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Staffing firms’ perceptions and clients’ satisfaction differ greatly, report finds

December 08, 2016

Major disparities exist between staffing firms’ perception of the service they provide and what clients say about the service they receive based on factors such as service delivery, proactivity and communication, according to research released today by staffing software provider Bullhorn in collaboration with CareerBuilder.

“Alarmingly, many of today’s staffing firms are disconnected from client expectations and perceptions,” stated Perception vs. Reality: How Staffing Firm Service Compares to Client Expectations, the ebook presenting the research. “And it seems the supplier-buyer relationship is misaligned on several fronts: service satisfaction, proactivity and communication.”

The report found:

  • Skewed perception vs. reality. When asked to rate the level of service staffing firms provided to their clients, staffing firm respondents gave their firms an average score of 8.81 out of 10; however, when asked to rate their satisfaction with the staffing services they used, buyers gave their staffing providers an average satisfaction score of 5.98 out of 10.
  • Unhappy clients with unsatisfactory hires. Thirty-nine percent rated average performance of the hires their staffing supplier provided as an average of 5 out of 10.
  • Proactivity missed the mark. Staffing buyers rated their staffing firms’ anticipation of client needs an average of 4.98 out of 10, while staffing firms ranked their own anticipation of client needs an average of 8.14 out of 10.
  • Lack of timely communication. Less than half of clients, 47%, said their staffing firms contacted them weekly or more frequently. About one in four, 24%, of clients said contact occurred once per quarter or less.

When asked what their staffing service providers could do to better meet their needs, 63% of clients said firms could “increase the quality of recruited candidates.” Other choices, like “provide a higher number of applicants” (at 27%) and “respond more quickly” (at 9%) were also reiterated, but high-quality placements was seemingly more important to buyers than volume or efficiency.

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Gallagher and Consultants

Terri Gallagher12/10/2016 12:26 pm

The Staffing Sector has always and will always continue to thrive; albeit with some pivoting needed. Changes are needed now in the "New Normal" of the workforce landscape. Clients are asking for more advanced workforce solutions, and multiple options for their talent supply chain. Those Staffing Firms that get that and embrace technology and evolve their service offerings will dominate the market. Talent is the lifeblood of every organization, that will never change. Listening to your customer is paramount. "The Best Business Strategy is a Happy Customer."~Michael LeBoeuf


Allegiance Staffing

Tom Landry12/09/2016 08:38 am

Again proof the industry doesn't have a clue. why didn't SIA do this survey? why don't they do the MSP and VMS survey like they used to? Affraid of the results. We better wake up or our customers will find an alternative, like gig staffing.
We have to stop the ridiculous practice of markup and start charging what it cost to deliver good service.


the action group-human resources solutions

Tav Gauss12/08/2016 02:51 pm

these surveys have said the same thing since I began my business 35 years ago.We think we are busting our butts and they bitch and gripe because we aren't perfect.

Maybe questions should be worded a bit differently for the clients


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