The latest report from REC revealed that 97% of employers need to make additional hires in the next quarter if they are to accommodate their growing capacity for work.

As decision makers take advantage of the term time window to go in search of sandier shores, how can agencies take the holiday quarter by the horns?

Know your calendar

A fatal blow to any deal is an absentee decision maker or missing candidate when an interview appears or quick response on an offer is needed.

Staying informed of everyone involved’s calendar means you can foresee any barriers ahead and plan around them.

If a decision maker is away, is there somebody else that can stand in their stead, or can you receive confirmation via remote communication? Knowing in advance allows everybody to know where they stand and act accordingly.

Build your candidate pipeline

You might have overheard the ‘occasional’ mention of skills shortages being the biggest challenge facing recruitment moving forward in 2015. Despite being an overused term that forgets niche areas are naturally candidate led, the spotlight remains fixed on the difficulty of sourcing talent in the fastest growing STEM sectors.

Talent has not dried up but agencies do need to be taking more routes to market as agencies find innovative new ways to compete for talent. See our five ways to win talent in a skills gap.

Know the emerging markets

Do your research. It’s easy advice but it’s simply about recruiting with your eyes open. Agencies that know which direction the market’s moving in and which companies hiring intentions are ramping up, will be the the agencies that are first at their doors with candidates on offer.

Get your house in order

In addition to being a good time to start implementing some changes that you may have planned, it’s also the best time to go back to basics and make sure you’re crossing your t’s and dotting your I’s on everything. Are your CVs matched against your vacancies, is your candidate control up to speed, is there any in-house training you could do?