How to Plan your day as a Recruitment Consultant

Anyone who has worked as a recruitment consultant will have heard the saying, its like spinning plates. The origins of plate are said to have started about 2000 years ago in China, originally as a gymnastics act it has morphed now into more of a comedy act. In essence though plate spinning is spinning multiple plates or bowls on sticks without them falling off.

How are plate spinning and recruitment at all similar? Recruitment is an interesting and very often misunderstood professional, there is always more work to be done and it’s a fine act of keeping all those plate up there, still moving. I can still remember my first interview to secure my first recruitment consultant job, the guys I met with said you could effectively never go home. We all want to go home though and we all want to be as productive as possible in the time we are at work.

    To be effective as a recruitment consultant these are my top tips to planning out your day…

1) Planning- some people do this the night before and some people prefer the morning. We all work differently, it could be to do lists, big rocks or frogs. Ultimately by creating some sort of list you will remain on track. There are many distractions that will crop over the course of a day, obviously you will need to be flexible enough to manage those as well as still ensuring you do what needs to be done.

Complete big rocks first- these are your must do for the day, it could be a phone call, a proposal, a short list for a job vacancy. Each day it is likely to be different, however, if nothing else is achieved that day except the big rocks, it still a great outcome.

3) Chunk your day- chunking is a common way to maximise productivity. At any given time, a recruitment consultant could be working 10+ roles, these are all at various stages of their life cycle. You may spend a couple of hours resourcing one and then the next hour following up prospects, then the next hour checking in with your contractors. Through chunking you can fully immerse yourself in a task, gain some momentum and get an outcome as opposed to being pulled here there and everywhere.

4) Does this bring you closer to your goals/ billing- recruitment is very sales and targets based, agency more so but internal recruiters still have targets and quotas to hit. Its easy to get caught up in “doing stuff” but does this bring you any closer to making a placement, hitting a goal or getting a desired outcome?

5) Admin- its part of every role but unless you have a memory like Rain man you will want to invest some time in admin, you need to maintain the database/ CRM, document phone calls and emails, prepare resumes to float, marketing collateral, presentations and tenders etc etc, even blog writing. It all takes time, necessary but important.
6) Proactive/ reactive- this is an interesting one and, in my experience, people will generally gravitate to being one or the other, with the majority reactive. Basically, this means you respond better when the work is there and needs to be done as opposed to creating the work. In recruitment terms things like resourcing live jobs and booking in interviews are reactive tasks, whereas new business development and candidates floats are more proactive, they are about creating the future pipeline of job and candidates. A good recruiter needs to able to move between the two seamlessly and make time for both each and every day.

Training and development- like any job its easy to get bogged down in the job, take time to read and keep abreast of trends in your industry. Also take the time to learn from industry peers and try new things.

8) Inbox and Social Media- these are probably the biggest time drainers going around, I am sure we have all heard the statistics. The average person will spend 12% of their day on non-work related social media and almost 60% of the average persons day is spent in their inbox. You can try checking your inbox only every hour and acting what needs to be actioned, or employing the one touch method- action, delete or file. The productive habits you can create will save heaps of time to dedicate to outcomes-based activities.

9) Goals- what I am referring to here is not your big rock type day to day goals but your big picture goals, new car, holiday, new bag etc. You could use a vision board or the like but keep them front of mind to help keep your day on track.

10) Take a break- breaks are healthy, we need to eat, its energising to take a walk and get some fresh air, it may also help you sleep better at night. Conversing with your colleagues, having a good belly laugh- it will bring you as a team closer together. Never underestimate the power of removing yourself from a task for a brief time and coming back with a fresh approach and new frame of mind.

So, there you have it, have a plan in place, know what you want to achieve, think of tomorrow and have fun as a recruitment consultant!

By Jessica Burns.