Quarterly business plans (QBPs) work so well in recruitment. As with the four seasons, recruitment trends change considerably throughout the year, so planning in detail for more than 3 months at a time, can sometimes be counter productive.
Too often recruitment consultants (and managers and directors sometimes) are working day-to-day on their business and either don’t have or don’t take the time to step back and review what’s happening to be able to plan ahead. What happens is whatever the business dictates. This usually means inconsistency in the results and revenue going up and down from month to month.
In my previous blog post — “To KPI or not to KPI…” — I reviewed that the figures can be your ally… but you’ve got to use them. So with QBPs, one of the most important parts is to analyse the activities and statistics that you’ve gained over the previous 3 months and put them into the first part 1 of your QBP using the topics that I’ve detailed below. Then repeat, but as a plan for the next 3 months. This is covered in more detail in another of my posts – People do what you ‘inspect’, not what you ‘expect’.
The key is that you’re always planning ahead, based on the statistics and trends from your previous work.
Once you have planned for your next three months, it’s important that you have checkpoints along the way to be able to identify if you’re on track. These checkpoints are your monthly Performance Reviews.
So not surprisingly, a lot of your QBP will be based around the information that you’ve gathered and created for your monthly Performance Review.
1. Performance objectives
4. KPIs/SWOT analysis
5. Client and Candidate plans
… and then we add a couple more.
7. Special projects
These should involve things that are not in your day-to-day job description. They could be organising a networking event, attending a conference, being responsible for an internal company competition, organising a charity day, or mentoring a new starter.
Although we’ve talked about detailing your plans over a quarter, you should have an overview of your ‘vision’ for the year ahead. You then review this on a quarterly basis to make sure that it’s still where you want to be going!
So start your first QBP by writing out what you want your desk/business to be like by the end of the next 12 months. Include things such as what you want your clients and customers to be saying about your desk/business, what levels of business you want to be doing, and what would make you feel proud, if you achieved it.
9. Dates and actions
Make sure that you plan the dates for the next two Performance Reviews and the following QBP review and then sign to confirm that they’re in the diary.
Any actions and agreements should be written up (by yourself) within 48 hours or your QBP review and copied in to your manager. You’re now set to start your next quarter… ahead of the game.
I would recommend that 90 minutes is allocated for a QBP review and 60 minutes for a monthly performance review. They key is to have the information available for your manager 2 days before, so they can peruse it and then have a considered conversation with you about key parts of the plan.