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How to Keep Your Staffing Company Growing Independent of Economic Cycles

Alright, ladies and gents, buckle up! Because today, I am ditching the ever-important touchy-feely side of myself to talk to you plainly about the staffing space and how to grow in it consistently.


The staffing space tends to follow the trends of economic times, wherein pre-recessionary behavior squelches the number of contracts, yet, somehow seems to accelerate direct hire. But I’m not here to talk to you about something you most likely already know. It’s old news. And those of us that lived within and survived the ongoing economic cycles that ebb and flow across all types of staffing solutions, we know what to do about these cycles both to shore up and grow out of the curve strategically vs. reactively.


What you do need to know is how to grow your staffing company - regardless of the economic cycles.


1. Have a Growth Mindset

This one seems a bit redundant but often staffing companies have a growth mindset during their high-activity months and a cut back mindset during their slow months. Always have a growth mindset. The slow months may still be growth months as long as you set achievable goals and change your mindset. There are no slow months. Only growth months.


2. Authentic Approach to Leadership

Having leadership that is open with each other and their employees will help you set realistic growth goals that will motivate your employees. The staffing space is a people-oriented space so communicating with each other is a strong suit! Talk to each other and listen! Employees may give you concrete examples of best practices from the ground and leadership teams may help improve everyone’s performance by replicating best practices and changing the ones that don’t work.


3. Explicit Dialogue with Clients

The communication doesn’t just stop at internal communication. Talk to your clients. They will be your best gauge as to where the market is heading.


4. Market Facing and Forward Plans of Attack

The best way to brainstorm and plan these attacks is through a strategic 3 horizon plan. Now, any of you that I have done leadership or team coaching for will know this method well. For those of you unfamiliar with this method, trust me and my 23 years in staffing, both running teams and companies, an advisor, and talent ecosystem futurist, this is the most effective method I have employed when crafting strategic growth models and plans of attack.

A Horizon Plan is a plan that looks out at this year, next year to 18 months, and 19-36 months out. Within each horizon, determine the biggest of the big rocks that define the horizon such as sustainability, client retention, moderate account growth, etc. Ensure that there are quantifiable measures and goals, with metrics and accountability built into the strategic plan which are EASY to explain and SIMPLE to track.


This is merely the start, however, this is how you and your leadership team may set your staffing company up for success by starting to effectively work together proactively vs. reactively.

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