Six Steps to Get You Out of Your Rut

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Sep 18, 2013
This article is part of a series called Tips & Tricks.

Dear Barb:

I have owned my firm for over 15 years. I have had as many as eight recruiters, and now I’m a sole proprietor working from home after downsizing in 2011. How can I tell if I’m in a slump because of my niche or if it’s something I’m doing wrong? I specialize in Accounting/Finance in the Atlanta market and have blanked for three months. I hate to walk away from what I’ve done for so many years, but I’m wondering if that would turn this around. I have never blanked for three consecutive months in my entire career and can’t afford to continue this downward spiral.

Tony G., Marietta, GA

Barb Responds

Dear Tony:

You have made a dramatic change in your business model, going from a team of eight and office environment to working alone from home. Obviously, this has greatly reduced your overhead, but it has also eliminated other individuals who were generating clients and candidates. I believe your niche is strong and you need to take a hard look at your current work habits, minimum standards you’ve set, and the daily results you achieve.

Since you’ve been working alone from home you have developed certain work habits and routines. It’s probably time to get out of your comfort zone and shake things up. I want you to track what you do each day for the next 10 days. When do you start working, record how much of your time is spent making marketing presentations, marketing candidates, checking references, recruiting for top talent, matching, presenting opportunities, prepping, etc. This time study will show you areas that are not getting enough of your time and attention.

To get out of your rut implement the following:

  1. Complete the time study.
  2. Talk to 20 new people daily.
  3. Spend most of your time marketing candidates (the quickest way to write business).
  4. Check six to nine references daily – converting the call into a marketing presentation.
  5. Focus on booking send-outs (first interview between your candidate and client – phone or face to face).
  6. Track your stats; numbers don’t lie, and it is critical that you realize what results you need each day in order to hit or surpass goals.

If you put your main focus on booking sendouts, it forces you to complete marketing and recruiting calls, and do all the basics that will get you back on track. It’s time to do whatever it takes to get back on track. If you want to have me coach and mentor you on a regular basis, please review our coaching club at
Follow the six steps I’ve suggested and you will realize it’s not your niche.

Barbara J. Bruno, CPC, CTS

This article is part of a series called Tips & Tricks.
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