Time Management: Are you working on a good job order, or a great one?

With cutbacks from the economy, more recruiters than ever are running a full desk. You may have been thrust suddenly into the role of Account Manager or Business Development in addition to your normal recruiting duties. If you're new to the world of staffing sales, then you may not know that not all job orders are created equal. In fact, you might be so anxious to get a "yes" out of a client that you forget all about some important factors that will predict the outcome of any job order.

To help simplify this process and to help you better understand what job orders you should be working on, I will break it down into 3 categories: A, B and C job orders. Here I'm going to give you some qualifiers to help you determine what category your job order belongs in, so that you can prioritize.

"A" Job Orders:
- You have a signed agreement with the client already in place (not just sent, signed)
- The fee you've agreed upon is industry standard. (15% is NOT industry standard)
- The client has agreed upon interview parameters (Interview blocks have been arranged)
- The salary and position are reasonable (no low ball salary or needles in haystacks)
- You have direct contact with the hiring manager or hiring authority (communication is VERY important)
- You have worked with the client successfully in the past (you have placed people there and been paid)

If you are missing ANY of these parameters then you are not working with an "A" job order. You should be working on mostly A's or you are wasting time and losing money. I realize that our desks aren't always full of "A" job orders, but you want as many of these as possible in order to maximize your production and income.

"B" Job Orders:
- You have a signed agreement with the client already in place. (not just sent, signed)
- The fee is anything less than industry standard (15-19%)
- You don't have interview parameters but you have successfully placed w/this client before.
- You may or may not have direct contact w/hiring manager or authority
- New clients w/signed agreement in place (newbies are never A job orders)
- The salary and/or position may be more challenging (i.e. time consuming)

Let's not dismiss "B" job orders. They have potential and retain many of the "A" job qualities, there may just be some idiosyncrasies. Mostly, trust your gut but retain your ability to walk away if you see a "B" job order heading south. Don't let it suck up your time, move on to an A job order if possible.

Last but not least, let's talk about "C" job orders. "C" job orders are the bottom of the barrel. These are what you work on when you literally have nothing else. If you don't have an agreement in place, the position is paying crap and/or the hiring manager wants a blue monkey that spits rainbow diamonds, then you probably have a "C" job order. In most cases, these jobs will lead you to nothing but frustration and very few hires. In some cases, it is acceptable to work on a "C" job order - such as if you're courting a client or trying to weasel onto a vendor list. However, this should never be done more than once. If you truly put effort into a "C" job order and the client doesn't deliver any results (meaning, reciprocal) then walk away. Cheaters never change and not all clients are honest. Accept it.

I'm sure there are other factors we can use to distinguish A, B and C job orders. How do you determine what to work on? What are some of your qualifiers?

Views: 244

Comment by Craig Silverman on November 18, 2009 at 11:57am
Excellent reminder. Many recruiters have been forced to work on weak job orders while the market was down and forget what a great job order looks like!
Comment by Eric Johnston on November 18, 2009 at 12:02pm
I think one other thing to add in there is urgency. How long has the job been open? Why haven't they hired anyone? Is it because they are being picky? Is the position difficult to fill? Or do they have no sense of urgency? A great qualifying question to this extent is to ask, "What will happen if this job doesn't get filled?" If the answer is, this project will go down the tubes, the company will lose $X Million dollars, or I will get fired, then chances are you have a pretty good order when it comes to need. If the answer is nothing, then you might be chasing a red herring.
Comment by Robin Eads on November 18, 2009 at 12:23pm
Great addition, Eric! That's an excellent point and definitely one that should also be considered. There is nothing more frustrating than a wild goose chase for an indecisive client!


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