Three productivity hacks to make you a better recruiter

The Pomodoro Technique

The Pomodoro technique is named after a kitchen tomato timer, of all things, that was invented by an Italian chap. And mostly, it’s a productivity tool that is simple, straightforward, and it’s really, really quite useful. What you’re doing is you batch your time into 25-minute slots called a Pomodoro, and in that slot, you focus on one thing and one task only and nothing else.

During that 25 minutes, that’s all you focus on, either until you have completed the task or the timer goes off. When the Pomodoro goes off, and it rings the bell, you take a 5- to 10-minute break, get away from your desk, then you come back, and you do another Pomodoro. You just keep repeating like that all day.

What this technique does is it sets an artificial barrier of time, it blocks everything else out, and it focuses you through creating a sense of urgency.

And it’s brilliant. And the great thing is if someone is coming to disturb you, all you do is say, “Can you come to me at the end of Pomodoro? There are about 10 minutes left.” And then you continue. It’s great. Use it. I use it. Fantastic stuff.

Batch tasks

Do all of one type of work, at one time, in one big batch. Why? Because it’s more efficient. If you have to process candidates registration meetings and calls onto the system, do it once a day or week. Why? By switching between tasks, it can take up to 10 minutes to 15 minutes for the brain to shift into gear for that new task, which means that you will probably either take longer or will do the job poorly.

So if you meet 10 candidates in a week, on a Friday afternoon, set yourself an hour to put all their details on the system, bish bash bosh, and in an hour, you get all their details onto the system. You’ve saved yourself a lot of time, but also, as you put their information on the system at the same time, you’ll be consistent in the way that you do it because you’ll be following the same process.  

Although it means that your stats won’t necessarily be updated day to day on that type of thing, over a weekly basis, batching matters and will have a significant impact. You should batch your BD calls. You should batch LinkedIn time. You should batch your emails.

Batching should be part of your daily business.

Go Dark

No this is not about going all James Bond. However, sometimes you literally just have to go dark. You have to turn off everything. You have to turn off your phone, you have to turn off your email, and you have to get on with work. You have to ignore the notifications.

Now, in recruitment, ignoring communication and telephone calls has always been a bit of sin, almost a heresy in some circles. But I for one believe that if you’re still responding, you are not responsible. So sometimes you have to go dark to focus on those critical tasks and use the dark going method to essentially make crucial decisions. Say for instance you have to make a decision on a software purchase between two suppliers.

Say it’s for an Application Tracking System. Now you’ve gone over all the details and what you do is you go dark. You take the details. You turn off your phone. You turn off your internet, everything. You go through the decision for a certain amount of time, say 25 minutes. Once that time has ended, you make a firm decision.

That’s how going dark can be used for decisions. Additionally, if you have work to do that is not based on communicating with people, going dark is a great way of getting it done quickly and getting back on with other subjects.

***   

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.  

How to kill procrastination in an instant

Before writing this Life Hack, I spent 15 minutes reading up about how the US supreme court works on Wikipedia.

Okay, that is a lie, I was looking at funny cat videos on Instagram. Anyway, I was procrastinating like a champion.

If there were an Olympic medal for procrastination, I would probably miss the final because I was scrolling through Doug the Pugs facebook page.

Anyway, I am even procrastinating in the middle of this life hack. To kill procrastination in an instant, you first need to know what your triggers are.

For me, the triggers are the following, my to-do list, business development calls and doing my accounts. What triggers your procrastination could be triggered by anything, finding out what they are is half the battle.

When I was trying to figure out what my triggers are I kept a log and the pattern became clear very quickly indeed. Now, once you know your triggers and notice you are procrastinating all you need to do is say this one phrase out loud so other people can hear you “and I am back in the room”.

It will snap you out of the funk and also get you to focus on the hear and now and banish that procrastination.

Anyway back to cat videos on Instagram. Have you seen the one with the cat pushing the glass off the table! I am back in the room!   

***

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.  

Never forget anything

Never forget anything, ever Do you sometimes forget about things, whether it is that internet article you read, to the name of that company you saw on a drive about?

