Ah, recruiting. Like no two candidates, no two days, hours or minutes look the same. Morning slips into afternoon and you find yourself lost in the search for the purple squirrel somewhere on LinkedIn. Ad hoc conversations go from half an hour to half a day. Emails, voicemails and meeting requests pile up. But here’s the thing: recruiter time management isn’t up for debate – there’s research to back this up – lots of it.

Ultimately, the problem is that the more time you lose to top of funnel tasks, important activities like relationship building – and nurturing – begin to languish, elongating the hiring process and creating risk along the way. At last count, the average vacancy duration was more than 31 working days – an all-time high. Time-to-fill has never been more under the microscope and savvy recruiters know not to fall for the siren’s song of the first qualified candidate that comes along. Still, in the face of mounting pressure, it’s all too easy to veer off course and get distracted from the task at hand.


Where You Lose Time

Obviously, the biggest time suck is the hunt for qualified candidates. One survey found that recruiters use some 46 percent of their time online looking at LinkedIn. That equates to 7 times more than all other job boards combined, 4 times more time than all other social networks combined and almost twice as much time as time spent elsewhere on the Internet. Another study determined that on average, a recruiter will spend 78,352 minutes on the phone in a given year. That’s 1,306 mind-boggling hours or something like 54 days. As for resumes, research shows that recruiters receive at least 36 applicants per requisition. Factor in how much time it takes to review each one plus the number of open positions and the process slows down before anything even begins.

There are countless versions of the recruiting funnel floating around but all begin with
some combination of attraction and sourcing. Recruiters need to find candidates with the right combination of skills, talent and experience. Piece of cake. Except that further complicating matters is an ongoing skills shortage and low unemployment rates. It’s no wonder that recruiters focus most of their time and energy simply finding potential applicants but there’s definitely a better way to go about this. Make that several ways.


Sell to Source

Without a well-defined strategy in place, sourcing takes up more time than even you realize. While it can be easily streamlined with any number of solutions, at the heart of the matter, smarter sourcing starts with knowing exactly who you’re looking for – and how to reach them. Make life easier by asking the hard questions internally and drafting job descriptions accordingly. By taking a few minutes to think like your candidates, you can figure out which messages will resonate – and which won’t. Explaining your corporate culture is all fine and good unless it sends potential candidates running for the hills without leaving behind so much as their email. Think more in terms of recruitment marketing and sell it.


Automate Attraction

Call it talent attraction, talent acquisition or talent discovery, and solutions start to appear by the dozen. For the sake of argument, let’s stick with the former. The first step in attracting the right candidate is locating them – and according to one study, 46 percent of recruiters cite this as a major obstacle in attracting top talent. This part of the funnel is improved with the aid of programmatic job advertising. This approach uses data to take the guesswork out of finding candidates via demographic, geographic and function targeting. Platforms like Appcast use this information to make ad buying decisions in a split second vs. the hours a recruiter would spend searching job boards.


Screen and Schedule

Screening and scheduling are two more ways to waste time and two more steps to set and forget. So you’ve managed to source and attract some qualified looking talent but don’t even think about picking up that phone. Instead, use technology to screen candidates and weed out anyone who might not work out in the long run. Solutions like Harver use data and predictive analytics to assess fit and personality before moving on to schedule the interview. This also gives you another opportunity to demonstrate your employment brand and enhance the candidate experience – while saving countless hours in the process.


Now you’ve automated at least the top of the funnel, this is where the magic happens. With time away from LinkedIn, you can actually step back from your desk and interact with candidates. This is when you get the chance to forge meaningful connections because time saved equals relationship building – and that’s when you make the hire.