Is your Lunch Packed?

My husband and I spent a recent Friday evening with two very good friends, who also juggle careers, family, pet care, social calendars, and spiritual obligations (among other things). We joked about how long it took for the four of us to find a night that worked – sadly, three months. As we stood in the kitchen, commiserating over the time crunch we feel day in and day out, our friends commented that the simple act of preparing lunches the night before has positively impacted the trajectory of their days. That comment gave me pause. Packing a lunch doesn’t take more than 3-5 minutes, and yet, the mornings run so much more smoothly when this task is checked off.
Why is that? Does having an extra 3-5 minutes in the morning really make a difference? Or, is it the peace of mind that comes from having applied a planful, disciplined approach to a necessary task, and then crossing that task off of your list? I tend to believe it’s the latter.
As a Talent Acquisition professional who can’t escape the pressures of time (e.g., Time-to-Source, Time-to-Submit, Time-to-Fill), I challenge myself and my team to consider ways to apply this same planful, disciplined philosophy to recruiting. It comes down to preparation. What can we do in advance to set ourselves up for success tomorrow, next week, next month?
One such act is preparing for an intake session with your Client or Hiring Manager. A quick review of the job description just won’t do. Here are a few steps, which if done in advance, will give you confidence, clout and ultimately more time:

  1. Research the Requisition History. Have you filled this or a similar role in the past? If so, did you have success? How long did it take to find the talent, and what was the source of hire? Is this a backfill role? If so, can you get your hands on the previous employee’s resume? If you haven’t had experience recruiting for this role, study the job description. Not sure of an acronym or term, research it. Talk to peers or colleagues who have recruited or sourced in this industry.
  2. Research the Hiring Manager. Have you worked with this Hiring Manager in the past? If so, retrieve notes from that conversation. If not, find the Hiring Manager on LinkedIn and note where he/she attended school, and how long he/she has been employed with the company. Does he/she have experience working for the competition? Is he/she a member of any groups or organizations?
  3. Research the Competition. Use Job Aggregators to view how your Client’s competition advertises their openings. Do they use different job titles? How do they market their jobs? Who are your Client’s direct and indirect competitors? What’s being said about your Client’s competition on various employment forums, like Glassdoor?
  4. Research the Market. Get your hands on compensation data, unemployment rates, and availability of talent. I’m a fan of CareerBuilder’s Supply and Demand Portal for up-to-date market intelligence.

The above steps may take a bit longer than packing a lunch, but the benefits will likewise outweigh the upfront investment of time. During the intake call, you’ll have more time to ask the important questions, because you’ve armed yourself with a strong foundation of knowledge. I guarantee the Hiring Manager will be impressed with your level of knowledge, and you may earn the distinction of being viewed as a consultative and strategic business partner.

But most importantly, you’ll be positioned for success and prepared to execute your recruitment strategy upon completion of the intake call. Who knows – you may even shave days off your Time-to-Fill metrics. Now, that’s what I consider peace of mind.

This post was written by Katie Witkowski. Katie is an RPO Operations Manager with Yoh, and has over 13 years of experience in recruiting, sourcing, and talent operations management. Katie holds a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Scranton. She resides in Pennsylvania with her husband and three children.

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