Last week we looked at different recruitment styles, an extract from the newly released second edition of The Professional Recruiters Handbook written by Jane Newell Brown and I. This week we look at managing your time – a skill every consultant should possess – which, if done correctly, can do wonders for your career.
Divide up your day
Allocate blocks of core work time throughout the day, and stick to them. You might, for example, spend two hours in the morning and afternoon where you are making and receiving calls, arranging interviews and doing database searches. By knowing what your time is allocated to, you can not only concentrate on these elements without distractions, but also have some structure to ensure your tasks are completed. Of course, if something imperative crops up – a client calling with an offer, for instance, you should make the time for this.
Ensuring you take a break at lunch is crucial. The time you spend away from your work will revitalise your mind and leave you refreshed for an afternoon of hard work. Lastly allow some ‘downtime’ each day to carry out administration, a catch up with colleagues, or to update your systems.
Working nearest the placement
It’s surprising how easy it is to become diverted by activities that may not directly lead to a placement. This is particularly so if you are a recruiter working in a very broad market where you come across many candidates that you may never be able to place, and companies who are purely using you for a shortlist to assess their internal candidate.
The activities nearest a placement are the candidate’s job acceptance, the offer management, and the interview de-brief. Time tends to kill business in our industry, so the longer you leave it between these stages, the slimmer the chances of success. Ensure you stick to the right candidates and clients for your market, and keep the latter stages of a placement moving to have the best chances of success.
Working the recruitment cycle
To be a truly successful recruiter, you need to be working all areas of the recruitment cycle throughout your working week. Yet, time and time again, client acquisition and candidate attraction is ignored. Devote set times each week to visiting new and existing clients, as well as candidate attraction strategies.
Running a search
If you are a search consultant and run several projects at one time, allocate a set amount of time each day to each assignment. By doing so you won’t come to do your client reporting at the end of the week to find you have made very good progress on a couple of projects but nothing on a one.