I have never been happier to be in a new year. At Management Recruiters of Lynden, 2015 was our record year, and the fourth quarter was our record quarter. We have our most tenured team ever, and every person produced; most had their best year ever.
However, when I woke up on January 1st, a huge smile crept across my face and my heart rejoiced that I was in a new year.
2015 started off atypical for me. My mother died unexpectedly right before Christmas 2014, and I started 2015 in a fog. I suffered the greatest loss of my life, and I wasn’t clear on how to get on with life. I went to work and went through the motions; I closed deals and matched up great candidates and fantastic employers. But my spark was dampened by my sadness and sense of loss. I moved slower, and for the first time ever, work didn’t get me all jacked up. My accomplishments at work weren’t the thing that propelled me forward. My family, friends, and coworkers surrounded me with support and I was handled with kid gloves. The grace they gave me was unbelievable, and much appreciated. In turn, I felt guilt for not being who I was before my loss. I am typically the cheerleader, the loud person who celebrates everything and gets everyone around me wound up too. In 2015 I was just quieter. Less excited. I felt bad for failing my team and not being a source of energy.As the sun began to shine further into the year, and winter ended, I started pulling out of my funk. The pain faded enough for me to remember all of the good things left in my life. Going through the motions became easier, and work and life became pleasurable once again. By summer, I was on fire. Between August and December, the team and I broke records and seemed to celebrate an unprecedented amount of accomplishments. We realized we had no turnover in our company all year. ALL YEAR! That is unheard of in a recruiting company. Finding competitive people with the intelligence, resilience, and drive that can weather the years it takes to build a desk is like finding a needle in a haystack. Only 8-12% of new hires make it to the one year mark. We made some key changes to our hiring practices and structure a few years ago, and last year we realized we had figured out how to build and sustain a well-oiled recruiting machine. The energy of a producing and tenured team on a roll was palpable.Although I had my most successful professional year ever in 2015, I can’t ever look back on a year of grief and think of it as a good year. I think of it as something I had to get through. 2015 will be a year that will forever be a memory. So when I woke up on January 1st, all I felt was relief.New beginnings are often preceded by a painful period, but the opportunity for a new beginning is invaluable. A fresh start is invigorating. A new year with the opportunity to change my path feels like a dip into an azure sea on a sunny warm day, with a cold drink in my hand and tropical music in the background. Optimism abounds, and all I can feel is happiness. I survived. And I am looking eagerly towards my future.Every year, goals are reset and the chance to bring value to employers and clients presents itself again. Seize the day, seize the week, seize the month, seize the quarter, and seize the year. Break down your new starts. If today doesn’t go well, don’t repeat it tomorrow. If your week doesn’t go well, don’t repeat those action next week. If your month doesn’t go well, do better next month. If your quarter doesn’t go well, do better next quarter. And of course, like I am, see the new year as a bigger fresh start. Think about what actions and words you need to change to see more success. You can’t throw away everything because you had one bad period of time. Taryn Wright, one of my sidekicks at work, sent me this meme:
It really made me laugh, because it really puts momentary weakness into perspective. Don’t throw away any time period and smash it to bits, wallowing in your dissatisfaction. Don’t give up, but rather start anew. Say “self (this is how I address myself)! Get it together, and do what you need to do!” Pick yourself up, and get to doing what makes you good at your job.Best PracticesBelow are some things we utilize in our office to help us with fresh starts:DailyWe pitch to each other. We look for input on how our presentations come across. We also steal ideas from each other. “That sounds good! I am using that too.” Almost always, there is room for improvement.We cheer the hell out of each other. We celebrate even the small successes. Feeling supported and recognized goes a long way with people.WeeklyWeekly meetings with team members that work together, where we go over our results and our plans. Sometimes this means someone says “I didn’t actually follow through with my plan.” And they try again the next week. Sometimes it means one of us says to another “what you are doing isn’t working. Time to switch gears.” We trust each other, so hearing an outside and unbiased perspective from a distance allows us to see what we might not be able to see up close.MonthlyBeing paid on commission makes every recruiter acutely aware of monthly production. This one takes care of itself.Quarterly and AnnuallySetting up a schedule of actions ahead of time, so we know when it pops up on a calendar, we need to do it. We call those actions touch plans. We know how many touches it takes to start a relationship. We schedule emails, calls, LinkedIn posts, and go through the motions when the alerts come up, because we know that is what we need to do to build relationships. Most sales people fail to follow through. Here are some individual resolutions our team has made:Taryn: I am going to drink more French press. (Resolutions about work, Taryn)! I am always going to have a second search on deck from now on, so I can get more positions filled.Meg: I am marketing this year. I worked solely on recruiting on searches of other recruiters last year. I am only working on things with a true sense of urgency.Quinn: I am branding and getting the website redone. We want to let people know we are current, we are growing. MR Lynden has never focused on our online presence.Me: I am going to try to replicate fourth quarter every quarter of 2016. I want to stay focused so I can see how much I am capable of if I put full effort in for an entire year.Management Recruiters International sent this out last week:Hit the ground running!The strategic plan you created in Q4 of 2015 is in place and the New Year begins with a blank slate on which your 2016 results will be written. Everyone is focused on a prosperous year with award winning results.Similar to last year, predictions are that the market will continue to be candidate-driven. Reaching candidates and clients through technology is very important especially in the area of mobile devices. ZoomInfo has a new infographic which supports the market predictions.
- In 2008 there were 7 candidates for every opening. Today, there are only 1.8 candidates which is increasing the time to fill orders.
- 45% of job seekers use their mobile device to search for jobs at least once a day.
- 79% of job seekers use social media in their job search.
On top of it being a new year with a fresh start, we are in good times again! My bankers are lending, my banks are hiring, and the future is bright. We know this part of the economic cycle won’t last forever, so we are seizing the moment and working as hard as we can as long as we can. We hope you’ll also take advantage of the new year, a fresh start, and run into 2016 with gusto.