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Should You Specialize Your Staffing Company?

The staffing industry has become extremely competitive and staffing company owners are looking for ways that they can stay ahead of the competition. Automation in the workplace has already caused a panic among employment candidates, as everyone fears that their jobs will be replaced by machines. But staffing companies found ways to show people how to build a career and use technology as their friend. It may be time for each personnel organization to evaluate their business model and start thinking about innovations within their industry that are akin to the massive changes that technology has caused in the employment world.

These monumental changes would have to do with the way the employment companies look at and service their clients. The staffing industry used to be a "one size, fits all" kind of place where most companies generalized their offerings. Occasionally, a factory production personnel organization may have decided to focus more on its production offerings, but that was relatively rare. The pace of technology innovation has sparked a rapid pace of change in a variety of industries. It may be time for your staffing company to put aside its approach of trying to be all things to all people and start thinking about carving out a niche as a specialized organization.

What Is Specialization In The Staffing Industry?

Since 1990, the world population has grown by approximately 1.3 billion people. The days of being a generalist in any sense of the word are slowly starting to disappear. A good example of the decline of generalists is the medical profession. These days, more medical graduates than ever are starting to take on specialized fields of study as opposed to being the neighborhood family doctor. Because there are more people to service, the need to focus on specific kinds of tasks grows and grows. Instead of just being a doctor, medical professionals now refer to themselves as a gastrointestinal specialist, or some other focused part of the medical field.

In the staffing world, a personnel company used to be able to supply clients with assembly workers and computer technicians. But over the years, computer technicians have become broken down into programmers that are designated by the languages they specialize in. Now, instead of just offering computer services to clients, staffing companies need to be able to supply specialists who focus on database programming or Internet website development. In some cases, staffing companies have decided to just focus on the computer programming industry and have developed extensive databases of programmers in a wide variety of languages. The deeper a staffing company digs into a particular industry, the more focused needs it will find for its clients. Specializing means being able to focus on those very narrow needs and provide the best talent available.

Talk To Your Clients About Specialization

Whenever a company considers making drastic tactical moves to the way it does business, it needs to gauge the feelings of its client base first. Whenever a staffing company decides to move from being a generalized personnel supplier to being a specialty organization, that staffing company will lose a portion of its existing client base. The question to ask is what kinds of immediate gains will the staffing organization realize from its remaining clientele if it decides to specialize? For one thing, there may be greater revenue attached to working as a specialized personnel company and that can make up for the lost customer base.

If you are a staffing firm that is considering specializing in the medical profession, then talk to your customers about their expectations from a medical staffing company. You may find that dealing strictly in surgeons to be extremely lucrative and in demand, which would dictate the changes that your organization would make. It could be that nursing is the direction that your staffing agency wants to take because that is the most critical need your customers have indicated. When you follow the needs of your current client base, it becomes much easier to make the transition from a generalized company to a specialist organization.

Do Market Research On Your Own

According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, one in every five jobs created in 2012 was in the medical field. That is the kind of information your company needs when you are trying to decide whether or not to specialize. If your company dabbles in nurse staffing along with several other industries, then the significant upward trend in nursing needs over the coming years would justify a change to becoming a specialized staffing agency. This is especially true if you also work in the factory personnel industry and those jobs are on a downward trend.

The future of your company can depend on whether or not you decide to become specialized. But you need to back up that decision with strong statistics and an understanding of the trends in various industries. Professions such as Internet developer, IT support professional and registered nurse have upward trends that are hard to ignore. If you want to give your company a chance to generate significant revenue in the future, then you need to have a product offering that is in line with the trends around the business world. Staffing companies with a focus on specialized industries could be the wave of the future that your company needs to be a part of.

Specialization Requires Significant Changes

If you can establish that specializing in one type of industry is financially beneficial to your staffing company, then the next step is to understand the changes your company needs to make in order to complete the transition. It is not as easy to go from a generalized staffing business model to a specialized one as you may think. The fact that your personnel company already does some work in the technology field may help you to transition to becoming a computer programming specialist, but it does not necessarily mean that you are ready to make the leap.

Before you can make the transition, you need to spend time becoming intimately acquainted with the industry where you will specialize. Setting up IT support professionals for a large corporation is significantly different than supplying database analysts for a large project. Your job is to determine exactly why it is different and what kinds of steps you will need to take to understand your customers' needs. Once again, this is where it becomes extremely valuable to spend time talking with your current customer base and spending time understanding the challenges they face. In order to help overcome those challenges, you need to know as much about the industry as your clients do, and that takes time.

Should My Staffing Company Specialize?

If your staffing company works in certain types of industries, then specialization is on its way. For example, the medical technology field is becoming highly specialized because of the rapid innovations in technology. Research and development is another field that is starting to become focused on what kinds of people it hires to perform tasks in the lab and in the field. Industries that you would not expect to be specialized, such as sales and marketing, are starting to put their employees in categories and hiring based on very focused professional careers.

The best way to determine if specialization is the right move for your company is to take a look at the needs of your clients. If you are seeing less inquiries from certain segments of your customer base, then that could be because those clients are shopping for personnel with specialized organizations. The rise in salaries in many of the fields tied to technology has made it possible for staffing companies to transition to a more focused approach and generate even more revenue. In the end, it could simply be a matter of doing what you have to do in order to survive. If the trend in your industries is towards more specialized personnel needs, then your company will need to follow suit just to survive.

Can My Company Specialize In More Than One Industry?

The great thing about the staffing industry is that customers are only interested in results. That means that you can have as many divisions as you want within your organization, so long as you are providing your clients with the quality personnel they need to perform their important tasks. You may decide to become a technology personnel provider and then segment your company into several divisions with each division focusing on one part of the industry. If you decide to do that, just remember that you are competing against companies that focus solely on one part of the technology world. If you are spreading your resources too thin, then you will either need to add more resources or start focusing more on a specific industry.

Change can be intimidating, but it can also be necessary. In the staffing world, there is a trend towards companies that focus strictly on the needs of one particular industry. Clients looking for personnel in those particular industries are becoming accustomed to working with more savvy and knowledgeable staffing companies. If your goal is to move your staffing organization into the future with a stable base of reliable clients, then it may be time to start putting some serious thought into specializing in an industry and becoming known as a top supplier of key personnel in that field.