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Lucas HamonFeb 27, 2023 8:28:18 PM9 min read

How To Sell Staffing Services: Be Different

How To Sell Staffing Services: Be Different

What's the secret to growing your staffing agency?

Is providing great "value" enough of a pitch for increasing staffing revenue? Think about it through the eyes of your prospective customers — people who haven't worked with your staffing agency yet. They don't know your sales reps from the next agency's, and/or they who have NO IDEA how valuable your staffing services actually are to their business. 

Whether you're a one-person staffing agency or recruiting for a National powerhouse, the landscape has changed, and so have the best tactics for growing.

Success for Staffing Firms Starts With a Compelling, True Value Proposition

When selling staffing services, it's important to ask yourself what these prospective clients will think about your value proposition. Is it fresh and exciting? Or is it a textbook, cookie-cutter response of being a (fill-in-the-blank) just like all the other staffing agencies they may come across online. Most importantly, is your value proposition true — IS your staffing agency really all that different from other staffing agencies? 

Many small staffing agencies view their small size as a benefit, which may be the case. But, what happens when they grow? And what happens when they compete against other small staffing agencies?

How Do Staffing Agencies Get Contracts By Being "Different?"

Different can mean a lot of things to a lot of people. Does it mean hiring people with different hairstyles? Bigger beards? Stronger personalities? The best balance of aggressiveness, politeness, firm-handshakeness, independence, etc? Or is it something much deeper than all of those, and actually a core issue that we're dealing with?

Your sales team is just step 1; they open the door. To truly stand out, and subsequently close and fill more deals, YOU need to make the pitches coming from their mouths true.

It Is Possible to Stand Out in the Staffing Industry

The good news is that the staffing industry, although an infant in the grand scheme of things, is maturing. It survived two major economic collapses, soared to incredible heights, and bounced around in everything in between. All signs continue to point to a bright future, but it's more crowded than ever, particularly for staffing firms that first launched. Competitors are popping up everywhere, and they're starting with the distinct advantage of having a clean slate.

Staffing Agencies Can't Recycle Tired Lines When Trying to Grow

Whatever you think it means to be different, recycling yesterday's tricks isn't it. I can't remember the last time a client or prospect bragged to me about how great cold calling is working for selling staffing services to new clients.

They're stuck.

What happened?

It's the Internet's fault. And yours.

Your clients now follow their favorite recruiters and AEs on LinkedIn. So when you fire somebody or they quit, they easily take that relationship with them. (Admit it, sometimes you feel like you're better at creating competitors than value)

And what on earth is more important to staffing agency/client success than relationships?

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Your transient employees don't even have to try ... no printing off customer lists or snapping off pictures of their pipeline with their phones days before they quit ... nothing devious. They are more connected than you, and they take that relationship with them without giving it a second thought. If they do put energy into it later, it's not like businesses are hard to find these days. Ever hear of Google?

This disconnect you're having with your clients was always a problem, but customers stayed because of convenience. Now that the internet is so inconveniently keeping those relationships alive between old staff and your most important clients, you no longer have the room to rest on your laurels. 

You create a vacuum when you do nothing to differentiate your agency from the top down. You're just another sales outfit getting swallowed in a sea of wannabes, saying you put clients first, but in reality just taking the path of least resistance.

That's a problem in my book.

1. Identify the  Mission of Your Staffing Business

I remember a great conversation I had with the owner of a highly reputable National staffing agency about what it means to separate the science and the religion of a company, and how important it is to the growth of any organization to do so.

The Religion

This is your mission, vision, and values, or what makes your company YOUR company. Its core never changes (although the way you articulate it will), even in the face of pessimism or pressure to stand out. This is why you do what you do and why your company is the answer to your customer's biggest staffing dilemmas.

Find out why your mission statement sucks.

The Science

These are the components of your business that are often technical in nature, and if they don't change, the world passes you by. They include your applicant tracking systems, modes for connecting, marketing investments, and tools that support your sales strategies. They directly support the religion, but they are interchangeable, and should often be re-evaluated.

This particular staffing agency had always been revered for its genuine commitment to the values that were present in its mission statement. In addition, they also hired great talent, and provided excellent ongoing training to sales reps and recruiters.

To top it off, they had delivery tools that proved beyond a doubt they were committed to providing the very best service possible.

