Double your shifts in 5 steps

The competition in the staffing and recruitment industry is enormous. 'Enormous' might even be an understatement. Larger agencies, enjoying a surprisingly large portion of trust, have also managed to secure the most clients in the industry. Often, as a growing agency, you don't have a large budget for a time tracking system or automatic electronic invoicing, so other ways must be found to attract more clients and thus fill more shifts. This may seem impossible at times, but we're here to show you which building blocks you can easily add to strengthen your strategy. So, how can you double your services in 5 simple steps?

1. Showcase what makes you unique.

In the sea of recruitment agencies, you need to determine what sets your agency apart from the others. What is your golden difference that makes you a better choice in the staffing market? What do your potential clients get from you that they wouldn't get anywhere else? Dive into emerging consumer problems to determine what is relevant to the niche you operate in and see how you can tailor your value proposition to the current market situation. You should offer something extra, something that others are missing. This will primarily demonstrate that you provide more value. It will attract the right clients to you, who will be more satisfied with your service. It will also help you build trust and credibility with your target audience, which can lead to more sales and customer loyalty in the long run.

2. First give, then receive. Not the other way around.

Show what you have to offer before asking for anything in return. How do you show your customers that you appreciate them? When considering what could make your company unique, let your creativity flow. Nowadays, most agencies work solely for financial gain and are not driven by a larger purpose. Think about how you can make your mission sound more inspiring. That inspiring 'extra' could, for example, be that a certain percentage of the profit from shifts filled by your agency is donated to charity. It's even better if you can find clients who already support certain charitable programs. For example, if you're a Healthcare staffing agency, you could find a hospital that partners with the Heart Foundation. Then you can offer to donate 5% of the profit from services they fulfil monthly with your agency to the Heart Foundation.

For your clients, it will create a feeling that by choosing your agency, they are also contributing to a greater cause. This way, it increases the perceived value of your service and makes it more likely that your client will refer you to others. Because word-of-mouth advertising is still the best free marketing strategy, isn't it?

3. Get free publicity.

You need to remain visible to your potential clients. And ideally, you'd want to stay visible for free, through free publicity. That's why you should focus first on things you have control over: your own media channels. Utilise LinkedIn, share what makes you unique on your website. Document successful partnerships through video, blog, and reviews so you can share your success stories with potential new clients. Only when communication on your own page is flawless, you will be ready to seek external publicity.

The easiest way to get external publicity is by collaborating with other businesses. For example, if you use the charity strategy we suggested, it's beneficial for both you and your partner to talk about it in online communication. It's a barter deal: you donate to a charity, and they are proud of their participation. This makes both of you look socially responsible. An example of such online communication is a clickable logo with a brief explanation of your collaboration, leading to a joint blog on your client's webpage. The same goes for LinkedIn: when creating content about your partner, you can tag them in the publication or even ask them to repost it on their own page. This is inexpensive marketing that builds credibility and boosts your online visibility and that of your partners.

4. Go meet people.

Clients are open to relationships with agencies that understand their problem. Know what clients need to solve their problem and make sure you can provide a solution to their problem. As the whole business world goes online, we've forgotten how many benefits face-to-face communication can offer.

By approaching your potential clients personally, you make a better first impression and immediately establish a personal connection. This allows you to fully present your service to your client and help prevent misunderstandings that can arise during an online conversation. By meeting potential clients in person, you can demonstrate your professionalism and attention to detail. It shows that you are willing to invest time and effort to understand their needs and find the best solution for them. Consider investing part of your budget in time to personally get to know your potential clients. It's an investment worth making.

5. Schedule existing services faster.

It may not sound logical, but to fill more shifts, you also need to show that your company is efficient in filling the shifts you already have. Provide a better briefing. Work on a strategy to fill services faster, calculate the average time it takes to fulfil a service, and communicate it online if the number of filled shifts is impressive enough. Sometimes, filling services faster may mean that it becomes easier for your flex pool to accept them. Think of a way to send notifications to your flex pool as soon as a new service goes live. The sooner they know that a new service is live, the sooner it will be filled by someone. And the faster services are filled, the faster your flex pool reacts because they don't want to miss out on services.

This may even mean that you'll optimise your scheduling with staffing software that will save you a lot of time and money. Bring at Work, one of the clients of clevergig, says that by using clevergig software, 'we could respond to shift requests so quickly that customers were amazed by our response time.' Because they now fill shifts so quickly, customers request them earlier.

Now that you have all the theory, let's get started. Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube, once said, "Rarely are opportunities presented to you in a perfect way. In a nice little box with a yellow bow on top. Opportunities, the good ones, are messy, confusing and hard to recognize. They're risky. They challenge you." So don't miss out on opportunities that come your way. Doubling services will have to be challenging but necessary for growth. With our checklist, it becomes easier to increase the number of services step by step. All change is overwhelming before you take your first steps.

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