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Tom's Talent Blog

Is Your Staffing Company a Commodity or a Value?

Posted by Tom Erb on May 24, 2013 7:40:00 AM

Rat_RaceIn today’s staffing climate, businesses are created to satisfy needs within their surrounding community. But often in the scramble to build the business and capture the market ahead of something else, it becomes nothing more than a commodity – something that is readily available, but is hardly indistinguishable from all of the other businesses that are similar in nature.

To be successful (read ‘profitable’), staffing companies have to move beyond being commodities and offer more. Value is a key differentiator that can determine the relative success or failure of the business. Which are you: a commodity or a value?

Difference Between Commodity and Value

In economic terms, a commodity is a generic descriptor used to identify items and services that are produced to satisfy wants and needs. For example, health clubs are health clubs. They all offer essentially the same machines and benefits. So, they are a commodity.

On the other hand, a value is a noun used to indicate things that have merit, worth, or importance. Using the health club example, what if one of them were to highlight a key difference between them and all of the other health clubs? Let’s say for this example, this health club drew attention to the fact that it offered not only the facilities, but also trainers, nutritionists, and on-site physical exams. Which would you consider to be a value? Would it still be valuable even if the price was slightly higher?

Most people would consider the extra benefits to increase the value, even if it increased the price slightly, because they could go to a single place to have more of their needs met.

Determine your Differentiators

So, as one business in a sea of thousands more, how do you create value? Start by determining what sets you apart from all of the other staffing or recruiting companies. What is it that you have that others don’t? Or maybe it’s what you do that others don’t. Examples could be you specialize in a specific niche, you provide 24/7 service and placement, or your time to fill is significantly less than the competition.

Something has to set you apart from everyone else. If it’s not something you can immediately put your finger on, ask your customers. They will generally tell you without hesitation what makes them dial your number every time they need staffing help.

Building Value

Once you know what it is about your business that is different from every other staffing business, then you need to put that to work for you. So, how do you build value?

Begin by highlighting what sets you apart from everyone else. Maybe your customers call you every time they need staffing because you answer the phone. Or maybe they always call you because the services you provide are hands down better than the services they get from other staffing providers.

Once you’ve figured out what sets you apart, then make it a point to ensure your clients and potential clients understand you are not just a staffing agency, you are a solutions provider. And specifically, the solution you provide is the thing that sets you apart from everyone else. It’s the problem that you promise to solve. And make sure you are able to quantify it. Prospects won’t believe you just because you say you are better – you have to prove it. How? By sharing statistics, client testimonials, case studies – anything that brings credibility to your claims.

Don’t just make the promise, though. You also have to deliver on it, and deliver in a big way. If your value is that you’re always have the right candidate for the job that needs to be done, then when a client calls you, you better have a stable of candidates large enough to fill the job. In other words, always over deliver on your promise.

In that way, you can build a value that will keep your customers coming back to you time and again.

 

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Topics: Sales, Strategic, Differentiation

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