Table of Contents
News, Training & Commentary by Bill Radin
You Spread Too Thin?
Recruiters often complain of sensory overload, and for good reason.
Not only are we bombarded with a thousand bits of information
and a dizzying array of decisions to deal with on a daily basis, we're
also expected to make our fair share of recruiting calls, marketing
calls, interview prep calls, follow-up
calls -- and, if all goes according to plan -- a healthy number of
reference checks and closing calls.
So how do we juggle all these chainsaws and still maintain a high level
of performance? Here are some ideas to preserve your physical -- and
mental -- health:
1. Organize. While no two recruiters have the exact same system
for processing data, the characteristic shared by all peak performers is
their ability to quickly sort and store information. Look for ways to
streamline your data flow and then file away or delete non-essential
resumes, job orders and e-mails.
2. Automate. There are dozens of ways you can systematically stay
in touch, keep informed and spot opportunities. For example, you can set
up a quarterly e-mail blast to your candidates and hiring managers,
either in the form of a talent sheet, a job alert, a newsletter or a
request for updated contact information. Or, you can create follow-up
or "tickle" files as a reminder to call key contacts on a
regular basis; or set up search agents to scour job boards and search
engines to keep you apprised of fresh candidates or red-hot jobs.
3. Prioritize. The 80/20 rule (also known as the the law of
inequality) states that most of whatever is thrown at you is a waste of
your time. Therefore, you
should sidestep low-value tasks or information and prioritize those with
a higher payoff potential. For example, it makes little sense to spend
the same amount of time
recruiting on a low-probability job order as it does on a truly urgent
assignment; or for you to put off closing a deal in order to slog through a
pre-set quota of outbound marketing calls.
4. Delegate. I've found that if you can find someone or something
that can do a task better, faster, more economically or more enjoyably
than you can, then delegate it. For example, if a candidate's resume
needs work, you can direct the person to your Web site's resume-template
page, rather than spending your time fixing the resume or giving a
remedial writing lesson. Or, if an
employer has trouble describing the exact nature of a job he's trying to
fill, have him fill out a questionnaire, rather than trying to pull the
information out of him, one word at a time.
A common trap to avoid: We sometime fall prey to "dumping," which is
passed off as delegation. For example, if an employer is unwilling or
unable to give you a complete, accurate job description and instead
refers you to the company's job posting, it puts you in an untenable
position in which you can't describe the job any better, faster or more
economically than the job posting can. So nothing has actually been
delegated, and you can add no value to the equation.
Delegation: A Matter of Judgment
As a recruiter, you must constantly decide which situations demand your personal involvement
and which can be delegated. For example, in most cases,
it would be unthinkable not to extend a job offer or close a candidate personally in real
time yourself. But I've also found that in certain situations in which a
candidate is experiencing "recruiter fatigue," it's more effective to
delegate the job of closing to the hiring manager. That's assuming, of course,
that the manager is competent to close the deal.
In my opinion, the use and misuse of delegation has become
the single most important issue facing the recruiting industry. Remember
that a recruiter's role is to add value, either in the form of
experience, insight, judgment, rapport or courage.
Too often, we delegate the job of finding candidates to job boards, resume services or databases when we should be doing the heavy lifting
ourselves, either by cold calling, networking or good old-fashioned
detective work. If you find that a database or job board can do a
better, faster or more economical job of locating qualified (and
placeable) candidates, fine. If not, it's the your responsibility
to serve the client's hiring needs by getting on the
phone -- or shifting your priorities to other, more fillable