Candidates might love the current job market. As for recruiters? Not so much.

The reason is the increasing workload. The problem is that there are more openings to fill, more candidates to meet with, and more requests to process. Furthermore, talent acquisition specialists must wear multiple hats with short staff because of a shortage of recruiters.

If you’re a recruiter swamped with tasks, what do you do? The answer isn’t to work more hours. Besides making you less productive, working too many hours would affect your well-being and personal life. Rather than spending your time at work inefficiently, make better use of it.

But what exactly does that? To begin with, it means choosing which tasks to jump right into, which ones to delay, and which ones to put on hold. “Understanding the process of prioritizing tasks can help you get through your never-ending to-do list,” says leadership strategist Beate Chelette.

However, time management is just as important. After all, you won’t finish the assignments that yield the best results if you spend too much time on low-priority tasks.

Even though we can’t add more hours to the day, these time management tips and prioritization strategies can help recruiters get more done.

1. Conduct a time audit.

Time audits are the most crucial step to improving your time management, yet 49% of people don’t do them. Take a moment to ask yourself these questions before you adopt a new way of working:

  • When am I most motivated/productive and least motivated/productive?
  • Is there a time of day when I am most motivated and productive?
  • What are my favorite tasks?
  • What are my least favorite tasks?
  • Are there any tasks that I find easy or difficult?
  • What are my most and least time-consuming tasks?
  • Are there any tasks that take up more time than they should?
  • What tasks would I like to spend more time on?

With these answers, you’ll be able to plan out and structure your working day, so you’re getting the most out of it. Then, take it a step further and time yourself getting through tasks for a few weeks to see where your time goes and what you could do better.

2. Prepare your days in advance.

It’s recommended that you make a to-do list. According to a study by Florida State University, formulating specific plans for uncompleted goals eliminated various roadblocks. Basically, a to-do list makes you more productive and frees you from anxiety.

Another suggestion is to set deadlines. As a result, you can clear your priorities and make more effective plans. If you know what is most importantly next week — and what is most important by the end of the month, you’ll understand your priorities.

And don’t forget to reward yourself. When you finish an important task or reach a goal, reward yourself. In other words, if you have reached a milestone, do whatever motivates and recharges you.

3. It’s all about scheduling.

If you haven’t done so, you should be making the most of your calendar. A recruiter’s workday inevitably involves a lot of scheduling, which can be challenging if you do it by ear. Thankfully, a free calendar app makes it easy to stay on top of everything.

A variety of apps available allow you to add meaningful data to any type of entry, such as location, participants, and notes. In addition, some apps can automatically schedule events from emails or texts, while others allow you to use voice commands to control your events.

You can even use your online calendar to simplify scheduling. For example, your availability should be displayed on your online calendar. To let job candidates know when you’re available, you can send them a customized link. Furthermore, the online calendar prevents double bookings if they choose one of the available times.

4. Set priorities.

Prioritizing your tasks is an excellent way to manage your time as a recruiter. And one of my favorite techniques to go about this is the Eisenhower Matrix.

Former US President Dwight Eisenhower developed the Eisenhower technique, which has been widely accepted. Using this method, you must divide your tasks into four quadrants and arrange them accordingly.

  • 1ST Quadrant. Here you need to add tasks that you need to do right now. These are the things you can’t put off.
  • 2ND Quadrant. Add essential things you can do later here. It’s up to you whether to delegate it or do it yourself after completing other urgent tasks. Don’t wait for them to become urgent.
  • 3RD Quadrant. Tasks like these may not be essential but must be completed urgently. To complete the tasks within the stated timeframe, you can easily delegate them among your team members.
  • 4TH Quadrant. Last but not least, get rid of the things that aren’t urgent or important. In most cases, these are just distractions. That’s why it’s better to get rid of them as soon as possible.

5. Outsource responsibilities.

Having multiple tasks on your tab doesn’t mean you have to do them all. Don’t think you’re less competent or incapable because you’re unable to do everything. Outsourcing means you’ve admitted that you’re too busy to do everything on your own — and it’s one of the most valuable lessons you can learn for your well-being. If you don’t figure this out — you neglect your priorities.

It’s easy to do this by outsourcing your recruitment process and other employee-related responsibilities to a Professional Employer Organization. You can get help from these organizations with payroll administration, workers’ compensation, and employee benefits. The benefits of using a PEO are numerous, even for small businesses without a dedicated HR department.

In terms of recruiting, PEOs have the following benefits:

  • By finding candidates and handling most of the initial recruiting phases, you can cut the cost of recruiting
  • PEOs connect employers with job seekers. As a result, positions are filled more quickly.
  • The importance of employee benefits is consistently ranked high among job seekers. In addition, you can get insurance products and other ancillary services from a PEO for a fraction of what it would cost you to contact them individually.
  • You can use a PEO to manage your human resources externally. As legal changes happen, they’ll keep you on top of them, let you know when there’s a change coming, and help you update your forms and hiring practices so you don’t get sued.

6. Automate where possible.

When there are many applicants, it’s hard to connect with them all. Even shortlisting doesn’t help. The good news is that you can automate different recruiting steps with tools available to you.

It is possible to automate some steps, such as:

  • Sending a thank you email when an application has been received.
  • Candidates who failed to get the job are sent a rejection message.
  • Assessing candidates and moving them through the pipeline.
  • People who have been moved to the next stage are sent a link to self-schedule.

