Five Rules for Effective Job Order Management

1. Work only on high-probability job orders:

– I once heard from a $1 million producer that for every 15 job orders he wrote, only two to three of them would be worthy of a full search.
– Top recruiters are at peace with the idea that they can’t place every candidate and they can’t fill every job order.
– Managers: Require rookies to get permission to work a search.
– Pre-close these items with clients: hiring process, urgency, what happens if it goes unfilled?
– Focus on marketing stars rather than simply filling orders.
– Get comfortable saying no to clients with unrealistic expectations.
– Know your target: If you’re a micro firm, go for higher-end searches where you can have an impact. If you’re a midsize firm, you can target mid-level searches with lots of openings on which you can tag-team.

2. Have a system for defining the best searches to work on:

– Label each job order as an A, B, or C.
– An A must have cooperation, urgency, and marketability. An A search warrants both a database search as well as original research.
– A B is missing one of the above components, and a C is missing two or more. A B warrants a database search only, and a C does not warrant any effort at all.
– Write these orders under a heading of A, B, or C on a white board and update it daily.
– Label your candidates as A, B, or C too, and screen them thoroughly.

3. Tell your clients why it is in their interest to give you timely feedback:

– Pre-close timely feedback: “The clients who get the full focus of my team are those who respond quickly and give us feedback.”
– Remember that your clients will treat you the way you teach them to treat you.
– Let them know why you will be calling: either to clarify specs, present someone, or ask for feedback. Also let them know that most calls will last 5 to 10 minutes.
– Ask them to notify you of any changes so that you can pace yourself.
– Pre-close the issue of timely feedback with candidates, too.

4. Talk to your clients directly about any lack of feedback:

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– Remind them of the schedule to which they have committed if they flake out.
– If they are not responding, be clear on the fact that the search is on hold until you hear back.
– Let them know that their decision-making and timeliness are being observed by the candidate.
– Make two calls, then send one fax. If they still don’t respond, move on.

5. Ask your clients for concrete commitments:

– Get interview times in advance. This tests your client’s urgency and also motivates you to take immediate action.
– Add a “client responsibilities” section to your agreement letter.
– Get exclusives or retainers from your clients.
– If nothing else, get a $2,000 engagement fee.
– Schedule follow-up calls while your client is on the phone with you.

Gary Stauble is the principal consultant for The Recruiting Lab, a coaching company that assists firm owners and recruiters in generating more profit in less time. Gary offers three FREE SPECIAL REPORTS on his training website, including “The 3 Things That Lead to Placements.” Get your copies now at

Gary Stauble believes you should work hard and play harder. He assists owners and their teams in implementing leading edge strategies that create the biggest impact with the minimum effective dose of effort. You can download his complimentary report entitled “$1 Million Time Management” on his website. In the report, you’ll learn 9 time management secrets of a $1 million producer. Get your complimentary copy now at


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