Effective Desk Management - A Little Bit of the Magic That Makes For Great Recruiting

Prioritization, Passion, Grit, Determination, Goals, and Steadiness.  Some adjectives if you will that define my desk management strategy.  On any given staffing day, in any given state, nation, or country, across the US and across the World, talent management continues to evolve, change and bring with it new days and new ways of seeing the world.


Often I sit back as I start and end my day with a review of the tasks ahead, the activities that will propel me to staffing wizardry, and the checklist of personal goals that I know I must achieve before days end.  The personal management of my own desk, paramount to recruiting/staffing success, and realizing and knowing what activities I must get done to make for an affective day - this is the heart of staffing outcomes that drive results.  There are a few lessons to be learned on any given day but with just a few focused and key soft skills - one can win the war of talent minute by minute, day by day, week by week, month to month, and year to year.


Here are those desk management strategies that deliver the results through what I call the "smoke and mirrors" affect or the day to day phone calls, hiring manager and client feedback runs, and the overall 100,000 foot view to plan the day to create the outcomes that make my day proof positive that I can deliver the ROI, results, and outcomes that bring to pass miraculous matches, offers, and bring talent to the organizations that I and colleagues, and fellow staffing professionals serve.


1.  Create short term, mid range, and long term goals that maneuver oneself to the needed direction.  If one has a vision of a "positive future state" - the outcomes and possibilities are beyond all comprehension.

2.  Plan activities around times where you are most productive or where the most attention may be needed.  Many times knowing oneself and where your energy is at it's peak and planning affectively to deliver in those times the most difficult of tasks, it is there that one realizes the direction needed and achieves more.

3.  Plan meal times to coincide with when you know you will need the most energy, this is paramount.

4.  Candidate and Manager control - this means setting expectations, coaching where needed, prompting and going to a strategic approach that anticipates a need prior to it arising, helping candidates that are good to rise above their limitations, and when the golden candidate emerges coaching them through the steps needed - as well providing enough information that helps both the hiring manager and candidate to find their potential.

5.  Write down on a calendar upcoming events and needs, don't just rely on outlook, rather write down everything and have visual reminders of what it is you are trying to accomplish.

6.  Manage voicemails and emails effectively, while great tools they can pull many a recruiter to an ADD type of feeling if one lets these get out of hand.  Set aside a time where candidates can be screened, set appointments, and expect others to honor those appointments, yet have enough flexibility to know when a call must be returned or postponed.

7.  Always engage in activities that leave others feeling better about themselves, if one must reject a candidate, do so tactfully and professionally.  If a great candidate didn't get the job THIS time, because of personality, culture, or other areas outside their direct qualifications, give that candidate a bit of coaching and encouragement, one day they could be customers and the way a recruiter or staffing professional treats their candidates speaks volumes about their character.

8.  Pay forward any leads, referrels, or other "gifts of help" promptly.  While today may be full of electronic means of communication, a handwritten or heartfelt note still to this day goes a very long way.

9.  Call me old fashioned but I still believe in the power of the phone, an effective recruiter is on the phone for most of the work day building new leads, keeping calls effective and having business building calls that help deliver results.

10.  The most effective desk management tool is one that looks at each individual as a "human being" and treats everyone fairly, gives prompt customer service to both sides of the recruiting transaction, and enables tremendous outcomes.


While just a few ideas, these have been very helpful to me in my career.  What about yours?  What effective desk management tips do you have?

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