New Year, new opportunities (and what this means for recruiters)
A New Year means one sure thing - a peak job market. Here’s some tried and tested tips for seizing the opportunities.

According to James Liley, Vice President at Frank Recruitment Group, “The New Year is the most popular time for people to look for a job because many have used the festive break to reflect on the past year and plan for the next one.”

This presents an opportune time for savvy recruiters to make the most of the New Year job market, but how exactly do you capitalise on this peak time?  Here are some reliable tips from two leading Australian recruiters.

Network, network, network

It’s simple and effective, but the importance of networking can’t be overstated.

To maximise your potential in the New Year, Greg Kouwiloyan, Director, Accounting and Finance at Method Recruitment Group recommends that you “get out from behind your desk and grow your brand and credibility by utilising the meet-up scene.” He explains that by targeting the meet-ups that align with your specialist area, you not only gain access to potential candidates but also to clients who may be looking for insights. 

Liley concurs, adding that “an event environment is a great place to leverage introductions through your network.” His advice is to do your research, connect with people in your network before the event and also arrange to meet people afterwards. 

Virtual networking through social media platforms is just as important not only to make connections but also to provide real insights into the industries in which your clients operate as well as the level of activity of potential candidates.  Both Liley and Kouwiloyan also emphasise the benefits of checking in with strong candidates via their SEEK Profile.  

Boost your talent pools

Whether you're a generalist recruiter or operating in a specialist space, you will have clients who require technical specialists and Kouwiloyan believes that “to deliver sustainable recruitment solutions you will be required to find the best people, especially given that not everybody relies on traditional job boards.” He believes that leveraging both the active and passive market is critical as it automatically broadens your candidate pool and means you have top candidates ready to go.

Liley explains that recruiting ICT talent can be challenging so recruiters should maximise the opportunity to attract talent and take advantage of the period when candidates are open to discussing opportunities, particularly for contractors who often start looking for new engagements in January and early February.  He says, “seize the limited window of opportunity to open conversations with potential candidates before they become focussed on new projects or committed to new contracts.”

Nurture your relationships

New budgets are approved, new projects have started, and new managers want to start making an impact, so the start of a new year is the perfect time to meet your clients and discuss plans - “help your clients plan for their talent demands and consider average notice periods, required budgets and the concept of sponsoring overseas candidates with niche skills,” Liley suggests.

Likewise, Kouwiloyan recommends that you “go for that coffee, discuss where they feel there will be change, transformation, redeployment or growth.”  It's important to remember that you must continue to add value even when clients are not looking to hire staff.  He also stresses the importance of following up when you say you will; “get organised, add a note to their diary and continue to build that bond and cement that relationship.”

Another secondary benefit of working on your existing relationships and, according to Kouwiloyan, “the backbone of customer delivery” is referrals, so be sure to tap into those opportunities as well.  They are an ideal way of finding great talent and fast-tracking processes given that candidates are already vetted- and in a competitive market where time is of the essence- being in a position to hire quickly is key.