When you have excruciating tooth pain, you don’t go to a podiatrist, right? While highly trained experts, podiatrists can’t help your toothache. When we select the right specialist to help solve a problem, it’s much more likely we’ll be pleased with the outcome.

It’s the same in our industry — expertise matters; specialization increases the likelihood of a successful outcome.

Having an area of focus becomes a point of differentiation in how your firm communicates, markets, and approaches opportunities with clients. And it can affect your growth as well. Of the 112 firms on the Staffing Industry Analysts’ 2016 List of Fastest-Growing US Staffing Firms, 83% list one top staffing segment served.

While most segments ranked on the list are not surprising (IT, travel nursing, office/clerical), SIA has member firms within unexpected niches, such as marijuana, gambling, creative and aviation. Some firms choose to specialize more deeply and narrowly within a common category, such as focusing on just a few roles that support specific software platforms or client industries within IT.

Attract the talent. When working to place talent, expertise makes a difference in the quality of candidates you can attract and the speed in which you are able to access them. Your clients want experts focused on their openings to get better talent more quickly. Talented people are neither a commodity nor interchangeable, and neither are the firms that help find them.

When tasked with finding these great candidates, specialization sets you apart and allows you to focus on what you’re best at. Your entire firm may have a certain area of focus, or you may be on a specialized team concentrated on certain roles or industries within a larger firm. All staffing firms are made up of individuals, and each one has areas of expertise. Find and leverage those specialties within your team to enable your staff to understand the job requirements more deeply. Workers with specialized skills appreciate having a representative on your team who truly understands what is needed.

The client perspective. We live in a competitive talent market — and businesses need a partner that can help find and secure the best candidates before another company snaps them up. Because specialized recruiters can build those strong networks and personal relationships with the best talent, you can reassure your clients you’re able to meet their needs. Your staff knows the market, appropriate compensation, how to access quality new candidates and how many people are available with the requested skill set, all of which you can leverage to put your client ahead.

Next steps. To put your firm on the right path, here are some good action items: Find your specialty and be better than anyone else at it; be clear about and consistently communicate your firm’s area(s) of expertise; identify, develop and utilize the experts on your team; and share knowledge and resources about your area with your clients.

It’s not possible for any individual or company to be great at everything. From the outside, large staffing firms that serve many different segments may seem like they do “everything” and are not specialists. However, internally they likely are set up with areas of specialization and teams of experts for each segment. The company may serve many different segments, but individuals or teams focus on one area. And large firms have other types of specialties too, like the ability to find and hire a large number of people quickly and efficiently (like staffing a new manufacturing plant or distribution center). A boutique firm simply would not have the bandwidth to handle that type of project; it’s not their specialty.

While an individual or company may be an expert at something, no one is an expert on everything. Remember that saying “jack of all trades, master of none”? Be the master.