The Secret to Q2 Success

Time flies when you’re having fun.

No, but seriously, where has the time already gone this year?

I’m sure we’re all feeling a little rusty after the extended Easter break, even if you kicked back, relaxed, and didn’t do anything too strenuous.

However, I hope you’re seeing Q2 as a chance to reset or build on the good work that you’ve done in Q1 🚀 

We will run through how you can make your Q2 truly count.

This edition covers everything from the basics of recruitment to adapting to market demands.

It’s no secret that the market has been very different for nearly a year now. 

This has created challenges for many of us but also created opportunities for recruiters to shine.

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Thank me later.

Let’s get into this week’s edition, but very quickly before we do.

In case you missed it, we released tickets to our very first live podcast event of the year last week.

We sold over 50 tickets within 24 hours of the release (It’s a 100-person event)

If you don’t want to miss out, you can grab tickets here to join us in Manchester on the 25th of April to learn how to become a top-billing recruiter, no matter the market.

The basics

If you want to continue evolving as a recruiter, you can’t forget the basics. 

We all remember getting our first set of KPIs, whether that was phone times, dial-outs, booked meetings, or candidate specs out.

As your career develops and you become more senior, you start to find your own rhythm and way of doing things—some of which may stray from the basics that you learned in your first year or two as a consultant.

However, we’ve preached time and time again that the basics will never fail you, and they should always be revisited if you’re going through a rough patch.

Now, this doesn’t mean that you need to track your phone times or become so militant with your KPIs that you lose the love for what you do on a day-to-day basis.

Instead, it’s about looking at your client and candidate basics, such as new business calls, interviews, interview-to-placement ratios, client meetings, and getting roles/terms signed. 

These are still considered the “basics” of recruitment. They’re just more high-level. 

If you have an idea of what you want to achieve in Q2, have you sat down and worked it back to the smaller metrics you need to hit to make it possible?

Nowadays, recruitment is all about data, so combine the basics we know and love with recruitment data to ensure that your basics form your foundations this quarter. 

Business Development

BD is the hottest topic we discuss here at Limitless Learning. 

We’ve produced many editions that break down BD into the most granular chunks for our readers to digest. 

To be a great recruiter, BD has to become so ingrained into your day-to-day that you no longer see it as a separate task.

We’ve spoken earlier about the changing landscape of recruitment, and BD has got substantially tougher over the past 12 months: 

  • Clients don’t have the budget.

  • Clients have internal help.

  • Clients have a hiring freeze.

  • Clients don’t see the value in using a recruiter.

  • Clients are laying people off.

These are all objections that we know (and hate!), yet they’ve been amplified even more in the past year. 

So, how can you elevate your business development in Q2 and break through those difficult objections?

Something we’ve spoken about a lot is becoming a solution provider as a recruiter. 

Recruitment, even 5 years ago is very different to what clients and candidates expect today in 2024. 

They want variety, they want knowledge, and most importantly - they want a relationship!

From a recruitment perspective, being a solution provider for your client means essentially assigning yourself to become their ‘hiring brain’ whilst solving a bunch of problems for them in the process.

What we mean by this is the following …

#1 You go above and beyond in your client meetings.

Following up is crucial for business development and maintaining relationships, but if your check-ins consist of low-level chit-chat and simply building a friendly relationship with your client, that, unfortunately, isn’t enough. 

Your check-ins should assess what solutions you can provide and give your clients advice on any problems they may have had since your last conversation. 

The goal is that you understand their business so well that you can problem-solve more efficiently than them!

You have wider commercial conversations, not only live job vacancy conversations.

#2 You solve problems, not ‘just’ fill jobs.

When talking with clients, you’ll learn about different challenges that they (or the business) face.

You need to use these learnings to offer solutions, whether that’s live on a phone call, in a follow-up conversation, or in a follow-up meeting. 

You could offer solutions like …

Solution #1 - Challenges with employer branding.

Your solution should be to offer different ways they can change this through video specs or joint marketing efforts.

It’s important not to just centre yourself in this conversation, either—what external resources can you guide them toward?

Solution #2 - Challenges with closing candidates they want.

Your solution should be to advise on the interview process, is it too long?

