In a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, First an Interview, Then a Letdown, Sabine Francois shares her recent experience working with a staffing agency. She writes:
“…I felt as though the jobs I was being considered for were not very much in alignment with what I told the coordinator I was interested in. It was almost as if I was just being considered for any position for which I vaguely fit the criteria.”
This is not the first time our matchmaking has been called into question. In 2005, the American Staffing Association reported a similar issue in their market research report (Staffing Success Magazine May–June 2005, Flexibility and Talent: Top Assets):
“While clients generally give the industry good marks, there is room for improvement. Even though three quarters say the industry does a good job of matching employees to jobs, poor matching was the most prominent complaint.”
I’m baffled. And at least a little scared. Matchmaking is the essence of what we do, yet, we are clearly not hitting it out the ballpark consistently when it comes to meeting the needs of clients and candidates.
To see how you are doing in your matchmaking, try this:
1. When screening candidates, repeat back, in your own words and in as much detail as possible, what that individual needs. Then ask, “is that correct” and “what did I miss?”
2. Repeat this same process with your customers as you take each order.
3. As you match these clients and candidates, get feedback from each. Ask, “how does this candidate/opportunity compare with what you told me you need?”
We are no better than our weakest link. And our matchmaking remains a persistent weakness in our delivery of service. As an industry, it’s time to improve this once and for all.