Article authored by Qualigence CEO & founder Steve Lowisz

If you’re a recruiter, then you’re no stranger to long hours and busy days.

Whether it’s working on a lot of requisitions at once or just sifting through hundreds of applicants, it’s easy to find yourself overloaded in this line of work.

But when it comes to workloads, recruiters are often their own worst enemy!

We tend to think that the more candidates we contact, the sooner we will find a quality candidate.

We assume that our odds of finding a great hire increases for every candidate we connect with.

Unfortunately, this could not be farther from the truth!

Allow me to explain…

Recruiting is Based on Relationships – And Relationships Take Time

At first glance, it may seem like the biggest challenge in recruiting is finding qualified talent.

But between job boards, LinkedIn, and other online tools, it’s actually pretty fairly easy to find profiles for qualified professionals.

The trick is finding people who are relevant to your specific positions and getting candidates to respond. And one of the biggest hurdles is influencing a candidate to apply and hopefully accept an offer.

Of course, this all comes down to a recruiter’s RELATIONSHIPS with candidates. It’s about how much the candidate trusted the recruiter to be worth their time and present opportunities relevant to their career goals.

But relationships take time – and we can’t build relationships with hundreds of candidates at once. You don’t have time to talk to the wrong people. You need that time to build relationships with qualified, quality candidates.

Quality Over Quantity

Every wrong number you call, every time you pursue a candidate who now works in a totally different role or industry, every time you find out a candidate isn’t so skilled in Python after all, you’re putting yourself behind the 8-ball.

Neither you nor the hiring manager needs a laundry list of candidates – you need a manageable list of candidates who are actually worth your time and fit the needs of the role.

One of the biggest mistakes I see recruiters make is contacting a large pool of candidates with copy-and-pasted messages. They contact everyone once or twice and continue contacting additional candidates while they wait for responses.

This is a hugely inefficient process, especially for niche roles. In many instances, some of the best placements I’ve made have come after I contacted a small handful of ideal candidates 7-10 times each!

In markets where open positions outpace available talent, it is crucial that you doggedly pursue the candidates that are truly qualified. And when someone does respond, you have more time to get to know them, build credibility and trust, and hold their attention.

Re-Evaluate Your Sourcing Methods

Spending our time on quality candidates sounds great in theory – but a lot of recruiters get bogged down in sifting through piles of applicants, calling candidates with outdated profiles, and just plain wrong numbers.

If you’re constantly overwhelmed, it’s worth reconsidering where you are finding your candidates. Instead of just pulling up everyone with the right keywords on LinkedIn, consider networking and joining groups on social media that are relevant to your target audience.

If you’re recruiting engineers, join their groups on LinkedIn and ask questions, offer advice where applicable, and just get to know people.

That way, when you have an opening, people will remember you and be willing to talk to you about the opportunity.

Great recruiters play the long game by building genuine relationships, not rushing today’s placements without thinking about tomorrow.

Use Metrics That Support Quality Hires, Not Quantity or Speed of Recruiting Activity

Oftentimes, talent acquisition leaders and directors position their recruiters for burnout with all the wrong metrics. Dials-per-day, number of submittals, time-to-hire, all these metrics track activity and encourage recruiters to “do more faster” rather than really building relationships with candidates.

As leaders, we get what we measure. Instead of focusing on activity or speed, our metrics should center on quality of hire.

Consider measuring recruiter performance based on retention rate of their placements, submittal-to-interview rate, and interview-to-hire rate. These metrics encourage recruiters to really get to know their candidates and submit the right person for the job.

It’s high time we stopped trying to speak with as many candidates as possible and submit as many we can in the hope that something sticks!

There’s a Better Way to Find Candidates

If your team is struggling to identify quality candidates for your open roles, there are better solutions available. Many organizations like yours have achieved great success with our recruitment research and sourcing solutions.

Our research identifies names, candidate bios, and validated contact information for professionals relevant to your roles. Our sourcing solutions go a step further by delivering qualified, interested candidates for your open positions. With sourcing, we call each and every candidate to confirm their specific interests.

It’s about letting your recruiters hit the ground running talking to candidates worth their time – no wrong numbers, no outdated profiles or bogus job titles, no BS.

If you’re looking for more advice on how to make great hires, find the right candidates and other recruiting tips, check out our YouTube channel! Click the banner now to subscribe.