Can you coach them on how to create a compelling job offer?

What are the common reasons that candidates are dropping out?

Can you provide them with a way of collecting feedback so they can improve on their blind spots?

In essence, it’s about the solutions you can provide your clients with besides putting bums on seats.

You have to possesses patience when it comes to successful BD

A ‘bums on seats’ model is long gone, even in the world of contract recruitment which is a lot more fast-paced. 

Sure, there may be some unique cases, but generally, clients don’t want recruiters who are going to rush them. 

They want a relationship built on trust and patience, and when the time is right, they will work with you. 

For some recruiters, this can be a tough pill to swallow, especially if you’ve worked in a market where transactional or ‘quick’ recruitment has been the norm. 

But, having patience and acceptance for the market, we are in and adapting to those changes will be half of your battle.

Mindset

Only focus on what you can control.

You can't control many things in recruitment, and relinquishing that control gives you a healthier mindset on the recruitment lifecycle overall.

For example, as much as you can influence and have control over the candidate process.

You're still dealing with humans at the end of the day, and humans can be unreliable. 

We can change our minds, lie, tell you what we want to hear and ultimately, let you down. 

What you can control is your ability to qualify, your intuition and ensuring that you leave no stone unturned.

But even then, there will still be things out of your control.

Focussing on what you can control enables you not just to be a better recruiter but lets you also to rationalise things as and when they happen.

The quicker you build this mindset, the more successful you will become in my eyes.

What has massively helped me cultivate this mindset is Stoiscm, specifically Ryan Holidays' work.

I highly recommend reading 'The Obstacle Is The Way' if you want to delve more into this.

Here is another quote taken from the book.

'Focus on the things you can control, let go of everything else and turn every new obstacle into an opportunity to get better, stronger, and tougher.'

Reflect on how you work: what can you change + improve?

We are so lucky to have a range of tools at our fingertips as modern-day recruiters. 

I remember when I first started working in recruitment, the most premium product we could use at the time was LinkedIn Recruiter. 

So, naturally, the hours we had to work were a lot longer, and our working processes and day-to-day structures were completely different.

It’s really important not to burn yourself out, especially this early in the year.

However, if you’re reading this and feeling like you’re treading water, then it might be time to refresh your way of working in Q2.

For example, what technology can you invest in to make your life easier? 

Also, what tech are you currently using and is it really helping you? Or is it hindering you?

Finally, ensure that your whole life doesn’t revolve around work. 

A lot of us who work in recruitment/sales naturally have personalities that are drawn to a higher-pressure working environment. 

However, it does not need to be this way - especially if it’s draining you as opposed to igniting a fire in you!

Look at how you’re structuring your working day: Do you take regular breaks? Are there particular days that you struggle? What does work-life balance look like for you?

In 2024, we should aim to find balance in our lives—make sure that your mindset and mental health are #1!

If my health is in great shape, then I find it much easier to perform consistently at work.

One final thing, use weekly review prompts to track your progress and way of working, for example:

  • Writing down what is and isn’t working at the end of each week

  • Ranking your tools from 1-10 at the end of each week

  • Ranking your work-life balance from 1-10 at the end of each week

You can then look at this data at the end of each month and slowly figure out what you may need to change (or keep the same) in your working methodologies!

Finally, a note on candidates…

You're probably in a position where you're reviewing your candidate management and, equally, your clients' processes for the past quarter.

Don't let poor processes and candidate management (from either side) affect your interview-to-placement ratios.

Aside from the technical capabilities you're testing candidates for, make sure you're really exploring people's motivations and "whys" for leaving their current organisation.

Especially in a market like this, where fewer candidates are moving, and clients are hiring less (again, largely dependent on your industry)

Testing commitment and drivers are more important now than ever before.

There will be plenty more you can focus on in Q2 that should result in smashing your targets, but if you stay close to the elements we have outlined in this edition, you should have every chance of having a mega Q2.

Let’s go!

P.S. Whenever you're ready, there are 3 ways I can help you:

#1: Do you listen to my podcast? I release a weekly episode with either a top-performing recruiter or recruitment entrepreneur to find out how they achieved their success so you can learn directly from their journey Check out my latest episode and subscribe to the show.

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