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What George Clooney taught me about recruitment

If you have ever been a TV Hospital drama junkie, you would have heard the word triage many times.

Certainly I noticed my wife perk up noticeably when George Clooney strides into the waiting room on any episode of ER.

Triage is the process of prioritising patient treatment, based on the severity of their condition.

Recruitment has none of the drama or dire consequences of triage in the medical sense. Nevertheless, poor recruiting triage skills can mean the demise of your jobs, or the loss of your best talent.

Here is why.

Job orders are not all created equal. Yet I often find that a recruiter working on 12 open briefs will in fact allocate one twelfth of their time to each brief.

Bad mistake. George would never do that.

You need to regularly and consistently ‘triage’ your job orders to ensure that at all times you are working on the ones with the highest priority.

And which jobs deserve highest priority?

The most senior vacancy?  The job paying the highest salary?  The job with the highest potential fee? The job that came in most recently?

No! No!  And no a thousand times.

The jobs that survive your triage cull do so because they meet all or most of a few key criteria.

•    The job is well qualified. You know exactly what the client wants
•    The job is real and urgent
•    The hiring criteria are reasonable and achievable in today’s market (for example, the salary matches the skills required)
•    The client is committed to hire. She has signed your terms of business, and has internal approval to hire
•    The client is working with you as a partner, is returning your calls, interviewing your talent and taking your advice
•    You have the job exclusively
•    The client is a long-term supporter, who you have worked with many times

Only very few of your orders will tick all those boxes. They are top priority, and they get the majority of your attention.  Then you work down the list  ‘triaging’ your jobs for priority. And by the way, it’s a movable feast. Changed circumstances might mean a job goes up the priority list, or down.

And if you find there are a few jobs right at the end that get no attention – well, it’s sad – but they just get sacrificed. (Actually, it is not sad at all. Typically they are unqualified orders from uncommitted clients… and good riddance, to be frank!)

If you don’t do this you will be like a doctor who, in his well-meaning desire to help everyone, actually allows every patient to die through lack of attention to the ones who needed assistance most. And who would have been saved if they were given priority.

George told me that personally. Really

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Comment by Mike Ososki on July 13, 2011 at 4:29pm
Excellent advice, Greg! Thank you for sharing, and please extend my gratitude to George, too :)
Comment by Carrie L. Dean on July 15, 2011 at 10:36am
Great information!  Thanks.
Comment by Cora Mae Lengeman on October 28, 2011 at 12:47pm

I love it - and I'm with your wife on George Clooney!  Triage of seach engagments is crucial!  Nothing like wasting your time (time = money) on a loser search!  great way to tell it!

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