* Staffing Company Clients are Messaging Record Breaking Dissatisfaction with their Staffing Providers

* Staffing Company Clients are Messaging Record Breaking Dissatisfaction with their Staffing Providers

by Jeanne Knutzen | November 10, 2015

0 HIRING. EMPLOYEE SELECTION, What's New in Staffing? Client Ratings Staffing Services, User Report Staffing Services, User Satisfaction Staffing Services

sad proI can’t believe I’m actually reporting this “not so great” information, but unfortunately it’s true.  In October, those of us who watch big picture trends related to the staffing industry got the bad news.  In an industry wide study of “user satisfaction”,  industry specialized  pollster, Inavero, revealed that buyers’ satisfaction with staffing firm services (overall) had not only fallen sharply from last year’s ratings, but in several categories had reached all time lows. Using their Net Promoter methodology, their 2015 survey revealed that more users of staffing services were dissatisfied with their staffing providers than were satisfied, creating a negative Net Promoter score.

(For our readers not familiar with the Net Promoter (NPS) methodology, the survey asks a simple question – how likely are you to recommend your staffing firm to another potential user.  High scores are considered promoters; low scores are classified as detractors; scores in between are considered neutral, but are used to calculate the average NPS (Net Promoter Score).  The highest NSP scores can get into the high 60’s, low 70’s for high brand companies like Apple, Southwest Airlines, etc., while the lowest NPS scores can easily dip into minus territory).

In 2015, the staffing industry’s overall NPS (net promoter score) reached a new low of MINUS 3% – a much reduced number compared to the PLUS 8% rating achieved in both 2014 and 2013.  Of special concern is that the people inside client companies who had day to-day contact with their staffing providers scored their providers lower than did the contacts at these clients who did not have day to day contact.  Apparently, the more day to day exposure a user of staffing services has with their staffing provider,  the higher their dissatisfaction with what their staffing supplier did (or did not do).

And here’s another Catch 22 – despite the overall decline in user satisfaction, Inavero reported that the stated need for and utilization of staffing services has never been higher, growing a full 4 points higher than in previous years.  So while there is an alarming decrease in user satisfaction with staffing industry services, they also used the services the industry has to offer more frequently than ever before.

What’s wrong with this picture?

I will be blogging on the Inavero survey over the next several weeks, sharing with readers what I think are the underlying factors that has created this disconnect between industry utilization and user satisfaction.  More importantly I will be commenting on what we all need to do to fix that.

Also remember as you read this report and subsequent editorials, that we are talking about industry wide trends, not findings that apply to any individual staffing company.  For staffing companies like PACE, for example, who consistently earns high NPS ratings (yes, even in 2015), there is an obvious opportunity to pick up new customers from amongst the newly disenchanted. The long term, bigger picture issue however, remains unchanged.  When customers become dissatisfied with what the entire industry has to offer, all industry participants are impacted.

Stay tuned for my editorial comments on how both the staffing industry and its customers can find a better way to meet each other’s goals.

The Inavero study is conducted online throughout the US, UK and Canada and includes over 3000 companies who are clients of staffing industry clients.  It is an annual survey, this year conducted between March 24 and April 19, 2015.


Jeanne KnutzenJeanne Knutzen is the owner, President, and founder of the PACE Staffing Network, an award winning staffing company doing business in the Greater Seattle job market for over 35 years.   For a complementary and confidential consult on how to get your company or department better prepared for a very changed recruiting marketplace in 2016, contact Jeanne at jeannek@pacestaffing.com.


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