Don’t Shut Down the Office Yet

451275429We’re in the last quarter of the fiscal year and this is a time when activity traditionally tends to slow down. Colleagues and I in the staffing industry have started to refer to this time as the holiday hangover because fewer placements tend to occur before Thanksgiving and through mid-January of the following year.

Several people in staffing take this as a given and also slow down their activity thinking that it’s futile and nothing will come of it. I’ve always been of the opinion that if you work steadily all the time and try to maintain your metrics-related activity, the numbers tend to bear out at the end of the year. There will be some months when you feel like you’re not on top of your game and placements just seem to fall into place and others in which you do everything fundamentally correct and people reject offers, budgets fall through or some other calamity thwarts your gains.Again, when everything filters out, the numbers tend to normalize and you realize that this is part of the business we’re in.

I’ve also come to the realization that approximately one out of every three years, maintaining that energy and activity can result in great results. Companies may have money that has to be spent and hires made or they lose that budget at the end of the year. Sometimes, companies have positions in which a purple squirrel (a seemingly impossible to find candidate) has to be located and after months of searching in vain, the perfect candidate comes out of the woodwork and you make a placement. This commentary isn’t meant to negate the activity that always needs to be emphasized to prepare for an upcoming year but reinforcing the fact that you can’t forget about the present.

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Staffing is such a team-oriented endeavor that morale can have a tendency to be down, but multiple people being positive and effort constantly pushed can help a year end on a high note and also create enough activity that the next year starts with enough momentum to generate a fast start.

Another positive that can be derived from this portion of the year is try and perfect your technique. Let’s say the worst case scenarios do bare out; this is still a great time to call on new clients, solidify relationships with existing ones and stock your database with candidates that you regularly get jobs for.

Also, you can use this time to fortify your business model and take a step back in terms of analyzing what’s working and what doesn’t. Once you’ve done this, you can change steps and processes that haven’t come to fruition and implement experimental techniques that you’ve been thinking about trying.

It really all comes down to looking at the glass as half empty or half full and making the most of the opportunities in front of you. Good luck!

MORE: Why strategies fail

Michael Barefoot

Michael Barefoot
Michael Barefoot is senior account executive at Red Zone Resources. He can be reached at mikeb (at ) redzoneresources (dot) com.

Michael Barefoot

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