5 Tips from the Staffing Firm Survival Playbook: How to Confront Adversity and Triumph


At the beginning of this year,  no one could have predicted the impact of COVID-19 on businesses and families. Depending on the types of staffing you provide, you may be experiencing heavy losses, or you might be busier than ever filling orders for customers providing essential goods and services.

Either way, it is good practice to have a “playbook” to reference during any business disruption.  Below is a quick view of top survival tips from our full Staffing Firm Survival Playbook.  Follow the link above for additional information to help you focus on positive action steps you can take today.

tip #1: Be smart with your money

One of the smartest ways to deal with financial uncertainty is to control what you can. You can’t control the general economy, but you can determine how you deal with your money and cash flow. That means keeping an eye on costs, refinancing debt, revising your budget, and reworking payment terms with vendors.

Tip #2: Focus on Relationships

In tough times, the people you rely on make a huge difference in weathering the storm. The same principle applies to business – who are the people and the strategic partners who can help your business long term? The relationships you build with customers, suppliers or others staffing firms are crucially important, particularly during uncertain times.

Tip #3: Know the Current Market Factors

Certain industries are thriving while others are struggling, and it’s important to know where to play. Technology and consumer electronics are hot, as well as the food supply chain, transportation drivers, and anyone making PPE. Explore what opportunities are available to you and keep up with the shifts.

Tip #4: Learn the Government Programs Available

In response to the COVID-19 crisis, the Federal government has passed several stimulus packages meant to help. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act both contain provisions relevant to staffing and it’s important to know about them.

Tip #5: focus on your people

This may be the first time that some of your employees are working from home. Frequent communication is key during this time. When helping employees deal with change, it is important to restore some sense of normalcy. Be the voice of reason and source of comfort your employees need during this critical time, using a straightforward tone that conveys confidence and security. Calm is contagious.

Preparing your business for a major disruption comes down to advance planning, trust in yourself, your team, and your partners. While disaster and difficult times are a fact of life, it doesn’t mean your staffing firm cannot survive if you take the right steps and adapt when needed. 

Barb Hammerberg

About the Author
Barb Hammerberg, CCWP has held almost every job that exists in staffing firms, from recruiter to regional director at some of the largest staffing firms in the world. She brings decades of experience and industry knowledge to her role as the Director of Client Development at Advance Partners.