Part 1 in a 2 Part Series.
This is my first time writing for EMifo, though I’ve considered Pat Turner a personal and professional friend for over a decade now! My name is Jeremy Sisemore and I have been blessed to be in the professional executive search and staffing industry since the day I answered an ad and applied to be a Recruiter and AE for Management Recruiters International at an office in Saint Louis back in 2000.
I’ve now been in recruiting for 20 years, and with a business partner, built a small and successful search firm called ASAP Talent Services. We’re based out of Houston, TX and our firm is extremely niched into the SAP (IT, ERP Software) and Cybersecurity space. We’re a blended firm offering Retained Search Options for executive search, but also offer smaller priority-engaged search options, exclusive contingency options, and even staff augmentation options for our clients (C2H, Interim Executive etc). Having been through a very difficult 2009 and learning valuable lessons that can be the difference between surviving or thriving, I wanted to put out 10 key action items that can help you survive and thrive in 2020 and into 2021.
- During work hours (for me 8am – 12 Noon and 1-5 PM), turn off the news and social media as much as possible. Let’s get our heads right, so we can be successful today (1 day at a time). Remember people are counting on you. Our spouses, our children, our clients, and many more that I may not have mentioned.
- Tunnel focus and build either 30 min or 1 hr blocks of time that you can label on your calendar to focus on activities that you can most predict will help your business now and in the immediate future. Ex: Biz Dev, Calling MPC caliber rock stars in your industry, Relationship Building, Branding, Social Media/Marketing (keep it positive, add value), Training and Learning (EMInfo, Next Level Exchange, According to Danny, etc)
- Spend time working ON YOUR BUSINESS ….not just IN YOUR BUSINESS. Being intentional and strategic about what you can do this week, this month, that can set you apart and help you land business and keep revenue coming in. Example questions to deliberate: 1) What industries are seeing increased revenue and higher demand in these times? 2) Is my industry and the types of roles I recruit going to see a huge slow down? 3) Are there roles and types of positions that my clients, within my industry are going to need help recruiting & hiring? 4) How do I communicate with and message my clients in these challenging times? 5) What shifts and adaptations do I need to make to survive and thrive? I’ll build out some other things related to this topic below.
- If you don’t already – consider adding Contract Staffing, Staff Augmentation, Consulting, and Temporary to your arsenal. In a hiring freeze scenario – did you know some companies and hiring managers turn to Contract labor because they still have goals and people to help accomplish those goals? How can we market consulting services? What types of back-office solution providers can help me get started (Top Echelon, Signature Consultants, Evergreen and Judy Collins, etc.) Informing clients you can help in this way is a game changer for increased revenue streams in a market slow down. It increases consistency of revenue. If you don’t offer it to your clients, someone else will. What better way to check for culture fit and qualifications for a future hire, then to see them work for 6 months on a consulting basis. It offers clients flexibility to hire later, but get work done now and validate the decision for their hire. Contract, also allows clients flexibility if the needs change over time. Consult and educate your clients on the benefits and get out of your comfort zone – let’s do some situation based consulting!
- Please get on the phone and talk with all your key hiring managers and clients about how their business goals for 3rd and 4th Quarter may have changed. Do they still have goals? Remember – we are here to help our clients reach their goals as a business, as a department and hopefully to help our clients reap the rewards of future praise and promotions etc. How can we help them do that in the 3rd Qtr, 4th Qtr? What does that look like? Great recruiters have the ability to not only help clients meet their goals, but to exceed them. We don’t reach those types of goals by allowing fear to paralyze our decision making – or by making bad and irresponsible choices either. Great organizations (our clients – and our own recruiting organizations) have to adapt at times, make smart decisions. Perhaps the biggest mistake of all is to freeze in fear, allow negativity to consume us, to panic and make horrible decisions, or to make no course corrections at all. What separates great organizations from the average?
We are now on a mission to help our clients save their company, to exceed their revised business goals, to help them save their own jobs. I can’t think of a more noble mission and the search firms that do a great job in this endeavor will reap the rewards for years to come! I hope you’ll tune back in for Part 2 of this series and that you’ll tunnel focus on a few key things that you know will help you survive and thrive.
About Jeremy Sisemore:
Mr. Sisemore has billed more than $14M lifetime and has become one of the Top SAP Executive Recruiters in North America serving well over 70 Fortune 500 clients. He’s a member of The Pinnacle Society since 2011 and has served on the board of directors as both the Education Chair and the Technology Chair. Jeremy has been a speaker and industry trainer for over 19 years including speaking engagements at NAPS, The Fordyce Forum, HAAPC, NCASP and speaking at State Organizations in TN, NC, TX, and PA. He lives near Kingwood, TX in the Houston area and is married with 3 children.