In the recruiting business, you often have to “wear many hats” – especially if you work for a small firm or are an independent recruiter. There’s always work to do. We hear over and over recruiters are inundated with job orders, and just don’t have the time to do things like draft up and post job descriptions, or respond to the numerous emails and phone calls they get daily, because they’re focused on scouting top talent. When you’re spread so thin, is it time to hire another recruiter or administrative person? Can you outsource some of your tasks? Or, could it just be that time management needs to be addressed?
Time is money, and if you’re spending your valuable time doing things that someone else could do for you just as well, it might be time to lighten the load by hiring another recruiter or administrative associate, or outsourcing it to another company. But before taking that step, here are a few time management tips that might free up some time to get those other tasks done:
1. Be proactive, not reactive: Responding to emails and phone calls can get overwhelming if you’re doing it one a one-off basis. Responding to every client and candidate request on the spot adds up, and can easily derail your day. Unless it’s a “client emergency,” set a specific time or times throughout the day that you check and respond to these emails and phone calls. You can even set up an auto responder to let people know you will call them back later.
2. Use a “personal assistant” to keep you on track: You can use built-in calendar systems in Microsoft Outlook, Gmail, and other email services to schedule follow-up tasks, like phone calls and emails, or to keep track of your “to-do list.” This will save you time looking through your Candidate Management System or physical calendars and planners, and can alert you when things need to be done.
3. Efficient meetings and agendas: If you have staff, have one weekly meeting where your workers can ask questions and address issues, which will prevent people from interrupting you throughout the week. Put up a “do not disturb” sign if you have to! Also, if you have a call or visit with a client or candidate, always set out an agenda. Being ill-prepared is a time killer.
4. Recap: At the end of the day, consider how your time was spent. You want to make sure you’re spending time on proactive tasks, not just reactive tasks. Try to find areas where you can improve. You might be working long days, but getting successful results is more important than activity.
5. Pre-qualify your potential candidates: Flaky candidates who miss calls or rearrange interviews can also throw a wrench into the works. Doing some legwork up front by qualifying them may save you time and money in the long run. Are they exclusively working with you? Are they easy to contact and return your calls quickly? Do they you’re your advice? Are they immediately available? Open to relocation?
6. Pre-qualify your clients: Similar to candidates, there’s a big difference between working with clients whose process is five days and those whose process is five weeks. Do they reply to you quickly? Are they realistic with their requirements and what they offer? Are they easy to “sell” to candidates? Do they have a good retention rate?
Yes, things will come up that may throw your whole schedule off, but by focusing on these areas, you may see an overall improvement in your daily schedule, allowing you some extra time to draft and post those job orders, or do the other things on your “to-do” list that have fallen by the wayside. Do you have any time management tips for fellow recruiters?