As recruiters, we find fulfillments by filling openings. For me, I find tremendous joy hunting out and placing passive candidates. But if you have 10-15 job openings at any given time, how
do you have enough time to data mine, court the candidate and coordinate all the interview details for all 10-15 openings? I’ve been following 7 habits of a highly effective recruiter religiously for the past few years. So I will share some of them in this article, and the rest of them in the following post.
Plan your schedule the day before
This is something I learned back when I ran a full desk at a recruitment agency. My boss made sure I would turn in my hour by hour schedule for the following day the day before. I had to figure out which company to call, what their phone numbers are, who exactly will I be asking for job orders. And if I need to headhunt for my job orders, I also need to figure out exactly which companies I will be calling and who I will be targeting. Every. Single. Day. I hated my boss for it. But looking back, I am as disciplined as I am not because of that boss.
Recruiting is similar to juggling pins: there is a system to spinning each falling pins up so none will fall to the ground. Same with filling 10-15 requisitions. First, not all of them are urgent no matter what the hiring managers tell you. Second, some of them are easier to fill than others. Third, some are super hard to fill. Depending on the mix of priorities with difficulties, you must allocate your time accordingly. When you are hunting, set aside maybe 10 minutes for the easiest position first; increase the time as the position becomes more difficult. Now, going back to the whole schedule thing - figure all of that out the day before.
Know your candidate pipeline for each position you are working on
My goal is to have 3 candidates in the mix for each position. When I say “in the mix,” I am not referring to my phone screen. I am referring to either I feel super excited about this candidate, or the hiring manager feels positive about the candidate. If I have 3 of those for one position, I will spend more of my energy in other openings. And if all 3 of those candidates are invited for a second interview, I pause the search, including reviewing resumes. I will only lightly work on the search when one of them drop out. Then I replenish that one slot with another candidate.
Deeply understand your candidate profile
You probably heard that recruiters only spend few seconds on each resume, right? We are able to do that only because we know what we’re looking for. Of course, we are not looking for the exact same thing for each position. But there are some common grounds we should have established - general experience, tenure, level of experience, general attention to details. Now, for each position, jot down keywords and target companies. if you are looking for someone with recent B2B SaaS experience, then the list narrows out quite a bit. That’s the same thing when you hunt for candidates, the more specific you are (such as coming up with a list of target companies) at the beginning of your search the more beneficial. You only want to open up your search after you’ve exhausted your top shelf profile.
In my next post, I will discuss the rest of the habits that recruiters should be aware of. In the mean time, if you have your personal best practices you’d like to share, please email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.