3 Factors To Improve Operational Leadership At Your Blood Center

When I have asked internal tele-recruitment departments why they are not hitting goal, I most often hear one or two different answers. They feel they are understaffed OR they feel their donors are all too busy to donate. I am here to tell you – these are emotional answers, so please be empathetic with your team if you hear these, but there’s likely a different reason.

Traditionally there are 3 factors that impact the ability to reach goal:

  • Performance
  • Record Availability
  • Labor Availability


Performance is the known metric and your team’s ability to reach them. Is your team getting at least 30 dials per hour? Are they scheduling at least 3 donors per hour? Is their show rate at or above 60%? If you are paying them for 40 hours of work, are they on the phones being productive for at least 38 of those hours? You need to know these answers at the group or department level and at the individual level.

Record Availability

Record availability means do you have enough donors to reach the goal contribution that you need from tele-recruitment. If tele-recruitment is really responsible for 31% of your overall collections, do they have enough raw material to do their job? The answer might surprise you.

Labor Availability

Last is labor availability. Do I have enough people to get the volume needed? I have these in order for a reason. Adding people is very expensive and should be a last resort, but when you don’t have enough appointments on the books, it is the easiest to fall back on. Just get bigger, right?? Well, I want to challenge that and say – first, let’s get BETTER!

Let me give you a quick illustration:

1 new FTE doing what we’ve called “typical” results should generate 160 units per month, that’s 2 appointments per hour, a 50% show rate on a 40 hour work week.

If you can get 12 FTEs to get BETTER and increase those 2 appointments per hour by just a quarter of an appointment per hour– get them to 2.25 – you will increase your NET units by 240 – without adding additional labor cost! That is a super simple equation, but try to do a reframe and think in terms of getting better instead of bigger – first.

Knowing the drivers for each of these categories will allow you to make smart decisions. If you know you can’t grow your donor base as quickly as you need, you have to do more with what you’ve got! Results have to come up and you may need to over invest in labor. Ideally, all 3 categories are at or above 100%, but my guess is, if you didn’t have at least one of these problems, you likely wouldn’t be sitting here reading this today, so hopefully this is helpful in showing you how to diagnose your problem a little more scientifically and less emotionally.