To be successful, a recruiter needs to have morning routine

Every morning can either set you up for success or chaos. Most of us in talent acquisition tend to have a touch of ADD which means we rarely like the word routine. Like it or not, to be successful, a recruiter needs to have a morning routine.

The Inevitable Cluster @#$

Let’s first talk about what happens when you don’t have a morning routine.

  • You will most likely check your emails which always creates a bit of panic for you as you realize that star candidate you sourced is going dark on you or backing out of an offer.
  • In the email barrage, you have at least one disgruntled hiring manager you have to calm down first thing in the morning… as if that’s how you want to start your day.
  • Perhaps you read about a new assignment for a project to hire x number of candidates in x days that is not only overwhelming but unrealistic.
  • You forget that one of your team members is on vacation and you promised to cover for them. So now you have not only your cluster @#$ of a morning to deal with but the deluge of issues they left behind for you to deal with.

All of this can derail your goal to find candidates and make deals happen before the clock strikes 8am.

My ideas for your morning routine

If you find yourself chasing your tail day in and day out, you definitely need to create a plan to start your day focused on success. To be a successful, a recruiter needs a morning routine that works for them. It doesn’t have to be a cookie cutter routine that someone else suggests to them but one they feel will be beneficial for them.

If you are a recruiting manager, understand everyone works differently and has a different “prime time” (the part of the day they are most successful). Help your team find what works best for them and just hold them accountable.

If you are a recruiter, take thirty minutes to look back over the last month to find the days you were most successful. What defined that success? What could you replicate? What should you be doing every morning before you make that first phone call or drink that second cup of coffee?

Once you have that list, find the five critical tasks or activities you need to accomplish every morning to make your day successful.

If you need some help, let me share some of my morning rituals. But before we get into that, let’s talk about the most crucial step in the process….


The first step in creating your morning routine is to determine those activities that make you most successful. While the most common tasks would include sourcing new talent, booking appointments etc, the first step for a recruiter to have a successful morning routine is to make the commitment.

Too many times, my colleagues talk about how they’re going to start their day off right only to fail before 8:15am. Why? They don’t have or make the commitment to their routine. They allow distractions to run their morning which results in a day of chasing fires. This is the worst feeling, especially when all of us want to make our clients happy with the perfect candidate.

In case you missed it: STEP 1: MAKE THE DAMN COMMITMENT!

My Morning Routine

My morning routine has evolved over the last couple of years to the list below. When we began using Sprint Recruiting, the routine became almost like clockwork and streamlined because my focus activities were driven by the priorities set in the Sprint Recruiting process. So keep in mind my routine will reference some of the points within the Sprint Recruiting Methodology.


I know, I know! Every morning routine blog out there promotes a morning exercise routine but hear me out.

I cannot tell you how many times I have charted my entire day while in the gym. It’s as if while my body is cursing me for the torture I’m enduring, my brain is in warp drive. It is always my most focused and creative time of the day.

If you are not currently exceeding in the morning, try doing a 10 minute yoga session or a 20 minute HIIT routine in your home before you get your day going. It’ll wake your body and brain up the right way and will get the blood pumping in a good way. I’ve also found it helps me reduce stress and anxiety going into the next steps of my morning routine!

Review the data

While most people are checking their emails for the latest crisis, I am neck deep in the data. I review the progress my team and I are making in our sprint leveraging a recruiting dashboard I created with Google Data Studio.

This dashboard tells me how many points we’ve earned so far in the sprint and which jobs have been identified as the top priority by our clients. If I see any gaps or blips in the data, I take the time to zero in on them.

I also leverage the Sprint Recruiting process to chart my day for sourcing. The points associated with each role I am responsible for allows me to quickly identify those roles I lack the needed activity to close out by the end of the sprint. Once identified, I block off time in my day or in the near future for only sourcing for those key roles.

Instead of starting your day out with chaos, let the data tell you the real story! Use it to determine the critical activities you need to accomplish the rest of the day.

Brain Dump

We all have mornings when our brains are in hyperactive. I’ve found that doing a brain dump in the morning has helped me clear the noise so I can begin my day with a clear brain and focus.

To do a brain dump, you can use any white space you prefer. Some people like a pen and paper while others leverage various to do apps. Whatever works for you, commit to it and get all of those whirling thoughts out of your brain and into a space to store it.

I am an avid ToDoist user-it’s my lifeline for staying on top of things. As those random thoughts come to me, I’ll simply go to my app, dump the information, assign it a priority and timeline. This allows me to not miss critical items I need to accomplish but also frees my brain to refocus on my task at hand:creating a successful day.

If you’d like to try Todoist on me, click this link. If you like to do lists, this will totally rock your world.

Block out time

Although I tend to do my time blocking on Sunday evenings for the week, I revisit my calendar every morning to find open time gaps I can use to accomplish needed tasks. I typically try to block off time for one or all of the following activities:

  • Sourcing new candidates
  • Candidate or manager follow up
  • Strategic planning sessions
  • Meeting preparation
  • Data analysis

I’ve found if I don’t block out the time on my calendar, my day will get away from me. I’m neurotic when it comes to my calendar so creating the appointment reinforces my commitment to the task or activity.

If you are not starting you day out by looking ahead to what you want to accomplish, you’ll spend your day chasing the pipe dream of being successful.

Once you determine what your morning routine should look like, create some definition of a successful day and track your results. This is where the gold is. You may find that part of your new morning routine is not as fruitful as you need it to be. Make adjustments and find your mojo.

Once you automate your mornings, you’ll find yourself experiencing not only more success but also more clarity and purpose. It’s always a great day for me when I can evaluate my day against what I committed to in the morning.

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