How do recruiters eliminate as many administrative duties as possible?

A recruiter isn’t an administrative assistant — yet a recruiter spends approximately 14 hours a week fulfilling administrative tasks. What are ways to reduce that time better spent on other things?

Geert-Jan Waasdorp on July 22, 2020 Average reading time: 3 min
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How do recruiters eliminate as many administrative duties as possible?

New research from data-company Intelligence Group and Werf& shows that 36% of all working time is spend on administrative tasks. When taking a 40 hour working week into account, it comes down to about 14 hours. Every single week. Outperformers score slightly better (33%), but it’s still an unacceptable amount of time. Because all that time spent on administrative tasks — isn’t it spent better on candidates?

If I were to bring that number down from 33% to, say, 5%. That will directly result in the productivity increasing from 67% to 95%.

The most important question I’d ask – especially when it comes to my outperformers – would be: how can I ensure those administrative tasks are kept to an absolute minimum? If I were to bring that number down from 33% to, say, 5%. That will directly result in the productivity increasing from 67% to 95%. 

The most-used approach is wrong

What do we usually do when we want to unburden the the recruiting team with their administrative work? We tend to hire an additional employee, who would be able to lessen the workload for other recruiters. But that new employee costs time too, to onboard and to manage. Moreover, that new employee tends to stand in the way of automation and generally just a smarter approach. 

It may seem like they lessen the workload, but in fact they facilitate an approach wherein you’re still not working effectively and efficiently. They tend to make it easier to move appointments. And that’s precisely the wrong approach, and the wrong solution. 

For what it’s worth, check the total amount of wrongly listed vacancies on your job site and/or your ATS.

For what it’s worth, check the total amount of wrongly listed vacancies on your job site and/or your ATS. Investing in new employees who provide further support for your recruitment team is often a waste of time and money, with very little to show in terms of decreasing administrative duties. 

So what’s unnecessary? 

To know how to decrease the time spent on administrative work, it’s good to define what it is we’re talking about. Without attempting to be complete, I’ve gone through the trouble of making a small list. We’re not even speaking about all internal conversations and meetings and a variety of other projects that technically aren’t part of a recruiters’ job. 

Administrative tasks How to automate?
1 Inviting Implementing a Recruitment Marketing Automation flow in ATS/CRM. Implementing Calendly (or other technology)
2 Rejecting CRM/ATS – Recruitment Marketing Automation. Want to personalise the rejection, there’s a variety of possibilities to do so. Or even go as far as organising a consultation hour, like the Dutch Reinier de Graaf hospital does.
3 Moving appointments Calendly of other technology. 
4 Sending the travel directions Implementing a Recruitment Marketing Automation flow in ATS/CRM (should never be done manually)
5 Creating or substantiating recruitment advice International recruitment dashboards like G!ANT.
6 Placing job ads Use multi-posting companies like InGoedeBanen and organisations such as Brockmeyer, VONQ and Brandmannen
7 Writing or changing job ads Tech like Recruitment Accelerator, Textmetrics or VacatureVerbeteraar.
8 Checking the recruitment site and tech Administrative job of a recruiter
9 Taking notes and capture proceedings in AT Automated flow, paired with WhatsApp/e-mail within the ATS and CRM.
10 Filling in vacancy intake form (VIF) with hiring manager Recruitment Accelerator
11 Reference check Use Validata and Checkster
12 Managing bureaus Outsource it or use consultation hours
13 Drawing up a contract Outsource to HR. Alternatively, there’s a lot to say about just presenting the candidate with a standard copy of the contract after the first interview. 
14 .. ..

Lean recruitment

When establishing a lean recruitment process, we emphasise the way we look at how recruiters do their jobs and/or how the recruitment process has been equipped to provide some type of value for both the organisation and the candidate, in every part of the process. By opting for this approach, you eliminate (administrative) waste and waiting times for candidates and hiring managers. The result? A better quality-of-hire, time-to-fill, candidate experience, fulfilment ratio, and less costs. Moreover: it’s evident it will have a positive effect on company results and retention.

We’re seeing positive results across the boards, which will hopefully mean that the recruitment process can finally make a turn toward lean.

If the COVID-19 period has taught us anything, it has taught us that much of the administrative work can be automated. The ever-growing European recruitment tech industry has shown us as much over recent years. But on a daily basis within the world of recruitment, there was still much left to be desired — with the most prominent excuse being that HR, line management or clients didn’t want a different approach. But now it looks like the spell is finally broken. We’re seeing positive results across the boards, which will hopefully mean that the recruitment process can finally make a turn toward lean. 

How you ensure less administrative work

Do you want less administrative work? Start by really nailing down the details of a recruiter’s working week (or month). Take a close look at every task, and ask yourself:

  1. Does it belong to the core tasks of a recruiter?
  2. Does it contribute to acquiring the right talent for the organisation?
  3. If questions one and two aren’t answered with a clear-cut ‘yes’, it means it is time for automation.

This article by no means is the complete answer to the administrative troubles of a recruiter. But what is clear to me is that there are many ways to simply do a better job at optimising the recruiter’s workflow. Whether it’s eliminating a first round of interviews — and going straight to an assessment. Or by not letting people go through the motions of applying, but immediately having a conversation with the recruiter. Or by sending a candidate on their way with the employment conditions after the first interview (saves a round of negotiations). All to ensure the recruiter is fully equipped and capable to do what he or she really likes doing: attracting and acquiring talent, while having a positive impact on the future of the companies he or she works for. 

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Geert-Jan Waasdorp

Geert-Jan Waasdorp

Entrepreneur and Investor at Intelligence Group, Academie voor Arbeidsmarktcommunicatie, Werf&, Arbeidsmarktkansen, Recruitment Accelerator en Recruiteverywhere.com
Geert-Jan Waasdorp has been active in the world of job market communication and recruitment since 1999. He started his journey as an analyst, and grow into an entrepreneur, business owner, investor and innovator. Waasdorp is a guest speaker, blogger and author of several books on recruitment and employer branding.
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