The life of a recruiter is chaotic, regardless of the market. The constant pull of candidates, hiring managers and laborious HR processes can take a toll on focus and productivity of even the best recruiters. I’m obsessed with being able to go to sleep at night feeling like I accomplished my goals so I tend to try any hack to keep me on track and producing results. Here are four things a recruiter should do every day to maintain focus and increase productivity.
Eat the Frog
If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And If it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.Mark Twain
There are always tasks we hate doing: administrative work, reports, etc. Everyone has a different a different vice they try to avoid at all costs. The term “Eat the Frog” means you tackle the things you don’t want to do first so you conserve your energy and vibrance for the tasks you enjoy. Studies have shown that you have the most willpower in the morning, so harness your motivation mojo and master your most important task bright and early.
This also helps your focus reserve. Focus is a limited resource throughout the day-it’s why many of us have decision fatigue after busy days. If you get your most important and tedious tasks knocked out before the opening bell, it allows you to reserve this vital resource throughout the day and increases productivity.
I like to use the Eisenhower Matrix daily to map out what I need to do and what I need to delegate. Read more about my 10 minute time hack that saves hours of time.
Scan for Land Mines
The productivity masters I follow recommend you not spend your morning reading and answering emails Remember, your goal is to focus your morning on what you need to get done—not the thousands of things people need from you.
I usually take some time to quickly scan emails to see if there is anything high priority or “day-threatening” that will threaten my goals for the day. As Julie Morgenstern, author of Never Check Email in the Morning, told the Huffington Post, “Those requests and those interruptions and those unexpected surprises and those reminders and problems are endless . . . there is very little that cannot wait a minimum of 59 minutes.”
My tip, if you want to be more productive throughout your day, step away from your inbox in the morning. If you really want to be successful, time block your day to turn your inbox off and focus on actually getting work done. Seriously, it saves you so much time and definitely helps your sanity.
Check in with your Team
It sounds trivial but in the new virtual world most of us work in, it can go a long way for your mental health and team camaraderie. I’ve worked with teams that had a special chat or Slack Channel dedicated to nothing related to work. Members would share updates on their family, workout goals, funny jokes or anything else to keep the humanity in work.
Taking time in the morning to say hello or checking on vital updates with the team will also help you plan your day and buy some good favor in case you need them later in the day.
Manage the Sprint
One of the benefits of Sprint Recruiting is the prioritization and dashboards that allow you to quickly assess where you are and what needs to be done. The recruiters who I’ve worked with the longest use their mornings to review the sprint roles, their WIP limits and determine which candidates and hiring managers are to be contacted that day. This process has become almost second nature to them and they are typically those who produce the most and have the highest survey results.
On the flipside, recruiters who didn’t have a prioritization to their roles often struggled to start. Each role was important so they typically tended to the loudest manager and would eventually get sucked into the chaos of the day.
Try prioritizing your roles at the end of the day so when you begin your morning, you have a quick checklist to work through to keep you ahead of the game.
These are the four hacks I have built into my morning routine over the last five years that has produced the most results. I can confess that recently, I had gotten away from this routine and suffered as a result. Maybe i’m just weird but my engagement is directly related to my ability to produce results. If anything is out of balance, I go back to the list above and figure out where I got off track.
Here’s to a productive start of your day!
and Sprint Recruiting
I joined the HR industry in 2004 after working as a sales leader in the Financial Services Industry for eight years. After spending his first couple of years in HR trying to fit in, I found my voice. Now I leverage all of the things I once hated about HR to become a consultant and invaluable partner to the businesses I support. I contribute to the HRGazzette and to DataDrivenInvestor on Medium. WARNING: my writing style is raw and in your face, not what you would expect from an HR executive.
- Get helpful recruiting tips sent to you monthly!
- Read each chapter of the book Sprint Recruiting as it’s written
- Resources including graphics, reports and training
- Special Q&A sessions to learn how Sprint Recruiting can help you transform your Talent Strategy.