How to Get Clients for a Staffing Agency

Published on Oct 20, 2021

Updated on Jul 13, 2023

Written by Ethan Oldham

People Collaboration

If you’re in the staffing business, you’re constantly trying to figure out how to get clients for your staffing agency. But as you know, that process can be tough and time-consuming—there are a lot of factors to consider and many moving parts to juggle. To help you cut through the clutter and chart a path to success, here are 6 tips on how staffing agencies can find (and keep!) new, quality clients!

How to get clients for a staffing agency

  1. Define your target industries and occupations

  2. Use current clients to drive your hiring search

  3. Understand the market you’re staffing for

  4. Avoid low-quality opportunities

  5. Employ job postings data

  6. Build strong relationships with your clients and candidates

1. Define your target industries and occupations

Figure out exactly what kind of clients you’re looking for. Stay focused: rather than chasing after every potential opportunity that drifts by, drill down into one or two sectors of the labor market. With a clear mission, it’s more likely that one opportunity will lead to another!

To do this, you need to answer a few questions. First, which industries are you staffing? Healthcare? IT? Engineering? Start by delineating the larger space you’re currently occupying, or want to occupy.

Define your target industries and occupations

Once you’ve established your target industry (or industries), define which roles you want to fill within those industries. Equipment operators? Sales representatives? Software developers? Each industry has a wide range of positions that need filling—figure out which of them you have filled with success in the past, and which of them you hope to fill in the future!

Define which roles you want to fill within those industries

2. Use current clients to drive your hiring search

Once you’ve defined the type of opportunities you want to find, take a look at your current clients. How large are they? Where are they located? What industries are they in, and which roles do they need? These kinds of questions will help you home in on the type of client you’re looking for. After you’ve taken stock of the companies you’re currently staffing, make a list of the companies you’d like to turn into clients.

Use current clients to drive your hiring search

Keep in mind that quality new clients for staffing agencies grow from the soil of a strong network. This means doing things like establishing a good presence on social media, asking for referrals, and maintaining clear communication with every company and candidate you come into contact with. 

This also means fostering a strong relationship with your current clientele. Throughout the process of pursuing new clients, don’t lose sight of the clients you already have. How can you serve them even better? Have you exhausted the opportunities they present? Do they have any gaps you could fill? Be sure to continue to develop your existing clients. You don’t want to overlook opportunities that are right on your doorstep!

3. Understand the market you’re staffing for

Now that you know the kind of clients you’re looking for, you need to understand the kind of market you’re operating in. Staffing agencies should make sure they can reliably meet the needs of any clients they find.

Say you’re an account manager at a staffing agency in Charlotte, NC, and you’re wanting to find some new clients in the banking sphere, particularly clients looking for IT technician roles. It’s a simple question, but you have to ask: how many IT technicians are there in the region? Is there a plentiful supply of talent, or relatively sparse?

Staffing agencies should make sure they can reliably meet the needs of any clients they find

Similarly, what is the going wage for this talent? Are your prospective clients in a position to offer a competitive wage, or not?

What is the going wage for this talent?

Failure to know your market on the front end could mean wasting loads of time scraping the bottom of an empty barrel. It’s one thing to find clients—it’s another thing to find clients whose needs match your strengths and the market’s conditions. If you discover that there simply aren’t many IT technicians in the Charlotte area, or that the going wage is extremely high, you might consider broadening your search to include other regions and/or remote work options.

You wouldn’t go hunting when the game isn’t in season. Make sure the talent your prospective clients are looking for is readily available!

4. Avoid low-quality opportunities

It might be tempting to take on any and all opportunities that come your way. But a flawed req—a job posting that doesn’t align with the job market—is worse than no req at all. 

Remember: the key to getting new, quality clients for staffing agencies is a strong network. A strong network can only be built on the success that comes from strong opportunities. Better to say no at the outset than make promises you can’t deliver on.

Some job postings offer wages that are far below the market price. Some require skills that are in incredibly low supply. And others are simply a drop in an ocean of demand. All of these factors play a role in determining how difficult filling a req will be. If a req doesn’t align with your priorities as a staffing agency or with the dynamics at play in the job market, don’t be afraid to move on to a better opportunity!

Screenshot of the market difficulty for a registered nurse position

Alternatively, you can take advantage of the chance to dialogue with the prospective client using objective data. Work through the details of the flawed posting together to align it with the labor market. These kinds of efforts turn a good relationship into a great one.

5. Employ job postings data

It’s all well and good to talk about knowing your target industry and clients, and making sure you understand your market. But how practically do you go about achieving those goals?

Job postings provide you the information you need to do just that. Think of them as a window into the talent prospective clients are looking for. They tell you what companies need the roles you want to staff, as well as what skills they expect from those roles, and what they’re prepared to pay for them. 

They also tell you about the broader conditions of the market you’re working in. They’re your job market thermometer, providing insight into wage, supply, and demand for all the roles you want to staff.

Employ job postings data

With job postings, the key is currency. Job postings are constantly changing, and staffing agencies have to keep up with the latest trends. With recent and reliable job postings data, you can stay a step ahead of your competition, and enter every client conversation knowledgeable and confident.

6. Build strong relationships with your clients and candidates

Fundamentally, success for staffing agencies boils down to relationships. You want a good relationship with the clients you staff for, providing them with quality talent so they can accomplish their mission. You also want healthy relationships with the candidates you find opportunities for, providing them with quality employers so they can fulfill their potential. Fostering good relationships with the people and organizations you come into contact with ensures that those people and organizations will keep coming back.

And the thing about good working relationships is that one often leads to others! If you define your bullseye in the staffing space and consistently hit it time and time again, potential clients will notice. Even though you don’t control all elements of success in the staffing industry, you do control the most important one: doing your job well. 

Getting clients for your staffing agency

There’s a lot that goes into the incredibly important work that you do. We want to make sure that you’re enabled to get the best clients and serve those clients as effectively and efficiently as possible. With these tips, and the right tools, we believe you can do just that!

To get in touch with one of our experts about how to hit your staffing targets, fill out the form below!


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