In all, their success came from being different (religiously AND scientifically).

So, today I'm not actually suggesting that you change who you are, but rather, to look at the experiences you are creating for your clients through the tools and strategies you are deploying, and asking yourself if you're being perceived the way you want to be.

Does the rest of the world see you as YOU do? Have you made it impossible for them not to? 

2. Your Technology Stack Can Grow Your Staffing Agency 

In prior iterations of this article, I actually put Marketing (specifically, inbound lead generation) in this spot. But by prioritizing it over infrastructure, it becomes all too easy to overlook the importance of the latter. After all, who needs process when you're being inundated with inbound leads?

The answer: Anybody who wants to close more deals.

This isn't a "shit-in-shit-out" analogy. Inbound leads tend to be significantly more valuable than outbound leads. There are companies looking for recruiters, and inbound helps them find YOU. However, they aren't the "end-all, be-all" solution to reaching your growth objectives.

They're the first step in a two-step process.

Ask yourself this:

  • What's the process for handling inbound leads, and how does it differ from how you treat leads from other sources?
  • How do you hold sales accountable for their role in closing inbound leads?
  • Where does your most important sales data live? Excel?
  • How do you determine what's working and what's not?
  • What do your clients see, and how does it make your agency different?

If those questions were hard to answer, it's because something is missing. Either it's a process issue or technology or both. My money is on both, because I don't think you can really separate the two in this day and age. 

By nature, CRMs are the worst when looking to grow your staffing agency, because they don't address this issue head-on. They're cumbersome management tools forced into the hands of people who wither and die when they're not selling.

I don't care if it's I don't care if it's an industry leader like ... Bullhorn.

They weren't built for sales, and they're still not. Modern CRM's are.

What makes a "Modern CRM" a "Modern CRM?" Try:

  • Automating data entry
  • Automating administrative tasks, such as scheduling
  • Bridging sales and marketing activities into a single timeline
  • Providing insights to sales when and where they need them — through automation and machine learning, combined with minimal manual input
  • Innovative client-facing tools

The goal is to improve sales performance. By removing the clutter from your sales teams' vision, you enable your most expensive employees to sell more.

Click here for the Hubspot Sales CRM Implementation Guide.

3. Your Lead Sources Can Help Grow Your Staffing Firm

Where do you get the leads that you supply to sales? Are they warm, cold, hot, somewhere in between, or some new temperature we haven't discovered yet?

If you're not supplying your AEs with leads, are you then relying on them to source opportunities? Where are they finding leads? Are they scouring the online job boards and searching all the exact same places that every other staffing agency is hunting? 

I get heart murmurs just thinking about it … bleck.

If you want to learn how to grow a staffing agency in a modern manner and that puts you in control, try: 

Inbound Marketing 

Inbound marketing or or "Inbound lead generation" can be a game changer for staffing agencies. 

Instead of supplying your sales teams with the same purchased lists or Bullhorn reports as every. single. competitor. of yours — you can cut through the noise, and help them find you.

I'll say it again — you can use Inbound marketing strategies to help qualified leads find you and grow your staffing agency. 

After slogging through eight hours of cold calling and job board crashing 5 days a week, 52 weeks a year, I'm willing to bet that your salespeople will welcome a steady flow of leads where hiring managers are actively engaged with your brand, where online prospects are searching for the services and products you offer, and where job orders land before they publish their openings.

That kind of commitment is sure to garner loyalty from your top performers who are always begging for more support. It's also sure to land more exclusive opportunities and more motivated buyers.

Bring leads to you. Be different. And don't forget the inbound recruitment sales strategy. We can help you with inbound staffing sales training.

MORE: Introductory guide to getting started with inbound marketing for staffing agencies 


By ratifying your mission, upgrading your technology stack, and diversifying your lead sources, you can truly elevate and grow your staffing agency. You will be able to improve performance at every level, measure success, and hold people objectively accountable to reasonable and exciting outcomes.

Contact Orange Pegs Today to Learn More About Growing Your Staffing Agency

Are you looking to grow your staffing agency? 

Orange Pegs can help. Our team of growth marketing professionals work with staffing agencies of every size and across every vertical to develop sales and digital growth marketing solutions that help our partners stand out from the competition. 

Click HERE to learn more about our sales & digital growth marketing services for recruitment firms that are innovative and highly effective.

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