Last week when meeting with a promising lead, several of Talent 101's representatives encountered a memorable moment. We were one of a number of vendors meeting with this potential client, so we took some time for the usual networking and introductions before the presentation started. An executive of one of the attending vendors offered up this explanation of what his company does: "We peddle IT and engineering staffing.” I hadn't heard that phrase in years.
When we returned to the office and discussed our experience that day, I learned that we all had noticed the “peddling” remark. It stood out. It made us recall the old days when many of us saw what we did as “peddling staffing.”
These weren't memories of the good old days. That thinking came with boring practices and ineffective procedures that were considered the norm in the industry. If you worked in staffing then, you could count on regularly hearing and saying industry terms like:
- "Candidate and client control"
- "Feature and benefit selling"
- "Always be closing"
- "Back to basics"
- "Value propositions"
- "Influencing or convincing clients or candidates"
- "Time kills deals"
We all remembered this jargon of our industry. Looking back, we could all see some of the limitations of our thinking.
The practices and routines of that period aren't useful in today’s workforce. We work with smart candidates and hiring managers that are educated, connected, global in reach, and understand the market of supply and demand for IT and engineering services.
Our foray into memories of the way things were inspired us to revisit our philosophy of how the business works today. This is what we know:
- You can’t control anyone and you shouldn't want to anyway. The goal is always to facilitate a process that mutually benefits both candidate and client.
- Clients don’t buy features and benefits. They do buy an improvement to their current circumstances.
- Closing isn’t as important as collaborating with candidates and clients.
- Value proposals pale in effectiveness to challenging solutions.
- Trying to influence or convince anyone is a waste of time and energy. Allowing candidates to convince themselves takes less effort and leads to a better relationship.
- Time simply marches on. What kills the hire of the candidate is the recruiter or salesperson who fails to gain agreement to a process up front that maximizes the time at hand for all parties. We are all busy and candidates have options.
I don’t know about you, but we want better for our industry, candidates and clients. Better respect and better processes will improve the relationship for everyone. “Peddling” IT and engineering staffing services isn’t going to make that happen. Working as facilitators to help reach workforce solutions that make everyone involved happy will.