Top Tips on Reviewing Your Business Strategy to Get Results in 2023

It shouldn’t shock you that implementing an end-year review is one of the most important tactics for creating a realistic strategy for the year ahead – after all, setting goals that you come up with out of thin air won’t accelerate the real growth of your agency. If you don’t look back at the challenges and problems, you’ll simply start the year with the same flawed processes and strategies – and even if you’ve met your goals this year, the market shift in 2023 might make it impossible for you to do so again without a strategy adjustment.

Especially with the market changing so rapidly as it has been in the past few years, it’s crucial to be able to react accordingly and have a plan that gives you the space to do that. I don’t think we are currently in a space where we can confidently plan for the entire year – with how quickly the market changes, a better practice would be to focus on the next 3-6 months first. Make sure you put in another review in 6 months – and with that in mind, here’s how to best prepare for 2023!

Review your sales channels

Now is also the perfect time to dive into your sales channels – whether your agency has been focused on just temp recruitment in 2022 or worked around a specific sector/location/business size, you need to think about the ROI you got from it and the best area to expand into if you want to continue to grow. Think about what strategy you put in place this year and what return you got from it – and remember that this year’s market was particularly forgiving for recruiters. This means that if you’ve grown by 15%, you simply kept up with the market. 2023 might bring shifts, so you need a solid strategy for growth.

Expanding your channels is a great way to go about it, but it needs to be based on data, market analyses, and current best-performing strategies. Make sure you think about your niche and where the biggest return currently lies, so you can explore things that link to that. If you feel like your channels didn’t bring you the expected growth and revenue, it might be worth scratching or minimizing those and trying out something completely different.

There are two main ways you can think about growth in 2023: The first one would be expansion into a new recruitment style. If you’ve only been doing permanent recruitment so far, you might want to think about investing in a contract desk in 2023 – which will bring you a more stable, ongoing stream of revenue. However, if you don’t want to take that risk, you can stick with what works (so perm desk in this example) and expand that desk into different business sizes, locations, or sectors. This way you’re not investing in a new area of recruitment in uncertain times but simply growing what you are already great at. 

This is where your reporting comes in - if you use it right, it plays a massive role in planning for growth:

how recruitment reporting can help drive agency growth

Think about your marketing resources

It’s not uncommon to strip down your marketing budget first when times are getting tough. The issue with that is that marketing your agency is what brings you, quality clients and candidates – because staying visible during uncertain times builds trust and shows confidence in your brand. Nobody will sign with you if they don’t know who you are – and currently, the competition is fierce, so you have to stand out.

Have a look at strategies from the past year and determine which ones brought you the biggest return – if you invested a lot of budget into paid advertising, how many quality leads did you get from it? Is it worth continuing or should you change the approach and put the money into something else, like developing a recruitment blog?

One of the biggest areas you’re probably investing a lot into are probably job boards, right? This is also the time to review whether they’re bringing you the candidates you want – and if so, which ones have the highest conversion rate. It’s a great practice to scratch any of the job boards that don’t bring you enough ROI, so you only invest in ones that do – and don’t spend unnecessarily.

Plan with a short-term focus

As I mentioned at the beginning of this blog, it’s not the time to set far-fetched targets. With how quickly the market changes and the current economic situation, we simply don’t know where the world is going to be in 6 months. When you’re setting goals for the upcoming year, make sure your focus lies in the next 6 months – and after that, you can review your strategies again and adjust anything that needs it.

Adjust budgets for each area of spend

One of the first and most important things to think about when conducting an end-year review is going to be the budget. The best way to go about reviewing it is to speak to your managers and analyse each area of spend, as well as the return they got for it. Was there anything that you tried that didn’t bring the expected results? Did you adjust your strategy then or continue to spend? Now is the time to take a deep dive into it and decide which tools and strategies are worth continuing and which should be scrapped altogether – or replaced by better ideas, more accurate to the current market. We’ve had a pretty good year in recruitment so far, so keeping an eye out on your reporting data land being quick to make budget adjustments is a good strategy going forward. You might want to review your budget again at the end of Q1 to ensure everything is going smoothly and make any changes if the market shifts. Allocating your money wisely will determine whether your agency swims or sinks!

To learn more about planning for growth using your agency's data, download our eBook below:

how recruitment reporting can help drive agency growth

Wendy McDougall

Wendy McDougall is Chief Fish of Firefish Software. In her spare time, you'll find her playing squash or feeding her inner geek with the latest technology!

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