Even with the most effective sales process, you will not close deals if your client’s bill rates are substantially below market, their decision-making process is too slow or they continually hold out for the perfect candidate. Providing industry data and crafting a story out of this data is the new sales imperative.
When it comes to using data, people generally get hung up or stumped when trying to answer these three questions:
- Why use data?
- What types of data should I use?
- How do I craft a story with this data?
But don’t give up! One of the first steps to using data with your clients in the sales process is ensuring that your sales team is comfortable doing so.
One in 3 staffing employees are not comfortable using recruitment technology, according to the 2015 Opportunities in Staffing study. Most agree, though, that adapting to new technology will set the best staffing firms apart.
Why Use Data?
If you’re not using data or your people aren’t comfortable with it, you’re missing a huge opportunity.
Did you know? When selecting a staffing firm to work with, the number one factor clients seek is demonstrated industry knowledge, NOT the lowest price, according to the 2015 Opportunities in Staffing study.
Some of the largest gaps in client service involve the use of data — what’s being done by your people might be different from what’s actually being delivered to customers. Information can help bridge that gap.
Nearly 3 in 4 firms claim to provide hiring trends on open positions; however, only about half of clients report receiving this information. Since this data is not difficult to obtain, closing this gap in client service is fundamental.
Nearly 4 in 5 firms claim to educate clients on competitive salaries for open positions, but fewer than 3 in 5 clients are actually receiving this data. These aren’t hard gaps to address if you equip your people with the information your customers are requesting.
What Kind of Data Do Clients ACTUALLY Want?
Clients are most satisfied when they select a firm that helps them improve their own recruiting.
- Industry data and trends. Although demonstrating industry knowledge is important, helping to improve your clients’ own recruiting efforts and demonstrating you know more about their company than the competition will result in the highest satisfaction levels.
- Time-saving data. When it comes to recruiting, time is a luxury. Saving your client time will save them money. Proving to them that you have the data they need to recruit more efficiently is key in the sales process.
- Compensation and competitive data. Do you know the best places to recommend your client look for available candidates? Do you know who your client is competing against for the same talent in their target markets? If you can bring this information along with compensation data, your client will not only value your relationship, but they will also feel confident they have chosen the best firm to help them attract top talent.
How to Craft a Story With Data
Eric Gregg, CEO of Inavero recently published an article with the American Staffing Association in which he laid out a formula to successfully use data to increase sales:
- Keep it simple. Even the best data in the world will lose impact if your sales team or client prospects can’t easily understand it and make the connection between the data and how they run their business.
- Go beyond data to insight. Don’t assume that your prospects — or for that matter your sales team — see why the data you’ve presented is important to their organization. The data makes you credible, and the insight and interpretation shows your unique value.
- Keep it focused to keep it valuable. Instead of attempting to create expertise widely, create it within a niche where your information can stand alone as the source for clients and prospects. For example, data on hiring trends within a job type or industry is far more valuable to prospects than the same information across all employee types.
- Don’t forget about your candidates. In many sectors and job titles, attracting high-caliber talent is more challenging than getting new orders, yet few people target educational data-driven content toward their candidate pool.
By utilizing recruitment analytics reports, you can quickly craft a story by comparing data sets and looking at a few keys points. As an example, we looked at the mobile developer position in the markets of Los Angeles and San Diego.
Take our quick quiz to gauge your data-story crafting skills:
1. Looking at the summary (on page 2 of both reports), which market would you recommend your client start their recruitment efforts for a mobile developer?
B. San Diego
C. No Idea
2. Looking at L.A. compensation (on page 7), if you were presenting a mobile developer candidate to a customer in L.A., would you recommend someone with 6 to 10 years of experience or someone with fewer than 5?
A. 0-2 years
B. 3-5 years
C. 6-10 years
While you can use data to tell multiple different stories, most would argue that with more active candidates in L.A. (1,956 versus only 541 in San Diego), it would be the stronger market to focus on. Furthermore, the hiring indicator score (37 in L.A. versus 39 in San Diego) is essentially the same in both markets, so looking at the total active candidates is more important.
The Supply & Demand Hiring Indicator indicates the level of difficulty in recruiting for a specific skill set or position based on available talent and the hiring landscape. The Hiring Indicator score shows a number between 1 and 100. A lower score reveals a more challenging position in that market. In the example above for mobile developers in the L.A area, a score of 37 out of 100 indicates that it’s very difficult to hire because the score is under 50. In comparison, San Diego has a higher score (39), which means that you’ll have a slightly easier time recruiting in San Diego than L.A., but it’s still very competitive. You’ll need to invest more resources to recruit or identify another city that has a higher Hiring Indicator score and look for candidates there.
Since access to the data was easy, how long did it take you to pull that information?
Again, multiple answers could still be correct, but many agree that you can utilize the data to show that focusing on candidates with 6 to 10 years of experience may be the best way to advise your client. Candidates with this level of experience are being compensated nearly $30,000 less than candidates with 3 to 5 years of experience. Why? These older candidates may not have direct experience developing with the latest in mobile technology; however, they have the experience and framework to understand it. It’s really a question of hiring and re-skilling or hiring someone with less aptitude — it’s a decision for you to make in the end.
Take the Next Step and Craft Your Data Story
You can see by the sheer volume in the data packet examples that you have many choices on the story you tell. I encourage you to look page by page and identify which data would be key for you and your clients. Looking at the top job posters (page 4) and at graduates (page 9) are also great places to start crafting your data story.