Change your relationship with sleep

 Remember when you were a kid and you had a bedtime routine? The same thing every night. Remember how you would fall asleep really quickly.

As an adult, we generally forget that having a bedtime routine is a beautiful way to end the day and set yourself up for sleep.

Why does a routine work?

As humans, we are basically still creatures of nature and habit and do respond to stimuli and practice far more than we give credit. By creating and keeping a routine that you use each and every night, you will be saying to the subconscious parts of the brain it is time for sleep, and a wide range of chemicals will be released into your system that will kick-start the process of drifting off.

Below is a model bedtime routine that I try to use.

1. Have a set bedtime

2. One hour before this bedtime put your phone in the kitchen to charge, turn off your iPad and television. Do not have any of these things in your bedroom.

3. Only use your bed for sleep and do not ever power nap during the day.

4. Dim the lights an hour before bed mimicking sunset. Make sure every morning you get sun on your face within 30 minutes of waking up.

5. Do bathroom stuff.

6. Get into bed and read a light novel until you feel sleepy. This works for me, you have to figure out your own routine, but it needs to reduce stimulation of the electronic kind, must be kept to and mimics our natural circadian rhythms.

If you have any problems with sleep why not visit the Sleep Foundations website   

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Thank you for reading this Recruitment Hack. You can get a daily Recruitment Hack sent to your inbox by visiting Recruitment Hacks.

The Book: Recruitment Hacks is now available on Amazon.   

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What is the Naked Recruiter for? Why I started the Naked Recruiter and a little about the book I have written

Overview, The Naked Recruiter, is proud to bring you the Life Hacks that will improve the running of your desk, your business, help you smash your sales targets and become the best recruiter you can be. All while getting a great night’s sleep.

We all know recruitment is one of the hardest, most challenging, mentally demanding careers out there. Many people do not make the grade. However, if you use our Life Hacks, then you will become less stressed, more productive and more successful. Why have we created 99 Life Hacks for Recruiters?

Recruiters need help to make their lives more comfortable and more fulfilling on a daily basis.

Much of the way that recruitment works are stuck in the dark ages of the 1980’s and 1990’s telephone sales business model. The telephone is always going to be king in recruitment, but why do we still do so many blind cold calls?

Why are so many recruitment companies so digitally naïve and why does recruitment not seem to be changing?   

Essentially these questions kicked off the entire Naked Recruiter website, and we are now trying to bring new thinking into recruitment via thenakedrecruiter.com and our Life Hacks series as outlined in this beautiful book

So who am I?

My name is Joseph Henry or Henry to my friends or much worse to my enemies. Don’t worry I do not have enemies as I am lovely really. I just said that to make an impact. My recruitment career started a decade ago after a brief stint working in insurance and then politics.

Since then I have worked for a big multinational executive search firm, a well know high street agency, a political services provider who also had a recruitment agency that I turned around, and now run my own business. As a hobby and creative outlet, I also write a popular blog called the Naked Recruiter.

What is a Life Hack?

Well, Wikipedia sums it up better than I ever could: “Lifehack (or life-hacking) refers to any trick, shortcut, skill, or novelty method that increases productivity and efficiency, in all walks of life. The term was primarily used by computer experts who suffer from information overload or those with a playful curiosity in the ways they can accelerate their workflow in ways other than programming.”

For this book, I wanted to bring the spirit of the life hack into recruitment. Not to talk that much about cold calls, all recruitment books seem to talk about cold calls, but a whole myriad of ways that we as a recruitment community can get better, more productive and just a little bit sassier. I hope you enjoy the book.

If you have any questions, please email me at joseph@thenakedrecruiter.com

 

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Thank you for reading this Recruitment Hack.   You can get a daily Recruitment Hack sent to your inbox by visiting Recruitment Hacks.   

The Book: Recruitment Hacks is now available on Amazon.   

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This Year work in 90-days sprints

It is January 1st, We have all been there, and we have created a long list of new year’s resolutions, life goals and plans for the up and coming year. We want to complete them so bad.

You want to get fit, learn that language and bill bigger than you have ever billed before.

Suddenly, it is April fools day, and you look back, and you feel a fool. Maybe this is the reason it is called April fools day!

You wanted to go to the gym, stop drinking and make great sales numbers. Sadly, you are back on the vodka at weekends, going to the gym once and have a cheeky vape with the other cool kids at work during lunchtime.

In short, you suck at setting and keep annual goals. It is not really your fault as yearly goals, although are cool and look really stylish, are rarely achieved because they do not create urgency or relevancy.

The annual goals younger brother is the 90-day sprint. The 90-day race is not as big as the Annual goals. It aims are not as sexy, but for some reason, it is far more successful.

So how does the 90-day sprint work? Only, it is setting a goal within a time frame that as a human we can imagine, feel, and our actions have a real and tangible impact towards completing them. Billing £200,000 sounds like a lot, but when broken down into £50,000 a quarter it takes on a different veneer.

Want to read 52 books in a year. That sounds like a lot, but 13 in the 90 days seems manageable. Especially if a couple of them are Dan Brown novels! How do we create a 90-day sprint?

Firstly, what are your annual goals? Write them down and figure them out. This may take some time, but it is worth figuring out.

