James McQuarrie is a London (UK) based User Experience Consultant who designs and helps build digital products & services that delight their users.

Contractor tip: Use Highrise to manage recruiter contact

Since setting myself up as a contractor just over a year and a half ago I’ve been contacted by a lot of recruiters. Some good, some bad, some terrible.

Every week I get at least ten new contacts getting in touch to see if I’m available for work, or to find out more about my skill set. While I’m actively looking for work these calls and emails are welcome, while I’m mid contract or otherwise engaged they are less so. Whether I’m busy or not, keeping track of who the recruiters are, who they’re recruiting for and what type of roles they tend to be involved in filling was starting to become difficult. But keeping track is something I wanted to do so I could keep tabs on which recruiters fell into the good, bad and terrible categories and so I could remember the next time I’m looking for new work who had good opportunities and who didn’t.

Enter Highrise. I now log all calls and emails in a Highrise account and log all interactions between me and each recruiter in one easy to update place. This has let me build up a good picture of which recruiters know what they are talking about, which have good opportunities, which are well organised and which don’t talk to their colleagues.

I have been able, for example, to check when the last time a recruiter has been in touch and what we talked about, whether I have already told them when I’m next due to be available for work or whether I’ve told one of their colleagues. Searching through a timeline of contact in Highrise is a lot easier than trawling through broken email chains and includes notes about phone conversations that I’d otherwise not be able to easily track.