Recruiters and HR People Work 55-Hour Weeks

Whenever I travel to conferences and trade shows, I talk to top HR managers and recruiters who all seem to share the same characteristic – you work a lot of hours!

In my small sample recently of 33 recruiters, the average number of hours worked per week was 55. That says to me that some of you are really working a lot more hours than you probably want to – or in an ideal world, more than you probably should.

So – what would it take to get you off duty for a few more hours each week?

If you regularly work more than 45 hours per week, and you spend a large chunk of those hours recruiting tech professionals, share with us. What eats up most of your recruiting time that shouldn’t? Post your challenges below.

7 Responses to “Recruiters and HR People Work 55-Hour Weeks”

  1. Surprisingly, what eats up my time is not talking to people as it should be. It is a split between mundane administrative tasks (right down to formatting resumes) and finding the right resumes. Search strings cannot be perfectly tailored to actually only show relevant results, or even show all the relevant results. A lot of time is spent reviewing profiles of the wrong applicants. This is either because extra information is pulling into the search (from side advertisements, etc.) or because people do not list enough relevant information for themselves. I’m always happy to help build a better resume, but I have to find the bad resume first.

    • Vinay

      Recent years have made the job require “CSI” skills! The consulting business also includes (each company will have these in some shape or form) constantly changing priorities, transactions for candidates on billing, incorrect/incomplete information and a plethora of stuff coming in from the blind side. A metrics driven company will add more to the chaos as they insist that a recruiter has to make so many calls/day, recruits/day, submits/day, interviews/day, meetings/day………Add all of this and 55 hours a week is way too less! A business that once was an “Art” is now being run as a “Science” and the price is evident from the burn-out rate.

  2. what a bunch of crap! If there wasn’t a million of people flooding this market in countries around the world, there would be more credible work for those who really “want” to work these jobs, not just run some keywords through a computer and send out 10,000 emails to people who either don’t have the skills in the first place or live nowhere near where the position exists, this compiled by other important details, such as the difference between contract and full-time work preferences, specific companies that they are not interested or ARE interested in. Bottom line…quit yer bitchin’ and get to work – REAL work, not pushing papers across the desk and collecting a check at the end of the week.

  3. Tom's other thought

    Gee Tom,

    guess my job isnt anything according to you. The comment about other countires i will ignore but the part about fulltime vs contract work. Are you sure you wouldnt take a dream job on a contract to hire if you were out of work? Guess i need to get back to shuffling paper and collecting my pay check

    enjoy what ever you do.

  4. Major Change

    I was away from the staffing business for 15 years, running a different business. I came back last year and was shocked at the by-and-large state of the recruiting; mainly the profusion of offshore entities that have flooded the market and turned the “Art” into a world where screening or even meeting the candidates has been replaced with well.. certainly not an improved professionalism. Recruiting seems to have been re-made into more of an assembly line or fast lane at McDonald’s. And the salaries recruiters are being paid, show the effect.

  5. RealityCheckPlease

    I’ve been in this business since 1982, and have been in both the corporate environment and the consulting agency arena. What we see right now is typical for this phase of a recession (those who believe the recession is over can go back to their conversation with the Cheshire Cat).

    In the trough of a recession, two things happen: hiring companies become arrogant, and jobs (and job boards) get flooded with candidates. The arrogance (a simple response to having power over others) results in hiring companies and managers to demand “perfect” candidates: candidates who often don’t exist in the real world. (Sort of like the dating sites where one will only date down-to-earth, humble types with movie star looks and a house in the Hamptons). They run with that job posting and hope they at least get two out of three; then re-issue it in a more realistic way. So recruiters waste time on unrealistic searches. And shake a tree anywhere these days and an unemployed recruiter will fall out, so employers can get away with demanding 55 hour weeks.

    The flood of applicants (I think the average job gets 50 per day, but whatever the real number is, it’s way up there) is another natural reaction to an unemployment rate of 20 percent (the Cheshire Cat will gladly encourage your belief in the Govt and other “official” estimates). Corporate recruiters simply stop reading every resume and use boolean search on their own job openings; but they still have to create a paper trail for HR CYA policies, so opening and processing each resume in the ATS still has to be done. Agency recruiters have to wade through a flood of posted resumes where every skill back to the merit badge for computer use in the candidate’s Boy/Girl Scouts phase is listed. Plus half the population is “Looking” for work; but in reality are only willing to move if you offer a job in a more secure company.

    What goes around comes around: if the economy ever returns to normal, companies will suddenly transform into hat-in-hand beggars for top talent; offering candidates $10K and up sign-on bonuses. Candidates will take all the irrelevant nonsense off their resumes and will only post it online when they really are seriously job-hunting. And recruiters will go back to working a 40-hour week and being treated like humans.

    Big if, that….

  6. I am an HRBP for a Fortune 15 company and I just clocked in 57.25 hours this week. I am working on a proposal to streamline our tasks to make them more effecient. I’m suggesting we go more self serve, tired of answering crazy ee questions that are available on our comprehensive Intranet.