Many job seekers often wonder what their recruiter does all day. They have to leave messages for their recruiter and may not get a return call until the next day. Along with the wonder, frustration starts to set in. The popular statement, "There is never enough time in a day," is a reality for most recruiters. To build a rapport between job seeker and recruiter takes trust. To gain trust, takes time.
The race against time is what will make or break a recruiter. When positions are posted by client employers, there are many recruiters searching at the same time for the right candidate. Sometimes a job opening will be created by an employee who is immediately terminated or who leaves without providing two weeks' notice. This increases the risk of losing precious time as a result of working around current work schedules for interviews or appropriate start dates.
The next step is to contact candidates who match the criteria of the position as quickly as possible. Delays may happen from leaving messages, e-mails or working around work and personal schedules. Once an employer contacts a recruiter regarding a new opening, the recruiter has to review the details of the opening and confirm permission to submit job seeker profiles. A large percentage of the client employers utilizing outside staffing resources have a specific profile submission checklist of requirements. Any delay on the recruiter's part in completing profiles could mean the loss of an opportunity.
Candidates are submitted by either fax or e-mail. As a rule of thumb, you never rely on office equipment to get the job done. So, the phone tag process between client employer and recruiter will begin. If a candidate is chosen for phone a interview, then that job seeker is added to become a three way relay of communication to tie down an interview. Previous communication of start dates, request off time, available dates, times available for phone interviews and all means of communication access will alleviate potential time barriers. Additionally, if recruiters are able to leave messages at the job seeker's current job site, it may save valuable time.
If no immediate candidates are available, the recruiter will start searches for a match and potential new hire. This also will affect timing, as new hire candidates have to complete the recruiting firm's new candidate requirements before being submitted for positions at the recruiter's client employers.
All of the above information references the amount of time invested for just one job seeker with one position. Recruiters vary on the maximum amount of job seekers they maintain in their individual database. Take a moment to imagine that if you were going through the described above placement process for an average of 4-5 candidates per week. Factor in all the phone calls, e-mails and paperwork completion involved at various levels, all at the same time. How much of the day is gone and I have not even begun to reach the bottom of the daily to do list?
Recruiters that do contract or temporary placement have the added task of maintaining relationships with the candidates they place on jobs. Relationship building is not something that can be achieved with automated systems. Once you begin with an employee, regular weekly communication to maintain the relationship is important. Employee satisfaction, trust and loyalty are built into the relationship over a period of successful assignments. An average once a week check in call per job seeker will approximately last an average of 15-30 minutes per call.
Additional tasks that may end up on a daily to do list may include: time slips, schedules, contract extensions, housing, insurance, referral calls, paychecks, file compliance, renewals and complaints requiring additional problem solving.
Approximately 50% of these tasks will be pre scheduled in advance and the other 50% will be unplanned and worked into the week as needed. Over communication combined with patience are the top two ingredients for a successful relationship. A "great" recruiter will develop strong relations with their job seekers to the point of knowing their daily routine and what it takes to meet their individual expectations.
If you are curious as to how the above listed activities fit into a 8/10/12 hour day for a recruiter, grab a piece of paper and outline a day in 15 minute increments x 5 days. Start filling in 15 minutes phone calls for a database pool of 25 job seekers allowing some calls a slot of 30 minutes in case you get behind, although you will not be behind all day. Add in time for 4-5 candidates to complete the submission process along with the additional tasks just listed above. Oops! Don't forget to schedule in there somewhere a lunch hour! To many recruiters, lunch and bathroom breaks are considered a privilege. Some recruiters will even take work with them to their second job or otherwise known as home. Are you able to identify and relate with where the time goes?
To summarize, here are some steps you can take as a job seeker to help busy recruiters to be better able to help you:
1. Give recruiters as many contact options as possible. Providing a phone number you can be reached at during the day - whether it's an office number, cell phone, etc. - will make it easier for recruiters to coordinate opportunities with you.
2. Be able to quickly provide a recruiter with dates you would be available for in-person interviews. Let the recruiter know the best times for you to do phone interviews.
3. Having a well-written resume available in Word format can also speed up the process of working with recruiters. Often, job seekers' resumes are not written clearly enough so the recruiter has to re-write the resume before it can be presented to the client employer. Think about it: if the recruiter has to choose between two equally qualified candidates and one has a more presentable resume, which one do you think they'll choose?
The next time you are unable to immediately speak with your recruiter or waiting for the much anticipated phone call, take a deep breath, smile and remember, "A day in the life of a recruiter." You might just be amazed at what tomorrow's perspective may look like.
This article was contributed by Tracy Montgomery, Regional Manager at Alacrity Healthcare Staffing.