Thursday, November 11, 2010

Cheerios

Throughout my Staffing career, I’ve tried to always keep the “shelves” of my store stocked with product.  In my case, my product is people, seeking consulting work.  That means I want to always be recruiting ahead of the need, when I know we’ll be needing a certain skill at some point.  For example, we get a lot of requests for .Net and Java developers.  So I like to meet .Net and Java folks as often as I can, even if we don’t have an immediate requirement; I know one is around the corner.

I often explain this concept to people as having Cheerios on the shelf.  If you go into the supermarket and you want a basic commodity like Cheerios, you don’t want to stand in line at the Service desk, fill out a form, and be told, “come back in 2-3 weeks and maybe we’ll have something for you.”  But this is often the case in Staffing.  If you have the patience to wait 2-3 weeks, what you end up with may not even be Cheerios.  It may be Corn Flakes.  And the Sales Person will say, “What’s the difference, they’re both cereals and they’ll both fill your belly.”  Well, I wanted Cheerios, Sir.

In my Staffing store, we want our customers to be able to come in for a box of Cheerios and be able to pull one right off the shelf.  If they want, they can even find Honey Nut Cheerios or some other variety, all without a wait.  Or, in real life, they can call us up and ask for a .Net developer and we’ll probably have one.  They can even specify VB or C#, database flavors, persistence layers, etc.  THAT’S service, and that’s what we strive for.

Granted, we can’t pre-recruit for everything.  You want Count Chocula?  We’re going to have to order that one.  Or, in a real example, it wouldn’t make sense for us to interview Informatica PowerCenter analysts every day because we get about one of those requests per year.  But Flex, Dojo, and Objective C?  Booyah!  We get those every day, and we want to meet those folks.

- David Marceau, VP Sales, Ridgefield One

1 comment:

  1. & what about the boxes of Cheerios that are going out of date, if they're sitting waiting on your shelves? Do they get an incentive for sticking around?

    ReplyDelete