Why January is Important for Recruiters (and How to Ace It)

Whether you smashed your targets last year or would rather just pretend 2018 never happened, it’s easy to come back after Christmas thinking you have all the time in the world to get back on track. But consider this: January is the month you can’t afford not to smash!

You’ll be relying on your January billings to set you up for a successful year, so you really need to pull it out the bag this month.

Why is January so important for recruiters?

january-minJanuary is always a busy month for recruiters. Career changes are one of the most common New Years’ resolutions people make, and with Blue Monday on the horizon and year-end bonuses in their back pockets – this is the time when candidates are ready to make a move.

And it’s not just about candidates, either. Come January, clients have completed their yearly budget, they know exactly how much cash they have to play with where recruitment is concerned and will be keen to start recruiting again to achieve their set resourcing plans.

The recruitment year is always a bit of a rollercoaster, with lots of ups and downs, and January gives you a chance to get ahead of the curve. January interviews and notice periods can make for a strong February/ March and a lucrative quarter, which will give you a strong head start on the year ahead. You owe it to yourself to make the most of this month so you’re not left sweating it out chasing your targets the rest of the year!

Here’s what to do in January to get ahead of the game…

How to recruit like a boss in January

1. Stagger (and personalise) your yearly goals

One mistake a lot of recruiters make is that they come back from Christmas holidays, look at their yearly KPIs and start working towards 1/12 of this to cover themselves for the month of January. But you need to be more strategic than this!

First, think in terms of your yearly goals, divide these into quarters, months and then think carefully about what you need to achieve in order to reach your goals in small steps with each week that passes. There’s science behind this type of goal setting: by setting smaller, more achievable goals, you’ll be more likely to eventually achieve your yearly target.

Secondly, as the recruitment year has its stronger and quieter months, setting goals that reflect these peaks and troughs will make your KPIs a lot more realistic and achievable. This sort of goal-setting is good for you psychologically too, as you’ll feel good hitting (or even surpassing) your goals rather than beating yourself up for not hitting the same target in December as you had set for January.

We’ve got a whole eBook dedicated to helping you set personal recruitment KPIs like these – you can download it here.

2. Focus your BD strategy on ‘winners’

January is the perfect time to set new client targets for the year too. Begin by setting targets on what key existing clients normally spend in the year, as this gives you a good idea of where the money is coming from and what you need to be putting in to get it.

But what happens if a key client’s spend goes down, or worse – stops all together? Always be thinking ahead and target potential new key clients to keep that cash flow coming in. Focus your time on the real winners; the clients who you know have a serious need for hire, have money in the bank and are recruiting for roles you know you can fill. Our Chief Fish Wendy wrote a brilliant blog recently on how to do this.

If you tend to mostly work contingency, always try to find out how many other recruiters are working the role. The last thing you want is to be wasting your time on roles that twenty other recruiters are working as your chance of successful placement goes down by every additional recruiter you’re competing against. Focus on the opportunities you know you can convert and you’ll finish the month on a really strong foot.

3. Ensure you’re visible

Nailing your recruitment marketing, your social selling and your personal branding in January is essential if you want to remain competitive. We all know the recruitment market is overcrowded, and it’ll be at its peak at this time of year, so you need to do what you can to stay visible or you’ll fade into the background.

Try to think of ways to make your personal brand unique and what USP you’re able to bring to potential clients and candidates. Then work on developing a social selling strategy that helps you shout about it from the rooftops so it’s you those people come to with their challenges.

There will be a high number of potential candidates actively looking for new roles in January, and Google for Jobs will play a major part in how candidates search for an find their next job. So, if you’re not visible on Google for Jobs, you will be missing out on placements – simple as that! We’ve got a great Google for Jobs playbook for recruiters that will make sure you’re making the most of this new feature.

4. Maximise your recruitment software

Are you and your team using your rec tech to the best of its capabilities? Using the correct software can make a massive difference to recruiters’ numbers, so if you’re using software that’s slowing you down in the current market, you’ll be losing out on placements that your competitors are reaping.

Hit the ground running this year by making sure you iron out any gaps in your CRM knowledge, identify and address any areas you know are slowing you down and work out some ways you can ace your productivity to make more placements with less hard graft. And the eBook below will help you with just that!

roductivity Hacks for Recruiters

Alan McFadden

Alan is the Associate Director of Growth at Firefish. An agency recruiter in a former life, he loves helping recruiters find ways to recruit smarter.

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