You just got your first job as a recruiter. Congratulations! You’re about to meet a lot of amazing people, help them find great jobs, and improve the businesses you connect them with in the process.
Before you really dive in, take this lesson to heart: your time is your most valuable resource. You’re going to be moving at 100 MPH, trying to find candidates for a whole slew of job orders all at once. The problem is your product is the service you provide, and the more you get pressed for time, the lower the quality of your service will be.
Accordingly, the first step toward becoming a successful recruiter is to manage your time effectively. And that’s why the concept of job order pipeline is so important. Job order pipeline is, at its most basic, a list of all the open job orders you work at a given time.
By organizing and analyzing your list of open job orders, you will set yourself up to use your time effectively and become a successful recruiter. Your job order pipeline is the first thing you should look at when you get in the office every morning
These are the three ways job order pipeline management will help you succeed as a recruiter:
1. You Prioritize the Right Job Orders
Thinking of job orders as a pipeline gives you a linear view of what needs immediate attention and what can be put on the backburner. If you try to work job orders directly as they come up, you end up focusing on the wrong orders at the wrong time, and the end result is that you miss out on placements you could have made.
Instead, take a high-level view of all the job orders you are working and prioritize them based on what stage of your recruiting process they are in. This ensures you don’t waste time on job orders that are weeks away from completion, and won’t miss out on ones that you can push over the line in the short term.
Recruiters who fly by the seat of their pants and tackle every job order as it comes in often drop the ball on winnable job orders simply because they don’t do a good job of prioritizing their work.
2. You Set Realistic Expectations With Your Manager
In addition to helping with your personal time management, the concept of job order pipeline also helps your managers understand how much revenue they can expect you to bring in.
Without visibility into the quality of your team’s job orders, it’s easy for your managers to fall into the trap of simply assuming that your recruiting activity is progressing smoothly. In reality, you may be in a situation where all of your firm’s open job orders are another month away from being completed, and you end up falling well short of your goals.
To help managers forecast more accurately and plan ahead, recruiters need to regularly assess their job order pipeline, consider whether they have enough early and late stage job orders to fulfill their goals, and catch problems early on so that managers have a chance to address them before they’re too late.
If you use your pipeline to look ahead and predict problems, your manager can work with you to get you out of ruts ahead of time. However, if you scatter all your time between many job orders, fail to fill the majority of them, and then go to your manager asking for help at the last minute, you won’t last long as a recruiter.
3. You Will Never Panic
The final, most important benefit of a job order pipeline is that it allows you to be proactive.
Knowing how much late stage vs. early stage pipeline you have available keeps you on task and on track to hit your goals. You know whether you need to focus your time primarily on making placements on existing orders, or if you need to double-down on pulling in new job orders to set yourself up for success in the future.
Your colleagues who don’t take the same approach to organizing their active job orders run into a lot of last minute crunches where they either end up short on closeable job orders at the end of the month, or they enter a new month without enough fresh job orders to cover their quota.
That type of brinkmanship is not compatible with a long career in recruiting — those colleagues will either get sacked or have a heart attack before they can really establish themselves.
Taking the time to assess all your available job orders, organize them into a pipeline, and prioritize them into stages pays huge dividends for your recruiting career. However, you shouldn’t stop at just job order pipeline. Your pipeline is just the first place to look.
In order to make sure you aren’t missing important clues about your performance, you have to look at all of your key metrics together. If you trust the numbers, you’ll be making placements for a long time to come.