As we approach the end of the year and thoughts turn to 2016, it’s important for we recruiters and agency owners to recognize the clients and contacts who have played a part in our success over the last 12 months.
What is an effective year-end approach? Is it simply a card or thank you note that may get lost in the pile or an elaborate office party? As a search firm, we have clients who may only hire one or two people each year while some will hire five, 10 or more. Should this mean different levels of recognition for the clients who spend more?
Here are our ideas on how to make the end of year gesture meaningful and memorable.
Recognize long-standing clients: The holidays are a great time to thank the clients who play a consistent part in your long-term business growth; those who return to you every time they have a vacancy, year upon year. These are the clients you know best and can give them more personalized gifts. For example, cater a lunch for your client at their office, or personally deliver gift baskets to your client rather than leaving it to a standard delivery service. These gifts are more about the personalized touch than the monetary value.
Business related ideas: Don’t forget the clients who may only require your services occasionally or prove to be a one-off assignment. Consider a LinkedIn Premium membership, a subscription to an influential industry publication or a discount off the next retained assignment they place with your company. Include with that a handwritten holiday card for that personal touch.
Gift certificates: A restaurant gift certificate is perfect for celebrating a special occasion. Find out the type of restaurant your client favors, arrange the booking then let them choose the time and date. They’ll welcome a leisurely evening after the last minute holiday rush is over.
An experience to remember: For many, the holidays is about family time. Invest in an experience to involve your client’s and their family. It may be a sporting event, a show on Broadway or attendance at a movie premiere. Make it special, personal and memorable.
Low cost gifts: Gifting doesn’t have to be costly. Gift baskets for the hiring manager to share with their team make a great gesture of thanks, as well as giving them the opportunity to kick back and relax in the office. Bottles of wine, book tokens, personalized mugs and delegate tickets for leading industry conferences or events are all a great way of saying thank you for the business you’ve been given during the year.
Giving back: In these times of heightened awareness of corporate social responsibility, a growing number of businesses support specific charities. Make a donation to your client’s charity of choice, rather than a gift to the employer themselves. It’s a unique way of giving back as well as saying thank you.
Remember your referrals: As a recruiter, referrals are the lifeblood of your business. They are a reflection of how well you treat your clients and candidates and how effective you are in your job. In our view it’s vital to recognize each and every quality referral you’ve received this year. A handwritten card together with a book token goes a long way. For consistent quality referrers personalize your gift with one of the ideas we’ve suggested above.