The lull between Thanksgiving and New Year’s is understood by most in this industry. As a consultant, you know to either plan for some time off during this period or make sure you are on a project that is expected to go through this slow patch. As recruiters, you know to plan for the best but expect a potential slow end of the year.
Managers plan their vacations around the holidays, as most people do, so the top decision makers in companies are most likely not sitting at their desk waiting for their favorite recruiter to call with that one-of-a-kind consultant who’s ready to hit the ground running on December 1. In reality, the manager is probably on vacation with his/her family, the consultant is either working or enjoying time off with his/her family and the recruiter is either wrapping up the administrative duties that have been put on hold during the busy year or also taking the rest of his/her time off.
Another factor is if a company’s fiscal runs on a calendar year, no budgets will be approved until the beginning of the year and the new fiscal. So, while the recruiter might know a company has a big project coming up as soon as budget is approved, expecting them to actually screen qualified candidates before that time is slim.
Great news though! Everyone can prepare for this. As recruiters, you can gather the information for clients about their upcoming plans for the new fiscal. Go ahead and get as much detail as possible. Understand plans can change, but the more you know about the basics, the better consultants you can pre-screen and have ready to go when the time comes.
There is no harm in reaching out to your network early. Let your consultants know what projects are in the works when the new year kicks off, confirm availabilities, interest levels and any added skills that would increase their qualification for the upcoming projects. Be real with them though. Let the consultants know this is not something immediate but it has a realistic timeline, this project is planned for the new year once their new fiscal is approved.
If you’re honest in December, when January or February rolls around and the project is approved those consultants will likely be loyal to you because you gave them the early heads up and kept them informed through the process. If the project falls through for whatever reason, then at least you were upfront from the beginning and didn’t get their hopes up, and they will remember that when the next opportunity rolls around.
And as it turns out, the end of the year is not the only lull of the season. This same process occurs during June and July. Kids are out of school for the summer and it is prime vacation time. So make sure you keep this in mind, both recruiters and consultants, and plan accordingly. A lull doesn’t have to be a bad thing, as long as you are prepared and ready to hit the ground running they the drought is over.
Until next time,