Finding the time to be a strategic recruiter

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6 mins, 0 secs read time

I talk to recruiters all the time who feel guilty knowing that they should be doing all sorts of strategic things like fixing their candidate experience, nurturing past candidates, and doing more proactive sourcing of passive candidates.

But, the day-to-day reality of being a recruiter is SO BUSY that they struggle to find the time. When I dig in, what I hear is that the recruiter is being bombarded with one-off questions and requests all day. They are “playing defense.”

Does any of this sound familiar?

  • An employee who made a referral pings you to ask whether you’re moving forward with their friend.

  • An agency you’re working with emails you to find out what’s going on with the candidates they submitted.

  • Someone who’s conducting an interview can’t find the candidate’s résumé and stops by your desk to ask you for a copy.

  • A hiring manager stops you in the kitchen to ask you about the status of one of their open roles (and all you wanted was to get a cup of coffee!).

I hear some recruiters say that over half their time can be spent answering these basic questions.

And when this is what your day looks like, there’s no way for you to think more strategically about your role. Which leaves you very little time and opportunity to think on a more strategic level...

That’s where Greenhouse comes in. I’d like to share a bit about how we’ve built the product to help address this. While we frequently talk on this blog about all sorts of “best practices,” the truth is that some of the biggest impact our product has is creating space for recruiters to even think about those best practices.

Our vision

Our vision is to empower recruiters to excel at their jobs. And we see the way forward by automating routine tasks, enabling everyone in the process to easily find their own answers, and promoting better recruiter/hiring manager partnerships.

We heard from a lot of recruiters that no one wanted to log into their previous ATS because the software was clunky and confusing, so we built Greenhouse to be a user-friendly, self-serve platform that everyone in the company could access. (A quick aside here: This is not to say that everyone at the company can access everything within the platform. We designed Greenhouse with permissions so that everyone can access only the information they need to perform specific tasks.) There’s now a mobile app that makes it easier than ever for everyone to log in and complete common tasks.

And it works! When I talk to recruiters who have implemented Greenhouse, they say that it completely shifts the way they spend their time. Margaret Dwyer, Senior Manager of People Ops at SiteCompli says, “Greenhouse simplified a lot of the time-consuming admin tasks. This leaves more time for sourcing, interviewing, and building a great employer brand for SiteCompli.”

By using Greenhouse, recruiters can basically eliminate the time they spend answering questions—while still strengthening communication and relationships with hiring managers and other stakeholders. They no longer feel bombarded by status updates, and they can also move away from nagging others to take certain actions—Greenhouse takes care of that for them!

Read on to learn about a few of the concrete ways Greenhouse can help you free up time to become a strategic recruiter.

Hiring managers

Hiring managers want to know what’s going on with a job overall—how many candidates are in the pipeline? How close are you to making a hire? And perhaps they’d like to check in on a specific candidate. If there was someone they were particularly excited about, how did they fare in their other interviews?

How Greenhouse helps: Hiring managers have the ability to log in and see the job pipeline as well as individual candidate details. They can do this easily at any time without your assistance, so there’s no need for them to ask you for this information.


Interviewers need a few things in order to conduct an effective interview: the candidate’s résumé, the job description, who’s interviewing before and after them (if you have a series of on-site interviews, for example), the questions they should be asking, and a clear understanding of what they should do with their feedback.

How Greenhouse helps: Interview kits provide all the information interviewers need in one place. They get the candidate’s résumé, cover letter, and take-home test (when applicable), plus a job description and a list of questions to ask during the interview and a space to share their feedback. Plus, there’s no need for you to constantly remind interviewers about their responsibilities. Greenhouse automatically sends reminders to interviewers on the days when they have interviews scheduled as well as when they haven’t submitted their feedback within a specified timeframe.


There are two things you should absolutely do when creating an employee referral program: Make it easy for employees to share the people in their network with your recruiting team, and painless to see what’s going on with the person (or people) they referred.

How Greenhouse helps: Greenhouse makes it simple for employees to submit a referral. They can generate a trackable referral link to share with their contacts, make use of the LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter integrations to automatically post openings to these networks, or they can manually upload their referral’s résumé, cover letter, and other application materials into the system. And for any referral they make, they can opt to receive automated email updates whenever they are moved to the next stage or rejected, or they can log into Greenhouse at any time to find this information.

Staffing agencies

Staffing agencies are also keen to find out what’s happening with their candidates, so you may find yourself fielding regular status update requests from them as well.

How Greenhouse helps: The agency portal enables companies to control how they communicate with agencies. They can give agencies the ability to submit their candidates and follow their progress. They’ll get automated email updates for any significant changes and they’ll also be able to log into the app at any time to see what’s happening with a particular candidate. This feature also works across customers, so agencies only need to log into Greenhouse once to track their candidates across all companies.

A few final thoughts

The right tool doesn’t just make your life easier as a recruiter—it gives you the power to move away from administrative tasks and towards a more strategic approach to your work.

You can proactively reach out to share reports, empower stakeholders to access the information they care about, and free up time to take up some of those recruiting best practices that have previously felt so unattainable.

Proactive sourcing, candidate experience, better interview kits… the list goes on and on. What would you focus on if you only had the time to dedicate to it? Let Greenhouse help you get there.

Ready to start thinking about some of those best practices now that you've freed up some time for yourself? Subscribe to The Modern Recruiter newsletter for weekly updates on industry insights, news, and more!

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Jon Stross

Jon Stross

is President and Co-Founder of Greenhouse. At Greenhouse, Jon drives the product strategy and works closely with customers and partners to build a platform that improves recruiting performance. Before founding Greenhouse, Jon served as the GM for and was responsible for the global rollout of the business.