To become a top-billing recruiter, you need to focus your time on recruitment tactics that bring you a good return for your efforts. It's a no-brainer! But recruitment is a fast-paced industry: so what can you do to make sure you reach maximum productivity every day?
The good news is, there are plenty of tried and tested time management tactics that are perfect for keeping your recruitment desk organised, productive and profitable.
Here are five to try…
1. Prioritise your workload everyday
The key to making the most of your time is in working towards your greatest outcomes each day. So what can you do to get focused?
Our first recommendation is that you start every day by prioritising your workload. You can do this by grading tasks on a scale between 1-10 or labelling them by high priority, medium priority and low priority.
High priority tasks should be either A) time-sensitive or B) certain to bring you the best results that day/week. Prioritising your workload is a simple way to avoid wasting time. Instead, you'll have a clear idea of the work that will bring you results. Whether this is sourcing a candidate, managing a job offer, or working towards landing a new client, no matter how long you spend working towards that goal, you're more likely to reach a successful outcome.
The more you do this, the easier it will become to recognise the time-consuming clients and tasks that bring you no returns. With this in mind, you can start to weed out tasks that are more time-consuming than it's worth or start saying 'no' to clients that bring you no values.
2. Work in sprints
Companies that have adopted the Agile way of working structure their workload around ‘sprints’. While these typically last months or weeks, the concept makes a great time management tool that's perfect for everyday use.
The idea is to set aside time to work towards a single goal that can be reached within a chosen timeframe. This could be two, three or four hours – whatever works for you. I personally like to split my day into 2-hour sprints during which I exclusively focus on going after something that has a measurable outcome.
For this to work, you need to ditch the urge to multitask and instead laser-focus on your goal. Try turning your phone to do not disturb, setting your status to 'busy', closing your tabs and setting a timer. With no distractions to pull you away from achieving your goal, you’ll have a productive sprint with a great outcome.
3. Work out your ‘peak hours’
Research tells us that people are only ever 100% productive for around 3 hours every day. Just 3 hours! It really isn’t much, so to maximise your time every day you need to calculate your ‘peak hours’. It's all about playing to your strengths to make sure you easily reach your goals.
You can work out your peak hours in a few simple steps...
- Track how you spend your day
- Take note of periods of high or low productivity
- Start working high priority tasks during 1.5-2 hour periods of high productivity
- Assess if the schedule works for your
- Refine and build a pattern
4. Know when to quit
When we talk about time management tactics, we talk a lot about getting as much as possible done in our 8-hour workday. But sometimes being productive comes in knowing exactly when to quit a task.
While we might assume that we’ll source a perfect-fit candidate during a 2-hour sprint, we know that in this industry things don’t always go as planned.
Without the satisfaction of getting a positive outcome, your natural instinct might be to continue to sink another two hours into hunting down this allusive candidate. There's a major difference between giving up and choosing when to quit. If you carry on stubbornly, you risk negatively impacting the rest of your day, which can be doubly counterproductive!
5. End each day with a plan for the next
If you want to stay ahead in this fast-faced industry, you need to be in the zone from the moment the clock strikes 9am. This tip might seem obvious, but there’s a lot to be said for sitting down at your desk each morning with a To Do list ready to go. That way, you waste no time logging in and trying to remember which candidates you progressed yesterday, or who you need to email back. Instead you’ll start each day with a clear plan.
Any good recruitment CRM or ATS will have a weekly To Do list on your dashboard that seamlessly links to the activities you need to get done each week. But if you break down your days, prioritise your workload, tackle big tasks during your peak hours and stick to working through distraction free sprints, you'll maximise your time wisely and your billings will really start to accelerate.
Growth Specialist Paul was a Principle Consultant in the tech sector before joining Firefish. He loves changing the way agencies recruit with software.