On the one hand, it’s great to see the job market booming. There is more of everything to go around: more positions, more qualified candidates, more money to be made. There is, unfortunately, something that we don’t have more of: hours in a day.
Though it might be extremely satisfying to fill empty positions with the right candidates, it may get harder to do so as the number of empty positions increases. So what do you do if you’re a recruiter swamped by tasks, and you feel that you simply can’t get around to everything in time?
Hint: you don’t work longer hours. You manage your existing hours better.
And because we know you’re already short on time, here are some quick and easy-to-implement tips for better time management.
You’ve ranked candidates, but have you ever ranked your to-do list? When you quite literally have hundreds of things on your immediate to-do list, it can be quite literally impossible to get to them all. So instead of feeling overwhelmed and swamped by your huge workload, try ranking it in order of priority.
You may have heard of the Eisenhower Matrix, but let’s go over it again. Try dividing your tasks into these 4 categories:
- Urgent and important
- Important but not urgent
- Urgent but not that important
- Urgent and not important
Okay, so everything is in categories now. But what do you do with them? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered:
- If something is urgent and important, schedule it for the morning. When you schedule the most pressing tasks for the morning, not only will you then have more time to tend to other tasks later in the day, but you’ll feel less stressed doing so. Getting more complex tasks out of the way in the morning is also a great way to tend to them with a fresh mind, before any tiredness hits.
- If something is important but not urgent, schedule it for later in the day or later in the week.
- If something is urgent but not that important, delegate it to an outside source or to another team member.
- And if something is urgent and not important, ask yourself whether it really needs to be done
2) Ask for (artificial) help
If you know us, you’ll know we’re big fans of AI. And if you’ve been reading our posts for a while, you’ll know that we’re even bigger fans of Applicant Tracking Systems.
What’s not to love? An Applicant Tracking System, or an ATS for short, can save you infinite amounts of time (well, maybe not literally, but you get the point) by automating some of the most time-consuming parts of recruitment such as job posting, applicant screening, data collection, appointment setting, and even first interview stages and onboarding.
You might be thinking that setting up an ATS seems like work, and we’re not here to lie and say it isn’t, but once it’s in place, it saves you so much more time than you could imagine. And you can always enlist the help of an outside company to help you set it up.
While you’re at it, try automating wherever possible. Have you looked into automating rejection and thank you emails, or scheduling to avoid overlaps? Because you absolutely can.
3) Score candidates
Now, after an ATS is in place, you might find that you are still struggling with the later stages: the final face-to-face interviews, and choosing which candidate to actually pick. There’s a reason AI is so much better at ranking candidates and picking the best ones to speak to: it scores things objectively.
So, to save time at this stage, take a page out of AI’s book. Decide on objective criteria to rank each candidate by from 1 to 10, on things such as being on time, leadership displays, availability to start when needed, or how efficiently they solved hypothetical case studies. Having a scoring system will make it easier to decide on which candidates the strongest ones are, and which ones to eventually turn into new hires.
The objective scoring system is especially helpful when you feel that your brain has been fried amongst all the different tasks, and you still need to make the best decision.
4) Set limits
It might seem counterintuitive, especially if you need to focus on specific tasks, to limit the time you actually spend on them. But trust us on this one. Every now and then we all get caught up in seemingly impossible problems for hours on end, working towards an end goal we can’t even see anymore. Which is why it’s important to set ourselves limits in advance.
By time blocking, you allocate a certain amount of time for each priority task of the day, eventually stopping working on them when you hit the end of the allocated period. This way, you avoid overwhelming yourself by a single task and make sure that you have gotten to each important topic at hand. And, as an added bonus, when you eventually go back to the unfinished task, you can do so with a fresh mind and perspective.
Make sure to also allocate time for breaks such as coffee, lunch, or just a bit of fresh air. By also allocating time to returning emails or texts, you can make sure that alerts popping up won’t distract you from the task at hand because you know that you will get to them at a specific time.
Also allow yourself to identify any other distractions or potential time-wasters. By allocating specific times to these, you can avoid the guilt of being distracted by them while still having the satisfaction of tending to them.
And there you have it, 4 easy steps to better manage your time. Do you swear by any others? Let us know in the comments below!