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Take control of your desk now

Posted By APSO, Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Take control of your desk now

Recruitment can be a real rollercoaster especially as we juggle multiple clients, candidates and job orders. Whilst we cannot, as much as we’d like to, control our candidates or clients, we can control our desk to maintain productivity and reduce our stress.

1.       Set Clear Goals

You need to have a clear understanding of your targets and what activity is required to achieve them. Set yourself goals from big (annual) to small (this week) and you’ll be more likely to reach them. Write them down. Research shows that you’ve got more chance of achieving a goal if you’ve committed it to paper.


2.       Plan Ahead

Use resources, whichever works for you, to plan your activities and allocate time accordingly. Whether paper or electronic, a diary is a must for any recruiter. Remember that recruitment rarely sticks to a schedule so be sure to allocate time each day for those “unexpected” tasks, such as arranging an interview on behalf of a client.


3.       Stay Organised

Recruiters make money from information and it’s essential that we are able to quickly and easily access what we need. Keep your desk organised and invest in a simple filing system – whatever works best for you – so that you’re able to stay on top of the piles of paper.


4.       Take Action!

Procrastination is a recruiter’s worst enemy. We all have things we don’t like about the job – often cold calling or regretting candidates. Don’t delay, do the unpleasant things first as we generally have more energy in the morning and it’s great to cross off the list the tasks we’ve been dreading.


5.       Focus

Commit to a single task, be fully engaged and you’ll achieve more. If you’ve got a list of cold calls to make, advise your colleagues that you’re not to be disturbed and put your head down and get it done.


6.       Stop Multi-tasking

This seems a contradiction because recruitment is all about multi-tasking. However, to maximise productivity, group similar tasks and you’ll find that you will get more done. By way of example, set aside time to do all of your telephonic references. By getting into the groove and doing several in a row you’ll probably find that you’ll get a better quality of reference and also a few more completed in a shorter space of time.


7.       Switch off your Email.

If you’ve still got the notification for new emails switched on, turn it off now! Recruiters get literally hundreds of emails and every time it pings or flashes on screen you’re likely to stop what you’re doing to address the mail. Rather schedule time, even if it’s every 90 minutes, to consciously open your Inbox and deal with emails.



8.       Prioritise.

Not everything urgent is important. Take a few minutes at the end of each day to draw up your To Do List and prioritise the items. Begin tomorrow with the most important items so that you’ve at least achieved these before the “wheels fall-off”


9.       Take care of yourself

Be sure to make time for lunch, eating healthy food to refuel your body and mind, and get in some exercise. Get in the recommended sleep and if possible, rise an hour earlier. It’s amazing how much more can be achieved in the morning, especially if you can get to the office before the phones start ringing.


10.   Use your Time wisely

Take care to use your time wisely. Be punctual, not only does it reduce stress associated with running late, but it means that your schedule for the day remains intact. One late meeting has a domino effect. If you must attend meetings, ask for an agenda and stick to it. If your team is notorious for having meetings that end up in talk-shops, why not institute a Standing rule. Meetings that are conducted standing will most often finish quickly as there is no room for getting comfy. 

Tags:  achieve  apso  goal setting  goals  multi-tasking  orgnise  prioritise  strategy  take action  time management 

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Creating Action Plans that Work

Posted By APSO, Monday, 15 December 2014
Updated: Thursday, 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  results 

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