Developing and defining your staffing firm’s value proposition basesd on your competitive advantages is a core competency that every salesperson and recruiter must know and be able to thoughtfully articulate. This should be scripted, and everyone should know it and be able to recite it without any hesitation. Customers, both existing and those that are prospects, want to work with people they trust and that starts with their understanding of what makes your team and company different.
Knowing what your competitive advantages are and your sales and recruiting team’s ability to convey those unique advantages is every staffing firm owner’s responsibility. If the owner does not really know what those competitive advantages and differentiators are it is impossible for his/her employees to know what they are.
What makes your staffing & recruiting agency different from all the other company’s vying to be added as a staffing supplier? Why should a company or manager consider your staffing firm when they are already contending with a host of issues related to their current vendors for their contingent labor spend?
Your value proposition and differentiators should roll off the tongues of your sales and recruiting staff and be a compelling message that your audience views as truly meaningful to them, not you. It must also be consistent across your organization from person to person.
Why Everyone Must Know What Your Competitive Advantages Are
Your competitive advantages are not just something you have as a mission statement but is ingrained in the culture. This is commonly known as the elevator pitch. It should be part of all messaging that is the foundation of your business model. In essence, it defines your strategy, your culture, the rationale from a buyer of staffing services or consultant’s perspective that address what they can expect when and if they were to engage with your company.
The marketplace for top-tier talent and more specifically Information Technology (IT) talent is more competitive than ever, with most staffing firms that over promise and under deliver. Unfortunately, this sales method is prominent in our industry. Staffing firms that are underwhelming in their actual performance is more the norm than an exception to the rule. So, if you do not have at least one clear advantage, you probably do not have a viable business. Or as Jack Welch says, “If you don’t have a competitive advantage, don’t compete.”
Don’t be a Jack of All Trades, Master of None
You do not need to be all things staffing and great at recruiting every type of position your existing or potential customers may need help with. When claiming to be all things staffing means that you have a database that will support every caliber and type of talent regardless of location and recruiters who can actually recruit across all technologies. This is a rarity in the IT Staffing industry, and you are more likely to fail to meet their expectations and consistently lose to the competition because of a lack of focus and specialization. Your staffing firm will also be viewed as a Jack-of-all-Trades, Master of None generalist staffing firm that is also viewed as nothing more than a commodity.
Sales Should Never Sell What Recruiting is Unable to Deliver
Your staffing messaging on the types of professionals you are able to recruit and actually submit to your clients requires a strong and deep existing database of candidates. If you think you can be all things to all people in IT Staffing without a goldmine database to support the claim- you will fail. The alignment with what sales is selling in terms of the type of technologists that your recruiting organization is able to recruit requires sales and recruiting to be on the same sheet of music. Staffing agencies are often their own worst enemies when sales are selling what recruiting is unable to deliver for a variety of reasons. You must have access to the talent needed in advance of the first job requisition being issued. It is important to understand this concept as failing to do so will result in a recruiting organization that is unable to deliver.
What Should Be Considered When Developing the Competitive Advantage and Value Proposition
- Industry Knowledge and Experience
- Capabilities and supporting ATS database to recruit specific types of talent in geographies where your customers have requirements
- Depth of access that internal database of unique candidates has been nurtured
- Depth and breadth of experience the technical recruiters have to search, identify, qualify, and submit thoroughly qualified candidates that your customers want to buy
- Operational excellence
- Financial stability
- Years of experience
Areas of Modern Competitive Advantage
What can be an effective marketplace advantage has evolved somewhat over time. Staffing agencies can not rest on value propositions that worked for them ten years ago. As staffing firm owners, we must adapt to the challenges of today and creatively communicate our value proposition in way that speaks to both our clients and our candidates. Today, some common ways entrepreneurs like to describe their advantages include:
- Speed of delivery
- Speed to market
- Student of the industries serviced
- Customer service
- Staffing & recruiting methodologies and techniques
Customer Focused Value Proposition & Competitive Differentiator
Possessing a deep commitment, coupled with depth of knowledge and staffing excellence can be used to create a believable advantage. Place yourself in the shoes of the gatekeeper or decision maker listening to or reading your pitch for the first time and consider would you add your firm to the already long list of salespeople calling every day? Bottomline – your value prop and differentiator must, without any doubt, place you head over heals from all the other suppliers that prospects and customers already deal with daily and are usually extremely dissatisfied with.