This might be an exaggeration, but only slightly: it feels like every single article and piece of research about recruiters over the last five years talks about how they should be this empowered, business-facing function … but they just can’t be, because they spend all their time on top-of-funnel and logistical tasks. How true is this? That depends on the recruiter and the organization or staffing agency. It varies wildly. But, could we all do with a little more productivity in our lives? Sure. So let’s talk about ways to make that happen for recruiters:

Some Basic Ones

Use sourcing extensions: Easy and free, to boot.

Templatize emails: If a lot of your top-of-funnel work is emailing candidates specific things (interview requests, requests for information, etc.), then create templates for the main emails you send and fire those off when needed.

Spend 20 minutes per day on networking and building relationships: You can find 20 minutes in a day. Watch less Netflix. Whatever works. 20 minutes a day, even on weekends, is 600 minutes per month. That’s 10 hours/month. 120 hours/year. You would be amazed at what you can accomplish in 120 hours/year in terms of building more proactive pipelines.

Get in bed with AI: There are lots of options on the market now (AI has become table stakes in HR technology), and many of them can help you with sourcing.

Learn to use LinkedIn better: It is stunning sometimes how bad some recruiters still are at LinkedIn. Use it for more than InMail. Post stuff. Post relevant stuff. Talk about your life. Talk about the challenges of a tight labor market. Build a community around yourself. It will pop off. It takes time, but it happens.

Learn to use the rest of social media better: Pro tip — > most people under 30 barely know what their LinkedIn password is. It’s not a popular network among the millennial and Gen Z set; they mostly view it as a static resume bank. You want the A-Players in the 24-27 world? Look at other networks (ahem, not Facebook) and figure out how to source and recruit there. It will help you find the true needles in the true haystacks because everyone else is looking through Indeed and LinkedIn resumes.

Some Deeper Dives

Use the 52-17 ratio: 52 minutes of work followed by 17 minutes “off” browsing or whatever. Might seem like you are slacking off. You’re not. You’re actually maximizing your productivity.

55 hours/week max: Hard ceiling on human productivity. Embrace it. A week with 20 open slots to fill? Cool. Spend 54 hours on those 20 slots, and not any more time. Your productivity is essentially the same at 54 as at 80.

Work wherever makes the most sense to you: This could be your couch, an office, a co-work, a coffee shop, or a bar. Productivity is about you, not about being in a specific place. Some bosses are harder to convince of this concept, yes.

Block yourself a Focus Day: Just block out a Wednesday on your calendar. No one will schedule over it, typically. Use that day to hit every conceivable target in sight.

Be smarter about “pocket rockets”: Those are 15 minutes here and there between other meetings, calls, emails, etc. Most people use those 15 mins to look at Facebook. What about being more productive in those pockets? You’d get a hell of a lot of time back across a year doing that.

Turn off mobile at a certain time at night: Reading work-related, candidate-related emails at 11 pm does absolutely nothing for you in any beneficial way. Set a hard out (9 pm is a good one) and don’t touch your mobile email after that. Heck, in France they even have laws about this.

Journal: Every day, write down 3 things you did well professionally, 3 things you need to work on, and one “wild card.” Now at the end of a work week, you have 15 wins and 15 areas to improve. Keep focusing on the latter and celebrating yourself for the former. You good now.

Learn: Attend webinars and read things about the recruiting space.  We have a ton of this available.  Look at case studies of how people are slaying. Learning does take time, so it’s not a productivity hack in that sense, but it will make you do things more effectively and take the right “best practices” into account.

Take walks: Easy peazy, and super important for productivity.

What else ya got?

Ted Bauer

Originally from New York City, Ted Bauer currently lives in Fort Worth, Texas. He's a writer and editor for RecruitingDaily who focuses on leadership, management, HR, recruiting, marketing, and the future of work. His popular blog, The Context of Things, has a simple premise -- how to improve work. Ted has a Bachelors in Psychology from Georgetown and a Masters in Organizational Development from the University of Minnesota. In addition to various blogging and ghost-writing gigs, he's also worked for brands such as McKesson, PBS, ESPN, and more. You can follow Ted on Twitter @tedbauer2003, connect with him on LinkedIn, or reach him on email at [email protected]