One of the most important resources for every recruiter in the tech industry is time. However, there seems to be so little of it. Being constantly bounced around different tasks and context changes, a recruiter always seems in a hurry. If you have other tech recruitment agency partners, you have another wall to bounce off as well. “So many things to do, so little time” is the recurring battle cry. And there seems to be so little that you can do about it unless you add a few hours beyond your shift. In the long run, it’s not sustainable.
A typical in-house recruiter’s day in Malaysia usually starts off by checking and responding to emails. Some emails are given more priority than others - that’s normal. Some recruiters practice “Inbox Zero” and some recruiters leave a few emails unread reserved for later that day. After checking emails, they will then attend meetings with hiring managers, check and review the endorsements from their recruitment agency partners, and interview a few candidates. Not necessarily in this order. And sometimes simultaneously - while doing interviews, review endorsements as well.
And oftentimes midway, the day is almost over. And you’re left to wonder where the time went. You need to follow a tight schedule to really keep going to hit your targets. But following a schedule is challenging as creeping distractions pull you out of your rhythm. The next thing you know, your flow is disrupted, and re-establishing your focus seems like an uphill battle. You check on recruitment productivity tips online and you usually encounter motherhood suggestions such as “prepare a list of priorities”. They help - but not all the time. Oftentimes you find yourself not prioritizing your to-do priority list and you just go freestyle.
You still get things done. Recruiters seem to find a way to will themselves out of a slump. But you can’t be doing that every single day. You need practical, yet simple ways to make the most out of your day without expending a lot of effort “willing” yourself to be more efficient. To supercharge your efficiency into overdrive and get the most out of your day, we’ve compiled a few, but highly effective tips that will even make your job just a little bit easier.
1. Own Your Calendar
Block time on your schedule to focus on doing specific tasks. Your calendar right now is probably a heaping mess you call an “organized clutter”. You may be aware of the ins and outs of your time, but it’s a clutter nonetheless.
The worst part? People can easily encroach on it. Probably not their fault though as you have been tolerating it. This means you allow them to schedule over your already plotted schedule. It seems harmless until you realize your way behind your goals.
That’s why it’s important to really own your calendar. Draw the line and learn to say no when you’re not available. If a meeting can be resolved over a chat or email, request for it to be sent so “you can check on it” when you’re no longer pre-occupied. Request for a reschedule if you’re currently doing something. Book yourself to do a specific task during a specific time. And unless you’re done, reject any types of distractions. Utilize the power of a “no”. As an in-house recruiter, your calendar is one of the most important tools you will ever have. Give it the importance it truly deserves. Treat it with respect and only then your colleagues will respect it as well.
2. Task Chunking
As an in-house recruiter, you’re wearing different types of hats. A lot of hats. Unlike what other people think, you’re not just interviewing candidates or offering jobs, or attending meetings with hiring managers. Most of the time, each task requires a different type of mindset and workflow. And jumping from one to another requires a lot of effort. Sometimes you’re not even aware of the amount of mental energy required to get yourself back “in the zone”.
To get the most out of your day, group your tasks into manageable blocks. For the first hour of your day, go through your emails and don’t check on them again until later before taking your lunch break or before you end your day. Chunk your interviews during the time of day where you don’t generally get meeting invites from your hiring managers. If it’s in the morning, block your afternoon to do your interviews or the other way around. Try to work around the schedules of your hiring partners to avoid frequently changing your task chunks.
And before your day ends, block a few hours to communicate with your hiring partners. If you have partnered with an IT recruitment agency to help you with your tech requirements, don’t end your day without giving them updates - they’ll appreciate it. At the end of the day, every recruiter has their own rhythms and preferences. Schedule your tasks according to those rhythms. What’s important is you chunk your tasks and avoid context changes to make the most out of your days.
3. Declutter Your Tabs
30 minutes in while you’re checking and reviewing the endorsements from your recruitment partners. If you have partnered with multiple agencies, this could be a lot. You check on your open tabs and you have hundreds of them opened. Hundreds may be an exaggeration, but it feels that way. Does this sound familiar? Every recruiter out there suffers from “tab creep”. And once you’re in there and have opened those tabs, you feel things are insurmountable. It’s frustrating.
Put an end to your tab creep by installing browser extensions like OneTab (for Chrome) or Tree Tabs (for Firefox). Start organizing your tabs. Keep and save those that you’re not yet using. Not only will it free up some RAM space, but it will feel like you’re on top of things.
If you have partnered with multiple IT recruitment agencies, you can have one window for each and open their endorsements in different tabs. When you’re not yet set to check on them, save these tabs and just re-open when it’s time for you to review them. Having a clean and organized window makes you feel you’re in control. And if you feel you’re in control, you probably are.
4. Schedule Intake Meetings and Ask The Right Questions
Intake meetings are when a recruiter and hiring managers sit down and discuss the requirements, ideal candidate profile, and other information that are important to make sure you’re endorsing the right people. Or if you’re partnering with IT recruitment agencies, you’re able to give them a clear idea of what it is that your hiring manager needs. If they get what you’re looking for the first time, they’ll be able to send you highly qualified candidates quicker.
It is critical that you get the right information to avoid unnecessary back and forth. The time invested (or wasted) to schedule multiple meetings or send multiple emails to clarify what it is you’re hiring manager is looking for can be averted.
But how do we make sure that we squeeze all the important details? Stacy Zapar, the founder of The Talent Agency, suggests that you ask these questions during your intake meetings:
It is imperative that you get as much information from them. These will be very helpful especially to your recruitment agency partners. The more they understand who it is they should be looking for, the better their endorsements. The better their endorsements, the less time you spend going over resumes that are not qualified. You’re able to close your job vacancies faster as well.
A few hours spent with your hiring manager during intake meetings could mean that you’re able to hire the right candidate on time. A recruiter’s every minute, especially those with tech requirements, is important. Adopting tactics to make sure you’re on top of things could mean hiring the best versus not hiring any at all. Don’t compromise and burn yourself out. Become better at what you do by adopting these simple yet effective tips.
Check out the BGC Malaysia blog for more recruiter specific tips and tricks!