Revitalised and full of ideas? WARNING - it’s not a sprint

With staff, clients and candidates otherwise engaged, many of the recruitment company owners I work with not only recharge their batteries during the Christmas lull but also find the time to think. They come up with great ideas but more often than not these fail to deliver the results that they should.

Running a recruitment business is like running a long distance race. If you set out at a sprint you’ll tire quickly as will the few of your colleagues who set off at your speed. Spread your initiatives over the year so that you are running at a sustainable, steady pace and your business will perform better. 


1.     Avoid initiative saturation

Your team already have full time jobs and the chances are your initiatives will add to their workload, at least in the short term. While your idea is almost certainly clear, quick and simple in your mind, most initiatives take at least twice as long to implement, embed and perform as anticipated. Too many initiatives introduced concurrently will result in your refreshed workforce quickly feeling jaded. Spread the initiatives out over the year and you will regularly reinvigorate your team and keep momentum.

2.    Set targets and measure

If your initiatives are worth implementing then they are worth setting both targets and time frames for as well as making someone accountable for delivery.  Without accountability, time frames and targets you won’t know if your initiatives are being delivered, let alone whether they are having a positive impact. 


Making things happen and happen fast is a critical leadership skill. But there will always be more to do than there are working hours. Successful recruitment owners prioritise which initiatives will deliver the greatest result given the capacity of the work force.

Happy new year. 

Alex Arnot is a non executive advisor specialising in recruitment businesses. He has chaired more than 1,000 board meetings for over 100 recruitment companies and is currently advising around 20 recruitment businesses as a non executive advisor.

Alex Arnot