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Why no recruiter should fear December

Posted on 5/12/2019
by Nick Boulton

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December’s always a tricky month for a recruiter, but how do you finish your year off well?

The end of the year is marked by Christmas drinks, lunches, client entertainment and generally anything other than productive sales work. For as long as I have done this job, I have always heard people say:

“Oooh, December’s always tough, hard to do deals, short month, can’t get any decisions and people not thinking about work.”

I think that’s rubbish. I see December as an opportunity. When the rest of your competition is wining and dining clients, candidates, staff and winding their year down, you can be the one person to get hold of that client who’s been really hard to get in touch with, get that gem candidate and place them, or start building for next year.

All this means you can cruise into the Christmas break with cash in your pocket and a healthy looking pipeline for January.

Doing a good job at this time of year requires planning and preparations. The work for December should start in the last week to 10 days of November. If you want a really successful end to the year and loads of spare cash to be flashing around at Christmas, you need to put in a big shift. That’s hard when your colleagues, peers or friends have checked out for the Christmas break, but very rewarding if you get it right.

That last week in November/first week in December should be a marathon of CV hunting, referral gathering, and sniffing out quality candidates like a bloodhound, so you have as many out the door as possible.

The rest of your month should then be booking interviews, preparing and managing candidates, closing deals and checking in with every single client about how their year’s been, plans for next year and booking in a face-to-face meeting for the start of the year.

If you think you’re behind the curve with December prep, have no fear. Be smart, focus on what will make you money. Don’t flap about in a panic, thinking you need to conjure up some mythical CV to now deal before Christmas.

Look at your pipeline, decide who your best opportunities are and really make sure you have done everything in your power to give you and them the best chance of success.

Spec then in to the client who said recruitment was on hold until next year. Phone the Client you just did a deal with who look for the same skill set and make sure they can’t move a little budget from next year for another “unicorn”.

If you have done all this and it’s still looking like a bleak Christmas, then remember, we are in sales and one of the toughest sales environments going. Don’t be despondent: regroup, plan your 2020 strategy and start getting that in place now. Don’t just let the year ebb away, be proactive and start building for how you are going to be successful next year.

Just don’t be the person sitting at Christmas drinks only talking about it.


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