Secondly, Pick the five most important things that you want to achieve.

Thirdly, break them down into manageable chunks. For sales figures, divide it by 4. For other goals think about the steps that need to be taken along the road of reaching that final destination.

Four, write the 90-day goals out and read them to yourself daily.

Five, on day 91 refer to your annual goals and re-set the next 90-day sprint.   

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Thank you for reading this Recruitment Hack. You can get a daily Recruitment Hack sent to your inbox by visiting Recruitment Hacks.

The Book: Recruitment Hacks is now available on Amazon.   

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Stress and the modern recruiter

No one can doubt that recruitment is a stressful job. Indeed the modern recruitment consultant almost has the perfect position about stress. High pressure, quick moving, unknown sometimes uncontrollable results, uneven pay, cyclical business levels and a reliance on KPI cultures all lead to what could be perfect storm for stress. In this article we discuss, what is stress and what distress is, what is the difference, why we believe that pressure is good for the recruiter?

Why distress is terrible and how using this can improve your recruitment results. This article is not aimed at discussing serve mental health, this is about the stresses and distressed at the workplace especially those of the recruiter. So what is stress?

What is Stress?

Stress is something that is talked about a lot, from tv commentators to newspaper journalists to trade journals, the internet, social influencers, “internet health guru’s” and politicians all tell us that stress is severe. But what is stress? Pressure is the reaction of the body to events both good and bad. It is primarily a physical reaction to do something about a stimulus. It is not a bad thing, it is nature’s way of saying that something has to done to change things around us.

Generally, stress involves a trigger, a release of chemicals and subconscious cognitive decisions before we start to feel stress, and mostly we enter a flight or fight mode. For the purposes of recruitment, this will generally mean picking up the phone.

What is Distress?

Distress is a reaction to an event that causes an extreme reaction that can induce panic, anxiety, sorrow or pain. Generally, suffering emanates from a long period of unresolved stress. It can release a wide range of chemicals and hormones that can lead to depression both mild and severe, hopelessness, anxiety and if is ongoing will lead to feeble health.

None of the above are mindsets that lend themselves to recruitment.

What is the Difference?

Psychologists and other health professionals will offer long and complicated arguments about this, but at the end of the day, in short, distress is stress without the control or resolution. My own personal opinion is that stress is good, distress is terrible and too many recruiters are put in distress by their managers, working environment and business model. For instance, many KPI’s that are promoted as a means of achievement is not in the control of a recruiter.

So instance, we cannot control how often a client picks up, but we can control how many times we pick up the phone.

Why Stress is Good for Recruitment

Stress is not good or bad, it is a neutral phenom that in the context of the day in the life of a recruitment consultant is generally a good thing? Why, as Nassim Taleb states in his excellent book Antifragile states that stress and stressors are a signal of information and also a test of the strength of the system. So if we are feeling stressed in our recruitment jobs, we are sent information that needs to be acted upon. Or we are being tested just outside of our comfort zone. So why are these two good for us?

  • Information means that we have to take action and action in recruitment is a good thing, as is information. This information can take many forms, for instance, we are feeling stressed because we have been cold calling all week and have not decided on one job. It means that we have to take action and change something, from who we are calling to maybe standing up to make calls.
  • If we are taking action and feeling stressed it means we are under pressure and our system of working is being tested, and as we get tested and survive we get better. It is stressful because we are being tested, but as we are tested, we get better and grow. Though this growth we will become better recruiters.

Why Distress is bad

However good stress is our body and mind will always need a respite better bouts of stress. If we do not get this rest bite, then fear can quickly turn to distress. In recruitment, we operate in a world that is full of actions and outcomes that we cannot control, from the candidate who does not turn up at the temp assignment to whether someone picks up the phone when we dial.

When this level of control is eliminated, we become very susceptible to distress that will affect both our physical and mental well being. For instance in the book The hour between Dog and Wolf John Coates notices that distressed city traders end up having a tougher time making decisions and have reduced IQ levels and fail to see opportunities and see more threats. Distress is bad.

How to Integrate these Ideas into your Business or Job.

  1. Map your previous stress and distress. What has been stressful in the past? What has caused you to distress in the past? How can you change how you work to avoid distress but integrate a bit more stress into your daily working regime.
  2. Move KPI’s away from uncontrollable to controllable. As an example, For me what has been a godsend in dealing with BD and sales stress has been to change the way that I think about BD. So instead of thinking about how many BD calls I make each day or week. I think about how many actions I can control in this process. I might not speak to 10 people a day, but if I pick up the phone to BD 50 people a day the number I talk to will average out.
  3. If you are a business owner or manager, get your team to map their stress or distress and then collate them. A particular management style (e.g. unrealistic KPIs) maybe adding to distress or your team gets stressed at offer calls and maybe need more training and guidance. Without asking you will not know.

Thank you once again for taking the time to read this article. As every, please email your thoughts, feelings, and opinions to joseph@thenakedrecruiter.com

Further reading

What is stress by the Stress Management Society

Antifragile by Nassim Taleb – View on Amazon

Top 10 stress busters – NHS

How to deal with stress from Skills You Need

Stress-Proof – View on Amazon

How to manage stress from the charity Mind