October 21, 2022

The Hirewell Hot Corner: 4th Quarter / Baseball Playoffs


Episode Highlights

Topic Intro: 4th Quarter/ Playoff Baseball


4th Quarter for Companies


Solutions and Planning


2 Types of 4th Quarter Companies


4th Quarter Obstacles


2 Minute Drill


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In this week’s episode, Dan and Louie dive into the “Hunt for October ” – playoff baseball and how that relates to the 4th quarter in recruiting and business. They segway the final weeks of the regular season and early parts of the playoffs into hitting goals and producing in crunch time as the fiscal year closes out.

Episode Transcript

Welcome back to the Hirewell Hot Corner where sports and recruitment meet. I am your host, Dan Spittel, joined as always by Louis Morici. Louis, great to see you again. Let’s jump right in. What’s going on in your world and the world of sports today? Another fun Thursday night football. My bears got to take part in it this time. And once again, they stuck in there. Ultimately lost, which seems to be the pattern for this year.

But hey, I think better to talk about your Steelers taking down TB 12. Man, we can’t beat the jets apparently, but we can take out Tom Brady now. Trubisky got a win. Came in looked good. I’m not going to begin to tell you I know what happened, but a win’s a win and I’m going to take it. Yeah, I mean anytime you can beat the Buccaneers with Tom Brady and do it at home in front of your crowd,

with the fact that your secondary was depleted- like it’s impressive. We had practice squad guys out there making moves. I couldn’t believe it. Yeah, I saw a few things. People were calling for Tomlin’s head the week before. Now what do they do? How dumb do they look? You know what I mean?

Steelers fans for years have been calling for Tomlin’s head every couple weeks. Then he makes a big statement win. You have to remember, this guy’s never had a losing season as a head coach. So give him some grace. We started out really badly a few years ago. He got criticized for trading for Minka Fitzpatrick.

You see how that’s working out? Yeah, he’s amazing. When it comes to- I think I saw a couple stats on him, like literally a quarterback rating of zero against him. I think it was going into this past week or the week before, which zero is pretty good. I don’t know if you can do any better. But to kind of segway from football, this week we’re just going to kind of use baseball as kind of our topic to cross segment with recruiting. Quarter four of recruiting equals playoff time for baseball, October, hunt for October.

So that’s kind of what we’re going to talk about today. Yep. Playoff baseball. We’re in the throws of October baseball. We’ve seen some seemingly juggernaut teams go down in the divisional series. We lost the Braves and the Dodgers already. Not going to say I’m horribly mad about it. I’m enjoying the excitement of the Padres and Phillies in the NLCS on my end.

So should be fun to watch. Not many times the two wild card teams end up in the divisional series or in the conference or whatever, you know, the championship series. And that Philly’s atmosphere. Holy moly, does that look fun? I mean, they’re having a good time and telling you, they’re feeding off their fans and no better time to get it all together

than October playoff baseball. No question, but we have to look at how the teams that are left, how’d they get here? How did you make the push for October and how are you succeeding now in that final stretch of the season, in the post season when all really matters? Agreed. Agreed.

I mean, we’re talking about last part of the season. The final push, the Braves taken over the NL East and the final days and months of the season. And it’s about the momentum you take into the fourth quarter. So it’s not just a switch that you turn on.

It really just, it’s something that you kind of have to build towards knowing what’s expected- another level of energy, another level of performance. Yeah. And much like these teams that are hitting these final strides now into the playoffs, companies are in that crunch time now too.

We’re into the fourth quarter. We’re looking close to the holiday season, that final push for the year to end the year strong. I know on our part, it’s always a big time to talk about last quarter goals, metrics, what can we do to finish the year strong. From a company perspective, we see how these baseball teams are hitting that extra gear in September and October.

What can a company do as they’re now in the throws of the early part of the fourth quarter? Yeah. I mean, there’s a lot of ways to- it’s tough. I mean, like anything, it’s tough to stay motivated. What can you do to keep motivation at a high level? How can you be successful?

And it’s- again, kind of touching on what I mentioned. It’s all about preparation. You know, quarters one, two, and three, they’re pretty robust. Like those are the big chunks because the quarter four, you have Christmas, you have Thanksgiving, you have Hanukkah, like all of these holidays and things that people take time off, they travel, family.

And it does limit the amount of days to produce and perform. So things off the top of my head that you can do is when it comes to the numbers, the overall number you’re trying to hit, you might have to factor in the slower quarter four, but you still have targets to hit to meet the yearly goal.

So it’s planning. It’s maybe having some competitions on your internal team to kind of keep the juices flowing. There’s no shortage, but it’s something that you definitely need to plan ahead and really kind of make that final push like we’re seeing in the baseball playoffs.

Absolutely. And especially when we talk about the number of days being limited with the holidays and travel. At least from our standpoint, our company, we close from Christmas to New Year’s. A lot of people say they don’t, but you end up having a kind of a skeleton crew man in the ship and not much business getting done there at the end of the year.

So you definitely hit the nail on the head, is planning is key. And what aspects of that planning, what can you do in that fourth quarter, maybe even preparing for next year as well? It’s simple things. It’s talking with clients, getting realistic expectations.

Like if you’re going into October, early November, and they have these hiring targets, well let’s face it, the start dates if you’re getting folks in play then, are going to be right smacked dab in the middle and the end, you know middle to end of December. And it’s a tough time to start someone with all the days off and that we mentioned. Sometimes then that gets pushed out and that can affect if you hit your goal or not.

