Are You Tracking Recruiters? Or Spying?

John Whitaker John Whitaker, Performance, Recruiting

Trackers. The bane of every recruiter. Call trackers, “activity” trackers, shared trackers, weekly trackers, monthly trackers, “tick” sheets….no matter the name or the purpose, most recruiters I’ve managed consider these administrative tasks a waste of time at best, or micromanaging at the very least. I don’t blame them, really, nobody likes to tediously document what he or she does throughout the day – it’s almost insulting.


No, it only seems that way too people who don’t want to be watched, which honestly includes just about every employee, present company included. I know a lot of really good recruiters who will tell you it’s a waste of time to stop and document each call & interaction throughout the day. They live by the rule of “don’t try to watch the water run through your plumbing, just enjoy the drink.” As a matter of fact, I think I invented that quote many moons ago when being asked for a similar tracker from my own boss. “Don’t cramp my style, boss man.”

So why use something as remedial as a tracker or call sheet to manage your recruiting team? Why, oh why, must you spy on me, boss? Several reasons, actually, beginning with:

  1. Grandma shares her recipes, so should you ~ If you can’t explain the “how” in your hiring process, you limit your own value. Posting resources, boolean strings, niche sites, calls per day, etc. What are you doing that can be replicated or shared with your colleagues? Establish a formula, spread the wealth, write a book, whatever – but let us know how you’re doing it, chief.
  2. ATS data is still dependent on accurate input ~ Limiting yourself to ATS reporting as the only source of recruiting measurement is a bad idea. You get a lot of outcomes and mechanics, but most of it (admit it) is done after the fact, when recruiters are “cleaning up the requisition” before closing it. So while TTF and a few other metrics may be perfect for the ATS, all other information is suspect.
  3. Your Boss Needs a Story ~ We live in a working-manager culture; in addition to having 10-12 recruiters, Staffing Managers likely have a load of requisitions on their own respective desk. That leaves precious little time to work one:one with each individual recruiter; but give me a good tracker, and I can make some assumptions on where you might change your time/task allotment.

And yes, there probably are some managers who would rather track you than “manage” you – there’s always the potential to misuse any tool, whether it be a tracker or a pager (shout out to the 80’s).

The fact is, when you learn to manage yourself & can illustrate/document that fact, you become the kind of employee a manager will depend upon and value. That’s a far cry from spying.