Where does planning fit into your world? Do you do it? If so, how much time do you spend on it and what does it entail?


My typical day used to be like this:


Sit down at desk with coffee, start checking email, and jot down the most important things/meetings/interviews I have to do for the day, and then just dive in and go. No real structure or plan and I'd shift gears countless times throughout the day, reacting to whatever was going on. From what I've seen, it's fairly typical for many recruiters.


Last year I made a shift in how I work, and now do as much of the planning and research work off hours, so that when I come in each day, I have a list of who I am calling.


This has resulted in a significant increase in activity, but the planning itself is very time consuming. I still want to keep planning outside of work hours, but would love to do it more effectively in less time. 

For those who plan your calls....how much time does it take you and what tips if any do you have to be more effective with your planning so you can get to those names more quickly?



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Hello Pam ... I do all my planning and research the night before - I also include objectives and or goals I want to achieve with each live call.   In the beginning it took a few hours but after a quite a number of years and because I come from the Software Development world planning is a must .. Now its not as long as I only do planning for companies i really want to acquire as clients.  


Some things I do and encourage my team to do for picking up new clients:

Take a look at a Job Order that has been open for a while.

Look at the must have requirments

Do some background on the Company and their Competition

Find out who the Key Hiring Sponsor is

Get info on that Sponsor

Put together your pitch which includes what you have done for his /her competition

Have a sample profile of a similar role filled in the past 

Get that hiring authority on the phone 

Push Push push for a quick 20 minute meeting -(Usually ends up being 45 mins to an hour)

The call should include you want to learn more about the Company/Culture/Environment what's 

a great hire etc...  This shows you are not about making dollars now but you want to build a long term relationship... 


My 2 cents .. 

Thanks Paul!  Those are good tips for client marketing, which is my favorite aspect of planning. :)  Do you still plan for recruiting calls as well? That's the area I'm really looking for additional insight on and am curious how much time others here put into planning for their recruit calls, gathering names, etc.  Am doing it now, actually for tomorrow, as we have a number of new and very difficult searches at the moment.    

My Team usually does the Recruitment planning stuff but when I really need to "break down" a New Client door I get involved quick candidate recruitment plan might include using  LinkedIn Network or Corporate Account if you have one a Job board could be used as well:  


Do a search on the must have  technologies/skills  being required by the Client.

This pulls up folks who utilize these technologies and more importantly the Companies they work for.

Now that you have the companies where these candidates exist - you can do a search for candidates working

at those firms.  We then build the list based on the Environment and include VP/Dir/Mgr right down to Coordinator in the skill set.   The goal here is to Pitch the role but more importantly  from a who do you know perspective the call has to be a referral call as well as a recruit call packaged as one - everyone in the network you built knows atleast 3 people.  Thank them and tell them you'd love to invite them into your professional network on linkedin and now you have access to another sphere of professionals who more than likely include the people you need to recruit ..


Most of my time is spent with Maintaining Client Relationships now ... But every now and then I need to put on the Recruiter thinking cap ... :)  


I need 2 hours to review my emails and respond, review linked updates and respond, and plan my day.

The best time for me is to do this is off hours when I'm not being distracted by phone calls and new emails.


Seems like a  lot of time to me so I'm curious what others have to say.

Great question Pam.


I had a very similar transition years ago when I shifted from more of a reactive to a proactive recruiting mode.  Sometimes things get crazy and you fall back into reactive mode but doing proactive recruiting through planning has resulted in much better efficiency.  But as you mentioned, this planning requires a lot of time outside core phone hours so I had to develop some tricks and shortcuts.  The thing here is that most of this is long term planning that takes over a year to develop.


- Create Hotlist Folders with candidates you have Screened for specific skills and core competencies.  So when a new requirement opens with a specific core skill you have a better option to sort through that folder to create a call list versus doing all new recruiting.

- Record your Call Lists - this can be managed well by an ATS like Bullhorn.  So, instead of creating a whole new call list for a Java Developer, go to the one you created 10 months ago - you have already done the work so why do it again? 

