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How The Best Recruiters Spend Their Time

Somen Mondal

May 8, 2018

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What should you be doing as a recruiter? Most would answer this by simply shifting the word: You should be recruiting, of course.

Makes logical sense. But recruiting involves lots of different things:

  • Relationship-building
  • Sourcing
  • Screening
  • Scheduling interviews
  • Conducting interviews
  • Working with hiring managers
  • Moving through the process
  • Working with HR on an offer
  • Onboarding

It’s a lot. There are theoretically 40 work hours in a work week, although many of us do work more.

Science has shown that about 55 hours/week is a hard ceiling on productivity. That’s 10+ hours/day Monday to Friday.

A percentage of that time will be taken up by calls and meetings. Let’s say that’s about 35% of time, as research has shown. 35% of 54 hours is about 19 hours, so now you’re down to 35 hours/week of solid, productive work time.

How do the best recruiters spend their time?

Building proactive pipelines

If your company rolls out a new road map and it requires a personalization expert to get it going, you now are on the clock to find a personalization expert. So what do many of us in talent acquisition do? Hit the job boards, LinkedIn, etc.

But the best personalization experts you could get for this role are likely already essentially gone, because they’ve already been in discussions with recruiters who are ready to pounce when they have approved headcount.

The best recruiters build proactive pipelines. They email candidates when they don’t have a position. They work trade shows. They work hotel bars at conferences. They lean on people they’ve placed before to find A-level colleagues, and then take them to drinks, coffee, or lunch.

They are always building out relationships pre-role. Then when the role is available, they know who to go to. They save tons of time on screening and sourcing activities in this way. They jump ahead several levels.

The project manager that needs the hire is happy. Whoever controls the budget is happy. Everyone is happy.

Thinking more strategically and problem-solving

What are different departments going to need in a few months? A few years? How could the transition from hire to onboarding be more effective? How are we within the local, state, and national market on comp?

Are hiring managers defining roles clearly? Where are people exiting the recruiting process? Is our ATS too complicated and not intuitive for a candidate? What are people saying about us on Glassdoor and what do we need to be changing internally around that?

Good recruiters, and ones who get the “seat at the table” in bigger discussions about strategy and budget, ask those questions and work on solving them. That’s how they spend a chunk of their time, because that means you’re “future-proofed.” You know the potential blind spots and you have a plan.

Now what’s a sub-par way to spend recruiting time?

Spending a lot of their time on task work

Usually this falls into sourcing, screening, and scheduling (the Three Killer Ss of Recruiting).

When this takes too much time, it can feel like you’re just checking boxes and doing nothing else. There’s not a lot of engagement for the recruiter: come in, task task task, lunch, task task task, leave, rinse and repeat. People burn out.

But here’s the great promise of technology: some of the stuff you don’t like to do or shouldn’t be doing can be outsourced to recruiting tech and you get more time for the actual reasons you got into this career in the first place: finding talent, building relationships, and getting people jobs they love and deserve.

Our friends at Brazen have this in their HQ:

Brazen HR HQ
Everyone does deserve a job they love, including you! But to get there requires you to be using your time better with some tech-enabled help.