I had a boss who used to love coming in and giving the generic management direction of “we need to work smarter, not harder”! Thanks, Einstein. Now, are you willing to tell us what the heck that actually means!?
In the recruiting game today, I know recruiters are being told this. As average days to fill continue to rise because the job market has tightened, recruiters need to find new ways to find the best talent and find it fast. Organizational spend on attracting talent is up 7% year over year and that number will only rise as the demographics continue to shift in an aging workforce.
So, the big question will continue to be – how as a Recruiter – can you work smarter (and faster) rather than just harder!? Here are some tips to help you out:
- Don’t allow hiring managers to think “passive” candidates are still a thing! Over half of your employees are actively looking for a new job, a bunch more are open to hearing what you have to say! Passive is the new active! Your hiring managers have to be open to talking to whomever it is you bring them who meets the needs of the organization. We no longer have room for weird hiring manager quirks of who they like or don’t like.
- Pick low hanging fruit first, then get out your ladders to reach the apples up high. Sure finding the perfect candidate in some far off talent pool no one else discovered is really cool, but it’s also a huge resource suck! The key is to find those talent pools that are fruitful without having to spend a ton of resources finding them! Have a process to blast your known sources quickly, every time, before getting caught going down some sourcing rabbit hole.
- Schedule focused time to source on one position. Studies show that one hour of focused time equals four hours of time spent trying to finish a task while you’re distracted. Most recruiters are “professional firefighters”! We run around all day putting out new fires. This is highly ineffective. Schedule some time to stay focused and turn off anything that disturbs that.
- If it causes you pause, ask the question. One of the biggest time sucks recruiters deal with is trying to get answers to follow-up questions from hiring managers. The reason for most of these is that the recruiter didn’t ask the question to begin with, even when they saw it! Rule of thumb, if it doesn’t look right, it probably isn’t. Ask the question!
- Spend money, to save money. I constantly hear from recruiting leaders they don’t have the budget to buy new technology to help their teams, yet their organizations are spending millions on agency fees, consultants, and contractors because they aren’t staffed properly. Have faith that your finance leader will understand the concept that you need to spend some money to save some money!
As recruiting leaders, we have to understand the differences between wanting our teams to work smarter vs. harder. For me, it was always I want both! I want you to work smarter and harder. As you can imagine, recruiters loved working for me! The reality is, as leaders, it is our job to help our recruiters work smarter, so they can stop working so hard and get burned out.
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If you Google “Tim Sackett” you’ll find our Tim, and a truck driver chaplain. Our Tim is NOT the truck driver chaplain, although how awesome would that be if he was!? He is a prolific writer in the HR and TA space who just happens to also run an Engineering and IT contract staffing agency (HRU Technical Resources) out of Michigan. He also writes every day at his own blog, the Tim Sackett Project. Weirdly, he’s known as an expert in workplace hugging, which was kind of cool years ago, but now seems painfully creepy, but we still love him and he’s fairly harmless. Tim is also on the board of the Association of Talent Acquisition Professionals (ATAP), lifetime Michigan State Spartan fan, husband to a Hall of Fame wife, 3 sons, and his best friend Scout. He also wrote a book with SHRM called The Talent Fix, you can find it on Amazon.