Well, ladies and gentlemen, some rather lovely people in Silicon Valley have created what users call their second brain. It is called Evernote, and it is fantastic (I am a fanboy).

Why is Evernote such a fantastic life hack? Evernote operates on mobile, desktop, tablet and website applications that automatically syncs between all instances.

You can store just about anything, from web pages you found, to voice memos that can be created within the app. Everything is synced and backed up to the cloud. Every note can be added to folders that can be shared and synced with teams.

As a recruiter, I use Evernote to store all my accounting and expenses, articles that I may want to read later on and content/copy that I am creating so it can be shared straight away. I also use the scannable feature to take paper straight to a digital format.

I could spend days writing about the brilliance of this app, my suggestion is to download it and then discover its multitude of features and go from there.

To join the Evernote revolution visit – http://evernote.com (and it is free for the light version)

***   

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.   

***

How to use Amazon’s Alexa for Recruitment and Business

 

What is Amazon’s Alexa/echo Alexa/echo is Amazon’s answer to Siri and Cortana but packaged in a beautiful format (especially in the dot form)? It is voice-operated and will respond to a wide range of commands.

My first interactions covered the realm of music. It allows the communication with apps (called skills) and can be hooked up to Amazon prime, Wikipedia, Audible and other services.

My first few minutes was set up and then engaging with the musical part of Alexas skills-set. Asking Alexa to play instrumental jazz or 50 Cent In Da Club and Alexa will deliver.

It is quite a revelation to say ” Alexa, play kings of Leon”, and the blue rings flash and she confirms that she will shuffle songs by Kings of Leon and Use Somebody starts to play. Most of my first day with Alexa was spent engaging and playing music and ask basic questions. Only after a while, I realised just how good Alexa is and how this is a window into the future.

Hiring Alexa for business On the second day of owning Alexa on Boxing Day, I start over a couple of mince pies researching and looking into how I can use this in my day-to-day business.

This was something that I had wanted for a very, very long time. As someone who struggles with dyslexia speech software is something I am used too and having a computer that responds to my commands. So should you hire Alexa for your business? Yes. But what tasks should be on Alexa’s Job description? So far for a recruitment business, I would say she can cover the following:

  • Managing Calendars
  • Adding items to your to-do list
  • Adding items to your shopping list
  • Ordering pizza
  • Getting an uber
  • Checking to spell
  • Setting timers
  • Setting alarms
  • Playing music
  • Reading audiobooks
  • Reading your calendar
  • Hooking up with IFTTT to do more stuff than I can dream about
  • Read your unread emails

As you can see this is a long list already that offers up a wide range of options for someone who is thinking about using Alexa for the development of their business. Over the coming weeks, I am going to update you in more in-depth articles about how I have used Alexa for my business.  

***

 The Naked Recruit is funded through our affiliate link program with Acuity Scheduling. It is a tool that has saved me dozens of hours.

Check out Acuity Check out Acuity Today

How to get up earlier

 If you want to get up in the morning early, refreshed, and ready to go, you need a good night’s sleep. However, you will also need a waking up routine.

Awaking up routine is just as important as a bedtime routine. Necessarily there is a process of waking up and staying up. Firstly,  have your phone across the room, not next to you, or your alarm clock across the room and not next to you.

So when the alarm goes off, you have to physically get out of bed and walk to the phone/alarm. Next, have a glass of water ready to drink next to the alarm clock or phone.

The longer you are ou Lastly, once you have drunk the glass of water do five press-ups. This will get you awake and keep you awake. Going across the room means you have to step out of bed and walk to the alarm to turn it off.

The further you have to walk, the more likely you are to stay up. Drinking the water hydrates you and will start to kick-start the brain into going from sleep to awake mode. And doing five press-ups will get you active, will get the heart pumping, and will get you thinking that you are awake.

Once you’ve done this, go downstairs or leave the room. Doing this every day will keep you awake. That’s just a brilliant way of staying awake.  

***

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.   

***