Owning your niche: How your staffing agency can outmarket the competition

shutterstock_businessarrowupThere were approximately U.S. 22,400 temporary help and permanent placement firms that had been in business more than a year in 2007, according to the most current U.S. Economic Census data available (American Staffing Association).

As a result of the intense industry competition, more staffing agencies are changing their focus to specific niche services such as administrative, health care, legal and manufacturing staffing. Does your agency serve a particular niche? If so, it’s important to recognize that narrowing your business focus doesn’t guarantee that it will be more successful. You need to own your space by offering the best value to your target audience.

Here are a few marketing strategies to help your staffing agency truly own its niche.


Talk to the people who already buy from you. “Who wants to buy from me?” If you aren’t starting a new staffing agency, you should already be able to answer this question with some confidence. But to market effectively, you need to take this question a step further to determine, “Where does my agency excel?”

Knowing which types of companies you will service sets the playing field. Now it’s time to determine what type of player you are. Questions to ask include, “Who are my best customers? What do they do that others don’t, and more important, why do they do it?” Maybe you help your law firm clients fill specific and hard-to-fill talent gaps or you have good financial stability. Instead of just focusing on law firms that need legal staffing services, you discover that you are a great fit for small intellectual property law firms seeking financially strong partners.

Many companies get caught in the trap of focusing on prospects and how they can market to them better than the competition can to win their business. But by looking at the people who are already driving your growth, you are more likely to discover where your true value lies. Then go embrace it.


Tap employees as brand ambassadors. If your staffing agency sells into niche industries, your employees are one of your most valuable assets. Here’s why: They are already specialized. They are on the front lines with your customers, and they know and understand the trends, regulations and other factors shaping customers’ needs.

How can you leverage your best employees to grow your business? Start by finding your most engaged team members – the people who like your company, like what they do and know your customers inside and out. These are the people who, if your business doubled today, you’d be thrilled to have 20 more employees just like them.

Once you identify this group – it could be 20 employees or just two – give them permission to become your brand ambassadors. Bring them together to meet and share their ideas. Ask them for referrals. Give them opportunities to blog and speak about your niche and your services. You may find that the best marketing resource of all doesn’t cost a thing.