Navigating a Recession: Marketing Strategies for Staffing Agencies

Marketing Strategies for Staffing Agencies
Table of Contents

We always wonder how the world changes. First, we were hit by climate change, then the COVID-19 pandemic, and a culmination of all this is a recession period. World Bank has cautioned that the world might go into a big recession in 2023.

What Does the Recession Signify?

In a recession, economic activity declines significantly worldwide. Employers start cutting down headcount and stop hiring. The period is characterized by considerable drops in investment, sinking business profits, and increased unemployment.

We faced similar situations decades back in 2007 in the staffing industry, but what worked then might not work today. What gives?! Now everything has turned digital, and we need to align our business plans according to the new electronic world and consumer perspective. Job seekers and employers alike have changed preferences and outlooks. Staffing agencies need to change how they react and fight the challenges with innovative ways of marketing. 

Marketing Strategies for Staffing Agencies in the Time of Recession

Lessons From the Past

The biggest recession we faced was the Great Recession which started in 2007. It resulted in a 4% loss in worldwide economic growth. It created 10% unemployment. According to studies, in 2008, around 8.7 million people lost their jobs within 18 months. The overall economy bore the brunt, and it took the world almost five years to recover from the aftermath. During the COVID-19 pandemic, unemployment peaked at 14%. Anticipating a similar impact, you need to gear up to face the challenges and get your enterprise to bounce back from this wreck.
Looking for pointers on how to keep your recruiting company afloat during the pandemic?

How Do We Tide Over This Economic Downturn?

You can actually turn this big recession into an advantageous opportunity if you care to invest in the right strategies. Change up your recruitment strategy first. 

Read on for the dos and don’ts you need to follow during a recession. The trick is to reinvent your business marketing strategies. 

Firstly, let us discuss what does NOT work. 

1. Cutting Prices

Slashing your rates all of a sudden will not help your case. You will get low-quality clients. It will also be challenging to return to your original remuneration once the phase passes.

2. Boosting Call Quotas

It is only a temporary fix. It will work for a while, but you will not be able to sustain the numbers. The staffing market has changed. It is time to shift gears.
Sell Strategic Services

3. Transaction Oriented

Selling this way will not work. You will need to come up with solid solutions that yield results. The change will help you survive.

4. Sticking to Old Strategies

Doing the same old things will only pull you down. You cannot expect a different result by doing the same things you used to pre-pandemic. It will only wipe your profit out.

5. Cutting Down Marketing Spends

It might initially seem wise. But soon, you will start seeing the impact on your business. Reduced visibility and promotions would affect bankable leads and sales.

Pro Tip: Aggressive, innovative Marketing is the way to get through the impending recession. Change the way you market during the pandemic.

With the recession looming over our heads, what are the best ways to plow through this situation?

There is no silver bullet marketing strategy or sales solution that can quickly pull you out of this low business period. The economy is in bad shape. The only way is to adapt to the change, think fast, and come up with newer solutions that work.

Let us help you out a bit there. We have collated a list of the best marketing plans that will work for your staffing agency to get you through the recession.

10 Amazing Marketing Strategies for Staffing Agencies in the Time of Recession

We are sure these marketing tips will help you build your business through the bad economy.

1. Niche Recruitment

You might be doing this already. Most service providers align with specific industries during their growth phase to provide specialized expertise. Now is the time to ramp up that game. Be a technical provider who supplies top-notch talent to specific industries. This way, you become the go-to choice for employers and candidates in that niche. You can charge more for your specialized services and pull more business from that industry segment. You will be the sole authority of recruitment in the sector. Always choose sectors with hard-to-fill jobs like healthcare, IT, logistics, or technical.

2. Sell Strategic Services

It is time to find better business solutions. With your customers facing the same business challenges as you, you need to shift to becoming a workforce efficiency consultancy that aids them in cutting costs and boosting revenue. Expand your core competency to include resumes and outplacements. You sell new solutions to reach these goals. You need to help them avoid capacity constraints, reduce labor costs, slash personnel expenses, enhance efficiency, and ramp up productivity.
Gain Online Visibility

3. Gain Online Visibility

Your company will not perform well if people do not know about it. If you have been thinking about deploying digital marketing strategies, now is the time. Increase your digital footprint. Promote yourselves online through an optimized website. If you do not have one, create one that gets you found faster in searches. Employ a digital marketing company to do the job effectively.

Create a firm foothold on popular social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Create advertising and marketing campaigns that get seen. Create content that drives employers to hire. Get all these done at a significantly lower cost than your regular marketing pathways.

