Tools & Tips for Improving Recruiter Productivity

Recruiting is the basis for any organization bringing in new talent. Branding, reputation, advertising, and more are all aspects that help in the recruiting operation, but the actual process of recruiting is what gets positions filled. 

Unemployment remained low for all of 2023, and the rate as of January 2024 is just 3.7 percent. And yet, there are still millions of open job positions. Despite three-quarters of workers saying they plan to stay at their job given the unsure outlook of the economy in 2023, a higher percentage have said they’ve considered quitting their job over the next six months.  

While these may sound contradictory, it really means that people are willing to change jobs—many just feel it’s safer to stay at their current position. But that means there are millions of candidates out there who are looking to be recruited. You won’t be able to reach every candidate, but there are endless opportunities to find the talent that improves your organization. 

So, how do you improve the productivity of the people tasked with…well, bringing in the people who will improve the productivity of your company? 

Let’s talk about some tips and tools you can use to improve recruiter productivity!

What Makes a Recruiter Productive? 

The first step in improving productivity is “understanding what makes a recruiter successful in your organization,” Alex Walker, a solution architect at Evergreen, says. 

What is productivity to you and your company? Is it: 

  • How many candidates a recruiter has called? 
  • How many interviews they’ve sourced? 
  • The volume of positions filled? 
  • All of the above? Or none of these? 

Productivity can also look like improving your process of inbound applications, meaning how candidates find you and submit applications to you. Maybe productivity for recruiters is improving the process of knowing what you want in a candidate and working with the manager to nail down a good job description.  

Whatever you end up defining as success, you need to lock that down before measuring employees up to it. Let your employees know what success looks like, too. “There is nothing more frustrating than knowing you are being managed against productivity but not knowing what the expectations are,” Walker says. 

Set Goals for Recruiters 

Now that recruiters know what success and productivity looks like, set goals with them. These goals should be specific to the recruiter’s strengths and weaknesses, too.  

Perhaps a recruiter is excellent at finding candidates and getting them on the phone to talk about positions, but they have weaknesses in selling the company to a candidate in the initial interview process. Perhaps set more ambitious goals of how many candidates they get to take an initial phone call interview, but also create goals to help improve their weakness areas, too. (This is done hand-in-hand with more training and intentional support.) 

Some examples of goals you can set include: 

  • Gather profiles on 12 candidates per week in Q1. 
  • Have four candidates start per month across the last six months of the year. 
  • Decrease average time from initial contact time to start date from 21 days to 19 days in three months. 

Remember to be SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time sensitive) with goal setting. 

Develop Steps for Recruiters to Meet Those Goals 

“Each goal should come with a plan to meet that goal,” Walker says. If you want a recruiter to average four candidates starting per month, how do they reach that goal? Is that through the same processes you’ve had but with more intentional investment and planning? Or do you need to change processes that are only around because someone did it that way in the past, and that’s what has stuck? 

Whatever you establish as your most effective processes, then you can really start to baseline the goals and see how the recruiters do under those established plans and processes. With that baseline of information, “you can start identifying gaps in the recruiting lifecycle that may have an impact in the recruiters being productive,” Walker says. 

For example, maybe the recruiter who needs to have four candidates start per month is excellent at interviewing candidates and finding the right fit for a position, but the manager the recruiter works with takes a long time to get feedback to the recruiter. That can cause the candidate to drop out of the process or take another offer. That’s not wholly on the recruiter. It’s a gap you can identify and work to fix, though. 

As you’re establishing proper protocol, these goals can be malleable, too. You might identify a solution to a problem in the recruiting lifecycle, then four candidates starting per month seems easy. Or maybe that solution might take months to implement. Either way, work with the recruiter to make sure the goals are always realistic and achievable. 

How Will You Track Recruiter Productivity? 

Tracking productivity in a software helps you identify gaps in your recruiting processes with qualitative and quantitative information. 

There are many talent acquisition, applicant tracking, and customer relationship management software out there, and your organization likely already has one. You might’ve even made your own software. When using whatever software you have, though, you must make sure you’re using it to track and measure the goals you set for yourself. Staying on top of software updates will help you optimize its features.

If you don’t think the tool can track metrics you measure success with, contact the software and see if there is a way to fully utilize the platform. Walker, as a solutions architect, says that many companies aren’t using these software to their full advantage. It might take some extra training, but most talent acquisition software should be able to help you keep track of the metrics you need to. 

Recruiter productivity is vital to your organization’s success in bringing in talent and retaining it. Establishing what productivity is within your organization is an important first step toward it improving. Set goals based on that vision and create actionable steps and processes to achieve the goals. It’s an evolving process that won’t change overnight, but with clear steps for all involved in the cycle, improved recruiter productivity can transform your organization.