The average day of a recruiter is jam-packed from start to finish with everything from drafting up job descriptions to scouting top talent to interviewing, hiring and onboarding. Being able to manage your time effectively is critical to your success. Unfortunately, time management isn’t something that’s taught in school, but rather something that’s acquired over time through experience. The good news is there are a few things you can start doing now that will help you get ahead of the game so you can master your schedule once and for all.
Work smarter, not harder.
One of the biggest reasons many recruiters find themselves bogged down and falling behind is that they focus on the activities on their to-do list rather than the results they’re after. When you shift your approach and instead identify the goals you have for each task on your list, you’ll use your time much more effectively. For instance, if you have a call or meeting booked for the afternoon, identify in advance what you’d like to accomplish and develop your agenda around that. This will keep you on task and on target to meet your deadlines.
Be proactive instead of reactive.
Despite how motivated you may be at the start of the day, it can be easy to let the many distractions – like incoming calls and emails – get you off track. Plan ahead for your day by listing out what you’d like to accomplish in order of importance and then block out sections of time in your schedule to tackle each of these items. As for those incoming messages, set aside time each day that you can dedicate solely to returning calls and answering emails, and only do this during those designated times.
Time your day appropriately.
Most people are naturally more productive at the start of their shift, so if you’ve got items on your task list that are more complex or require a greater degree of concentration, schedule them in when you are at your best, such as first thing in the morning. Increase your odds of conquering your to-do list by getting a good night sleep the night before and eating a healthy breakfast. Taking care of yourself will keep you sharper and more focused when you need to be.
Step away from time to time.
As busy as you are, it can seem counterproductive to stop working when you’re up against a million deadlines, but research has shown that taking regular breaks can actually help you perform better when you’re back on task. That’s because the brain needs a rest from time to time. By stepping away from your desk, whether it’s to take a quick walk around the office or head out to grab some lunch, you’ll allow your brain to recharge, so when you return you’ll be energized and better able to concentrate.
Don’t be afraid to shut others out.
Workplace distractions can zap even the most productive professional. When you’re up against a big deadline or just really need to concentrate on something, do whatever it takes to minimize and/or eliminate as many of these distractions as possible. If you have an office, close the door. If not, put on some noise canceling headphones and set your phone to “do not disturb.” Optimizing your time like this will help you tackle whatever needs to get done quickly and effectively.
Score your clients and your candidates.
There’s nothing more frustrating than getting through the entire recruiting process only to find out that the candidate isn’t as good a fit as you’d hoped or that the client isn’t really what top talent is looking for in an employer. Don’t waste precious time. Take the initiative by knowing exactly what qualities to look for and using those to quickly weed through your options. The more legwork you do up front to score and qualify both your clients and your candidates, the less likely you’ll be to end up back at square one with nothing to show for it.
Being a successful recruiter isn’t for the faint of heart, and if you don’t adequately manage your time, chances are you’ll burn out faster than you think. By implementing the above time management strategies, you’ll be able to more effectively control and optimize your schedule so that you are as productive and efficient as possible.