4. Aggressive Marketing Tactics

Amp up your conventional marketing initiatives to get you to a broader yet targeted audience. Cold calling can only do so much. Aggressive marketing will give your firm more visibility. Cut through the noise of competition by applying innovative marketing techniques. You can use all the tools in the book. E-mail marketing that includes e-newsletters, e-cards, personalized pitches, and discounts is a great way to touch base with your existing and prospective clients.

Clever content marketing strategies, including blogs and video content, search engine optimization techniques, and PPC, are other online strategies you can try. Personalized telephone calls, sending physical newsletters, periodicals, notes, or cards, and visiting customers in person are great ways to get your message across.

5. Expand the Client Roster

If you have stuck with staffing one sector, say IT, slowly diversify to adjacent industries like electronics and eCommerce. Also, add more diverse client verticals, so you always have clients to serve. Invest in sectors that are likely to thrive in this period. Work with big brands. Small-scale companies might take a hit during the economic shutdown. If you work with more renowned brands, you are unlikely to lose options.

Also, a financially stable client will be able to pay you despite the recession. It is also best to work with clients with ideas that align with your company’s ideologies. Find clients with credibility and reputation. You can scout for newer clients with references from services rendered to your renowned clients.

Find ingenious ways to get your business noticed and growing during a recession

6. Recession-proof Your Company

Make your company impenetrable to the recession by changing the financial tracks. Open more Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, grants, credit lines, and more to make your agency impervious to economic downfall and to keep the employees happy. If you have to cut force, it spells doom for your business. But if you are hard-pressed to do it, be smart about who stays and who leaves. Get legal and accounting help wherever necessary to manage the process.

7. Refine Your Hiring Process

Update your hiring process. Pick qualified candidates with experience and knowledge about their field of work. Work towards filling multiple skill sets and improving job postings. Update your technology to make hiring fool-proof and time-efficient. Automating software can save tons of time spent sifting through the database searching for an ideal candidate. Streamlining data collection, background checks, and training procedures will make your patrons return for your faultless service.

8. Upgrade Budget and Payment Plans

The toughest time of a recession is the end of it when you are financially at your weakest, but you still need to start re-hiring. Make sure to have enough capital squirreled away for this growth period. Negotiate with your clients to update their payment plans to more cash than credits to insulate yourself for emergencies. Revisit your budget and business plan often to accommodate the changing reality of the economy.

9. Work on Customer Loyalty

It is imperative that your existing customers stay with you during the recession and remain happy. You need to build up their trust and keep delivering on your promises. While you are aggressively scouting for new firms or employees, remember to make the existing client pool feel special. Show them that you appreciate them by reaching out through emails, letters, or calls. Build an internal communications flow and cadence. Give them privileged offers and discounted rates to keep them coming back for their short and long-term staffing requirements.  

Concentrate on the Local Job Market

10. Concentrate on the Local Job Market

Most job seekers and employers prefer candidates from around their locality. It is owing to the market knowledge and familiarity they possess. The work culture remains the same if you pick from the exact location you are based in. It is the right time to invest in some local marketing techniques. Reach out to clients from around your area to expand profits. Use tactics like cold calls, in-person visits, physical letters, postcards, greeting cards, personal notes, and personal cards to help break the ice and put your foot through the door.

When your local community sees the strategic uses of staffing through your rigorous content marketing and PR efforts, more people become aware of your firm. It will position you as an authority more powerful than other staffing firms in the area and creates new possibilities for you to sell staffing opportunities.

Tips to Bring More Business and Revenue

As a digital marketing agency, Rainmaker.UNO can help you with many of the above marketing tactics that are executed online. These are some of the pro tips that we recommend for your website to bring in more business. 

  • Create an alluring website
  • Accomplish comprehensive competitor analysis
  • Keyword research and analysis
  • Optimize existing website for the keyword
  • Improve site’s Google ranking
  • Rank #1 or on the first page of Google SERPs
  • Create authoritative content that increases E-A-T score
  • Publish informational blogs, newsletters, articles to attract traffic
  • Measure performance metrics to understand standing
  • Maintain top ranking position
Get your website ranking first in the recruitment sector to boost revenue

Why Hire Rainmaker.UNO for your Staffing Services Marketing Strategies?

In a world of generic digital marketers, we tend to stand out. Our techniques are unique, research thorough, and outcomes guaranteed. Ask us why?! We do not resort to shortcuts. Our roadmap is authentic and fool-proof. Plus, if something fails, we always have a plan B up our sleeves. 

The cherry on the cake is we take a really short time to deliver results. And you need to pay only when you start seeing results. Our performance-based business model has helped us uphold the trust of our clients. We make you visible to your possible client base and market your KPIs for maximum visibility.

