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As recruiting and staffing professionals, our biggest quarter (Q4) usually presents us with two choices: We can keep doing what we’ve been doing (which is OK if it’s working, not so much if it isn’t). OR, we can step on the gas and take full advantage of potential opportunities (the better option either way).

As you ramp up for a successful Q4, here are five key actions my clients have seen high pay off that can maximize results the final three months of the year – and now is the time to plan them!

Hit up seasonal businesses.  Any industry that accelerates during the holidays needs seasonal staff.  Retail and hospitality are the obvious targets, but don’t forget about call centers, grocery chains, pack-and-ship outlets, event planning organizations and more.  Knock on their doors NOW while they’re still in the planning stages.

Diversify your recruiting strategy.  Higher demand naturally means more competition for talent.  Think beyond the typical post-and-prey strategy.  Accelerate social networking to find candidates based on where they live, work, and play.  Heavily promote referral bonuses and sweeten the deal for referrals that result in placements.  After all, your best talent will always come from referrals!

Have an account planning session. Meet with your boss and set at least 2-3 concrete objectives to get more from your firm’s top three accounts in Q4.  Who else do you need to meet?  What other services can you provide?  What will be happening in their businesses that may increase their demand for staffing?

Launch a fall target account program and hit up your prospects weekly.  Pick a grassroots theme, buy some simple items to drop off (food ALWAYS works!) and stay on their radar for the next 6 weeks.  Persistence pays off and you’re sure to get a response at some point.

Host an event.  It’s football season.  When’s the next big game?  Host a happy hour for a couple of hours at a sports bar.  Get involved in a local charity fundraiser (there are typically more of them during the holidays) and invite clients to attend with you.

Incorporating these five action steps into your Q4 strategy will put you on the path to end-of-year success and set the stage for a productive new year. The sooner you start the planning process, the more traction you’ll get as you wrap up 2018.

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