Marketing a Blended Desk – “The WHY and The HOW” – Chapter 1, Part 1

Marketing a

Blended Desk

“The Why & The How”

–A Two Chapter, Sixteen Part Series—

Chapter One, Part One


Bob Marshall

July 28, 2020

Today, in Chapter 1, Part 1 of my new series, Marketing a Blended Desk, as opposed to my regular ‘nuts and bolts’ presentations about how to be a top producing recruiter, I am going to change gears and give you my ‘take’ on WHY it is important for recruiters to add the contract staffing arrow to their quiver of services and offer a blended desk to their current list of clients.  This will fall under the heading of using everything at your disposal to be profitable…and, in this case, the expense involved is negligible!


What exactly is a Blended Desk?  The accepted definition is a desk that combines the three types of direct hire (the foundation of a recruitment desk) with contract staffing (the foundation of a contract staffing operation) with the added bonus of Contract to Direct Conversion.

Debbie’s article

Now, I believe that most of you realize that adding the Contract Staffing piece to your recruitment business can make you more money.  I believe most of you know that that point is indisputable.  And I also believe that others have covered that topic in many ways and much better than I could.  In fact, if you are interested in reading more about that topic, I would refer you to the many articles written by Top Echelon’s Debbie Fledderjohann,  She is now retired, but you should be able to access here articles online.  The one I want to share today was first published on October 22, 2015.  It is entitled, “7 Ways Contract Staffing Can Benefit Your Firm”.

“7 Ways Contract Staffing Can Benefit Your Firm”


Debbie Fledderjohann

In her article, Debbie covers 7 advantages that accrue to the recruitment firm that adds contract staffing to their recruitment business thereby creating the Blended Desk…

#1—Increase your profit.

There is a common misconception held by many direct-hire recruiters that there simply isn’t enough money in contracting to make it worth the effort.  In reality, contract staffing can be very lucrative.  For example, it is common for recruiters running a blended desk to have 10 active contractors working at any given time.  Let’s say you make an average of $12 per hour on each of those contractors.  That’s $120/hour.  Over the course of a year, those contractors would earn you $249,600.  And that doesn’t even include overtime.  Contractors get paid for every hour they work, and consequently, so does the recruiter who placed them.

#2—Enjoy steady cash flow.

It’s not just the amount that is impressive.  It’s also the fact that you earn that money consistently.  As a result, you can offset the peaks and valleys typical of direct-hire recruiting where your chances of making money pretty much stop when you leave your phone.  As mentioned above, contracting generates income for you each hour your contractors are working.  Most clients pay invoices on a weekly basis, so you are provided with a predictable, regular income.  This allows you the freedom and flexibility to actually take a day off work, or maybe even a full-fledged vacation . . . and you’ll still make money.

#3—Meet all of your clients’ needs.

Again, companies are increasingly adopting a blended workforce model that includes both direct hires AND contractors.  That means they have a consistent need for contractors.  If you cannot provide them, your clients have no choice but to go to other recruiters for that service.  Contract staffing allows you to satisfy ALL of your clients’ needs; setting you up as a “sole-source provider” so they will have no reason to go anywhere else.

#4—Improve your direct-hire business.

Another common misconception about contract staffing is that it takes away from direct-hire business, but the opposite is actually true.  Companies like the convenience of having one point of contact for all of their staffing needs.  So if you are a sole-source provider as described above, you may find that clients who initially come to you to fulfill their contracting needs may also give you their direct-hire business.

#5—Save deals with contract-to-direct.

In a contract-to-direct situation, the candidate works for a period of time as a contractor with the intention that they will eventually be converted to a direct hire.  This is a viable solution for some common problems that often kill direct-hire deals.  For instance, if you think you have the perfect candidate for a client, but the client isn’t sold, you can allow them to try the candidate on a contract-to-direct basis.  If the person proves to be the star candidate you believe them to be, the client can then extend a direct-hire offer.  If the candidate does not meet expectations, they can end the contract and try someone new.  Another situation is when a hiring freeze crops up while you are in the middle of a search.  You can offer a candidate on a contract-to-direct basis.  Contractors come out of a different budget than direct hires, so companies can use them during a hiring freeze and then convert them to a direct hire when the freeze lifts.

#6—Build new revenue with the same client base.

Statistics show that 80% of contract job orders come from a recruiter’s existing direct-hire clients.  That means you don’t need to do any additional marketing in order to drum up “contract clients.”  The business is there for the taking.  All you have to do is tell your clients you can place contractors.  You will likely be surprised by the positive response.

#7—Retire from recruiting with something to sell.

When the owner of a small direct-hire firm decides to retire, there usually isn’t much to sell except a client list and/or a candidate database.  However, if those direct-hire recruiters had added contract staffing to their business model, they’d have something to sell and they’d be able to retire comfortably.  The value of contracting is in the contractors themselves and the money that those contractors generate.

Next week:  Chapter One, Part Two – Words of Advice from the Master, Alan Schonberg

My Best,


Bob Marshall began his recruiting career in 1980 when he joined MR Reno, NV.  In 1986 he founded The Bob Marshall Group, International, training recruiters across the nation as well as in the United Kingdom, Malta and Cyprus.  As 2020 unfolds, Bob celebrates his 40th year in recruitment and continues to offer his proven training systems throughout the US and in selected international territories.  To learn more about his activities and descriptions of his products and services, contact him directly @ 770-898-5550;; or visit his website @

Bob Marshall


TBMG, International

247 Bryans Drive, Suite 100

McDonough, GA  30252-2513


520-842-5550 (fax)