Published by ClearlyRated - 01/22/18

The Staffing Industry’s Reputation Disadvantage (and What Your Firm Can Do About It)

As a staffing and recruiting firm, you take pride in delivering amazing service and lasting results to your clients. And, given the level of competition in the industry, it makes sense to differentiate on (and build your company around) this promise.

But what if I told you that the reputation of the industry as a whole is working against you?

ClearlyRated and CareerBuilder have been measuring the staffing industry’s client satisfaction for a decade, and the scores have dramatically declined from a high in 2009. No matter how much care you take to ensure client satisfaction, the reputation of the industry as a whole will affect how prospective clients see your firm. Enter the “reputation disadvantage” – a prevailing issue faced by modern staffing executives and marketers in the U.S.

What can your firm do to combat the effects of this industry-wide detriment? To start, don’t sit idly and wait for client satisfaction trends in the staffing industry to turn around. In fact, our research suggests you can’t afford to: We find that prospective staffing clients care about client satisfaction nearly 4x more than any other metric when selecting a firm to work with.

3 ways your firm can combat the industry’s reputation disadvantage

1. Don’t assume you know what your firm’s reputation is.

Reputation isn’t what you know to be true about your firm. It’s what others believe to be true about your firm. What’s the best way to learn how others perceive your firm? At ClearlyRated, we recommend executing an annual client satisfaction survey program (at least), with a simple method for clients to provide feedback and consistent metrics for your team to track against.

And we’re not talking about just your favorite clients – you’ll need feedback from as many clients as possible to get a realistic understanding of your firm’s reputation.

2. Show (don’t just tell) your differentiation.

You may provide amazing client service, but it’s not safe to assume that prospective clients will take your word for it. Offer as much proof as you can to support your story of excellence:

In an industry where roughly 90% of providers “differentiate” on service, building an ethos of transparency and open communication with clients and prospects will do more to help you stand out than anything you may say about yourself.

3. Focus on your talent as much as your clients.

Your candidates play a significant role in your firm’s reputation – and the majority of candidates are not satisfied enough with their firm to return for a second assignment (76% find a new firm or don’t use one at all). What’s more, our research indicates that a 10% increase in talent satisfaction correlates to a 5% increase in client satisfaction – a strong reminder of the symbiotic relationship between your two audiences.

To boost your firm’s reputation in the industry, recruiters should focus on building personal relationships with candidates, establishing clear communication guidelines, and offering as many resources as possible to maximize talent – and with it, client – satisfaction.

Ready to improve firm reputation and differentiate from the competition?

Visit to learn how staffing providers can leverage client and talent satisfaction to build reputation and stand out in the industry.

This article was originally published in Staffing Success magazine – an industry publication edited by the American Staffing Association.

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