, nothing is etched in stone. In our experience, what truly matters most in winning new business is understanding and speaking directly to the needs of the prospective client. And, once selected, making good on every commitment made during the selection process. The best sales strategy is always to deliver great customer service.
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