Recruitment is not the industry it was 20 years ago. I know, because that is when I started in the industry full-time. Two week turnaround times on shortlists, 9-5.30/6pm hours, fax machines the norm, emails and mobile phones just starting to become effective mediums to carry out business. Now it is full throttle – contactable 18 hours a day, turnarounds of a couple of days and competition fierce.
No wonder it is harder and harder to find the time to build those relationships with your clients. You know – those relationships that are so strong you are always the “go-to” person for that new job and you might even have the luxury of messing up your search from time to time.
Take advantage of Christmas when it is supposed to be quieter. Actually in reality, we have found the last two years to be almost as busy in terms of the number of new requirements coming in and it is just the candidate flow that dries up. Which means it takes more time to fill a job as you have to extend your tentacles into areas of the market rarely visited!
So you don’t end up having much more time at all… But you may have 5% more time and that is all you need. Whether you send a Christmas card, meet for lunch or a coffee, you have an excuse to reach out and wish your client a happy Christmas. What’s more, they may not be so busy and be more receptive to a call from you.
The Christmas period is also a time for recruiters to plan ahead for the next year. How are you going to grow your desk and bill more? Perhaps you are going to do more marketing? If so, why don’t you start these projects now? Be ahead of the game. If you are a company of a reasonable size and have enough data to produce a salary survey for your clients, then write this now so that you can publish it first thing in the new year. A good marketing tool!
Think about your candidates too. Yes, at this time of year candidates are putting their job search on hold so they can enjoy the lead up to Christmas but drop them a line and check out their plans for next year. Again, this will help you start the New Year with a bang and you’ll be a step ahead of the market. Now is a great time to catch up on all those candidate care initiatives if you can. What can you do to help your candidates with their search and further build relationships in the process? Can you offer some training or help with CV writing? Collect feedback from you candidates (and clients too!). How have they found your service over the last 12 months and how are you rating against your competitors? How can you improve over the next year?
It takes a special consultant to be this proactive and introspective, but I promise you, it will set you apart from the competition. And it is a great marketing exercise too!
About the author: David Morel is the CEO/Founder of Tiger Recruitment, one of London’s leading secretarial/administrative recruitment agencies. David founded Tiger in 2001 and has written extensively in the press and wider media advising both Employers and Job seekers on best recruitment practice.