As a recruiter, you are safe compared to six months ago. You’ve made a few placements in Q1. Serial syllable stretcher Robert Peston is no longer on TV every night talking about the City’s meltdown. Bonus season is over.
Now that your prospective candidates know where they stand (and dislike it), you have a pipeline large enough to afford at least four more Hugo Boss suits...from your local Oxfam. Your recruitment glory days may return, soon.
But beware. Greece’s woes are only in remission and Italy, Spain and Portugalare all bubbling away in the melting pot of debt. Come Q3 this year things could get so bad that the recession of 2008 actually stands up there with the character assassination of Craig David as one of mankind’s greatest achievements.
If that does happen, only the strongest, most reliable recruitment firms will survive as heads roll across the City. If you don’t work for one of the top dogs at the moment, you have four options:
1. Up your game now, so Q2 renders your best performance ever, and jump ship at the end of June.
2. Pray I am the king of miscalculated forecasts.
3 .Hope the grad factory you work for gets taken over by one of the more established and respectable companies.
4. Quit recruitment and apply for next year’s apprentice.
Assuming cold calling hasn’t numbed your brain cells so much as to make you think outside of option 1, here is what I propose you do to make a move in June a realistic possibility:
1. Work late nights: If you want to bill high this is a given. But think a little further and use your time wisely. When everyone else has left, jot down the contact details of candidates and clients. Come June, when you interview at other firms you will offer not only your billing potential but a bigger database too. Unethical? Yes, like lying to candidates to make a living.
2 .Diversify your skill set - Work on areas in addition to billing where you can add further value to a new employer, giving yourself a competitive advantage. Strengthen your business development, work on training new employees or start building your team leadership skills.
3. Take your best team players with you: Start forming close relationships with high billers in your team/company. Be seen as a leader by them so when you leave they want to come. If you can convince potential employers that you can bring some heavy hitters with you, your value will increase (Be warned that there may be legal issues, so pay attention to your contract first).
4. Get your candidates/clients to promote you: If you have any skin in this game, you will have candidates who adore you. Think of three rock solid companies you wouldn’t mind being a part of when the recruitment industry starts sinking. Undoubtedly, they are calling your best candidates every day. Persuade your candidates to tell them they only work with you, (mentioning you by name). By June, these companies will be headhunting you.