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How to Prioritize Your Searches as a Recruiter

by | Feb 25, 2016 | Recruiter Training, Top Echelon Blog

One of the most vital skills that you can learn as a recruiter is how to zero in on those searches that give you the best chance of making a placement . . . and to only focus on them.

Is this a skill that takes time to master? No, you can learn it the first time you hear about it. Is this difficult to do? Not at all. It’s simply a matter of having a workable rating system and acting on it.

Is it time consuming? Of course not. As a matter of fact, it takes only about five minutes a day. But these five minutes can exponentially increase your billings. If you need help with time management, this is a training tool that can help.

A simple classification system for your searches

You’ve probably heard of the idea of classifying your searches as A, B or C. The purpose of this article is to outline a simple set of steps that will make this classification system into more of a practical, day-to-day compass for you.

A-level searches have all of the following three components:

  1. Cooperation: The client returns calls within 48 hours and is open about all details of the search.
  2. Urgency: They need to get the search filled ASAP.
  3. Marketability: The position is attractive to candidates.

The search assignment white board is a system that makes it easier to prioritize your searches. This white board is simply a large dry erase board where you can write your current searches. The key is that you will visually represent them as either A, B or C.

Doing this will help you to remember that an A today could become a C tomorrow and vice-versa. This board is a fluid, erasable reminder for you and your team. Each morning, you should start your day by making any changes to the board based on new information.

The top left-hand side of the board:

This is for your A-level searches. Put a big “A” in the top left-hand side of the board.

These searches get the best level of service from you, which includes the following:

  1. Original research, sourcing, and name generation.
  2. A full database search

The top middle of the board:

This is for your B-level searches. Put a big “B” in the top middle section of the board. These searches are missing one of the three components of an A-level search. They warrant a database search, but you won’t do any original research on them.

The top right-hand side of the board:

This is for your C-level searches. Put a big “C” in the top right-hand side of the board. These searches are missing two or more of the three components of an A-level search. They warrant neither a database search nor any original research.

Tell clients about your board!

This is a key step that many firms leave out. Now that you have your system for prioritizing your searches, you need to tell your clients about it. They need to know that you don’t treat all searches the same way. They need to know how they can get the best level of service from you.

Leaving out this step is one of the biggest reasons that many otherwise talented recruiters produce mediocre results. You don’t need to literally describe your board, but communicate with your clients at the start of the process what you need from them to provide your best level of service.

The best five minutes of your day are those in which you choose the searches that will get your full attention. You now have a system for prioritizing.

Why not spend the next five minutes looking at your current searches and giving them a letter grade? Then call your “Bs” and “Cs” and see if they would like to move to your “A team.”

Of course, you could include this process virtually with your recruiting software. Sort your job orders by priority to ensure you’re working on whatever is closest to money!

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Gary Stauble, a guest writer for the Top Echelon Recruiter Training Blog, is the principal consultant for The Recruiting Lab, a coaching company that assists firm owners and solo recruiters in generating more profit in less time. For more information or to schedule a complimentary coaching session, visit or call 408.849.4756.

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