Gain a Competitive Advantage with Strategic Business Reviews
Large companies, with complex staffing needs involving different departments, operating units and locations, often use contingent labour to acquire critical skill sets and achieve the flexibility they need to stay competitive. Retaining a recruiting firm helps ensure job candidates are sourced, screened and hired without delay, to avoid costly business interruptions.
To confirm that the staffing firm is meeting recruitment goals, helping to mitigate risk and providing the client a competitive advantage in the marketplace, it is important to conduct regular strategic business reviews.
Aerotek’s Alevia Colombell, who has years of experience as strategic account executive for a leading multinational technological manufacturer, notes that reviews between the staffing firm and the client company are critical to achieving top-level performance and solving business challenges.
“It’s important to know how the client measures success to ensure we’re doing all we can to contribute to that objective. For some employers, the main priority might be candidate quality and retention; for others it might be hitting deadlines and speed-to-hire,” she explains. “Whatever their key performance indicators (KPIs) are, we align our goals with theirs.”
Because of that, she says, “the backbone of any review is a deep dive into performance metrics to identify the impact of the KPI, including the number of contract employees, such as how many started, how many were retained throughout the contract and how many were hired permanently,” Colombell says.
Not just performance metrics
Strategic business reviews should also include a broad range of data, background information and perspective on issues that may impact a client’s workforce. Common elements include:
- Local market analysis
- Employers competing for the same talent and their pay rates
- Economic indicators and industry trends
- Recruiting trends
“We break it down to an ‘apples to apples’ comparison,” says Colombell. “You can’t just look at the cost of working with a staffing provider without considering the alternative of having to handle the sourcing, screening and hiring on your own. And retention is also an important component in the ROI of labour costs — losing workers often means paying overtime while hiring and training replacement workers, which adds up quickly.
More granular information, such as the specific reasons behind attrition, can help identify issues so that they can be addressed and improved. “Improving attrition rates is important not just on its own, but also for helping a client maintain its reputation as a quality employer and attract new employees,” adds Lindsay Green, an Aerotek director. “For similar reasons, we also track health and safety issues, to see if we can identify pain points and be sure to fix them.”
“In a lot of ways, our job is to connect the dots to ensure the client is getting a true picture of their labour fulfillment,” Colombell explains. “We need to know what strategies are driving their success, and that is constantly evolving, especially in today’s business world. And then show how our relationship offers them cost savings to their bottom line.”
“It’s important to ensure that the business review presents a true picture of staffing performance — the positive and the negative. We have to be very honest about what’s working and what’s not, in order to create a strategy to leverage our strengths and address any weaknesses.”
For long-term clients, year-over-year reviews are an opportunity to discuss trends in the business and to forecast accordingly. “For instance, we can show them what the headcount was on the last project they launched to help forecast for an upcoming one,” says Colombell.
“In today’s business world, you have to stay nimble to respond to market and industry trends,” Colombell explains. “As businesses evolve, a staffing firm has to understand the change and help the company navigate the new developments, whether it’s launching a new service line or a new product.”
The strategic business review offers the opportunity to review progress with the primary contact at the client company, but it also provides insights that be easily used to inform other stakeholders in the company. “Your primary contact might be the Operations department, but providing data that can be shared with Finance, HR or senior leadership can help everyone understand the business case for working with us.”
Whether you’re looking for a recruiting partner, or looking to maximize your current staffing relationship, strategic business reviews can ensure you’re getting full ROI. Want to learn more? Contact Aerotek now.