5 Steps for Managing Your Recruitment Desk as a Search Consultant

Enjoying success as a recruiter or search consultant is about more than just building your recruitment desk. You also have to manage it. Because if you build and then aren’t able to manage it effectively, then recruitment failure may be imminent.

What is a recruitment desk?

But let’s start at the beginning, shall we? And we shall begin with a definition. What is a recruitment desk?

A recruitment desk represents all of the personnel and activities associated with the identification, recruitment, and hiring of candidates for expressed purpose of filling open positions within a company or organization. Having said that, though, I must provide some clarification.

A recruitment desk can refer to a variety of situations. They include:

  • An internal recruiter or corporate recruiter working for a company or organization
  • A Human Resources professional working for a company or organization
  • OR an independent, third-party recruiting agency

As we’ve mentioned numerous times in other blog posts, Top Echelon’s customer base consists primarily of third-party recruiting agencies. Since that’s the case, that will be the focus of this blog post. This, as in the previous cases, is an important distinction. That’s because you don’t have to be a third-party recruiter in order to run a recruitment desk. You can be an internal recruiter, a corporate recruiter, or a HR professional. In fact, you can even be a hiring manager. (Although in that case, you might be running a recruiting desk part time.)

Furthermore, a recruitment desk could consist of one person. In that situation, the person involved would be responsible for full-desk recruiting. Or it might consist of multiple people, and that applies to each of the three situations outlined above. In that scenario, different people would be responsible for different duties and tasks associated with the recruitment desk.

However, once again, this blog post deals with third-party recruiting agencies. To be even more specific than that, it deals primarily with solo practitioners, third-party agency owners who also work a full-cycle recruitment desk. As you might imagine, the challenges for an owner who also works a full-cycle are numerous.

Steps for managing your recruitment desk

To help us (and quite possibly you) overcome these challenges, we’re going to draw upon the wisdom of recruiting industry trainer Gary Stauble. Stauble is the principal consultant for The Recruiting Lab, a coaching company that assists firm owners and solo recruiters in generating more profit in less time.

According to Stauble, below are five steps for managing your recruitment desk as a search consultant:

#1—Don’t try to fill every job.

  • Top recruiters are at peace with the idea that they can’t place every candidate and they can’t fill every job order.
  • Managers: Require rookies to get permission to work a search.
  • Pre-close: hiring process, urgency, what happens if it goes unfilled?
  • Focus on marketing stars rather than filling orders.
  • Get comfortable saying “No.”
  • Know your target: if you’re a micro firm, go for higher-end searches where you can have an impact. If you’re a mid-sized firm, then you can target mid-level searches with lots of openings where you can tag team.

#2—Label each job order as an A, B, or C.

  • An “A” must have cooperation, urgency, and marketability.
  • For every 15 job orders that you write, maybe five will be worth a full search.
  • Put these on a white board.
  • Label your candidates too. Screen thoroughly.

#3—Require timely feedback.

  • Pre-close timely feedback: “The clients who get the full focus of my team are those who respond and give us feedback.”
  • Your clients will treat you the way you teach them to treat you.
  • Let them know why you’ll call: either to clarify specs, present someone, or ask for feedback.
  • Ask them to notify you of any changes so that you can pace yourself.
  • Pre-close this with candidates, too.

#4—Address any lack of feedback.

  • Remind them of what schedule they committed to if they flake out.
  • If they are not responding, then be clear on the fact that the search is on hold until you hear back.
  • Let them know their decision making and timeliness are being observed by the candidate.
  • Make two phone calls, then send one email. If they still don’t respond, then move on.

#5—Get concrete commitments.

  • Get interview times in advance.
  • Add “client responsibilities” to the contract.
  • Get exclusives/containers.
  • If nothing else, get a $2,000 engagement fee.
  • Schedule follow-up calls while your client is on the phone.

How well do you manage your recruitment desk? Do you follow all five of the steps listed above? Which ones should you incorporate into your desk?

Recruiting desk management training

Top Echelon offers a free monthly webinar as part of its Recruiter Coaching Series. After the webinars are over, we post the recorded version of the webinars in our Recruiter Training Library. These webinars touch upon a variety of recruiter-related topics. These topics deal with both candidates and clients. As always, our goal with these webinars (and corresponding videos) is to help recruiters make more placements.

Gary Stauble has two videos in the Top Echelon Recruiter Training Library. These videos are listed below. Click on the title of each video for access:

In addition to training and webinars, Top Echelon offers other recruitment solutions. These solutions include the following:

For more information about Top Echelon and the products and services that it offers, visit the Top Echelon website by clicking here.

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