Recruiters have a tough job. Managing recruiters is even tougher! The two main challenges to good recruiter management are identifying your recruitment process and monitoring for the good and the bad within that process.

After 25 years in the business of recruitment and recruiting software (ATS) development, I have never seen two recruiting firms with the same recruitment process. For that matter, recruiters in the same recruiting firm usually have different techniques and styles. So how do you identify your recruiting process? The main indicator is pretty obvious. Are placements being made? If placements are being made are they enough to sustain growth or stay in business? I think it is a reasonably safe assumption that these are the bottom line indicators for a successful recruiting firm. Now all you need to do is back up from the bottom and look for more indicators.

What has to happen before a placement? Answer: an offer by an employer and an acceptance by an applicant. There are our first milestones to monitor – offers and acceptances. I think a traditional sales word would be “closes”. If your firm is getting a ton of offers but very few acceptances, this is certainly a show stopper. Something in your management process should show the ideal offer to acceptance ratio for your firm and your recruiting niche. The ratio will vary depending on your niche and the recruiting style.

Moving to the other side, how many offers are you getting? Do you know about how many you should be getting in any given period, one month, one Recruitment IT quarter, one year? Do you know if a particular position is getting more action than other positions? Do you know why? Do you know if a particular industry is getting more action, a particular client? Do you know which client generates the most offers? Do you know which person in a client company generates the most offers? Do you know which recruiter is generating the most offers? Normally I would say offers translate into placements. Does your recruiting firm have a good offer to placement ratio? What is a good offer to placement ratio?

Obviously most people would say 100% but 100% may not be as good as you would think. Perhaps the firm is culling too much. Culling could be from the clients. If you cull from your client prospects too much and only take the locked slam dunk orders could you open the gates a bit and take a few marginal orders and get a lower offer to placement ration but raise the number of placements made?

On the applicant side the same thing applies. If every one of your candidates accepts every offer you get for them perhaps you should take a look at your fallout ratio after the start dates. Could I get more placements if I got more offers but with a lower percentage of acceptances?

OK let’s move on up again. Are we getting enough offers? How many offers per month, per quarter or per year do we need to hit our projected revenue targets? Do we have a projected revenue target? This question can break down along the same lines as above – by industry, by position type, by client and by recruiter.

If we are not getting enough offers, how do we get more? More interviews, more job orders, more applicants, more phone calls or more contacts? Should we be contacting more clients or more applicants? How much time is being spent finding candidates? How much time is being spent finding job orders? How much time is being spent on client prospects? Are we spending any time on applicant prospects? A candidate prospect is a candidate who we contact just to establish goodwill and trust not necessarily for an immediate position. Are we making enough contacts either via phone, email or conferences or association functions? How much is enough?