You’ve got to look beyond the numbers when it comes to trimming costs at your staffing firm. You want to find a way to spend less money, but if you do it by eliminating a service option that your clients have grown to love, you are not helping your business.
The best approach is to take an inventory of where you spend money and ask yourself if that is still the best way to run your business. You may find that you’ve done a pretty good job of staying with the times and keeping costs under control, but more likely, you’ll find that there are a number of ways you can provide the same or greater service for less money.
Here are three tips to help you identify areas where your staffing firm can trim costs.
Analyze your costs
Complacency can be a problem when it comes to where you spend your money. Just because something has worked for a long time doesn’t mean it’s still the best way to do it.
Look at your communication plans for items such as phone, fax and Internet service. If you’re paying for fax service or for equipment to receive employee timesheets, but you long ago switched to a web-based time tracker, why are you still paying for the fax service and equipment? Or consider smart phones for all your employees and look at what a group rate would be for service.
You’re always looking for ways to bundle costs when it comes to home cable, phone and Internet service, so why should it be any different for your staffing firm? You won’t know until you take the time to assess your costs and explore what other options might be available. You want the best and most cost-effective way to serve your clients, so if there’s a better way to do it, it may be time to catch up.
Study your processes
The hiring process can be laborious in terms of posting for a position, sifting through resumes, lining up interviews, conducting the interviews and then making a decision. If you end up with a poor batch of candidates, you’ve got to do the whole thing over again and that costs even more money.
So take a look at how you hire people and ask yourself if there’s a better way. Are you being specific about the position you’re trying to fill so you’ll get good candidates? Have you talked to your team about looking for key phrases in resumes to quickly weed out the ones that aren’t relevant?
The more you can streamline a process such as hiring, the more time you’ll have to develop stronger relationships with clients and expand your business.
Talk to your employees
You may think you have a good handle on how money is spent and what hurdles your employees face in doing their jobs. But have you ever asked them? As representatives of your firm who are on the front lines every day, they may see ways that you could cut costs that you haven’t considered.
It’s a way to find opportunities to cut costs, but it also strengthens the bond among employees, you and your firm. It shows that you value their input and consider them an important part of the team. So take a moment to occasionally step out from your office, talk to your people and get their insight on what your firm does well and what it could do better.
Areas that staffing agencies shouldn’t skimp on
There are some things you don’t want to skimp on with your staffing agency because of the value provided to clients and potential clients. If you appear to be a firm that is operating on a shoestring budget, it may not provide a lot of faith that your business is stable or that you’ll deliver the service the client is seeking.
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
Be conscious of your image
It’s OK if your staffing agency website doesn’t have the latest in video technology or animated graphics. But if it looks like something the CFO’s nephew developed in his basement, that’s not the image you want to project.
Be aware of how your staffing service website looks and how your business cards are designed. They are the image of your business for those who haven’t worked with you before and you want them to be impressed.
Talk about service
This may seem obvious for a staffing agency, but don’t assume that just because you talked about the value of customer service at last year’s company meeting that it remains top of mind for your people. Even good employees need a refresher about dealing with tough clients or solving problems.
Take the time to brush up on these types of things in your business and it will pay off with satisfied clients and repeat business.