Christmas… again?

I’m conflicted.

Part of me loves Christmas. The parties, the pressies for the kids, the beaches (apologies to our northern hemisphere friends). It’s a chance to celebrate the year that was and recharge the batteries for the year to come.

santa2But the other part of me hates Christmas. Catching up with family you only see once a year (for bloody good reasons too!) The summer stench on the afternoon public transport commute home. And the fact that from mid-November the perm recruitment market seems to hit the wall… grinds to a massive pre-Christmas halt… stops like a drug-free Russian Athletic Team…

Recruiters… heed this advice… DO NOT use Christmas as an excuse!

Yes I know, clients everywhere are saying they’re not looking to start new hires this side of the jolly fat man’s visit. But… Please… Do not confuse this with a slow down. Do not fall into the same trap that most of your competitors will at this time of year. Do not let a reluctance to start people now affect your January and flow through to February.

It’s time to be a consultant… it’s time to manage the process… and… it’s time to grow a set of balls and help your clients to be in a better position to start 2016.

Just yesterday I had a conversation with a client that went a little something like this…

‘Hi Mr Trump. It’s Craig here from Watson Collard. Have I caught you at a good time?’

santa3.jpg‘Hi Craig…’ came the jovial, but distanced reply. ‘No problem. Excuse me if the old mobile drops out though… I’m out in the bay on a fishing charter with clients.’ apologies again to our northern hemisphere friends…

‘Oh,’ I reply… not a hint of jealousy in my voice… I promise. ‘I was just calling about a fantastic candidate I have for your Accounting Desk… 4 years stable, local experience. Great billings. Prior to that, comes from Indus…’

‘Sorry Craig, let me jump in there.’ Mr Trump interrupted. ‘We’re actually going to put that role on hold until January. There’s no point in starting someone this side of Christmas. I ‘d have to carry them through our slow period… and then there’s the fact that we’re closed for a couple of weeks. We’ll park it for now and start seeing candidates again when we get back from the beach…’ Apologies again to our northern… oh you get the point…

Cue crickets… it was the third similar conversation we’d had with clients over the past week. And I’m sure these conversations are happening with some of your clients right now.

What you need to understand and the conversations you need to be having with your clients are around the fact that except for start dates… nothing… absolutely nothing else has changed.

Your client still requires the staff. The headcount still exists. And to be perfectly honest this need will have exacerbated by January.

Re-igniting the recruitment process in January will create a hiring lag. A lag that is not built into your client’s business plan. They will be competing for talent that every other company who has put their hiring plans on hold will be in the market for. It may cause panic, rushed decisions… bad decisions. You… as a consultant need to guide your client through that.

And the best way to do that is to complete the recruitment process now… with a January start date… beautiful in its simplicity… and brilliant in its execution.

santaExplain to your client that by completing the process now they will have secured the best talent. Taken them off the market. It will give them the opportunity to truly enjoy their Christmas break and hit the New Year safe in the knowledge that they are on track.

Just do it! (apologies to our northern friends from Nike).

Be the Consultant your employer hired you to be… do what your competitors are not… and you might just enjoy your Christmas break as well!

Craig Watson


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