I wanted to offer some advice to you all in what is usually a hectic, stressful, waist-fattening time of year for us all.

However, for recruiters, it can be a poisoned chalice, can’t it? The sound of Christmas songs in the shops and flashy lights on the high street can mean a slow down in activity as candidates and clients alike start to focus their attention on mince pies, cocktail parties and time off with their families. When should a recruiter switch off “selling mode” and instead embrace the festive season?

Well, I don’t think we do stop – we just change why and how we are doing it. I am not suggesting that you sit up on Christmas eve on LinkedIn posting jobs nor turning up on Boxing Day to the office.

It’s a great time to speak!

This is a great time of year to speak to individuals you haven’t updated with for a while – book in a January visit as a minimum to review a client’s hiring needs, offer to take a client out to a Christmas or a January lunch as a thank you for all their time spent with you this year. Think about adding that little bit extra value to your clients? A bottle of single malt whiskey, fine chocolates or a selection of ales is perfect if you know that’s more their thing – it’s a small price but a huge gesture to your top clients, plus it makes you feel nice too! Make a list for first calls of the new year for those people who you haven’t managed to speak to before the holiday. Your goal is to have the first fortnight of the year booked up – if you do that likelihood is you are ahead of your competition.

Don’t just speak to your clients – speak to your boss! If you want to move up the career ladder – make it known! If you feel ready to take the next step, take on a more challenging or strategic role – you need to know what you need to do to be able to achieve that, and your boss needs to know your appetite for progression. Vocalise your enthusiasm and interest to your boss – diarise time to plan your next career development steps because if your boss isn’t on board you may need to rethink your employment and find an alternative route to your goals! It is better to know that going into the new year rather than at the end of it!

Think ahead and get organised

Take this time to think about what you want to change on Jan 2nd (or whenever you start back in the New Year) – plan it NOW so that you can literally start running on that first day back.  There definitely comes a time when things do grind to a halt – the time between Christmas and New Year if you’re working is likely to be s l o w at best. Use this time for a bit of good housekeeping: sort your desk out – there is room for improvement on everyone’s desk. Update your phone or contact lists with the contact details and the business cards you have collected. Get rid of any piles of filing or notes you have lying around – write them up and organise them. Empty your inbox, go through your emails and flag those which need actioning or marking any email that requires urgent attention. Allocate a day or time to have a “one touch policy” – if you touch it you deal with it – no buts, no leaving it until later, no excuses!  Start the year with an organised work space and it is more likely to be an organised month and year ahead.

Make the ground work count NOW. Make sure that December isn’t a wasted month but actually the most productive month of your year leaving you refreshed, motivated and with a clear direction in January 2013.

Wishing all of you a happy festive season from me, Lysha Holmes – definitely still in recruitment mode…well until mid December anyway before the school nativities kick in!

About Lysha Holmes

Lysha Holmes is founding director of Qui Recruitment established in 2005 to completely challenge the traditionally poorly perceived service offered by other Rec 2 Rec providers. Lysha as Qui Recruitment is dedicated to representing the best talent to the best suited roles, focussing on placing recruiters of all levels in a candidate led service across the NW.

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