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Creating Action Plans that Work

Posted By APSO, 19 December 2014
Updated: 04 December 2014

        

In recruitment activity equals results. Contingency based recruitment means that if you’re not careful you can be VERY busy but end up losing money as you chase down “placements”’ that have no chance of actually coming off. Having clear action plans are critical to focusing your efforts and working towards measurable results.



Step 1: Know where you want to be

All great leaders understand that if you don’t know where you’re going you could end up anywhere. Do you have a clear focus of what kind of recruitment you want to practice? The kind of clients and candidates you want to service? If not, now is the time to reassess and make some clear decisions.

Step 2: Be specific

Not only must your goal be specific, but you must also create a specific intention as well as very specific tasks or steps that will move you toward the completion of that goal. Assess the activities and actions that you need to perform in order to move towards your overall goals.

Step 3: Create measurable milestones

Once you have a clear picture of what you’re out to accomplish, as well as the targets you will need to hit throughout the specific period you’re measuring, the next step is to create measurable milestones. Of course ultimately placements are the key measure of success for recruiters but set up some interim milestones, such as CVs out to clients, interviews set up, etc, to track your progress.

Step 4: Make a list

Create a list and accompanying timeline of specific action items or tasks to complete in order to hit those milestones. Lists are great ways of keeping on track as well as visually reminding yourself of what needs to be done and/or how far you are in the process.

Step 5: Break large tasks into smaller, more manageable chunks. 

Some tasks or milestones may seem more daunting to achieve than others. That’s when it makes sense to break larger tasks down into sub-tasks or steps. For example, “source scarce skills” might be broken down into several sub-tasks, such as, scope task, search LinkedIn, contact network, etc.

Step 6: Assign deadlines

Without specific time frames and deadlines, work will definitely expand to fill the time allotted, and certain tasks may never get completed. An effective “To Do List” has clear timeframes that enable prioritisation and planning.

Step 7: Visualise your Goal

Once you’ve created your action items and set a specific timeline, the next step is to create some type of visual representation of your plan. You might use a flowchart, a Gantt chart, a spreadsheet, or some other type of business tool to accomplish this. This is particularly useful for individuals who better interpret and comprehend information in visual format.

Step 8: Acknowledge your accomplishments

Large tasks can be intimidating and overwhelming. Keep your positivity by acknowledging and recording your accomplishments. Why not utilise a highlighter when “crossing off” tasks on your To Do List that have been completed. Rather than the negative association with a strong black line, the use of coloured highlights helps to positively reinforce the items on the list that are finalised.

Step 9:  Work your plan and don’t stop until it’s complete. 

Once your plan is established take daily action and follow up with any other responsible parties to ensure that everyone is doing their part towards the overall goal. If you’re the only one responsible, set aside time at the beginning and end of each day to review your list and assess whether you’ve achieved the goals you’d hoped.

Step 10: Change the date if you must, but never give up on the goal. 

Occasionally, circumstances or unforeseen events can arise that throw a wrench in your ability to meet deadlines, complete tasks and achieve your goal.  This is especially true in recruitment when your ultimate goal – making placements – is dependent on the actions of at least two other people, the client and the candidate. If this happens, do not get discouraged – revise your plan and continue working to meet targets and move forward.

Tags:  action plans  APSO  apsogram  deadlines  decision making  goals  planning  results 

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