Hire Rainmaker.UNO for your Staffing Services Marketing Strategies

The Biggest Takeaways

If an enterprise needs to tide over the recession, it must follow these rules to the T. 

  • Prudent Planning
  • Faultless Execution
  • Aggressive Marketing
  • Strategic Selling


Recession is a tough time for the job market, we agree. And those in the staffing services take the worst hit. But there is always a way around dips. The key is finding the right digital marketing services to help you plan the best marketing prototype for your business. 

We firmly believe the above strategies can help you pull through any tough time in your business. Please give us a shout-out if you need any support concerning creating faultless marketing plans for your business – big, medium, or small.

Marketing Strategies for Staffing Agencies in the Time of Recession – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Yes, we work with hundreds of staffing firms throughout the U.S., both big and small enterprises. Working with them has given us a perspective on what is – and is not – working in selling staffing services. The idea is to create strategies based on each firm’s requirements. There is no one-size-fits-all solution to get over a rough economy.

An economic slowdown spells doom for any recruiting company. It is a notoriously tricky period where job openings dry up, and employers often stop outsourcing the hiring process. There is a huge demand for jobs in the market due to massive layoffs by big companies. Staffing agencies often struggle to maintain the supply and demand balance during this time.

Not necessarily. It depends on the industry. Companies that provide essential services tend to hire more during a financial slump to counter the consequences. Healthcare companies tend to need more workforce during low tides. So do government sectors, IT, technology, and education industries. These verticals are generally considered ‘recession-proof.’

It is true. Capitalize on your strong points and reinvent your goals. You will thrive through the recession. When underperforming companies shut shop, capital will be released to the thriving market. Keep yourself afloat using innovative technology and a refreshed recruitment process that keeps your clients happy. You will effortlessly get through the recession.

Aggressive marketing focused on specific parameters works during an economic dip. Combine sales and operations strategies to set a new plan of action that counter the effects. Measure the metrics periodically. Changing your services to consulting and marketing experts is another way to help your clients when they are not actively hiring.

Niche recruitment makes you the go-to source and most-trusted recruiter in the segment for expert candidates. You can build a loyal customer base that will come back to you for more recruitment needs once they see what you deliver. It will help you attract more clients and bring in more revenue quickly. It is easier to concentrate on one business segment to grow your business.

During a recession, focus on efficiency and productivity to keep expenses under control. Let go of constant underperformers to give your clients the best in class services. Automate menial chores so existing employees can concentrate on business development. Be fair before making big decisions, provide improvement opportunities, and offer support and guidance.

The decision to lay off employees is tricky; keep in mind the long-term goals before you decide. Instead, realign your workforce to function efficiently. Proper communication with employees helps streamline processes and build employee trust. Optimize performance and hire smart during the recession. Above all, show respect and gratitude through motivation.

Local job postings could be a great source of business during the recession. The trust factor and market knowledge will work in your favor—rope in more local recruitments through strategic marketing and PR efforts. If you are into recruiting for difficult positions, you will always remain a cult favorite among recruiting companies.

Good employees are the backbone of any organization. Your recruiters need to stand apart in a sea of hiring agencies. Train them in advance, so they are better educated than their counterparts about the jobs at hand. Create an agile, informed, and adaptive recruitment workforce that can withstand the pressures of an economic downturn and still persevere.

Recession-proofing your firm involves reducing expenses to some extent. It will especially help small to medium outfits to tide over the season. One of the most popular tactics is to allow remote working to reduce the maintenance cost of office space. Automating the recruitment process through upgraded software saves you a lot of time and money. 

Technology is what keeps every business going in today’s world. Everything runs on software and the cloud. You can present customers with a personalized experience with advanced technology. Automation of processes increases efficiency and decreases the chances of manual error. Pick all-in-one recruitment software to give top-notch services.

The key point is to make the employee feel heard. There is tough competition in the market, and making them feel special wins their trust. People tend to stick to current jobs for safety, and it becomes hard to find talent. It becomes harder to get them to retain positions. They would stay on if they felt valued and their concerns addressed.

There are two reasons why you should be fast during a recession. Openings get created and filled in the blink of an eye. You hesitate a second, and you lose the window. Also, quick action helps with business development and soaring market presence much before your competitors think of the same ideas.

It is always best to go with clients that are stable financially and can pay immediately, especially in cash. This way, you can ensure free fund flow. Find big names to work with. The reputation will bring in more clients for you. Find companies with ethics and values so that you are doing meaningful work by assisting them.