Ask different businesses which the trickiest month of the year to make work is and you’ll get different answers – but in the recruitment industry, it’s a rare agency that won’t call December the toughest of the lot.
So why so challenging? Is it just because it’s such an (effectively) short month? Yes and no – because most of the problems here aren’t any issue in February.
At TBOS we’ve assembled a four-point checklist to keep handy through December. Your back office will want this printed out in the biggest print available and ready to hand, to make sure nothing’s forgotten.
Keep Your Eye on Your Cashflow
Many businesses are going to be unusually slow to pay out or want to pay out unusually early. For the first, you need to be prepared to chase, and for the second, you need to have your invoices ready to go, because by the end of the month, payroll needs to go out as usual. Well… mostly…
Plan Payroll Carefully
It’s not just that the month is effectively shorter – it’s that it’s unpredictably shorter, and that bank holidays slow down payment transfers. You still need to pay your contractors and your staff on time despite holidays or before Christmas, and that means needing your payroll to be processed earlier than usual, and with liquid capital in your account ready to go, which is also harder in December.
Unusual Time Constraints
The invoice finance industry is noted for many things, but one of the biggest standouts is that they tend only to work mornings in December – so take that in mind when you do your drawdowns; it’ll be much easier to handle this on a morning.
The accounts departments of client companies may be closing early, so always keep an eye on their holiday dates and get payments before they close.
Assume You Have a Skeleton Staff
Colds and flu are more active in December than any other time of the year, and it’s one of the months that staff are most likely to book off. It can be difficult to keep your back office running at a full complement over the winter shutdown – and there are extra time constraints on getting everything done – but ideally, you’ll end December not just having done everything you usually would but also having taken the time to get a head start on the new year.
Why do you need a head start? Because January is expansion and new hire season for many major companies, and your recruiters will be taking full advantage – so your back office’s desks need to be clear and prepared.
It’s not all doom and gloom, though; you’ve got one thing on your side – as the companies you work alongside prepare for the closedown, their emails get less frequent and you’ll have fewer distractions as you work through the backlog.
We think we can help, too, whether through TBOS Complete, TBOS Freedom, or both. If you want to know how, we’d be happy to discuss it; you can contact us here, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 0845 8811 112.