How Many Requisitions is Too Many?

Jessica Lee Candidate Pool, Interviewing, Jessica Lee, Recruiting, Workforce Management Articles, Working With Recruiters

So how many requisitions is too many reqs?

As we climb out of the downturn, hiring is picking up in many organizations – mine included. And for many recruiters, this means their req load has gotten heavier, me included – while their recruiting teams have possibly gotten smaller in the meantime (not really me, but I can empathize…). So the question of workload size is fair, especially as many are having to do more with less. This week, Workforce Management looks at how Key Bank's recruiter req loads are increasing although their staffing team has shrunk. For their recruiting staff, the average load is 25 to 30 open positions but can go up to 40. And I can't help but to think about the question of how many reqs is too many? Or how many reqs is simply "just right"?

070122_mr_owl_issues From the Workforce piece:

Some companies look at the
compensation attached to each
requisition to evaluate the load. Under this approach, 50 open
requisitions for positions paying an average of $25,000 are comparable
to a requisition load of 10 open positions for jobs paying an average of

[Key Bank] does not use
average compensation per requisition or total compensation for all
requisitions to evaluate loads. “When we look at the roles in the load,
we use the job grade and position,” she says. “If we’re hiring for a new
position for the first time, we may need heavy work on the sourcing
side. Higher-level positions may also require more sourcing work.”

For me, I've managed up to 75 reqs at a time in past recruiting roles… which I'd argue is too many. And I've also managed as few as five reqs at a time, which some might see as too few. So what number is right? Hard to say. It's almost like asking… how many licks to the center of
a tootsie pop
? For the owl, it's three licks. For mere mortals like you and me though? 

Nowadays, I have reqs but also spend time doing pipeline development and employment brand work. I spend a lot of time doing informational interviews and college recruiting to keep our pipelines strong. I also manage our social recruiting presence which feeds both pipeline and active req recruiting. Some sourcing work could be added into the mix depending on how hard to fill or rarely filled the position is. And then I always feel strongly about recruiters not just being recruiters – so I continue to do work in other areas… a little bit of training and onboarding work, a little bit of reporting and metrics stuff, a little ER here and there. Add into the mix that my culture dictates that I be a bit more hands on than I've been in other environments. I still schedule all of my interviews, I personally run my candidates through our gauntlet and shuttle them from interview to interview. I spend a lot of time briefing and debrieifing them for interviews… and we bring people in for three separate rounds of interviews at least…

So just how do we measure recruiter workload equality? And how many reqs is too many reqs? It all depends. Peep this oldie
but goodie from by folks like Kevin Wheeler
that provides
some good insights into what to measure and how to measure.
has analyzed the issue as well.
But just remember… for the owl,
it takes three licks to get to the center of a tootsie pop but for you
and I? Probably a few hundred licks, so keep in mind variables like culture, req type, kinds of other recruiting responsibilities the recruiter has, your company size, the market/scarcity of talent, recruiter skill level, and let's not forget variables related to who the hiring managers are… There's no black and white answer. And numbers alone don't mean a thing.