- Create an ongoing list of skill specific questions based on the core competencies on which you traditionally recruit.  This will save on planning time when you receive a new job requirement and have to prepare your pitch and skill specific pre-screen questions.

- Consider outsourcing.  Our company outsources some of our job board and LinkedIn searching to a company overseas.  It has taken a while for us to refine it but it has been worth it.  When recruiters arrive in the office in the morning they will have up to 10 new resumes to review and call for a new job req.  This ends up being a

much better use of their time versus lingering on a Monster search for the first couple hours of the day.

- Customize your ATS options as much as you can to make database searching easier.  We do our best to group all candidates in our database by skill coding them and creating a status of Screened once we phone screen or meet them in person.  It really helps cut down on sifting through resumes in a huge database of candidates.


These are just a couple of the biggies that come to mind.  Because, seriously...I don't have the desire to make the same amount of phone calls I had to make back in 2001.  Planning really helps cut down on unecessary volume calling recruiting and can produce the same results if done correctly.

I do all my planning in the evening at my home office after dinner around recruit calls to prospects at home unable to speak during the day. 


Generally takes 2-3 hours as my goal is 200 outgoing recruit calls per day via phone-I want enough planning time to ensure a full day's work the following day.   I use weekends to try to get as far ahead in my planning as possible.


Bottom line, I'm working longer and harder at planning now than when a rookie in 1980.

I do my planning from 430 to 5pm everday.


follow up callsnew people to call ext.


Wow bill you make 200 or try to make 200 a day 4200 call a month on a 21 day month.


just wondering. How many placements do you make a month?

I'm a member, don't know why I don't have a profile.


Answer to your question about placements, not nearly enough of them.   Far fewer people working much harder than years ago.  Everything that can go wrong in an economy like this invariably does.  What clients/candidates tell you is rarely truthful and the subsequent ensuing time wasting can be morale killing.  Qualifying and getting a commitment only works depending on the character of the one being qualified and committing.  I deal exclusively with 'passive/invisible' candidates who I found in my outreach, they aren't beholden to any commitments as you called them, they didn't call you.


But you continue planning and banging on the phones the next day despite the clutter/worries in one's head.

I could use some direction and help from the group.  I am going from 100% candidate focus to now working a full desk and having to change how i do the job.  I've never made as many calls as i need to on either side of the job, have found myself with the desire to bang out cold calls and live on the phone but just get so easily sidetracked.

My business focus has been mostly tech but i have no fear of recruiting on any industry or type of role.

Could someone guide me on a smart way to plan my days, approach, track down potential clients.  I desperately need to start getting some business and i know it is a numbers game in that regard.....

(As a side note, i have been in the business over 10 years, have done quite well on the candidate side and thought to contact a lot of my former placements, but most work in the larger investment banks where i cannot get into, nor do i want to.  Would rather focus on the small-mid sized companies where i can build relationships)

Block off times during the day to cold call both recruiting and marketing.  Target number of outgoing calls and/or number of people you speak with on the phone (connects).  Keep going till you hit your targets.  Market a superior candidate to a company, recruit a candidate with an attractive job.


Mine is 200 outgoing calls daily/40 prospects spoken with whether qualified or not. 

what space to you recruit in and if you don't mind my asking, do you have a specific pitch your work with as well??

bill josephson said:

Block off times during the day to cold call both recruiting and marketing.  Target number of outgoing calls and/or number of people you speak with on the phone (connects).  Keep going till you hit your targets.  Market a superior candidate to a company, recruit a candidate with an attractive job.


Mine is 200 outgoing calls daily/40 prospects spoken with whether qualified or not. 

I have specific recruit/marketing pitches with 3 bullets written down I literally read. 

Recruiting, One bullet describes the job, one the background sought, one what makes the opportunity attractive.

Marketing, one describes what the candidate does, one about their major background expertise, and one on why they're a special candidate.

I have clients in Defense Engineering, Manufacturing, and Investment Financial Services looking for any people they have requirements for.  What they do is make my recruit universe smaller telling me the companies they'd like a person out of, then I systematically recruit from them.  So could be Engineers, New Product Design, Regulatory, I/T where I have 20 years specific recruiting experience--whatever they need.

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