The back half of December (which is somehow already here) is an interesting time here at Oberg and Associates, LLC. From a recruiting standpoint, things tend to slow down: many clients and candidates are on Christmas vacation, or busy trying to wrap up the year in their own offices. As a result, new hiring can sometimes get pushed off to January, when a new year’s budget is in place for most.
So, what does a recruiting firm do with its time when people don’t answer the phone, and business slows down? We all know what they say about idle hands…
My philosophy has always been to try to maximize the time as well as possible. Use the time at the office to catch up on things you have let slip throughout the year.
That paperwork you didn’t fully fill out because you got swept up into something else? The tendency is to just let it get filed incomplete, but use this time to finish it. The database fields you didn’t update because you just didn’t have time to stop and do so? I generally don’t give them a second thought, but this is a good chance to update them. Your desk is a mess, and your files are totally disorganized because of the chaos that 2017 has been? What better time could there be to get things filed and organized?
In essence, there is always something you can be doing, even when things are slow. Whether it’s catching up on stuff that got pushed to the side when things were busy, or getting ahead on future projects for when things get busy again.
Slower times also present an opportunity to get feedback from your teams: to find out what systems they think are working, and where the bolts can be tightened. This will help your facility’s systems become more effective, while also letting your employees know that their opinions are valued, and increasing their buy-in.
It’s also a chance to do some training and learn some new skills that you can use to advance your career.
I know here, our office’s Director of Operations always has training and team building exercises to help us mesh better as an organization. This year, he’s helping us old farts get better about organizing our computer files and email folders, so that we can find things easier when we need them next year.
Little adjustments like that can make a huge difference when I’m swamped in January.
On the other side of this spectrum, I know that everyone here at Oberg and Associates works incredibly hard all year. Our recruiters give up their mornings and evenings on a regular basis to talk to candidates and clients, sacrificing precious time with their families to do so.
So, when things slow down for these next few weeks, I like to let people maximize their time by sending them home. Spending time with the family, and recharging for the rush that will undoubtedly come in January, is just as important as time spent updating systems and catching up on things in the office.
So, I encourage each of you to take a look and figure out how you can maximize your time. Are you spending time idle, or are you taking advantage of every minute you have, both at work and at home? We only get so much time, don’t waste it.