This is the time of year when recruiting grinds nearly to a halt. While your rate of new assignments slows down and you focus more on last minute holiday preparations, you still need to connect with your clients and keep your pipeline active.
Here are some of our favorite methods for doing that.
Arrange your New Year meetings now: Get your year off to a great start by scheduling January meetings with prospective clients now. Chances are, when the New Year comes around, you’ll find your hot prospects all booked up. Call them today!
Network: The plethora of holiday events provides ample opportunity to take advantage of new social and professional circles. For the savvy recruiter, these represent great networking opportunities, but it’s important to respect the occasion. It’s not always appropriate to launch into your best sales pitch; be aware of the nuances of your environment and respond accordingly. An exchange of business cards will at least present you with the opportunity to pursue a lead after the holiday period is over.
Be selective: If you are inundated with invitations choose your ‘acceptances’ carefully. Opt for those that will provide you with the best return on your investment of time, i.e., the most influential contacts and prospects. Apologize and send a note of apology for parties or events you aren’t able to attend and follow-up with the organizers of those you do to thank them for their time and effort.
Send a handwritten note: Remember all that advice we give to our candidates about the importance of sending personalized thank you notes after an interview? The same principles apply with your clients. Even if you’ve already sent out standard holiday cards with a pre-printed company greeting, pick up your pen and send a personal note. A couple of lines is sufficient, and subtly lets them know they aren’t just another name in a long list of holiday greetings.
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Pick up the telephone: For certain clients and prospects, a quick telephone call to wish them a happy holiday goes a long way to separating yourself from the competition. If you get their voicemail simply offer your best wishes and let them know you will follow-up in the New Year. Too many recruiters rule out the telephone at this time of year when it should be your first choice.
Giving back: Promote the cultural values of your company in your end of year newsletter. How has your company given back this year? For example, at SkyWater we ran our ‘Walk A Mile For Smile Network’ campaign from April to July this year in support of humanitarian organization Smile Network. Thank the clients that got involved with you, and invite those that didn’t to participate next year. Share your updates on social media to give visitors to your website and social media channels a sense of who you are. Sharing your activities encourages prospects to engage you.
Break the rules and blur the lines: While personal and professional activities don’t usually mix, this hectic time of year gives you the perfect opportunity to extend hospitality to your clients. Invite clients, professional contacts and their families to social activities. It allows for a better connection with your clients.