Every staffing professional must balance the satisfaction of employers and of talent – two very different groups that want and need distinct (and sometimes opposing) things. Reducing churn and maintaining longstanding, positive relationships is equally important for each group.
This may seem counter intuitive since many talent are placed into temporary or short-term roles. However, our company data shows that 40% of the talent we place eventually become responsible for hiring for their employer. How do you keep them coming back to you?
We’ve developed three daily practices that sustain outstanding satisfaction over time.
1. Treat our talent as royalty. Everyone that walks into our office, we treat as a VIP. We try to have that Ritz Carlton mentality to deliver premium service to everyone we encounter.
If talent is sitting awhile waiting for an interview, we check on them. We thank them for their patience, offer them a glass of water, let them know we will be with them. It’s all the small things that make sure they know they are important.
Ultimately, if our talent doesn’t have a good experience, our customer won’t either. Nearly all talent want the job they take to become permanent; we want their experience with us to land them a job they will want to stay with.
We support talent as they go on the job. If an employer calls us that the talent is late, claiming a flat tire, we delve into it. We empathize with talent. They may really have a flat tire;they’re driving the car they can afford and maybe they have three kids and are struggling to pay bills and truly are trying to do everything they can to get to work.
We put in the time to understand – and we also go beyond to communicate and empathize with our customer. We’re on the phone with them, too. “I understand why you’re upset. I’ve spoken to the talent and I’ve also found you a backup.” We get someone on the job. It’s really critical to work both sides of any problem.
2. Get to know our customer. Every employer, every culture is different. We adapt ourselves to them, being a chameleon to provide what they need. We’re always mindful that this is not a one-time sale with them, it’s about building a long-term partnership. Spend the time to learn what matters to them.
We begin each job opportunity with an in-person meeting to find a personal way to connect to learn about what matters most to them.
Once I had a talent not show up for their employer interview even though we had prepared them just the night before. The morning of the interview, suddenly we can’t reach them. To add insult to injury,the next day another talent showed up late for the same client. It can happen.
If someone doesn’t show up, drop what you are doing and go down there and work it out for the customer. Call first, avoid emailing and personally go there. We might bring them chocolates and a sincere apology.
Then we sit down and talk over why we might be having challenges. If now a pattern of “no-shows” is developing, we have frank discussions. “Might there be other factors here? Is there a way to increase this pay rate? What else can we do to problem solve this?” At times we might offer a discount, such as “8-hour free day” to show them we’re sorry for the experience they had. (We pay the talent but would not charge the client.)
3. Never lose a sense of urgency. Constant communication is absolutely essential. If we’re asked a tough question, we will get an answer. Not every problem can be solved, but it’s coming back to them and saying, “I heard you loud and clear, here’s my cell phone number, I’m going to call you back and make sure this was taken care of.” We want them to know we think they are important.
That communication must continue always. If an employer doesn’t have any job needs for a while, we still stay in touch, provide them value-added services and learning opportunities. For talent, it can be little things – bringing bagels to a team, taking a direct hire out to lunch on their first day on the job.
We want their whole experience with us to be great. We can’t always guarantee it will be great with the client, but we can do everything in our power to make it a great experience with us.