Return on Time (ROT) – The Difference between Average Recruiters and Advanced Experts

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May 2, 2016
This article is part of a series called Editor's Pick.

A very important but largely overlooked stat in sourcing is return on time (ROT).  Many areas in recruiting/sourcing are judged by time, such as time to fill.  Return on time is the average hours a recruiter or sourcer takes to get a submission.  This stat changes from industry to industry, but the industry average to get a submission for hard to fill roles is eight hours, according to leading recruitment analytical expert David Szary of Lean Human Capital.  Return on time is such an important stat, that it is largely the difference between average recruiters and advanced experts. The following recommendations are ways recruiters or sourcers can improve their return on time, and can go from average recruiters to advanced experts.

Analyze Your Current Return on Time Metric

The first step towards improving your return on time is to determine how many sourcing hours it takes to get a submission.  Over a one-month period, conduct a daily time study to determine how many hours it takes to get a submission.  After a month, look at the time study to determine your current benchmark in terms of average hours to get a submission.  Once you know your personal benchmark, you can look at techniques to improve it by decreasing your time to source.

Five Ways to Improve Your Return on Time Metric

  1. Increase Your Sourcing Speed – The order in which you search

By increasing the speed of which you source, you will have the potential to double your recruitment production levels.  The best way to increase your sourcing speed is to prioritize the order in which you search.  By merely changing the order in which you search, you can effectively save days in finding qualified candidates.  It is recommended to first use tools and techniques that give you the biggest return on your time. The basic rule of thumb is the warmer the lead, the more likely a candidate will be interested in your role. The order that is recommended would be the following:  1) People who apply to your posts 2) Recent applicants to job boards  3) Past applicants in your ATS  4) Networking  5) Old applicants on job boards  6) LinkedIn InMail  7) Boolean searches on the net and 8) Cold Calling into competitors.

  1. Cut Out Boolean Stings that Do Not Produce.

Boolean, done correctly, can lead a recruiter/sourcer to a gold mine of candidates.  On the flip side, Boolean strings done ineffectively can lead to hours of wasted time.  It is recommended to constantly monitor the time spent on a search – on a micro level.  If a particular search string is not effectively producing candidates; it is recommended to move on to other Boolean strings and tools.

  1. Do Not Spend Excessive Hours Experimenting on New Tools

One of the fun aspects of sourcing is the ability to experiment with new tools and techniques.  In order to advance in knowledge, there has to be a place for experimentation.  Too much experimentation; however, can result in the loss of valuable sourcing hours.  Experimenting should be kept as a sideline rather than the focus of your time.

  1. Do Accurate Intakes

Doing accurate intakes will enable you to understand the exact needs of your hiring managers and will prevent you from focusing time on inappropriate candidate profiles.

  1. Use CRMs or Emails Campaign Software

You can save hours of time by doing mass email campaigns through CRMs or emails campaign software.  These tools save so much time because they allow the sourcer or recruiter to target an exponential amount of candidates, as compared to singular manual emails.

This article is part of a series called Editor's Pick.
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