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Optimisation: Maximising the moment

Optimisation: Maximising the moment

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Last edited August 24, 2023

Optimisation: Maximising the moment

The Reality

The reality is this – the market conditions over the last couple of years have been extraordinarily buoyant, and whilst some of you out there are feeling like that this may have all changed over these first few months of the year and everything is just a lot harder right now, the reality is nothing has actually changed.

The issue for some recruiters, some recruitment businesses, is that when you are in a buoyant market as we have been in we start to see complacency and slippage creep in…

… which then gets compounded when the markets shift as they did at the back end of last year and moving into the start of 2023.

What happens then? Well…

Sound Familiar?

This is what a big part of the industry has experienced over the first quarter of 2023 and moving into Q2:

  • Job flow starts to decrease, even though there are plenty of jobs still out there.
  • Engagement (internal) starts to dip, during what should be one of the most exciting markets in decades.
  • Activity levels almost half, at a time when tech enables us to do x4 of what we were doing before.
  • Profit conversions shrink, despite seeing revenue increase year on year.
  • Everything just feels x10 harder, even though we have worked to make our businesses 10x more efficient

Any of this sounds a little familiar? Then read on…

Complacency and Slippage

You may have been too busy to notice, but here are some examples of where complacency and slippage seemed to have crept in to some recruitment businesses in the past 6 months:

  • Adapting to short term market conditions and not thinking about the long term cycle.
  • Focusing on revenue over profit (they are NOT the same!).
  • Panic selling to the wrong type of customers.
  • Not selling at all and maintaining an over reliance on the same, small handful of customers.
  • Hiding in our offices and not getting out in front of our customers
  • Having a maintenance focus rather than a growth focus
  • Accepting mediocrity (activity, conversions, revenue) as good.
  • Allowing minimum standards (activity, processes) to slip.

… and so the list goes on.

So What?

The market itself remains robust as it has always been.

There is plenty of hiring going on and as long as the shortages in talent remain, then recruiters will be needed as much as ever to support organisations with that.

Add to that the positive turn in the market conditions we are already seeing post Easter, and I can’t help thinking that those recruiters who stop being complacent, who keep doing the basics brilliantly and consistently, who raise their expectations around the type and volume of activity they are doing, will continue to enjoy the journey they were on in 2022 over the course of the rest of this year.

Waste Elimination

The art of tossing out anything and everything that anchors daily performance.

Every day, thousands of pounds worth of profit are leaving your business through wastage.

You may not see it, but it is happening, and the accumulative effect means that your business growth becomes slower, your ability to invest reduces and your bottom line profitability is performing at sub-optimal levels.

Wastage is caused by a number of things, but some of the most common areas include:

  • Processes not working as they should
  • Systems / tech not returning an ROI.
  • Conversion time from jobs on to placements too slow.
  • Inefficient fill rates.
  • Client contribution below minimum company standards.
  • Internal culture not driving high performance.
  • Too much time spent on underperforming customers.
  • Cross selling / up selling opportunities being missed.

Plug the performance leaks in your business by running a waste management campaign for each of the areas above.

Add this to some of the ideas we talked about before on productivity management and watch the immediate impact it will have on your bottom line.

Get more for less.

Waste and inefficiency cost you time and money and as business leaders we should be eliminating waste from our business. The checklist we built came from 100’s of recruitment business leaders who identified areas of waste and inefficiency that they felt could and should eliminated.

Review all the statements in the checklist and consider where waste exists in your business.

Having completed the checklist, identify the low hanging fruit and eliminate the areas of waste that will have the biggest positive impact on productivity.

Download it for free at

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