Middle office. Back office. Names that conjure images of filing cabinets, formica desks and date stamps, right?
Probably not, particularly if you are growing a temp business or running a successful one. The back office of staffing agencies today are transforming to secure the ongoing viability of their entire business. Delivering efficiencies through automation, managing compliance, and maintaining a weekly view on profitability are each critical success factors for any agency with a temporary workforce. Of course, an effective and integrated business system such as Jobscience can help deliver this.
However this does not address one of the real challenges facing all staffing agencies: how to differentiate?
I firmly believe that the middle and back office can go far further than efficiency gains. Astute business leaders can drive engagement, repeat business, and new opportunities amongst all stakeholders – be they clients, suppliers or internal. But how?
Engagement with internal stakeholders
Employee collaboration is absolutely key to the ongoing success of any organisation. It’s about more than business processes: it’s about insight and intelligence, combined with the ability to share this in a timely manner.
Teams working in the back office functions frequently gather a level of insight into clients which they can effectively share with the front office teams to help them uncover new opportunities, profitable clients and prevent repeat problems.
Those operational gurus are also a de facto gatekeeper of information – having access to a wider array of insight than many other business units. There is potential create business intelligence to deliver effective forecasting and real-time insight intelligence, critical for strategy. Does your team currently have the time to do this?
Engagement with clients
I know that I can be assured of fan mail from at least five companies every month. My phone provider, my bank manager, gas and power providers, internet, and other facilities.
Each of these interactions with these providers is an opportunity for them to engage with me. To make me more likely to buy their products or services – and to build their relationship with me.
None of these relationships tend to improve though: they’re selling ubiquitous products and they don’t get the opportunity to interact or position value when I am ready to consume it.
In the staffing industry where exists a business-to-business interaction, there is far more value that agencies can deliver to clients during such interactions. Branding is a big part of this, marketing another. But how do you execute this?
Engagement with talent
Like it or not, temps or contractors currently working with your organisation may not receive the same care and attention they feel they deserve. You can bet your competitors are ringing them regularly with other job offers. Here’s where the operations, payroll or finance team can help: they are the most frequent touchpoint with your company, and therein lies wonderful opportunity to engage and satisfy. If your front office team are busy drumming up new business, who’s looking after your current pool of working talent?
Clearly, many opportunities exist to improve your productivity and differentiate your business. If you recently attended the 2015 Greg Savage speaking tour, ‘The Golden Age of Recruitment’, you’ll have seen multiple tactics and strategies by which you may achieve these gains.
But how do you get these in the hands of your team members who are more attuned to payroll processing and reconciling timesheets with invoices?
We do have the answers. Over the next three months I’ll be sharing some practical examples of how to engage with each of these three groups, to build better relationships, and to turn the back office into a revenue generator.