Tips and Insights from Staffing Experts
For any entrepreneur, starting up an independent staffing firm in Canada will present many different challenges, as well as many unexpected ups and downs. But this is okay! There really is a solution to everything - and if you’re only now beginning to think about making the transition from HR employee to independent recruiter, we certainly encourage you to keep exploring the option.
It’s totally normal to feel intimidated or nervous as you begin to embark on this journey. That’s why our staffing industry experts created this guide to help make the process a little less stressful.
Below are the topics that will be covered:
- How to Know if You’re Ready to Transition from Employee to Recruiter
- Why You Should Offer Contract Staffing to Your HR Customers
- Creating a Referral-Worthy Candidate Experience
- Getting Tardy Clients to Pay On Time
How to Know if You’re Ready to Transition from Employee to Recruiter
Are you ready to take that big leap from HR employee to independent recruiter?
Well, first off, you should know that it’s completely normal to feel hesitant or afraid. But, if you’ve been dreaming of starting your own staffing agency for some time, our experts believe that you certainly should – that is, if you can answer these following questions confidently:
1. Do I have a strong understanding of the industry?
Being HR-educated, as well as being familiar with HR trends and the inner workings of a recruitment firm will play a valuable role in your transition to becoming independent. The longer you’ve been employed at an agency, the more equipped you’ll be to start your own.
2. Do I have a broad network of contacts?
Without a list of potential clients at your fingertips, you’ll find it challenging to get the ball rolling with your business. However, having a good network of contacts (typically people you have not worked with at the current/former place of work due to non-compete clause), then you’ll be set with a great foundation to continue building.
3. Am I ready to embrace help from a back office support team?
Something that can really hold a staffing agency employee back from commencing their own firm is the intimidation of finances, making payroll and handling time-sensitive and complex back administrative tasks on your own. This type of work wasn’t made for you to do – and fortunately there are back office support teams available for hire to take the load off.
4. Do I know what to expect, and have enough passion to carry through?
If you’re driven and are aware of the hard work and dedication starting and managing your own staffing firm is going to require, then you have our support!
Why You Should Offer Contract Staffing to Your HR Customers
Once you initiate your independent staffing firm in Canada, you’re going to want to think about catering to the rising demand of “gig work”.
While many independent staffing firms specialize in offer only full-time staffing solutions today, more and more agencies are beginning to add contract staffing to their services.
Here’s are some reasons why that’s so:
Clients are demanding it (right now more than ever before).
With the boom of the gig economy, a demand for contract staffing services has been steadily increasing. If you find that your clients have been asking about part-time placements, this is a very strong reason to add it to your services. If you aren’t meeting the needs of your clients, they’ll stray – and that’s lost business.
It gives you a competitive advantage, and will bring more clients to your door.
As mentioned above, most independent recruiters actually only focus on providing full-time staffing solutions. By offering something that many others in your industry aren’t, you’ll have an opportunity to outshine your competition – including those larger firms. In fact, a leading reason for a client to choose one agency over another is because of more extensive service offerings.
Offering contract staffing isn’t as complicated as you may think.
Offering temporary staffing services in addition to permanent/full-time staffing is actually quite a simple process with the right kind of help. Hiring a back office solutions team to handle all of the time-consuming and time-sensitive administrative tasks means you can offer more without having to take on the extra stress and responsibility of something you have little to no experience with.
Creating a Referral-Worthy Candidate Experience
The service experience you provide for your customers should be a top priority of your new staffing company at all times. Your candidates rely on you to provide a professional service that garners results – and there are ways you can make sure you’re giving them what they deserve.
Below are some simple and effective ways that you can create the perfect candidate experience:
Improve your application process: No one likes an agency with a complex application process. The easier you make it for your candidates to apply through your agency, the better candidate experience you’ll be providing.
Never slack on communication: Keeping up regular communication with your candidates is more important than ever, because it lets them know that they are a priority to you and will help to create a better overall positive opinion about your service.
Ask your candidates how you can improve: When you ask your candidates about what they appreciated most about your services and what they felt could have been done differently, this will provide you with valuable insight on how to be better. And if your candidate is happy with the service you provided, asking them for a referral doesn’t hurt, either.
Cater to your customers’ needs: In order to provide the best candidate experience possible, you should be taking note when a client asks about a service you don’t currently offer. Offering more options to your clients means that you care about their preferences and their overall experience.
Outsource customer care to an external team: You don’t need to be handling customer inquiries and keeping up with contact all by yourself. In fact, hiring an experienced back office support team to take care of it for you is the best route. This way you can be sure that every client is being served professionally and in a timely matter, 24/7.
Getting Tardy Clients to Pay On Time
Before starting up your staffing agency, it’s important to go in with a plan to ensure your clients will be paying you on time, every time. It’s equally as important to understand that late-paying customers exist – in fact, there are enough of them.
Your new business will require a steady cash flow to thrive, which will depend on timely payments from clients. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to get even your most tardy of clients to pay you on schedule.
Here are some effective things you can do:
Send out pleasant reminders: If you send out a friendly reminder shortly before the due date via e-mail (which can be easily automated), you can expect more timely payments because not only will your candidate be reminded, but they’ll be made aware that you haven’t forgotten, either.
Offer an incentive for clients who pay on time: By offering a small reward for those who pay on time consecutively for a certain period of time (such as a small discount), you’ll be encouraging timely pay in a way your customers can truly appreciate.
Put a late-payment policy into practice: It’s typical for staffing firms to enforce a late-payment policy stated on invoices that will inflict interest charges on late payments. But in order for this to succeed in getting customers to pay on time, it should be regularly enforced and actually put into practice.
Condense your payment term timeframe: It can be easy for customers to forget a payment if it’s due a few months down the line. If you tighten up your payment timeframe, you’re likely to experience less forgetfulness and more on-time payments.
Use payroll funding from a back office support team: A back office support provider with payroll funding like The Agency Support Partners will take care of the stressful payment issuing and collecting for you – and payroll funding will ensure you always have the necessary capital you need.
Our industry experts are here to help you on your HR journey.
After reading this guide, do you feel more prepared to take on the staffing world as an independent recruiter?
We hope we’ve been able to help put your mind at ease. After you familiarize yourself with all of these insightful strategies and tips, our experts promise you’ll be that much more equipped to start your staffing agency in Canada (the smartest way you can).
When you decide you’re ready for payroll funding with full service support, our team at The Agency Support Partners will be here to help. We’re just a call or an e-mail away.
Best of luck!