The rewards of owning and operating a staffing agency for executive placement are significant: the business is satisfying, multiple placements create the perfect fit and results, and the revenue is significant. Along with these rewards are the considerations, respect and C-suite relationships that must be considered. The individuals seeking placement are leaders; as such, they are reviewing positions with higher degrees of responsibility in fields of interest related to cutting-edge engineering, innovation or tech development. Such placements may be fraught with deep and wide negotiations and multiple offers to consider and reject before the final acceptance and start of a new position.
If you are starting a staffing agency for executive placement, you’ll want to assemble the steps and processes that will create success from the launch day forward. In the following paragraphs, we’ll make suggestions for the process and invite you to form a business plan that will complement your mission and objectives.
To start your staffing agency, secure the location that will invite executives to visit comfortably. Create an ambiance of purposeful taste and employ distinctive furnishings that appeal to style and comfort. Purchase office equipment and supplies and hire a virtual or in-person administrative staff member. Prepare the tools needed to fully develop the curriculum vitae information of each executive and interview resume writers and editors to polish the curriculum vitae files as needed. Start building a list of prospective clients to approach with candidate presentations and begin considering the engagement of both clients and job candidates.
At this juncture, form the business plan for your staffing agency. This detailed portfolio will describe how to start a staffing agency and successfully scale it to profitability. Within the plan, you’ll find segments to complete, including a financial plan and forecast, marketing strategies to set in place, your mission and objectives, data analysis of potential clients, job candidates and competitors in the region and an operational plan. After completing each step, one final portfolio is prepared. The plan can then be used to present funding needs to investors or lenders, if needed, and can be used as part of a pitch for purchasing property or other business growth and development plans.
As the staffing agency moves toward launch day, consider holding a series of small gatherings, such as a wine-and-cheese or appetizer party. The events can include both clients and candidates, offering opportunities for engagement. These often lead to interviews and hiring, so plan on as many small gatherings as possible.
Prepare the initial stages of marketing, with select messaging to candidates and additional specific messaging to clients going out via social media and the website. Include the unique aspects of the staffing agency that will resonate with both candidates and clients.
Ask each candidate to prepare a list of “preferred corporations” with whom they’d like to engage in discussions about C-suite opportunities. Ask for names of individuals within the businesses who might be open to conversations regarding placement for the candidates. With the responses, begin making contacts. In addition, add each list of corporations and all contact names offered by each candidate to a master list of businesses and fresh potential clients for your use.
Select from the upcoming 6-month calendar, national and regional trade shows, associations and other large industry-related trade events that clients should attend. The exposure will add credibility to the efforts of the candidates and renew relationships that may lead to new beginnings within other companies. Candidates will want to collect contact information of any parties indicating an interest in hiring them, forwarding each to your office for follow-up.
If executive candidates are interested in a global executive position, choose optimal locations and companies and allow the search to go into a global platform.
For launch, prepare a larger event, such as a beach-themed evening meal for families and invited clients. This type of event suggests that no formality is required, nor will business be discussed on a serious level; however, the events can certainly lead to those conversations.
Launch should include a press release to local and regional newspapers, an interview with local reporters, website announcements and social media posts. Launch should also highlight one or two stellar executive candidates and their background with exceptional images and high-quality descriptions. The effort could become a weekly or bi-monthly feature of candidates who enjoy the involvement of that kind of exposure.
After launch, begin moving toward building both the client base and the candidate base by offering to speak at various association or trade events, conventions, and civic gatherings. Build your reputation by sponsoring local sports teams and encouraging youth to move into university, followed by C-suite placements. All of these activities require involvement and monetary investment, however, the returns are invaluable in goodwill alone.
Drive candidate traffic by employing tactics on the staffing agency website to engage and create interaction. Use search engine optimization (SEO) to include keywords in the landing page of the website and build candidate rapport by posting articles related to job-finding. Create a Q & A page written by various executives who have extensive experience in a particular field of leadership. Each of these will draw in candidates who will fit within the parameters of the clients your staffing agency serves.
On the other side of the spectrum, drive interest and collaboration with the clients who frequently need to staff executive positions. Ask questions related to what skill sets or attributes your clients want and need in candidates and then work diligently to find and present those candidates. Work from the briefs presented by your clients rather than from your own briefs. They know exactly who they want; trust them to hire the candidates you source to place them where they best fit.
Entry Phase into Growth Phase
In the next year, establish your staffing agency as the best place for executives to land in secure C-suite positions and continue to regularly place candidates in positions that fit their capabilities and skills. Concentrate on building the agency into the best in the region, using unique offers, promotions and marketing, and diverse gatherings that introduce candidates and clients on a casual, informative basis.
After one year, move the staffing agency into the growth phase by scaling the business and adding another location. This doubles the potential for revenue and exposure to additional candidates and clients. The risk can be mitigated by additional funding, if needed. Update and make additions to the business plan, as it will continue to be the roadmap for the agency.
The creation of a staffing agency that serves C-suite executives can be challenging and risky; however, the return on the investment includes more than a substantial sum of cash. It also includes the enjoyment of seeing individuals content in their roles and performing at peak capabilities.