There's no way around it - recruiters are busy busy people. Now that's not a bad thing and anyone in recruitment will support me - it is one of the most exciting and challenging career paths you could wish for! But the truth is that there are a lot of elements that go into being a successful recruiter AND there are only a certain number of hours in the day.
Recruiters need to know their employers well - they need to understand the work environment, the intricacies of the positions and what the 'ideal' candidate profile is for each employer (because believe me it can vary dramatically!).
On top of knowing their employers, recruiters also need to know their applicants AND know them WELL! This means not only knowing the applicants qualifications and experience, but also knowing their personality style, their emotional intelligence, their ability to adapt, their ability to work autonomously OR indeed follow instructions. This is actually one of the real intricacies of being a recruiter, to be able to get to know someone - to see through their game face and truly understand what type of employee they will be. Although a recruiter needs vacancies to fill, they need to be on the ball with the RIGHT applicant - that will in turn ensure that they keep a steady stream of vacancies!
Now the difficulty comes in the recruiter getting to know the applicant well. This involves time and process and is often a lengthy process, BUT we think it is time to get smart with the technology we have available to us! One excellent way to reduce our overload is to reduce the necessity of in-person interviews.
Now before you have heart failure - consider this. In today's age we have fantastic tools available to us, that give us the same advantages as if we were conducting an in-person interview. Time to get familiar with options like Skype (freeware IP telephony solutions for your PC) or indeed Webinar solutions (I use GoToMeeting).
Also consider the fact that this technology can drastically reduce your lag time... you know what I mean, the time that interrupts the job at hand, eg: the day between getting what might be the ideal resume and waiting for the candidate to come and visit you; or setting up an after hours interview because the candidate is currently employed; or even the ad-hoc office interruptions that disturb your interview time (it's harder to answer a phone when you are on a skype call!). By the way - most people can access Skype now on their iPhones, so you can potentially interview someone on their lunch break!
The other HUGE advantage of utilising this technology is that it gives you a quick out if the candidate is not suitable! Now I know that you might still prefer to have their information in your file as there might be suitable future positions, BUT have you ever had trouble getting that WRONG candidate out the door so you can find the right one? (if not you're lucky!).
So yes, busy recruiters can save themselves time y reducing the necessity for the in-person interview. Take the time to get to know the technology available to make your day easier and more efficient and then you have more time to do what you do best - MATCH MAKE!