We had loads of great ideas in 2019, but we just didn't make them happen, why not?

13 Jan 2020   |   by Una McGuinness

Business Planning 2020

OK, so you have completed the financial planning part, you have written the 'what' you are going to do this year; however, you are wondering will it be the different to last year?

Did you find yourself reviewing last year's business plans, only to think, 'there was a lot of great stuff in here why didn't we make it all happen?'Are there currently similar issues to last year within your business, you know if you could over-come they would make your business fly?  For example;

  • We are not cross-selling enough, we are missing opportunities, or we haven't delivered on our client strategy for the XX area.
  • Do we know we are paying for candidates that sit on our database? Are we unsure of how to harness the opportunities of the CRM?
  • Do we know our operational workflow, is sporadic and not everyone buys into it?
  • Did our "candidate experience" project, for example, halt in q1 last year?
  • Did we buy a piece of technology, but honestly are not utilising it to its full potential?
  • Or did we launch a new area, only to have dipped our toe, rather than made it the success we know we are capable of and the market is there?
We had loads of great ideas in 2019, but we just didn't make them happen, why not?

As Recruitment leaders, we all like to try new and exciting things.

All too often, we set ourselves up to achieve far too many strategic goals that 'could' make a massive difference if implemented successfully. We often get bored quickly, and because the day to day of Recruitment and management can be so consuming, strategic ideas don't have the effect they should.

An idea, no matter how good it is, is nothing, yes absolutely nothing without a brilliant execution plan.

How can you turn "what we need to do" to a "how are we going to do this and deliver meaningful results"?

Initially prioritise, which one or two strategic goals will focus? Are we as sure as we can be, these are the right goals? (you can always add to the list when these are flying..)

  1. "How" are we going to make this work, i.e. is it we want our Managers or Recruiters to implement this - if so they need to be involved in the' how' as they will undoubtedly know how to make this work operationally, and most importantly the barriers.
  2. Where are we starting form - what's our data point?
  3. What will success look like, how will we analyse the progress or if we need to make adjustments to the plan, and how frequently will this be reviewed.  
  4. Who is going to make it happen? The most successful strategies I have seen delivered, mean everyone in the business, have some level of involvement. 
  5. How is marketing, HR and finance specifically going to support this initiative? Internal comms, up-skilling, training, marketing strategy?
  6. Are there things we are doing which we need to stop, or reprioritise to make this happen?
  7. How are we going to recognise the success of this for individuals - be in their performance reviews, will it be financial incentivised, how do we ensure it becomes part of the Culture, of the norm.


Frequently, and I have experienced this myself, the board are confident and knowledgeable of the strategies they want to employ to make the difference. However, once, you get onto the shop floor, the level of clarity diminishes.  

 None of us can afford to be vague about the purpose of your businesses and plans for the future, both immediate, mid and long term. The adage, "snooze you lose" in the competitive world of Recruitment is not wrong.

So communicating your goals to the business is paramount, linking them to the 'why' and your business values increases buy-in and likelihood of success!
If you would like a partner to help you on this journey, drop me a line.

Una McGuinness

Una has a huge passion for the industry, substantiated by over 20 years’ experience as a leader. Currently working with an array of clients across various sectors and projects, Una can offer you objectivity, smart thinking, with a constant eye on what and how companies are adapting to the world of recruitment plus inspiration to make the changes you require to take your business to the next level.

More About Una
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