For a recruiter working on multiple searches or requisitions, it can often feel like every search is a top priority. The reality, however, is that it’s crucial to be able to classify which of your searches actually are the highest priority, and these recruiting tips will help you to learn how to determine that and focus accordingly.

Determining your recruiter’s capacity

This can tend to be an open-ended question, since a recruiter’s capacity can vary based on:

  • The types of jobs he or she is recruiting for — ex: entry-level (high volume) vs. senior-level.
  • Whether the opening is posted and receiving inbound resumes vs. all outbound sourcing, which is more time consuming
  • Overall resources available to recruit with.

That being said, if a recruiter is working 40 hours per week, an average capacity would be about 4-5 different searches. This way, around 6-8 hours per week are delegated to each search for sourcing, screening, scheduling, coordinating, and rejecting candidates. At first this may seem like a lot, but for some searches it can take an hour to source about 3 great candidates.

recruiting cycle

Preferably, of these 4-5 positions a recruiter is working on, one or two are nearing the closing stage. This way, if an emergency search pops up (say your VP of Sales suddenly takes off), a recruiter will have the capacity to take on that search without going over his or her capacity. If a recruiter is working on 4-5 new searches, however, it may be very difficult to make time for another new search – even if it is an emergency. Most likely, one of the searches would have to be put on hold.

Keys to Managing and Prioritizing Searches

Typically, your recruiters will find that much of their time on each search is front-loaded. Ideally, they will be able to allocate more time to newer searches to account for early ramp-up periods, when they’re developing their understanding of the profile, networking, and performing a lot of outbound sourcing and resume screening. Normally, after the first week or two, a search will move more smoothly once a pipeline of candidates has been created.

recruiting tips: prioritizeOn the other hand, older searches should have less time designated to them. After a few weeks, you can assume the pipeline has grown and sourcing time has decreased. Most duties will include scheduling/coordinating interviews and conducting phone screens along with some sourcing to keep the pipeline of candidates growing.

Another factor to consider is the impact of the position. Referring back to my previous example, if your VP of Sales just quit it is safe to assume the search for a replacement will take higher priority over a business development rep position that has been open for a few weeks. Search priority is relative — you must use your best judgment to determine which hires are most impactful, and therefore higher priority.

One tip to help your recruiters improve their productivity is to work with them to create a “model day”. Ask them to utilize their calendars to block of time to work on specific searches, during which they should try not to check email or get pulled into other non-related work. This is also an excellent method to track the number of hours your recruiting team is spending on each search.

Practice makes perfect, and the more time you spend on creating a model day, prioritizing searches, and handling capacity in the right way, the more efficient and productive you’ll be at hiring more and more amazing employees for your growing company.

Sign-up for our Free Weekly Newsletter to get the best new ideas for building technology companies.