Maximising recruiter productivity

The difference between being a good recruiter and being a great recruiter is usually defined by little more than the amount you bill. So how do you go about maximising your productivity and ensuring you’re the GREAT biller that you know you are?

The team at Harrison Sands have put together some top tips for maximising recruiter productivity, that they’ve collated from their time as recruiters and from working with an extensive network of recruitment specialists. Some of the tips may seem like common sense but are often easily overlooked or forgotten, so applying discipline and remembering this checklist can really help.

  1. Focus. Whether it’s writing that important job description for your next advert or reviewing the latest batch of applicants for your urgent role, being able to focus without distractions is critically important. There are simple approaches to helping you achieve that focus too, ranging from turning off unnecessary notifications on your computer, to closing down your additional browser tabs or locking yourself away in a meeting room for an hour. Distractions are the enemy of true focus, so minimise them wherever possible.
  2. Use the right resources. It might seem obvious to some, but using the right resources can be a big time saver and a great way to maximise productivity. Whether that’s using an email tool like Mailchimp to send out your hot jobs list, or an SMS tool to reach those candidates by text, wherever possible try to avoid doing things manually that can be automated or simplified with technology and tools.
  3. Think about your audience. Inevitably, much of your time as a recruiter is spent communicating with others – whether that’s clients or candidates, by phone, email, text, Skype or face to face – so you need to think about what the other party wants to ensure you get the most out of the interaction. Think about the time and place that’s going to provide the best environment for getting the result you want. For example, there’s no point meeting a candidate in a busy bar at lunchtime if you need to have a confidential, detailed discussion. Equally, there’s no point trying to have a telephone interview in the middle of a morning when your candidates are likely busy with their existing job. Pick your time, location and communication medium that suits your audience and your productivity will rocket as a result.
  4. Steer clear of social media. Obviously we all need to use LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and other social media channels for work. They can be a great tool to build and develop an extended network of contacts. And they can be a great source of information too. But all too often they’re like a sink hole for your time, as it’s so easy to get distracted by what your friends and family, or Kim Kardashian and the like, are up to on social media. So our advice is that unless it’s necessary for the task at hand, simply close down your social media tabs and avoid those phone notifications.
  5. Metrics matter. Everyone seems to put so much effort in to writing that perfect job advert, reviewing CVs, carrying out interviews and calling clients and candidates that it’s easy enough to get caught up in the everyday routine. But it’s important to review how effective this all is too. Look at the metrics. Are your response rates what you expected for your job adverts? If not, can you improve how you’re writing the adverts, or do you need to advertise elsewhere? What about the ratio of CVs submitted to interviews arranged or placements? Is this high enough, or is your quality filter not strict enough… or even too strict? Reviewing the metrics periodically will help you baseline your performance and adjust your tactics and strategy accordingly to ensure you’re getting the best return on your investment.
  6. Prioritise. You might have a task list as long as your arm and it seems to never get any shorter, so it’s essential that you can prioritise those items that are going to make a difference to your bottom line, versus the others that can be either postponed, delegated to others or trashed altogether. Is agonising over that latest blog post going to deliver more of an impact than writing that killer job advert, for example? Or will your next five calls to clients be more impactful than five calls to candidates? This will vary from sector to sector and consultant to consultant, and will be influenced by whether you’re in a candidate or client driven market – but the point is that before you crack on with your daily tasks, it’s often beneficial to lay them out and prioritise them, focusing on the really important tasks first or at the right time of the day to suit your audience.

The principles above are intended as guidelines to recruiters that know they can do more, believe they are better, but feel constrained by the daily task list. Simply thinking about these things is an important first step. Implementing them is the next step in the process and one that we’ve found, time and time again, really helps.