Annual Kickoff Meeting Checklist: Start the Year Right

The annual kickoff meeting is an essential part of establishing your company’s trajectory for the year to come. By gathering your HR team members, department leaders, and department performers to review the year that was – and make plans for the year that will be – staffing leaders can ensure that everything gets on the right track going into the next annual cycle.

A big part of your annual kickoff meeting should be laying out projections and expectations related to your creative staffing needs. By looking back over the previous year, you can identify what talent you needed and contrast it with what you had available. As you look ahead, you can discuss what kind of contract staffing you will need. With that in mind, here is a checklist of what you’ll need for your annual kickoff meeting:

A Theme

Often underestimated in terms of importance, giving your annual kickoff meeting a theme can help shape your guiding ethos in the new year. Look back on the year you just completed and glean lessons from both your business and employee’s performances. Is this the year you need to scale operations? If so, an emphasis on expansion and change is an ideal theme, which in turn is likely to guide decisions made around what corporate communications staffing is needed.

While you’ll have time to get more specific in your directives over the course of Q1, a theme creates a driving strategy for the business that you can use as a framework for your ideas throughout the year.

“Plot out your meeting tightly, but also leave room for questions.”

An Agenda

Once you’ve determined your theme, make a clear agenda for the meeting itself. Since beginning-of-the-year kickoff can be comprehensive, they have a tendency to become lengthy, which often leads to attendees losing focus. This is where a kickoff meeting agenda can help keep things moving, making sure the conversation stays on track.

Plot out your meeting tightly, even timing each segment of your presentation, but also leave room for questions and broader discussions. Feel free to distribute the outline of this meeting agenda ahead of time to attendees to everyone can have a sense of what will be covered. Set aside time at the beginning and end for socializing.


In an annual kickoff meeting, goals take on few different dimensions: There are the goals for what you hope to get out of the meeting itself and the annual goals you are setting for creative and IT staffing, recruitment and retention.

When setting goals, take into account the risks and challenges that may stand between you and achieving what you want for the business. Will you be able to do what you set out to do with your current staff and talent, whether relates to IT staffing or creative? Are market trends going to make a proposed expansion or growth initiative more difficult? Consider these goals as benchmarks – albeit flexible ones – that you can measure progress against.

A Plan of Action

It’s one thing to lay out what you hope to achieve throughout the next 12 months – it’s entirely different to know how you will achieve it. An annual kickoff meeting is a time to not simply make predictions, but also to lay out actionable steps that will put you on the path to accomplishing your goals.

If one of your goals for 2017 is to beef up your creative and IT recruitment, Profiles can help. Contact us today to see how we can pair you with the most in-demand creative professionals.

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