How to juggle candidate care with business development
One of the constant challenges of being successful in recruitment is juggling all your seemingly competing tasks, but the first thing to be clear on is what your role is and which 3 absolutely critical tasks you need to perform each and every day to fulfill the role. If you are a 360 degree consultant having to sell, source and place; the critical tasks will be: market/visit, interview and send out.. The important thing is to know how and when to do the peripheral tasks to enable you to do the 3 critical tasks.
Quality candidate care is vital as they are one half of your two customer groups in recruitment. However I have always explained to candidates and temps that my job as a recruiter is to find them jobs whilst keeping in touch with them about their job hunting activities and availability, so for them to benefit from the best use of my time, I ask them to call me once a week to have an update. This way you can update them on what you have in the pipeline for them and they can update you on what vacancies they are pursuing. It is better for your candidate and temp if you call clients to source vacancies for them rather than spend time chasing them. Your candidates can also call you when they have the time to talk. When they phone, take the call unless you are interviewing or in a client meeting. Be accessible and they are more likely to call. Undoubtedly the candidates who understand their role in the pursuit of placing them will have more success. If you are running a temp desk, you need to know who you have available when. If you are running a perm desk you need to know who is looking for what. To do this, you must be in contact with your candidates & temps. But do not do this at the cost of marketing as you need to keep your side of the bargain which is to find them jobs.
Some consultants do not interview or even speak to candidates unless they have a vacancy. This is a shortsighted practice as your candidates & temps are also your people on the ground who can inform you of things happening in the market place. To be a successful consultant you need to be able to keep all your balls in the air at once.
Another thing to keep in mind, when deciding on the right usage of your time, is your individual strike rate. E.g. if your monthly target is $20K and you need an average of 4 placements to reach that and you usually fill half your vacancies then you need 8 job orders. If you need to make 80 calls to get 8 job orders, then you know that is an average of 20 calls per week or 5 per day. Everything you do can be broken down to exactly what you need to be doing to achieve the desired result. Unless you improve your strike rate, you know from past experience what numbers you need to hit. Having said that most consultants need to do more marketing now so this is a good way to divide your time in a day whilst keeping the critical tasks in mind:
- Before 9am, plan your day e.g. who you are calling and visiting, check emails
- 9am-12pm: make calls and visit clients and prospective clients
- 12pm-2pm: check emails, call applicants, do admin, have lunch, do interviews, write ads, source
- 2pm-5pm: make calls and visit clients and prospective clients
- After 5pm: interview, do admin, plan next day, review your activities to ensure critical tasks are carried over to next day.
Always take calls from candidates and clients at all times unless interviewing or in a client meeting. Be available and accessible.