How to Survive & Thrive During Difficult Times

How to Survive & Thrive During Difficult Times

2020 was a challenging year, but it did have a silver lining. As the pandemic swept around the world, many recruiting firms scrutinized their businesses and doubled down on strengthening their teams, processes, and capabilities. We saw renewed interest in training and interim staffing, as well as a desire to connect and share expertise and opportunities across the Network. 

As the world turned upside down, recruiters and firm leaders responded with innovative solutions and a determination to help clients and candidates succeed. How can you position yourself to thrive in any economy? Consider these battle-tested recommendations from talent access leaders around the globe.

Instill Change in Your Efforts & Firm

As companies shuttered worldwide, many recruiters and talent access firms saw their businesses change overnight. Some wondered how they could keep going. Others had more work coming in than they could manage. As business surged or stagnated, firm owners and managers all pondered the same question: where do we go from here?

2020 proved to be a time of deep reflection and planning for future success. For Melissa Owens, Founder and President of Allied Search Partners, business was booming. Focused on laboratory and scientific staffing, Owens saw incredible demand as a result of COVID testing. She and her team looked inward to see how they could place talent rapidly in a quarantined world.

“A crisis is typically a good time to overhaul processes and procedures, regroup, and refresh.” — Melissa Owens, Allied Search Partners 

During the pandemic, Owens found strength in her firm’s expertise and experience, as well as a database built up over a decade. She grew her team, and automated many of the steps in the contract staffing selection process. While working high-pressure placements, Owens took time to listen closely to clients and think critically about how her business could solve their needs. Her advice to firms contemplating a more efficient and profitable approach? “Ask questions and use MRINetwork to help you instill change within your own efforts and your firm.”

Find Ways to Say ‘Yes’ to Clients

For Nick Fassino, Managing Partner of Fassino Group, a willingness to say “yes” was a key factor in weathering the pandemic storm. In 2020, Fassino Group increased its revenue exponentially, adding a number of clients and setting pace to double their revenue. 

Fassino attributes the uptick in business to their unique process and consultative approach. Not only is the cybersecurity-focused talent access firm placing candidates, they’re also designing interview processes, writing interview questions, and helping clients to navigate today’s candidate-driven market.

“Ask questions, listen, and customize your offering to meet clients’ needs.” — Nick Fassino, Fassino Group

Fassino says stretching your offerings may feel uncomfortable at first, but ultimately it leads to better results which your clients will support. Fassino recommends being flexible in your service offerings, and following a path that your business provides to enhance value for clients.

Think Beyond the Next Search or Placement

Jon Semingson echoes Fassino’s views on widening your gaze to strengthen relationships. As Managing Partner of Peak Demand, Semingson helps solar and renewable energy companies to find and hire top talent in the industry. Semingson says it’s important to build good relationships with clients and candidates, even if that means taking time to do something that isn’t immediately contributing to the bottom line.

“Build relationships that aren’t just about the next search. Find ways to add value that may not necessarily result in revenue coming back to you.” — Jon Semingson, Peak Demand

During 2020, Semingson and his team concentrated their efforts on providing the highest level of service. Early on, they initiated conversations with leaders across the renewable energy landscape, gleaning insights on what was happening, how companies were adapting, and what challenges they could help solve. With a deep understanding of trends, technologies, and talent needs, Peak Demand delivered solutions that extended far beyond the next search or placement.

Offer Total Talent Access Solutions

The world of work is shifting rapidly, and recruiters who can respond to diverse needs are better able to compete. Many are dipping their toes into interim staffing. Others are building up their permanent staffing capabilities. With more to offer clients and candidates, full-service talent organizations are positioning themselves for success in any market.  

In 2020, Peak Demand continued to grow their expertise in engaged and retained work, building on existing contract capabilities. Allied Search Partners went about it a different way, leveraging a database of permanent placements to fill temporary opportunities and fulfill contract jobs.

Understand that You’re Not Alone

In difficult times, it can be easy to lose your footing or second-guess your approach. A strong peer and expert network can help you and your firm to navigate challenges successfully. Owens, Fassino, and Semingson all worked diligently to meet client and candidate needs. They expanded their service offerings to make a greater impact in their industries and markets.

“The support and conversations with others in the network is invaluable.” — Jon Semingson, Peak Demand

Fassino drew strength from fellow owners, who helped him to determine the best course of action in difficult situations. For Owens, MRINetwork’s back office support and contract/interim staffing division allowed her to offer flexible staffing arrangements including temp, temp-to-perm, and perm. Semingson tapped into MRINetwork training to help his team sharpen their skills during downtime. They’re better positioned to respond to challenges in the future because of it.

Find Opportunity in Crisis for Long-Term Success

In times of rapid change and uncertainty, your mindset, expertise, and willingness to improve can help you to respond to difficult events. As Winston Churchill said, never let a good crisis go to waste. As we emerge from the pandemic, we can take stock of lessons learned to better position ourselves for long-term success. Need help? Contact us to discuss how MRINetwork can help you to evolve and grow your business.