While the sun was shining in Palm Springs, executives and sales and recruiting teams also basked in the spotlight at the annual TechServe Alliance conference. The 2015 TechServe Alliance IT and Engineering Staffing Conference and Tradeshow provided many great takeaways, and our team was there to cover it.
Here, in random order, are four key takeaways we walked away with:
1. Don’t share data — share a story.
During his keynote, Paul DePodesta — vice president of player development for the New York Mets — talked about the true story behind “Moneyball,” the best-selling book that was turned into a major motion picture. And while a data-driven management approach has the power to transform businesses, DePodesta says it’s crucial to remember to tell stories when communicating with both clients and candidates. So do yourself a favor and take a page out of his playbook:
We didn’t walk around with reports and ask players to take a look. We told them a story and gave them an example they could connect with and spoke in their language. We rarely, if ever, talked about the data in front of them. We used stories instead. This is how you can change the story in terms of using data with your clients and candidates.
2. Learn the secrets to an exceptional client and candidate experience.
Eric Gregg, CEO of Inavero, discussed how some of the top IT and engineering staffing firms are winning the war for talent. Citing findings from the 10th annual Opportunities in Staffing research study as well as anecdotes from some top staffing firms, Gregg explained that the war for IT and engineering talent doesn’t stop once a placement has been made; in fact, it is just beginning.
These are the three tests of a remarkable client and candidate experience:
1. Was it unexpected?
2. Was it sincere?
3. Did it show empathy?
Don’t confuse your brand with your marketing; your brand is the aggregate of your customer experiences, Gregg explained. Think of your brand as the culmination of millions of little wins. “Our brand is the stories that people are telling about us,” he said. So how can you differentiate your firm? Ensure something in your process is surprising and unexpected — but in a good way. A remarkable experience comes from those who care more and try harder, and it shows.
3. Educate your clients on current market realities.
More than 4 in 5 (86 percent) staffing employees use data to help recruit top talent, but 1 in 3 staffing employees are not comfortable using recruitment technology, according to the 2015 Opportunities in Staffing study. However, adapting to new technology is a key factor that sets the best staffing firms apart.
As a staffing firm, you should make sure your sales team is comfortable and equipped to use data to help clients make better decisions, says Chris Skerrett, director of sales at CareerBuilder. The study also shows that clients are most satisfied when they select a firm that helps them improve their own recruiting.
These are the key types of data that clients want:
- Industry data and trends
- Data that save their recruiters time
- Compensation and competitive data
4. Look to top recruiters for new and innovative tactics in order to thrive.
Here are some tips from the top if you are looking for innovative recruiting tactics for a talent-driven market.
According to Priya Sunil, senior recruiting lead for Denver & Houston at Harvey Nash:
If you’re looking for the right resume, you’ve passed up the best candidate. When you present an opportunity to a candidate, act as their advocate, be honest, let them know if a role is not a good fit for them, stay with them through the process, give them options, keep following up with any new information you have about the client. Work on resume prep, especially technical candidates — sometimes you need to help them reform their resume into a more rounded version that your clients would like to see.
According to Chris Thrall, director of recruiting at Swoon Technology Resources:
Happy placed candidates give referrals — get good at consultant/contractor care. Continue to follow up with them while on the job. Remember that they are your future managers that could be working with you down the road. Also, go on site and meet or visit your candidates.
According to Janet Chung, recruiting manager at Outsource Technical LLC:
Remember to take a long term approach. The most successful recruiters are networkers; they don’t treat candidates as a commodity. They set up happy hours, foster relationships and keep open dialogues with their candidates.