Talent Acquisition

How to Ensure Your Vacation Does Not Cost You Placements

Productivity in recruitment is totally linked to activity.

Don’t fool yourself into thinking anything else.

Yes, the quality of that activity is key, and whom you actually do that activity with is important too. But if you don’t do enough ‘stuff’, you will fail.

Take that as gospel.

So, it is to maintain a pipeline of the key activities that drives success. Any fall-off in that pipeline, and a rapid decline in your placements and therefore revenue is as predictable as night following day.

The activities that need to fill up your ‘pipeline’ could include a wide variety of things, but typically you need to meet quality talent and meet face to face with clients. Those are the metrics that drive the ultimate match. Think about it in the simplest way for a moment. If you are running a perm desk you only earn money:

  • If people get hired
  • And people only get hired if people get interviewed – by the client
  • And Client/Candidate Interviews only happen if qualified job orders are secured
  • And qualified job orders typically result from face to face meetings
  • In addition, people get hired only if they accept job offers
  • And job offers come to quality, qualified talent
  • And of course, qualified talent are typically the result of a thorough interview with the recruiter.

So if you believe the bullet points above, you must maintain a pipeline of consistent activity or the desired end result (placements, fees, and therefore fun and money) will not eventuate.


What happens when you go on leave for 2 weeks? Does the pipeline abruptly dry up?  Typically, what happens is this: the recruiter pushes hard to get as much closed before she goes on leave (or she winds down, having started her leave mentally before it has begun physically).

When she comes back the pipeline is as dry as a camel’s crotch.

Demoralised, she shuffles paper for a while and clicks through her database, until eventually the penny drops and she starts to make sales calls and recruit talent.

It takes 2 weeks to start to crank up momentum.

It takes 4 weeks before the pipeline is flowing.

It takes 8 weeks before the first placement, post-holiday, is made.

A two week vacation has ruined an entire quarter

But it does not have to be so!

Here is a simple strategy to keep that pipeline healthy – even if you do go away:

10 days out from your holiday starting, you set yourself a few simple goals.

“Before I leave on holiday I will have arranged…”

  • 10 sales visits for the first 10 days after I get back
  • 10 talent interviews for the first 10 days after I get back

That’s it. And you make it happen.

Actually it’s a lot easier calling clients and prospects and arranging a meeting for 3 weeks time. It can be done quite quickly.

Same with talent.

Be honest:

I will be away for a couple of weeks. But as soon as I get back let’s get your situation moving. I will see you in two weeks time. How about 10 am on Tuesday the 12th?

Sure, some meetings will be cancelled. But here is the point:

Instead of getting back to a dead desk and weeks of grinding the activity wheel and maybe months before the $ flow, you hit the ground running.

You get back from holiday and you have no orders to work on but you have 2 client meetings on day one. And another the next day. And two more the day after that. Plus you are seeing fresh candidates immediately.

By the end of the week after your break, you are in full swing. Feeling busy, being busy.

Yes you can take a vacation and be a successful recruiter. But make sure a 2-week holiday costs you two weeks of down time.

Not six weeks.

By Greg Savage

Greg Savage is a sought-after speaker and presenter, as well as consultant and advisor to the industry. He has founded several highly successful recruitment companies and worked in recruitment all over the world. To contact Greg please email: