The Staffing Conundrum - Managing High Staffing Volume and Bandwidth

It happened for the first time in a long time.  I have always been the forward thinker, the one to think outside the box when the staffing conundrum comes.  When high volume comes crashing in and life's myriad of moments demand you to solve a whirlwind of staffing needs on a shoe-string budget with time pressing in on all sides.  And to do this in the midst of tremendous life changes swirling rapidly around you.  It is the prioritization factors that take full sway.  With approximately 30+ openings, and many important considerations, and a goal to get 3 staffing subs per week per opening - that is 90 subs in the short space.  Perhaps that is when the staffing conundrum hits full throttle with its myriad of moments.

It is here that prioritization of the requirements and the most active hiring managers must take your focus.

Irregardless, of what may occur, there must be within a strong push to pipeline until the staffing fills come zooming in and the heroic outcomes which somehow allow for work life balance to be restored.

With a new baby on the way in 2 weeks and these many moments and needed prioritization aspects required I must still find a way to deliver world class service to my client hiring managers somehow even when they may not fully comprehend the full scope of the staffing day.

So tonight I made the choice - candidate, hiring manager, agency, and staffing controls must be put into place.  How?

Here is how.

The staffing conundrum demands each requirement needs coverage.  True!  But here is how to do that and control the myriad of items crashing in on your day uninvited.

1.  Take out the trash - yes literally - throw away anything and everything that may distract you.

2.  Realign your time to those hiring managers who are the most responsive.  Yes - Hiring Manager's deserve our best but if they aren't providing feedback real time, if their business demands that they be focusing on something besides the staffing partnership for that moment - it's time to backburn their requirement until they show a vested interest in the process.  Set the expectations that you will try to get them resumes "sometime that week" and you will do so 2, 3, 4 at a time.  If they don't provide feedback that requirement is put on your backburn list until the manager pings you to say "I am ready now to invest time".  When they seem ready to make the fill charge to their aid with full respect.

3.  Candidate Control - they want real time feedback on every process they are involved in.  I made a choice just this other day that I would block out times for every activity.  As I started to have volume start creeping in - I have now made a choice - anyone who wastes my time will not be called back - rather an email will go to them with the information they seek.

4.  From this day forward email will be answered at a set time during the day.  All of it.  1/2 hour before my day ends I will use email as the tool it was meant to be.

5.  Phone - I will now set a time for my phone screens and block out that time.  I will also set a set time for my follow-up email for each requirement.  If folks don't respond, look good for my role, and then don't answer their email - it is then I will assume they are no longer interested and go to proactive sourcing on my requirements.

6.  Internal Staff/Internal Submittals/Internal Interviews - I will now put this process on it's just due.  If I have a popular requirement - the first 3 viable internal candidates will be presented.  If the hiring manager shows no interest then I as a recruiter will proceed to my external candidates.  And with due diligence will instead have a phone screen and criteria set for every application - internal/external.

7.  For some requirements where the hiring manager may be very analytical I may employ a questionnaire technique which requires the candidates to write down responses and demonstrate their viability. 

8.  Some times the staffing conundrum may require us to be blunt - blunt about the salary, the requirement, manager's expectations, or what not.  It will be there that we may need to fight the good fight - and stand up for principle.  My time and my manager's time is valuable.  I do not need the "smoke and mirrors" affect of the staffing process that goes around in circles.

9. Offers and time of communication about status - I will as a recruiter focus my efforts of timing of communication of feedback at an opportune moment where all are left at their best.  Until an offer and acceptance are made the most sensitive candidates whom would be overwhelmed by any sort of rejection may be the ones you let know after the position is finally filled.  If they are not a fit at all best to let them know right away up front.

10.  The staffing conundrum can drain time and energy.  But a proactive sourcing approach is the powerful elixir of the staffing puzzle - when a recruiter takes control of the process on their terms and allows their sourcing prowess to take over the process.

Truly there is nothing more powerful than taking control of the process - and now that I have reviewed the staffing conundrum I think I will take these tools and facilitate as such.

What will wait as a result?  More time to achieve the goals set and more time to fight the good fight for staffing outcomes that find the direction to the best result of all.  The staffing fill and staffing outcome of the ultimate match.

On the way to that goal sometimes it is up to us to make that amazing outcome occur.

Amen to that.

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Comment by Kim Ogles on January 18, 2013 at 6:08pm



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