In a world of ever-changing trends, you know how essential it is to keep tabs on what prospects want. What do they value? How will you provide that? And most importantly, how do you even find out?

The answer? Staffing firm market research – your golden ticket to driving value for not only prospects, but your current customers as well. So, what do these look like? This blog dives into eight different types of market research that benefit your staffing firm.

Primary Vs Secondary
First off, there are two different types of staffing firm market research. Primary is research that you conduct yourself, whereas secondary is research that other people conduct that you have access to use. The staffing firm market research methods that are outlined throughout this post encompass both types of research to highlight the benefits of each.

staffing firm market research

Focus Groups
Focus groups are your best friend if you conduct them correctly. The main goal of a focus group is to get a group of people’s opinions on something. Participants are chosen based on demographic info (age, location, education, etc.) so that you gather a general basis of what that certain demographic values.

A focus group is conducted through a series of questions that you, the researcher, ask this group. The good thing about this type of staffing firm market research is that, although you will brainstorm questions, since this is an open-ended forum, the conversation may stray away from these questions and you may get answers that you never even thought about. In addition, people are more likely to say things they are less inclined to normally in this type of setting which may provide you with more honest data.

On the other hand, a con of focus groups is the participants may steer away from questions you really need answered. Additionally, you run the risk of gathering skewed data due to the nature of this research, as participants may be impacted by either the researcher or others in the group. When conducting this research, do everything possible to not share your biases. Words like, “Here is a great one to discuss…” or “I hope you like this idea…” are very easy to insert in conversation and yet will bias your results.

Overall, focus groups help you get a better understanding of what prospects or current clients are really looking for in potential candidates.

We’ve all taken a survey at some point, right? This type of research is reliant on the questions you ask – you need good questions to receive good answers. Researchers ask open or close-ended questions for surveys. For close-ended, these include:

  • Yes/no
  • Multiple choice
  • Checkbox
  • Rating scale
  • Grid options
  • Demographic

It is essential that you come up with questions that steer clear of any ambiguity – you want to make sure that there is no room for confusion for your participants. Some pros to this type of approach are that although it takes time to build the survey and come up with your questions, surveyors take it at their own leisure, thus saving time and travel for both you and them (if you choose an online method). Surveys may also be distributed in person, over the phone, or via email. Additionally, there are easy to use platforms like SurveyMonkey that save you more time and headaches!

Social Media Listening
What would staffing firm market research be without social media listening? This is a method that every staffing firm should be utilizing, as the data is right at your fingertips. Through this type of research, you are able to track brand mentions and see what users are saying about brands and the products and services they offer. So, not only see what prospects are saying about your clients, but about your company as well! This type of method allows you to gather unfiltered info, as social media is treated like a peer discussion, therefore handing you more honest data.

A potential con to this, however, is that you may not get exactly what you’re looking for in terms of answers to specific questions you may have. Although, this research still gives you an idea of what is valuable to prospects.

Competitive Analysis
Along with social media listening, you should always conduct a competitive analysis. Find out how you stack up against your competition! This type of research provides insight into how both you and your competitors are performing and where you are either doing well or may need to make some adjustments. Make sure you are comparing the same KPI’s to get a good sense on where you stand compared to these other companies.

Are you looking for more personalized info? Conduct interviews! This type of research is the most personalized, as you are speaking to a participant one on one. Interviews are extremely beneficial, as they are all open-ended questions, therefore allowing you to have a thorough discussion and get a better sense of how they really feel on a subject. Just like surveys, you want to ensure you are asking valuable questions that help you uncover what you really want to know. You also want to avoid any leading questions that may sway a participant’s answer.

Some cons include needing lots of time and funds for this type of research. However, the answers you receive to better know your prospects may outweigh these negatives.

If you have the opportunity to see your clients or prospects in action, take this fly-on-the-wall approach. In this type of research, the researcher observes subjects in a natural or controlled environment to see how people act. Do the employees look happy? What is their body language like? What is the work environment? These are all key things to observe to understand how satisfied employees are in their place of employment so that your firm matches the right people with the right company.

Public Domain Data
Here’s an easy one…use the internet! There are so many free resources out there that give you insight into staffing trends that helps you level up. See what other firms are doing – see what works, what doesn’t, and find the gaps on what people haven’t tried yet. This saves you time from having to do your own research, and money!

Buy Research
Lastly, if money is no object, buy research! Subscribe to relevant industry research reports that provide you with more in-depth data and analysis than free internet resources and stay up to date without having to lift a finger.

Staffing firm market research is invaluable to understanding your industry trends, and what prospects and clients truly value. Are you convinced, but need some help? Reach out to us and we’ll help get you off and running!


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About S.J.Hemley Marketing
S.J.Hemley Marketing is a marketing and sales consulting firm focused on driving tangible results for professional services firms. Brand matters, but not without ROI. With over 20 years of sales and marketing experience within staffing and recruiting, we have helped to drive successful branding, sales training, lead generation activities as well as defining marketing strategy for top organizations.