Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Time Management

Time management is a very common obstacle in a recruiter’s daily ritual of chaos. Some say they don’t have enough time to get organized, or they work much better on the fly… For the rest of us who use more of the right than left side of our brains, getting organized is an absolute critical task. With out being organized, most of us could probably get what needs to be done accomplished, but would more than likely sacrifice a significant amount of productivity and quality along the way. It’s not necessarily about getting it done, but getting more done, and doing it better, resulting in an increased bottom line, and ultimately resulting in a better quality of life. After all, isn’t that what it’s all about?

Ok, let’s talk a little about time management…

Segment your planned activities (Sourcing, Screening, Outbound Calls, Call Backs, Follow ups, etc): Do one type of activity at a time, try not to multi-task across multiple segments. The more you can concentrate on one type of activity, the less fragmented you’ll be; things will get done, and your work will be at a higher quality.

For many of us, this is not an easy task. If you train yourself to concentrate on only one type of activity at a time, you’ll find yourself getting much more done each day.

Heed the 5 P’s – (Prior Planning Prevents Pathetically Poor Performance). Plan each segment the day prior. You may be saying to yourself “I know what I need to do; why should I waste my time to write it down?” Organizing your efforts is critical; simply getting in the mind-set of planning and plan execution will help you actually get it accomplished. It makes it a lot easier if you get it done at the end of the work day. Set aside one hour at the same time each day (4-5 PM). Don’t let anything interrupt your planning time (hold all calls, don’t respond to emails or IM’s, etc)

Print and keep your plan visible so you can cross things off as you accomplish them. For most people this helps them visualize what needs to be done, and will increase your investment in completing your plan for the day.

Create a daily template that specifies what time you will do each activity. This is a critical part of managing you time. You must have a set schedule template in order to plan your day properly. See the example below

08:30-09:30 AM- Priority calls (prep/ debrief/ references/ offers etc.)
09:30-11:00 AM- Follow ups
11:00-12:00 PM- Candidate Interviews
12:00-01:00 PM- Lunch (very important to take a lunch break)
01:00-01:30 PM- Sourcing
01:30-04:00 PM- Screening
04:00-05:00 PM- Planning

It’ll take a lot of effort to follow your schedule at first, but it will pay off in the end.