You arrive at work and before you know it it’s lunchtime, or better yet you didn’t even take a lunch and it’s the end of the workday and time to leave. But, you can’t leave because you feel like you didn’t get anything critical done. Does this describe your typical day as a recruiter in a staffing office? I know it did for me when I was in a recruiting “bullpen”. Here are three to-do’s to make the most of your recruiting time.
1 – Work backward from 40 hours.
We know that we only have 40 hours in a week, or ideally we only have 40 hours even though we end up working more than that! The point with this tip is to be realistic about the actual number of hours you have in your week and understand what is already scheduled for you. Then, you know what time you have left to get tasks accomplished. Therefore, you would subtract regular meetings and conference calls. Don't forget about the time to prepare for those meetings. Take into account the time in your mornings you use to “get settled”, and go through your email and voicemail. How about the time at the end of the day you use plan for the next day. And be realistic; don’t forget to take into account breaks away from your desk
When all is said and done, how many hours do you have left? Maybe you really only have 30 hours. Knowing the actual work time you have available in a week will help you be realistic when you set deadlines on tasks and projects with clients, candidates, your boss, and particularly yourself. Setting reasonable deadlines will help you feel more successful.
2 – Schedule everything.
Now start scheduling your time, and schedule everything you can. Of course you schedule your interviews, but do you schedule the time to prepare for your interviews? Also, be realistic about the actual time you’re scheduling for your interviews. Do you really need an hour even though your calendar software defaults to that timeframe? Be efficient in your interview process without sacrificing quality. And overall, schedule timeframes for tasks appropriately.
If you have a project that needs to get done, you need to schedule it. Many times we put off important projects, because urgent items bombard us. Before we know it we’re crunched for time to meet our deadline for the project and we aren’t able to put the thought into it to be most successful. Put important projects on your schedule first.
Recruiting is extremely hectic and there are many distractions. If you’re at your desk, maybe there is an expectation that you answer the phone and not let it go into voicemail, or co-workers regularly approach you with questions. It can be difficult to work on a project for which you need to focus for longer than 5 minutes. This is the time to talk with your manager. It is reasonable to ask to schedule time to work on an important project in an office away from the recruiting “bullpen” where your focus is constantly interrupted.
Put each task you need to complete for your project on your schedule. For example, you may have a project to create a recruiting plan around your new manufacturing client. A task on that plan may be to attend the upcoming job fair at a local agency, so you need to complete the registration form, gather the materials, and schedule co-workers for the event. Put each task on your schedule to ensure you’ll get it done.
3 – Automate your scheduling.
It can be extremely difficult to schedule interviews with candidates, particularly when you are trying to communicate through email or text. Tracking what times you gave to which person is exhausting. However, there are online appointment scheduling products that can greatly reduce your time and headaches with that process. Once you enter in your availability into the online calendar, you can provide your contact with the link to book their appointment. You can actually send the link to multiple candidates at once if you’re doing a mass email or using a template. No more double booking your time. Plus, the contact gets an email confirmation and a link to post it on their calendar, which can reduce interview no-shows. It’s fairly inexpensive too. The online appointment service we use is only $49 per year for an individual account. It’s a cost effective way to become more resourceful with your time.
You can be an efficient recruiter, even when the phone keeps ringing and the emails keep pouring in. Be realistic about the time you have to get things done. Use your schedule to your advantage. And, consider ways to automate your calendar and email. All the little changes will add up for more productive recruiting time.