In many jobs, and the staffing industry is a classic, you will find yourself in a position where the amount of work required of you exceeds your ability to be successful.
Recruiters are put in this position for many reasons … the tools currently used by some clients, the pure volume of unfiltered requests for people that come from some large clients and sometimes because they work at an agency that is not staffed up to meet the demands of its clients.
No matter why you are in the situation your job is to “fill orders” … to source, screen and lock down candidates for your client’s orders.
If the number of orders is too big then what you might do is “skim” … find the first one of two people that might possibly be a fit and fire them off. The problem of course is that you are throwing spaghetti at the wall, hoping something will stick. The value to the client is minimal, the potential for success is minimal and the frustration factors are high.
Another tactic is to focus on the “close-able” orders … the “low hanging fruit” where you can quickly find candidates that are a good fit. Of course these are also the orders that will have the most competition. Yes, the quality of your submissions will be better, but your chances of success are only marginally better than in the scenario above. The frustration factor will hardly be better.
The right answer is to have a plan … and to apply a logical, strategic approach to your recruiting.
1. Set some parameters for quality … a minimum amount of time spent on an order; a quality objective that the candidate meet 100% of the client’s mandatory specifications; a commmitment to interview and reference check every candidate submitted
2. Do some strategic planning around your client future needs. History and some account knowledge will show you what type of resources your clients look for. A little analysis will allow you to narrow that down to a manageable number of roles. Proactively source people for your database with those skills. Build relationships and maintain contact with these people, providing them value over and above the latest job (market information, resume help, job search help, independent contractor advice etc).
3. Develop a quick screen process for the orders that come in. Some thoughts might include assigning orders as A, B and F.
- “F” orders are just not to be worked on … they are for (a) resources outside your specialties, or (b) resources with rates totally out of line with the market (your client needs this feedback) etc.
- B orders will not be worked on while there are A orders to process … these might be (a) good orders but missing information, (b) marginally good orders, or (c) orders from clients that are not “A type” clients.
- This allows the recruiting team to focus their efforts on the higher quality orders, to give them the right level of effort and forces the sales team to chase down ALL of the needed information required for a recruiter to be successful.
4. Recruitment agencies need to regularly plan their staffing levels to ensure that they are able to serve their client base appropriately.
5. Recruitment agencies need to invest in training their staff so that they can be sure those cleints are well served.
The end game with all of the above is to get your recruiters chasing one rabbit at a time … it is the only way to ensure a higher success rate!
Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
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