The Experts: Justin Thomason on Turning Vendor Relationships into Strategic Partnerships

Justin Thomason

Vice President of Recruiting, MATRIX Resources

Justin Thomason serves as Vice President of Recruiting at MATRIX where he leads 65+ recruiters across 13 offices. He was recently named as one of the Staffing Industry’s “Top 40 Leaders under 40” by Staffing Industry Analysts and is a previous finalist for the Monster Innovation Award. His expertise includes hiring, training, and leading world-class recruiting organizations. With a focus on innovative delivery strategies, Justin’s recruiting teams specialize in bringing an agile perspective to all things recruiting.

Welcome to our video series, The Experts. In the series, we interview staffing and recruitment leaders to hear their perspectives on industry trends, lessons they’ve learned in the careers, and their leadership philosophies.

In this clip, Justin Thomason, Vice President of Recruiting at MATRIX Resources, discusses why his firm is focused on building authentic relationships with their customers.

How does MATRIX stay competitive?

Justin Thomason: We really focus on adding value to our customers. We have to be obsessed with the customer and really know what we can do to come alongside them and add value, whether that’s through helping them find just one person or five people, or if it’s a project. It’s really being obsessed with our customers, trying to add value, and constantly learn more about them and what we can do to help them.

How is MATRIX engaging with top IT talent?

Justin Thomason: We’re not just focused on the customer side, my focus really is on the candidate side in what I do every day. Ultimately, the customers pay our bills so we focus there, but we really try to focus on relationships. Some of the big challenges within our business are that it just continues to become more commoditized and it’s not as sexy as it may have once been, so we really focus on relationships with our candidates.

Doing what we say we’re going to do; always following up; communicating effectively. Just a lot of little things that go into building long-term relationships that we feel that kind of a lot of our competitors say they do, but don’t really do. We really try to focus on building those relationships with our candidates. There’s nothing sort of cutting edge of new ways to finding people. Obviously, we use all the different tools and technologies that are always coming out, but we try to really parlay that with strong relationships and that’s been a key to our success.

What is the biggest challenge facing the staffing industry now?

Justin Thomason: To me, it’s just the continued commoditization and the growing proliferation of vendor management systems (VMS). It’s just so much harder to make money in our business now than it was in years past. It gets back to how are we adding value to our customers, and what are we doing to make sure that we really are a great partner to them and not just seen as a vendor? For me, that is the biggest challenge.

How do we fix it?

Justin Thomason: I think the best way to solve it is just to continue to add value. Be obsessed with your customer. Really know them, what their strategy is, what their plans are, and then how you can come alongside them and really be seen as a partner–not just another vendor that they have on their list.

building partnershipsClick on the image to tweet it.

What do 2,000+ recruitment professionals say are the top priorities, challenges, and trends that matter to them in 2019? Find out at the brand new site for global recruitment insights and data.

staffing industry insights