Seasonality rules: the ebb and flow of hiring

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leavesI’m looking out my window at a truly spectacular show of color from a beautiful maple – oranges, yellows, and reds. Sometimes the fall almost makes up for the Iowa winter.

The natural world is not the only thing with distinct seasons. Yes, I’m talking about our world – the world of recruiting and hiring. No matter which part of the recruiting universe you inhabit, there are distinct ebbs and flows as employers staff up – or hold off. If you’ve ever been the manager of a medium-to-large company as I have, you are acutely aware of when you need more people. Most of your employment needs are predictable – for example, you’re bringing on a new product line, so you have to hire sales and customer support staff – and some are unpredictable – your accountant just ran off to join a commune in Tahiti.

As a recruitment site operator, you should understand your clients’ hiring seasonality as well as they do. Maybe even better.

How the heck do you do that?

  1. Ask questions. You’re no doubt talking or corresponding with your clients on a regular basis, right? Then you should be asking them about what is going on in their business – and how it affects their hiring plans. You should be noting this in your handy-dandy CRM. And you should use this to predict future hiring needs – that you can fill.
  2. Monitor. Sometimes the most useful thing you can do to keep track of a, um, shall we say ‘less-than-communicative’ client, is to simply set up a Google alert for them. Let Google’s little bots gather up the info and deliver it to your inbox. So if the client announces in their local paper that they’ll be breaking ground on a new office in 2016, you’ll be ready with your hiring help.
  3. Consult. Get out of the mode of ‘selling stuff’ and get into the mode of ‘working together’. Yes, this is sales 101. Yes, this is nothing new. But I promise you that most of the vendors calling your client each day are ‘selling stuff’. Don’t be one of them.

What do you end up with? A very specific map of each client’s hiring seasonality. When you have this map, you become magic. You call the client with solutions just as they are realizing they need them. You make more money. They make more hires when they need them. Everyone is happy.

And in our world of hiring, winter never comes. Just spring, summer, and fall – which is ok with me.

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