So it’s almost like October is go time as we see the fruits of our labor don’t usually come within the same calendar month, with interview processes and then two weeks notice and then those actual start dates come around anything later than December

10th maybe. Just a rough number. Like it’s all going to fall to the wayside until the following year. So really we’re looking at like two months of quarter four. Roughly 60 calendar days where you can really produce and hit that number. So you’re behind the eight ball to begin with.

Sure. I definitely see there’s two sides of corporate hiring in the fourth quarter. There’s those companies that say, “Hey, we have this plan. We need to hire these people by end of q4, so they’re fresh radio for the new year.” Then you have this other side where they’re, “Why would we hiring quarter four?

They’re not going to really work in November, December. Maybe fresh for the new budget in 2023.” I think more on the candidate side, at least from my end, maybe you’ve seen differently, is most people they’re going to hit that wall in November where they go, “I’m not going to really make a move now until January, until February.

Why would I make a move to a new job right in the smack deb part of the end of the year with holidays.” I don’t know if you see that more on the sales side from your end. Maybe it’s more focused on hitting those quarter four goals and then looking at new opportunities in the next year.

Yeah, that’s a very, very good point. Like not only from a client’s side, but also from the candidate’s side. It’s one of those things, holiday season, you want to have money in your pocket, in your bank account, because it’s an expensive time of year for the most part. So knowing where your paycheck’s coming from and not kind of

jumbling what that looks like up is a huge priority for folks. And sitting through a cold winter, couple more months, get to January, get to February, and then starting your look to either hire folks or if you’re looking to change jobs- it’s definitely one of those things. Like it kind of falls into one of our points that we’re going to talk about is the obstacles we’re going to face and how to overcome them.

We talked about the lack of like time, if you will, with the holiday season, travel, yada yada, all that good stuff. That’s an obstacle. The budget- you mentioned the budget. Sometimes companies are spread really thin and they can’t even address their company needs at the time because their budget doesn’t kick until quarter one, you know?

What are some other obstacles maybe that you come up with or you’ve ran into in your career at this point- point in the game? Fourth quarter. Fourth quarter. Yeah. I mean, you are looking at, from a standpoint of the company they’re wrapping up projects, they’re wrapping up contracts with clients and a lot of them aren’t prioritizing recruitment in the fourth quarter.

It’s like you said, budget’s a big part of it. Holiday season, it’s really tough to onboard and train employees when your staff is taking pretty sporadic PTO throughout the fourth quarter. And so it’s just determing where your priorities lie at what point in the game? If you need someone for q1, you can bring them in January. But if you bring them in November, December, maybe it’s not an ideal look and it might cost you a little more, but they might be able hit the ground running January one and really produce for you right off the bat.

So I think that’s the biggest thing is kind of determining from a company standpoint, is recruitment important at this point? Do we have the bandwidth to interview? Do we have the bandwidth to bring someone on board? Or do we need to put it off from a financial perspective or from a time perspective, you know?

And that does go back to your main point of planning. Did they plan accordingly as they forecasted this growth? And do they have the capacity to make it work now? You’re hitting all the points today. You’re coming up with some great stuff. You have to look at it from both sides.

What are the positives of maybe hiring in fourth quarter? You can use that time as maybe like a shadowing, you know? Kind of let them get their feet wet in an environment where it is a little bit less tense. And then come January one, it’s off and running, they’re full throttle.

It’s kind of using that month and a half, month whenever they get brought on to kind of groom them and bring them along slowly. Let them sit with people. Because training ultimately is what it comes down to, is the most important part when it comes to your first day starting a new job. It’s the launch point and usually can predict a lot about success and how quickly that comes.

So yeah, we’ve kind of like touched on all of this and when it comes to how to succeed in the fourth quarter, I think that can kind of bring us to what we would call our two minute drill, kind of recapping this week’s topic. And I want to start off by just saying, control the controllables. Just put it pretty simple.

There’s only so much time, people are going to be out of the office, you know? But that doesn’t mean less work. It just means you might not get the responses that you’re looking to, but you still gotta make that effort. Email the folks. Source for folks. Talk to clients when they’re available. The business never sleeps.

You have to put in your end of it because there’s still money, there’s still revenue to bring in. It’s just you have to find who’s moving at the right time and get working on it. Yeah. You’ve worked your whole year to put yourself in this position in quarter four. Everything leads up to the fourth quarter.

The fourth quarter in football, the ninth inning in baseball, post-season, any analogy we want to throw out there for sports. What your fourth quarter looks like and how you finish the year entirely depends on how you planned and the plan you put into place moving up to it. Yeah. I mean, I’m pretty much a cliche monster today.

I hit you with the “Control the controllables” but failing to prepare is preparing to fail. If you don’t put something into place even in quarter one, like when you’re planning out what the year’s going to look like, you’ve got to put a heavier emphasis on quarters one through three as far as maybe revenue targets compared to quarter four,

knowing year after year it’s pretty straightforward. December, November, they’re smaller, less busy months across a lot of different industries. I know that there’s going to be those one-offs that end up killing it. But at the same time, like it’s just a generality and it’s really about putting in the effort in the things that you can control in your hands and doing the best- best you can really.

Sounding like vintage Mike Tomlin at a postgame conference with your amount of cliches, and I love every moment of it. Well, cliche monster. We’ll take it. Well, on behalf of Louis and myself, thank you again for tuning into the Hirewell Hot Corner. Join us again for our next show in the coming weeks. And as always, stay classy LinkedIn.

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