Career Management

When I was a journalist, I organised my life by spinning plates. I quickly became a certified expert at successfully balancing twenty tasks at once, and soon found myself with two really exciting opportunities staring me in the face. One being to join the circus, the other to forge a career in recruitment marketing. After I missed the annual circus auditions, I chose the latter. What I’ve learned along the way is that to be successful in recruitment, you’ve got to manage your time effectively. Here are five tips to help you get the most out of your working day:

1. Don’t confuse working long with working hard

The first rule of time management to is measure it in terms of successful results, not activity. Confusing activity with results is a toxic way of killing precious working hours and it’s vital that you measure your productivity in regards to working smarter, not longer. For example, if you have a call booked in with a client you should always set out an agenda. What do you want to achieve from the call? By planning your results you’re ensuring the phone call isn’t a complete waste of time. Twenty quality calls are better than fifty pointless ones that you make ill-prepared.

2. Step away from the to-do list

Treat your calendar like your Bible, and stay vigilant. It’s time to ditch the to-do list that has the same points carried over the past three days and instead, have your daily tasks set out religiously in your diary, and stick to it. Both your client and candidate processes should be resilient enough for you to have a scheduled time to speak to them, if not, then it’s time to work on your processes. If anyone calls/emails at random times of the day it’s OK to get back to them when you’re free, don’t fall into the domino trap of being reactive. Always be proactive.

3. Tackle the complex tasks in the morning

Everyone has experienced trouble getting their wheels rolling in the morning, however studies show if you start the day right (get up earlier, eat breakfast etc) you can accomplish a lot before you even realise you’re tired. Fear is still asleep until around 9am so always tackle the most complex tasks first and sail through the rest of the day doing the tasks you enjoy. After all, the king of productivity, Benjamin Franklin, once said, ‘The early morning has gold in its mouth’… and we all know recruiters aren’t the type to pass up on gold.

4. Score your candidates

There is nothing worse than candidates missing calls, rearranging interviews and leading you up the ‘no commission this month’ garden path. To avoid the aforementioned, it’s important to always know the difference between a lead swinger and an ideal candidate. The time efficient way to identify this is to quantify their value based on important factors that will make it a quick and easy process for both parties. Ask yourself these whether they are…


Immediately available?

Open to new markets?

Excited by clients?

Easy to keep in contact with?

Do they listen to advice?

5. Control your clients

Controlling both your clients and candidates can be the difference between a three-day and a three-week process. There’s no point in having a top candidate with a client that doesn’t cut the mustard. The better the client, the more significant the process will be, therefore, there’s a better chance of the candidate getting the job (and liking it).

Do they have a good retention rate?

Do they have clear promotion targets?

How good are their incentives?

Mastering the art of time management is down to developing a habit to automate your routine tasks, giving you more time for you to spend on tasks that need a little more TLC.

About the author: Megan Hill is the Operations and Marketing Manager at ion Search Recruitment to Recruitment.

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