Recruiters: Are you managing your time or is it managing you?

To successfully work in recruitment time management is key but with lots of different pressures on your time are you managing your time or is it managing you?

Recruiters operate in a world of 24 hour, seven days a week communication enabling everyone to be in touch with each other whenever they want with technology and social media allowing instant access to news and information. You are expected to be available all day and to respond immediately. You have many demands on your time and it is challenging to manage your time and have time to focus on the important things in your role.

So how can you manage your time and be in control as a recruiter in today’s world. Here are some tips to help you:

Understand how you are spending your time

Analyse a typical day and see how you are spending your time and what you have achieved.

Are you giving anything your 100% attention? Are you checking your email, messages, and social media all the time and getting distracted by what you read? Are you making the phone calls you need to make to clients and candidates? Are you securing the placements you need to meet your targets? What important things did you want to get done and never got round to?

Review the communication you received

Look at all the communication you received in the day and understand how much of it was actually important or urgent.

You perhaps got distracted reading an email newsletter and never got round to dealing with those CVs you needed to send to your best client. Did you need to have your emails popping up on your PC when you were preparing a client proposal? Did you need to take that phone call from a newspaper wanting you to place an advert when you did?

Take control of your time

To be more productive, accomplish more, feel calmer, and meet your business objectives put yourself in the driving seat and take control of your time. It is easy as a recruiter to relinquish control due to the many demands on your time but you can choose to decide what you do each day and stop letting social media, news, communication, and others control your time. What do you need to do to be in control of your time?

Plan based on your business objectives and priorities

Understand your business goals, targets, priorities and what you need to do to achieve them, whether this be making so many placements a week or securing so many new clients each month. Plan what you are going to do each day, week and month based on your goals, targets and priorities.

Always be realistic about what you can achieve each day and allow time for everything you do including the small jobs like updating the candidate database, the weekly client reviews etc.

Manage communication, social media & technology effectively

Allocate set times for dealing with communication, social media, and technology or you may want to delegate the initial review to someone else and get them to just pass the urgent and important matters to you.

Do you need to be tweeting the new jobs being recruited all day or can you schedule these to be tweeted automatically? Consider turning your phone off when you leave work so you get a break.

Set boundaries and parameters

To take control of your time it is important to set boundaries around your role — what is your responsibility and what can be delegated or outsourced to someone else.

You need to challenge yourself as to how you can best achieve your objectives and what you need to do when. If your role is to service one big client you should not be getting involved in another recruiter’s clients.

Align with your body clock

Align what you want to do each day with your body clock and you will maximise your effectiveness. When your concentration levels are high plan in your strategic thinking e.g. about the best candidate for a role or how you are going to approach a potential new client and when they are low think about scheduling emails, phone calls and meetings.

Give everything your 100% attention

Consider giving each thing you do your full attention and see the results e.g. stop trying to answer the phone while you are looking through CVs and texting when you are in a meeting.

Good luck in taking back control of your time.

Liz Makin

Liz Makin provides personalised business coaching, business mentoring and stress management services to business owners, directors, managers and professionals and is the author of '50 Stress Management Tips for business owners, directors, managers & professionals'.

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