Without trivialising what has happened; the effects, the pain, loss and impact on so many families, what happens from now business-wise is really exciting.

So please forgive me… I want to focus on the economic opportunities, the business #BounceBack and how you can maximise upon the hand you are dealt here today!

Remember there will be recruitment businesses that just won’t make it through this… the “circle of business life” is ever turning. These will be the companies that aren’t aligned to smart innovation: Productising – Outcome-Based Solutions – Outsourced in House – Market Places etc. But more than this it’s the gaps…

There are gaps in the skill set of many recruitment business leaders as so many started up without having leadership coaching, business finance experience or planning knowledge. This doesn’t have such an impact when the market is doing the heavy lifting and flattering performance but when things go south and “speccing a CV” generates nothing more than swear words, but that’s all you know, what do you do?

Please note… This is not the real opportunity the bounce affords you; this is the scraps on the floor!

  1. Here are a few nudges in the right direction:
    Look at your people as closely as you looked at your P&L as lockdown started – you CAN do more business with fewer people, then raise the bar and build upon that new model. There are many brilliant businesses that cull the bottom 10% of staff annually and potentially it’s time recruitment did the same. Recruitment is a fantastic career choice and folks should fight to be one of the Top Guns in our sector!
  2. Adapt to a new normal! Working from home is a privilege not a right; it’s something which should be earned, so enable it but don’t give it away because most savvy people think it’s riddled with short-termist failure. Staff can work from home, but Billing Managers can’t, even I couldn’t sell that pup!
  3. There is a movement that argues the improved business “conversions” are due to people being able to focus more at home without the distractions of grafting in an open office environment. Hmmm, fewer distractions at home, really? Regardless, it’s a great learn so a quiet space in the office is a smart idea potentially – this is an idea I would incorporate. Stand up desks to sell, sit down space to resource.
  4. Some people are suggesting we look backwards to be better at going forward, what drivel! This is a unique moment in time (MIT) so don’t use the playbook for an entirely different game because it’s the wrong one. We need to write a new playbook for the now! The playing field has been levelled, you can re-invent your business and you should. In fact, you should have done it already! “Recruitment” is dead, as a word. Drive as fast and as hard as you can to become a true consultancy and become comfortable with change because it’s not going to stop! Get paid for your efforts, not just results!
  5. Nothing is ever as bad as you expect it to be! Plan for the end of days but then leave it alone and go make some money! We talk a lot about working on your business, not in it, however, working in your business right now is super smart! Work with the RDLC to help short cut the finance, forecasting and people pieces so that you can get back under the skin of your business to look at how you can evolve to be the brand you need or want to be (we will help to get you there too!)
  6. Once you have stabled the ship, look at efficiencies. This can be made really easy, for example on pain of death (commissions) people need to comply with all of your compliance and systems including but not limited to updating the CRM perfectly. You need to know where you make your money – especially now. Here’s a benchmark for free – 90% vacancy to deal ratio if retained or exclusive, 45% if you get a minimal Unfair Advantage and only 7% if they are passive contingent opportunities (so don’t do that stuff ever again) you are welcome…

So, drive solution selling and walk away from jobs other Networks members would say yes to! I read recently that James Osborne thinks profit is not the goal = BS, of course it is otherwise what’s the point?!

7. Get at it… Change your stars, take your messages to the market and don’t wait until Rishi says UK PLC is doing better to give it a “good old college try”. The planets are constantly shifting and almost never aligned so gird your loins and be braver. Get the gang back and work this out together! To those people in your team who have demonstrated lockdown that aren’t right for this fresh fight, say “bye-bye” and move on (do them a favour and exit them ASAP so they can get a head start before there are lots of also-rans on the market!) take the KPI’s and or preferably drivers up to a max and make things happen! Make your future, don’t be a victim of someone else’s bolder ambition.

8. Be a gain, not a drain… Bring fresh ideas, energy, creativity and help everyone around you build their skills and confidence during this pre-bounce time. Expect this to be reciprocal across the team and from everyone, from you the CEO, to the newest hire! Anyone. ANYONE who doesn’t muck in and do what’s required – sack at will! Zero tolerance in your #Tribe

9. During these times there will be winners and losers… It’s a choice! If you want to win you can… You seldom get such a golden opportunity to gain market share. So, take it on at full speed or be a victim. I hope that is clear enough! Seek out support and ideas and don’t lose market share just because you were too proud to ask for input! Build your network out, find peers who share your values and share with them. The RDLC is designed to do this for you – we would love to help put your business on steroids – here if you need us.