How do temp recruiters build sustainable and deeper loyalty with customers and candidates?

Many people think temp recruitment is easy; how often do you hear “oh you’re a recruitment consultant, you just find CV’s, ask a few questions and place them, it’s not rocket science is it!”?

It takes a special type of person to take the relentless pressure and run a successful temp desk. Okay it’s not rocket science, but it’s not easy either.

Part of the issue is the pivotal role recruitment consultants have and the buck stops with them. Consultants get blamed for jobs not filled, candidates pulling out at the last minute, or worse not turning up.  Retaining loyalty when these issues happen isn’t easy.

Whilst it’s difficult to get right all the time, part of the answer to deepening loyalty is by removing the friction points that recruiters have little control over. By empowering clients and candidates with choice and control.  Empowering with choice and control means they know what the other wants, who is available, can send offers, chat, apply and confirm directly to workers and their mutual agencies.

Empowering clients and candidates also means recruiters can get on with the job that most clients don’t have the time to do. Sourcing candidates, screening, interviewing and juggling all the administration that finding the perfect candidates involves.

Take temporary recruitment in hospitality such as hotels or the education sector for schools, they often have a few recruitment agencies they rely on.  Likewise, temporary workers tend to have three or four agencies they work with to make sure they can pay their bills.

The changeable nature of demand for temporary workers in hospitality and education creates a knock-on effect creating inevitable changing availability for workers which remains in constant flux.

Constant changes in demand and availability of workers makes it difficult to develop loyalty. Good recruitment consultants do all they can to develop and sustain loyalty with their clients and workers. They do this by always delivering an excellent responsive and reliable service whenever it is needed. Going the extra mile to solve their client’s problem by finding that brilliant chef or supply teacher.

This can be a 24/7 service for many recruitment consultants, with requests coming in at any time day or night. The responsiveness of the consultant and ability to meet the resource requirements are two key aspects to building and sustaining loyalty.

From a client’s point of view their last-minute request for a chef or maths teacher, late at night is unsettling – they want to know that in the morning their organisation will function without disruption or they will need to do a dreaded last minute reschedule of their staffing rota.

The longer clients worry about that gap, waiting for their recruitment consultant to resource a stand in temp, the more anxious they become and the greater the potentially negative impact on the hard-earned loyalty built up over months, if not years.

Bottom line if there is no reply from the recruitment consultant or a reply with no temp available, client loyalty dips; three in a row and its pretty much loyalty over!

Unfortunately, this is the nature of the temp recruitment sector, it’s difficult for recruiters to always respond and always have the right resource.  Whilst clients build good relationships with agency consultants, they are running a business and must make sure their organisation continues with the appropriate interim staff.  Thus, clients are bound to spread their “loyalty” around agencies.

How to build and sustain loyalty?

The key to developing deep client loyalty is by providing a service that amongst other things, removes client’s frustration, improves communications, provides transparency, offers choice and enables control.

This may feel uncomfortable for traditional agencies, who pride themselves on deep hard-won relationships, built over years. Where the recruitment consultants hold the knowledge, determining who will work, where, with who, doing what and when.

However, the inevitable march of online digital only recruitment agencies is here. With clever matching algorithms, machine learning and artificial intelligence beginning to address resourcing issues. These digital systems enable clients to post their jobs onto a platform and up pops suitably qualified temps to fill the roles.  The traditional “we hold the information” approach is under pressure.

The good news for traditional agencies is that whilst online digital platforms are good at automatically matching workers to jobs, there is no relationship creation, no guidance, no expertise, no extra knowledge and no loyalty.

Traditional agencies therefore have a great opportunity to use digital online systems to supplement their service to build deeper relationships.

If temp agencies want to remain competitive, they need to enable their clients and candidates to benefit from online technologies to fill their own jobs online 24/7, it’s no longer a nice to have, but a necessity.

Agencies who fail to support their clients with choice and control will see those clients and candidates drift towards agencies that better satisfy their requirements by offering transparency.

Attempting to hold candidate’s availability secret and the authenticity of vacancies underplays the role of good recruiters. Temp agencies are much more than just matchmakers, so embrace supplementary technology and be proud of the hard work you deliver; facilitating transparency that enhances agencies offering.

Accepting the necessity to empower clients with control and choice is the first step, making that happen in the most economical and beneficial manner for agencies, business hirers and workers is the next.

To achieve the best and fastest return, recruitment agencies should avoid wholesale replacement of existing CRM systems, the high cost and risks a major implementation like that incurs.

Adopting solutions that supplement and can be “plugged in” to existing CRM systems is the least cost, quickest return and lowest risk available.

Systems such as updatedge are software as a service (SaaS) solutions. Enabling recruitment agencies to pull the information they need to remain competitive, to grow and sustain loyalty with clients and candidates.  Updatedge enables recruiters to instantly provide 24/7 choice and control to their clients and candidates that traditional agencies have in the past been unable to offer without significant investment.

Change is constant; digital online only agencies are encroaching on the traditional temp recruiters’ markets.  Implementing freemium SaaS based solutions such as updatedge that powers agencies to deepen and sustain loyalty with clients and candidates by empowering them and supplementing an already excellent service is the way forward.