It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Which means we are in Q4, also known as the “two-month quarter”. Although seemingly shorter than the other three, Q4 presents a great time to do deals.
But how do you smash Q4 without saturating an already saturated market? We spoke with some top billers and pulled together a list of to do to finish your year on a high.
Q4: October = Push Ahead
As this quarter is all about productivity, there is little time spare to spend on planning your actions for the rest of the year. You should use October to accelerate processes, with the intent of closing any outstanding deals in November. There are several ways you can do this:
Turn three-stage interviews into two-stage interviews
If you know the roles on your cards inside out, and have a good selection of candidates who fit the brief, you can reduce the consideration time and speed up the interview process. You can also use this knowledge and proactive approach to cut down the interview process, as you can confidently sell your candidates to your clients and highlight why they can progress quicker than usual.
Use the fact that the end of the year is fast approaching to get your client onboard, as dropping the interview process from three to two stages means you can get the right person through the door quickly.
Q4: November = Closing Time
November is the month that should be all about closing deals. Whilst people are in work in December, they’re all getting into the festive period, winding down and not so focused on employing anyone else.
So, before the Christmas party period kicks in and people lose focus, make sure you close any outstanding deals you have. You should also use this time to book in meetings with your clients to discuss the next role they need filling. Make sure you are mentally armed with a portfolio of candidates who would be perfect for these roles.
Having worked with your clients before, you should have a good idea of what they are looking for in an employee. If you book in meetings with prospective clients, make sure you go prepared.
Q4: December = The Social Month
At this point in the year, you’ll most likely find that your clients aren’t overly focused on recruiting anyone new. They’re winding down for Christmas and trying to close off their own workload before the office shuts.
To retain their attention, and their business, you should use December to network with your clients, as well as your candidates. Take them out and celebrate your combined successes. They’ll feel valued and will remember the gesture in the new year, when you are looking to continue your business partnership with them.
It’s worth remembering that places book up extremely quickly in the lead up to Christmas. so if you can, get this “wine-and-dine” process started in November.
Other Things to Consider
Alongside the above, you can also put the following into action.
Work with Your Candidates
What better way to put pressure on your clients to get roles closed sooner than to get your candidates on side to help? They will be able to push for interview confirmation, feedback and so on, which will help you close the deal sooner.
As most agencies will have a lot of finishers at the end of the year, it’s important to try and keep as many of those as possible. For any of your candidates who are reaching the end of their contract, you can get them to write a business case two months before they’re due to finish. This should highlight everything they have accomplished there, as well as anything they completed that was outside their agreed scope of work. You can then take this to your client and push for them to extend the contract, based on the results they have seen.
Remember: a good candidate will make themselves indispensable to a business, and you should be able to use this to your favour.
If a good candidate isn’t going to be extended in their current role, ensure you are proactive with helping them find a new role. Otherwise you’ll lose a good money earner to another recruiter.
You can also use this time-factor to put pressure on their current manager to make a decision about extending their contract, as you’ll have to find them a new role asap if not.
You should also liaise with your candidates to see if they are turning down any roles. You can then pick up this lead to reach out to that company and offer to help find someone else to fill the role.
Work with Your Clients
If a candidate is not seeming to commit to extending a role they are currently in, you can work with the hiring manager to find someone who can fill the role with immediate effect. Being proactive and coming to them with a solution to the problem they might not yet be aware of will highlight your professionalism. They will then be more likely to reach out to you for help in the future.
To keep your team motivated during this quarter, come up with some creative staff incentives to keep the motivation high.
Candidates numbers tend to drop considerably at the end of the year, so it would be a good idea to offer an incentive to your recruiters to reduce this by extending as many roles as possible.
You could also offer a series of “top ups” for your Christmas party, e.g. fancy hotel accommodation for after, a limo to the venue, or the next day off work to recover.
Bring the above to life at your recruitment business and you’ll smash Q4 and end your year on a high!