Tame your phone
The phone may be the best money making tool in a recruiter’s tool box but it still must be used intelligently so that it doesn’t become a time sink. In terms of who has access to me via phone, I have a simple guideline; the more you pay the more access you receive. That is just economics 101.
So if a client has just paid me a $30,000 retainer, of course they have access to me. But, if a candidate is calling who I’ve never spoken to, who hasn’t submitted a resume, and who is not in my primary area of focus, that call will likely go straight to voicemail if I’m busy. You have to remember that eighty five percent (or more) of the candidates that you talk to are people that you are never going to be able to place.
To tame your phone, make sure that you have certain “call batches” in your schedule where all calls are going out and very few (if any) of those that are coming are being answered. If it is an incoming phone call that is revenue related, then that is the exception to the rule. Nearly all other calls can go to voicemail to be called back after your outgoing calling batch. Your cell phone can act as your “bat phone” for clients and important candidates to reach you for deal making issues. I’ll give an example of how to phrase this on your voicemail in the example at the end of this article.
Create and enforce a candidate call in time
If you pre-close the issue of when the best time to reach you is with new candidates, you will able to gently guide the flow of incoming calls from candidates. I first heard of this idea from Peter Leffkowitz and it is something that I strongly recommend. If you frame this issue the right way, you will find that people respect you for it and will comply with it most of the time.
After you conduct an internal interview with a new candidate, just let them know that if they are not actively interviewing with a client of yours, the best time to reach you is between 2 and 4PM (or whatever time frame you prefer). Be honest and tell them that you spend the mornings actively searching for exceptional career opportunities that you may be able to present them with and that the afternoon is when you deal with candidate issues. You can also gently remind them of this on your voicemail message (see below).
A sample recruiter voicemail
“Hi this is Bill Smith. I'm not able to take your call at the moment but your call is very important to me. To bypass this greeting please press pound now.
If you're a new candidate, please email your resume to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will get back with you shortly.
If you're a candidate that I'm currently working with, please note that the best time to reach me is between 2 and 4PM unless your call is time sensitive.
If this call is time sensitive and you are currently working with me on a project please call my cell phone at (408) 847-1121.
All other callers please leave a message and I’ll get back with you shortly. Thank you”.
- Gary Stauble
Gary Stauble is the Principal Consultant for The “Recruiting Lab”. He offers several Free Special Reports on his website including, “$1 Million Time Management”. Get your copies now at www.TheRecruitingLab.com. His new website is called, “Done By Noon” and is focused on Time Management & Lifestyle Design training. You can get his new Report, “3 No B.S. Strategies for Increasing Productivity” at www.DoneByNoon.com.