5 Habits Every Recruiter Needs for Killer Results

January 28, 2016 at 12:16 PM William Clarke

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“All our life is a mass of habits,” wrote philosopher William James. Habits, both good and bad, play a powerful role in our lives. Consider your habits at the office? Coffee, Facebook, check email, read the news, grab a snack. Which actively contribute to your success or inhibit it? Now, wipe the slate clean, because we’ve got five daily habits to drive your productivity and keep you recruiting like a rockstar.

Make a to-do list every day

What are you doing today? Do you know? Think about what reqs need to be written or approved. Do you need to finalize an offer or lock in a phone screen? Making a list of all the things you need to do, both big and small, allows you to map out your entire day and strategically hold yourself accountable. The present wealth of productivity apps make tracking stuff easier than ever.

Our favorites? We love Asana at Entelo because it’s useful for monitor and organizing projects and tasks between teams. But there’s also Todoist, Evernote, or even Remember The Milk. Once you’ve got a list, sync up with your team to see what can be delegated or shared. Also, periodically check in with hiring managers to help move candidates along in the hiring process. If you know what needs to be done, the odds of accomplishing those tasks will skyrocket. And that’s the first step towards killer results.

Check the pipes

Your pipeline is your lifeline, so make sure it’s operating at peak capacity and efficiency. How? Check on it daily to figure out what aspects are underperforming. Knowing the ins and outs of your pipeline is fundamental to all recruiting results and can drive actionable improvements. Lagging on referrals? Then send out a company-wide email with available positions and reiterate the referral bonus. Better yet, consider setting aside time to meet with employees to browse through their networks to find out who’d be qualified candidates.

Always ask yourself: What’s working? What’s not working? How can we improve? A strong pipeline keeps everything else running smoothly by making your hiring process quicker, more exact, and minimizes the disruption from unexpected vacancies to your company’s bottom line.

Prioritize relentlessly

Once your to-do list is written, prioritize tasks in descending order of the most pressing and time sensitive. Know your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), both those set for you and those you set for yourself. One great way to keep yourself focused: the 1-3-5 rule. This framework divides your daily to-dos into one important task, three medium tasks, and five small tasks. Align your to-do list with the 1-3-5 rule based on your KPIs and budget your time and efforts appropriately. If you always get your most important task done each day, accomplish most of the medium tasks and some of the small tasks, you’ll be in great shape. And if you haven’t figured out KPIs yet, here is a good place to start.

Geek out with metrics

Data is cool. You know what’s even cooler? Metrics. Metrics like total candidate pipeline, response rates for each sourcing channel and time to hire allow you to identify, isolate and fix problems, inefficiencies, and roadblocks. ATSs like Greenhouse and Lever now make it fairly straightforward to track candidates and outcomes, so there’s really no excuse.

The difference between a good recruiter and a great recruiter is that great recruiters are always working to get better; constant data-driven iteration is a foolproof way to improve your game. Always check to see what channels and actions give you the best ROI and which are lagging. Identifying what works best and what needs improvement will help you hone in on efficiencies and inefficiencies, making you a smarter, more effective recruiter.

Always be syncing

Never underestimate the value of teamwork in recruiting. Whether it’s your colleagues, managers, subordinates, or peers at another company altogether, sharing intel, asking questions and working together to tackle complex problems is the quickest way out of dead-ends. It also builds the kind of team-first ethic that is crucial in recruiting, especially since personal referrals are still the best way to find talented hires. It’s tempting for hunter-type recruiters to attack things solo, but the most successful companies and best departments are created by constant teamwork. Set up various daily and weekly touch points for your team, to make sure everyone is on the same page with hiring strategies, responsibilities, and priorities.

One tactic we’ve implemented at Entelo is setting aside 10 minutes for a quick post-interview candidate debrief. Did they meet expectations? Were they only qualified on paper or did they completely bomb the interview? Learning how to continually align recruiter-hiring manager expectations for candidates helps teams be more efficient selecting candidates and only moving  forward with the best ones. 

Daily habits are a powerful way to achieve amazing results and keep yourself goal-oriented. The key is to eliminate bad habits and create good ones. Let us know in the comments what your unique recruiting habits are. 

Keep recruiting like an all-star – we rallied Kenny Mendes, of Box's founding recruiting team, to show you how.

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