7. Measure your results.

It’s common for recruiters to measure their success by phone calls. But what if they don’t work?

In what ways have you succeeded? While this may sound harsh, this is mostly a waste of time.

Take a moment to reflect on the following at the end of the day, week, month, or even year:

  • How many people were hired?
  • Approximately what percent of new hires are satisfied with their new job after a few months?
  • How much money did you make?
  • Did you reach your clients’ or organizations’ goals?
  • How many candidates have you moved on to the next step for short-term evaluation?
  • How many quality relationships did you build with future job candidates?

8. Develop a profile for your target candidates.

Consider adding the following items to your target candidate profile if you haven’t already done so:

  • Experience
  • Education
  • An individual’s personality traits
  • The preferred management style
  • Factors influencing motivation
  • Geographic location

By doing this, you’ll be able to develop clear, definable, and fair criteria for considering candidates. You’ll spend less time justifying your candidate selection with this profile.

When creating this profile, prioritize the most important things to look for in a candidate to save yourself time. Having a targeted idea of who to pursue in the first place is critical, but don’t be too rigid about it, as you might overlook qualified candidates.

Make sure you don’t waste time on candidates who meet one or two criteria. Instead, consider these candidates thoroughly to ensure you don’t dismiss or accept someone too quickly.

9. Make job postings more attractive.

We’re not going to sugarcoat it. There might be something wrong with your job posting if you’re getting a lot of unqualified applicants. ‌The question is, what makes an effective ad?

You must include all essential requirements in your job posting. ‌But, at the same time, it should also be aspirational.

Your job is to convince the candidate why they should choose you over the competition. ‌Simply put, make sure they know you’re the best.

It’s okay for your job description to follow a general template. ‌‌There are, however, also a few other criteria that should be included:

  • Describe your company in a few words. ‌Don’t forget to include the tagline or pitch for your firm as well.
  • Let people know if the job is remote or on-site. You can narrow down candidates who only want remote jobs, for instance.
  • You should also be specific about the role in the job posting. ‌‌Give them an idea of who they’ll report to and their responsibilities. ‌Ensure you also let them know what they need to do to succeed in their new role.
  • You must list the skills, requirements, or prerequisites your candidates need. ‌It’s okay for some people not to apply if they don’t meet those requirements. ‌However, it can help serious applicants decide whether this is the right job.
  • Give me a rundown of the perks of your job or company. ‌This will make candidates feel valued even before they meet you.

10. Be selective with interviews.

If you’re looking for open positions with your company, you could spend countless hours looking through resumes. Because of this, it’s essential to post specific jobs and target people who will be beneficial.

You should be selective when interviewing. You want them to be fully qualified and have relevant skills. Ensure that you’re not interviewing someone who’s not the right fit by screening resumes.

You can also use recruiting software to make this easier.

11. Utilize recruiter apps.

Speaking of recruiting software, it can save you tons of time. Plus, they can help you keep track of compelling news, organize and optimize candidate resumes, and more.

With the right recruiting app, you can solve your time management struggles in the following ways:

  • Posts and publishes job ads on job boards and social media.
  • Using customizable application forms and screeners, you can shortlist qualified candidates and reject non-qualified ones.
  • With Recruitment CRM, you can manage all client, hiring manager, and candidate information in one place.
  • With modern recruitment agency software, you can organize your candidate data, such as resumes.
  • Sends bulk emails that are customizable and personalized.

Some recruiting apps worth mentioning include LinkedIn Recruiter, ZipRecruiter, Indeed, Workable, and Shapr.

12. Score your candidates.

A recruiter deals with hundreds of candidates every day, and it’s easy to miss good ones. So what can you do to avoid making mistakes like this? First, give them a score based on their resumes and portfolios. Then, you could filter out the bad candidates from the vast pool by giving them scores based on their resumes, portfolios, and other factors.

Say you have an open job position that requires someone with good organizational, analytical, and communication skills. These are the three things you should look for. Even though that sounds easy, many candidates have those three qualifications. How will you differentiate them? Make sure they have certificates in analyzing or a live portfolio of their work so you can see their work.

Using such notions, you can rank the candidates out of 10 and cut the ones with lower scores. Besides saving you time and energy, you’ve now got a solid list of potential candidates.

13. Stay on top of your inbox.

In your role as a recruiter, you will probably have a very active inbox that consumes much of your valuable time. To stay on top of your inbox, follow these steps:

  • Make sure you schedule time every day to clear your inbox. Nonetheless, the occasional quick/urgent email can still be responded to.
  • Once you have acted on each message, delete or archive it to keep track of your progress.
  • Organize your tasks by categorizing them.
  • Set boundaries with your internal team, so they know when you’ll be in your inbox and out working.

14. Use e-signatures.

Getting candidates’ signatures on offer letters and other documents is tough. It can take a lot of time, especially when they’re remote. Overall, sending and receiving signed documents is time-consuming and expensive.

In order to save time, using e-signatures is a great idea. Not only will you save time, but you’ll also be able to maintain records easier.

15. Schedule time for following up.

Follow-ups are another recruitment task that can get away from people. If you have a good idea of how many candidates you’re in contact with and managing at a given time, you can estimate how much time you’ll need for this. But setting aside time each day to follow up will prevent you from being scrambled when corporate clients want to know where candidates stand.

Image Credit: Cottonbro Studio; Pexels; Thank you!