It’s tough to do three jobs all at once, and the three jobs I’m talking about are planning, research, and recruiting. However, for many of us, that is exactly what we try to do. That’s why it’s absolutely critical to avoid time wasters.
If we try to do all three, then we become very ineffective at all three. The best way to eliminate this problem is to set designated times during the day for each activity and stay focused on being effective and efficient with each. In my office, we plan after 4:30 p.m. It’s a good time while things are winding down for the day, and it gives us the time during the day to focus on marketing and recruiting now.
Recruiting now . . . rather than later
Effective recruitment desk management is all about focusing on those tasks that lead most directly to making placements. That’s why executive search consultants should place a priority on activities that involve recruiting now, as opposed to later.
With this in mind, be careful of these five time wasters in recruitment:
#1—Constantly checking email and/or Facebook
Many good sales professionals and recruiters alike tend to have a slight case of ADHD. It is very easy to get distracted and off focus looking at the latest shiny object. When we see a message on Facebook (unless you are using Facebook for recruiting) or email, the tendency is to pause from what we are doing and . . . look. This is one of the biggest time wasters and it often prevents us from achieving our objectives and goals for the day. The more you can make it a practice to limit the time checking email and other non-essential sites, the more efficient you will become. Leave it for the end of the day. I am sure you won’t miss that much of what is going on in life.
#2—Over-researching and analyzing before the call
Many recruiters tend to look over a resume or company for what seems like 30 minutes before picking up the phone and making the call. We can all research or analyze a little more, but what we are really doing is just procrastinating and not being effective by picking up the phone and making a call. My rule is that if the candidate is a 70% fit, I’m calling. I can look for keywords and companies and make a decision to call within about fifteen seconds. Better yet, I can do this during planning time, which then allows me to just pick the phone up and call during critical phone time.
#3—Connect hour padding
We all like talking with a candidate or hiring manager and building that ever-needed trusted adviser relationship. Often times, we make ourselves believe that we are building a relationship when in actuality we are just wasting time. Remember, the more time we waste, the less effective we are and the harder we will have to work. Here is how to tell if you are “connect hour padding.” If you have phone calls longer than 10 minutes with individuals or candidates that are not going forward in any opportunity or if you have gained no further insight into clients or potential clients . . . you are “connect hour padding.” Catch yourself and get off the phone; make your time count.
#4—The inability to direct the call
Often I hear, “But Jon, I couldn’t get off the phone with this guy. He would not stop talking!” Working smarter means your time has to be important to you. You have to get good at the ability to direct the call and make the most of your time (efficiency). For example: “Hey Joe, I just have a few minutes before my next call, and there are some questions I need answered before I can go forward with you in the process.”
By limiting your time upfront, you can get business done quickly. If you feel the conversation getting off track, all you need to do is direct the call back on track. “Excuse me, Joe, I’m sorry, I have limited time and I really need to get the answers to a few more questions. Why did . . .”
Many people think it’s difficult and rude to get off the phone if someone on the other end is speaking, as they don’t want to hurt their feelings. If you’re falling victim to time wasters, then you are not being efficient. Ending a call professionally is a skill that can be developed, and it is not necessary to offend the person on the other end. Know what options you can use to keep the call on track and to direct the conversation appropriately. Be cognizant of the results you are trying to achieve.
#5—Personal business during critical phone time
We all have a life to live. Things happen and there are things that need to be taken care of from a personal perspective. This is the question you need to ask yourself when this situation presents itself: “Is this important enough for me to address during my critical phone time during the day?” If you can address the issue at lunch or after work, then leave it and focus on the activities that are going to achieve your desired results. Distractions will only lead to working longer hours in order to get done what you need to.
Life is short. The more time we can spend on what really matters to us, the better our life becomes. That’s why you should continually strive to avoid the time wasters listed above.
Isn’t it time you make the decision to do what you can in order to work smarter and not just harder? In the long run, it will be one of the best decisions you will ever make.
Recruitment now: FREE training videos
Jon Bartos is a premier writer, speaker, and consultant on all aspects of personal performance, human capital, and the analytics behind them. Bartos has served as a keynote speaker at Top Echelon recruiter networking events and is also a regular contributor to the Top Echelon Expert Recruiter Coaching Series of webinars.
Speaking of which, if you’re looking to maximize the time on your desk and focus on recruiting now and not wasting time, engaging in continuous training and education is a great way to do it. And Top Echelon has an extensive training library of free recruitment agency training courses. These courses are recorded versions of Top Echelon’s Expert Recruiter Coaching Series of webinars.
These webinars touch upon a variety of recruiter-related topics dealing with both candidates and clients. As always, our goal with these webinars (and corresponding videos) is to help agency recruiters and search consultants make more placements.
In addition to training and webinars, Top Echelon offers other recruitment solutions. These solutions include the following:
Find out more about the recruitment tools Top Echelon offers to agency recruiters and search consultants!