In order to kick start the second half of the year with success, it’s worth assessing whether or not you're spending time with the right candidates.You may find yourself in a mid-year lull, going through the motions, speaking to as many candidates as you can, trying to fill the squillions of jobs you’re working on before your head explodes with the pressure... stop.
Take a breath and evaluate your performance so far. Consider what's working and what isn't and use that data to better focus your recruitment strategies.
Which candidates do you place most?
In recruitment, we often remember the difficult roles – the ones that required hours of searching that led to failed interview after failed interview until you eventually gave up.
Choose to review your successes instead. This can not only put a spring back in your step (yes, well done you!) but it can make the second half of the year even better.
What types of roles have you filled most regularly? What level are most of your successful placements working at? Do you have a client you place with most often?
Sometimes the answers to these questions can hold a few surprises. Accurately knowing where your strengths lie helps you to fine-tune your business development practices. You can target clients that hire the types of candidates you've had success with in the past, proving to them that you can find good candidates due to your winning track record.
Where do you make the most money?
Looking at successful placements in terms of numbers is useful, but delving more in-depth to assess your billing rates can reveal a whole lot more. You may find that you’ve placed more permanent candidates in one category but brought in more cash through an entirely different job type with the use of contract roles. Again, this isn’t always obvious until you see the numbers in front of you, so it’s important to consult your data in order to be more successful throughout the second half of 2016.
What are your clients looking for?
Industries are constantly evolving and adapting depending on technology, market trends, and what their customers and stakeholders want from them. Your clients’ staffing needs will reflect these changes; keeping track of new hires over recent months will help you to forecast trends and build new connections with candidates you may need in the future.
Data from recent months isn’t the only thing that’s useful – looking at hiring trends year on year can hold valuable information. This kind of data is key for avoiding the last minute panic of clients who urgently need specific candidate types at the same time each year.
I’m sure you’ve got a client in mind, maybe it’s the one that brings in big business after attending a conference (that happens at the same time every year...) and then realises they don’t have the manpower to support it. Perhaps you have a client who signs off on budgets at an annual board meeting, or you can see trends relating to when a client's staff leave and they require replacements.
If you can spot a trend, use it to make your life easier. Start speaking to candidates in the market, begin networking with specific groups, and work to ensure you have a group of candidates ready to go before your client even realises they need them.
Spending your time talking to candidates is all well and good but you could be working much more efficiently by talking to the right candidates. Use data collected over a period of months to ensure that you’re spending time with candidates you’re likely to place, and analyse data from longer periods to spot trends in your clients’ hiring habits. It may require a little more effort to begin with but it will make your job easier in the long run.
Heidi is PhD student at the University of Aberdeen. Her research focuses on the issues surrounding the recruitment of patients into clinical trials.