A question I am often asked in recruitment is “how do you prepare for a successful week?” Truth be told, this wasn’t something I knew how to do from the get-go. Learning to effectively plan for anything takes time and experience; let alone preparing for a job where you are dealing with uncertainty everyday and the most unpredictable factor of all (people!) Recruitment is an interesting and very unique field where you are in a work environment of constant change, interruptions, uncertainty, and unknown. One of the biggest challenges we as recruiters face are time management, planning, and getting through what we have to accomplish without getting too off track. When I first started out, I thought I could pretty much plan out my day/week, identify what I had to get done, get through it, and accomplish it all. I was wrong, very wrong. I knew that in order to take my work to the next level and start making more placements, I had learn how to better spend my time and learn how to plan within recruitment.
Keep reading to check out a few things I’ve learned along the way that have helped me effectively plan a successful week. These are simple things that I have adopted along the way, that have helped me become more efficient and ultimately take my production to the next level. Below are 3 things I do every Sunday night that keep on the fast track to success.
Make and Review Your Activity Sheet
Start planning by asking yourself “what do I need to get done this week?” and “what do I have to accomplish this week to be successful?” Identify what it is that you need to do, and create action items accordingly. When writing out your activity sheet, try to identify what the most important things are that need to happen within your search right now to keep it moving forward. Review your activity sheet and make notes each day on what action items need to happen to keep the rhythm of the searches moving forward.
Here are few things to consider when writing out your activity sheet:
- Do you have to find candidates for your open requisitions?
- Do you have to interview or qualify candidates you have already sourced?
- Do you have to follow up with any candidates?
- Do you have to prep candidates for interviews?
- Do you have to schedule any candidate-client interviews?
- Do you have to gather feedback from any candidate-client interviews?
- Do you have to extend an offer?
Once you have an understanding of what you need to get done, plan specific times to accomplish these items. Be as specific as you can with your action items, plan blocks of time on your calendar and what you are going to accomplish during those times.
Plan for the Unexpected
In a field of constant change and uncertainty, one thing we are certain about is that anything can change at a moments notice. Unfortunately, sometimes there is just no way around this and as much as we wish we could, there’s often no way of predicting the unexpected. In order to deal with the unexpected, you have to build it into your weekly schedule. Give yourself a time allowance, or block of time, where you can deal with these unexpected surprises. By planning for this, you can allow for changes that might (will) pop up, you will avoid feeling reactive and you’ll be much more effective in dealing with the situation.
Review Your Business
I cannot stress this enough. If you want to move forward, you have to understand where you are now. Review your goals (both billable and non-billable) and where you are at in achieving them. As recruiters, we juggle a lot of balls everyday and it’s easy to lose sight of the big picture. Often, we get lost in the day-to- day grind of recruiting and get tunnel vision (focusing solely on the active roles we are trying to fill.) Make sure you are reviewing your business every week and understanding every number and detail of your business. Understanding where you are at overall, will enable you to understand where you have to focus your time and how you are going to achieve your goals.
These steps have improved my planning and time management, and have helped in my success as a recruiter. These steps are simple and are easy to incorporate into your weekly planning. If you’re feeling like you’re in a recruiter’s rut and are hungry to achieve your goals, I encourage you to start thinking seriously about the objective of planning. Follow these steps, keep it consistent, and I guarantee that your planning will start to reflect in your production.
Hope this helps!