“All my life’s a circle; But I can’t tell you why; Season’s spinning round again; The years keep rollin’ by.”
– Harry Chapin
Recruiting, as I have experienced it, has always been cyclical. On the agency side we were super busy from January 1st until Memorial Day. Then, very slow from Memorial Day to Labor Day followed by a quick splurge until Thanksgiving. We chilled until the New Year and the cycle began again. On the corporate side my experience has been tied into a mix of slow quarters followed by busy ones with the occasional spike when we gained a new client. Of course, your mileage will vary, but I am willing to bet you have experienced times of slowness combined with crazy 16 hour days for 2 weeks, then slow then busy then… well, you get the idea.
I love recruiting, I love my job and I hate being bored. I also feel if you take the King’s Salt, well, you work for the King. You do your best to be productive even when the full force of your expertise isn’t required. There is always something to be done. There cannot be a dull moment. When there is, I find myself getting into troubles that I know aren’t the best for me. Hunter Thompson, driving a convertible, loaded with weapons looking for pineal glands trouble…. So, how do I meet this challenge?
I am a huge believer in the philosophy of working smarter as opposed to working harder. Therefore, there is only one thing to do during these slow periods. Seize it with both hands and use it to make the work during the difficult and busy periods easier. So, without further ado, here are some of ideas on how to make “down time” not just productive, not just lucrative, and not just trolling youtube for viral videos. These ideas don’t have to be slow period ideas either. They’re all good ideas for making recruiting easier and more fun…
1) Increase your public profile, online presence and general persona:
- Make sure your LinkedIn is up-to-date and done well.
- Write a guest post for an online recruiting blog, like say, Undercover Recruiter?
- Download Hootsuite and get more active on Twitter.
- Get involved in forums dedicated to our profession.
- Go to some meet-ups and…well…meet people!
2) Lay some pipe, and do it long and hard (not that way…):
- Start connecting with people whose skill sets you know you will need. If you recruit 90% Developers, well make some connections. Introduce yourself, say your not actively recruiting but would like to know what your “Dream Job” is, in case it comes in….
- Find places where your target group hangs out. Lurk with out being a jerk. Follow people. Make lists
- Develop Talent Pools of roles you struggled with in the past. There is no such thing as a passive candidates. There are just people waiting for the right opportunity
3) Create some re-usable templates:
- I have a bunch of form emails, with “plug and play” capability. I plug in the specifics and send them out. This is a good time to generate some new ones
4) Call every single person you placed in the last year:
- Reconnect, ask for referrals and be the recruiter they remember. Ask if the firm is looking for anyone else. (By the way, you should be doing this on a regular basis anyway but we all lose track)
- Now, go and do the same but go back 2 years. And 3 years. And keep going…
5) Call every single person who turned down an offer you made:
- Make sure they’re happy with their choice.
6) Call everyone who came in as the number 2 choice at your client:
- They are probably someone else’s number 1.
7) Take a break:
- Check this list out to chillax from all those calls – you need it.
8) Research companies in your client’s LOB on Glassdoor:
- See who has bad reviews.
- Then cold call people in the skill sets you need and use the negative in the reviews as something you might make better, someday.
9) Research and discover recruiting technologies that may improve your game:
- Ask for a 30 day trial of a site. Podio, Yammer and what not all have free trials.
- Download a new app – that’s how I found LinkedIn’s Card Muncher app, that I cannot live without!
- Try a new CRM and share it with your peers.
- Give something you never would have tried, a chance. That’s how I came to love Ethiopian Food – works with recruiting tools too!
10) Finally, go to the Undercover Recruiter:
- …and read all my articles.
- Then read other people, but start with me. Leave comments. Dialogue. Bottom line, read as much as you can and learn as much as you
So, I hope this will keep you busy as summer comes closer and all of Europe goes on vacation. Americans don’t have as much vacation time, we just come in and do a half-assed job. Either way, be productive, stay employed and prepare for when it gets busy.