Some rather useful tips on how to work from home as a recruiter

Working from home is one of the most brilliant and challenging things to do as a recruiter. Recruitment is almost a perfect industry for working from home. For me, it is now coming up to four years working from home.

This time has really been both a blessing and a curse. Blessed that I could have so much and cursed because there are so many ways that working from home can be tough. As someone who is busy can be a be anxious and somewhat crazy at times working at home really does offer to throw up some challenges.

Before working from home permanently, I had worked from home on occasions before. So the idea of working it would be a breeze, easy and enlightening. So after ‘jacking in’ at my old company and starting my own company. When I got started in those first few months, the business consumed my attention with work and building my business to even really notice. It was a blast, I could come and go as I please, I did not have to deal with office politics, silly “management meetings”, putting money into birthday cards for people I did not know, care or like and all the other things that drove me mad about offices. Then one day something strange happened.

I realised something. I was sat at my desk and understood that I felt that something, that something nagged me and it was loneliness. The buzz, the conversations, the general office banter. These I missed because they  This was a revelation that actually left me feeling very down and disheartened.

Over the next couple of years I would go through periods feeling lonely and depressed, and other times I would be infused with energy and excitement. This happened in waves while working from home. It leads to times of real business growth and other times that affected the business. However after a while and some trial and error I found ways to deal and cope with my own mental state that came from working from home.

Understand why you liked the office

Working in an office environment presents a wide range of problems, but on the other hand, working in a social office environment that we all love. Knowing what this is vitally important for learning how to cope with working from home. For me, it is the social side of being able to have some banter, conversations and noise and hum of activity. Once I knew this a plan was formulated.    

Find public places to work

This was one of the first things I did was to start to work in public areas that allowed me to work. This can seem hard to for recruiters compared to other industries and jobs. You will be amazed how much you can get done in a couple of hours in a coffee shop or a pub. Even as a recruiter.

My biggest deal since running my business was put together while working from the bar of a local hotel with lovely big sofas and brilliant chips. The way that I found this worked was once or maybe twice a week for afternoon going and working in this or other locations I have scouted out using trial and error.

The reason I have found that these works are because it allows having a change of scenery. Which creates a shift in mindset. This change of pace, place and background noise really does change my thinking and mental state.  

See friends and family more often than normal

One of the things that I certainly did not do enough when I first got going in the working from home, recruit gig was seeing enough of family and friends and doing social things. In many ways, I got really caught up in the business, and this was one of the biggest and most sad mistakes of my journey.

Not seeing friends and family enough was a mistake. Why is this so important? Without the office and without the daily interaction you could go days, weeks, even with just talking to candidate, clients and your other half. My other half is wonderfully, but it not conducive to a happy relationship, so make sure to make time for meaningful relationships.  

Take a walk – often

This is something that I have found really useful. Getting out of the house at some point in the day. Taking a step gets you up from your desk, giving you the chance to unwind and also get perspective.

Perspective is something I am not very good at when I am stuck on my own without someone to bounce off. However, taking a quick walk allows me to stride out the problem, talk to myself about the issues and also get the blood pumping and fresh air in my lungs.  

Find a hot-desking space

This is very similar to working in public areas but with a twist, it is more work focused (read more comfortable to make BD calls). I  have spent a lot of time looking and working in a wide range of hot desking and drop in zones.

Some of these spaces are really funky others were really very dull. Some cost an arm and leg, other were cheap and chips. However, I have found that I have worked best in the spaces that allowed and encouraged human reaction and interaction and feel more like a startup space rather than a corporate office.  

Have someone to bounce ideas off

Have someone to bounce ideas with and off. It is better if they do not work in recruitment. Indeed talking with another recruiter is likely to make you much more anxious and crazy because we all know what recruiters are like.

Why do you need someone to bounce ideas off? Perspective. You need perspective to know that the candidate not showing up for an interview is not the end of the world (it is never is). For me without a coworker to blow off, I would get really sidetracked and upset at what was happening.  

Decide a start and home time…. Then Stick to it

This is something that I was awful within the initial start phase of my business and indeed for the first three years. I would spend an hour, after hour working. Generally, these hours would not be very productive.

They would actually be very unproductive. However, in time I started to develop the mental strength to stick to certain working time. For me, I would 10 am to 6.30pm.

This gives me the chance to lay in a little longer than usual. Some people would be horrified with a recruiter not working early. However, I found that most of my candidates are commuters and getting ahold of them in the customarily produced less satisfactory output. So if you are a crazy, anxious and busy home recruiter or planning to start out on the beautiful journey of going alone, I hope that this quick tour de force of ideas from working from home helps.

If you have come up with other ideas on how to develop and keep your sanity while working from home, please email me at joseph@thenakedrecruiter.com

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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

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How to join the 5am, 6am, 7am or 8am club, or 11am!

 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.  

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The Book: Recruitment Hacks is now available on Amazon.   

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Lunchtimes are golden – take one!

So, did you take a proper lunch break today? Yesterday? Anytime in the last week? The depressing thing is that most people who work in offices in the 21st century just do not take time for lunch. It is a very sad indictment on the way we work and live. In Britain, according to the Telegraph newspaper, the average worker takes only a 34-minute lunch break, and for many, those 34 minutes are just scrolling through Facebook while eating at their desk.

Compare that with the Germans (who are by far more productive per hour than the average British worker) where an hour and a half is not unheard of, many employers still have a canteen where people actually sit down to eat together. That beats cat videos on Facebook.

Personally, I did the same until the power and miracle of a lunch hour were shown to me. Once I started working for myself and started taking lunch breaks (thanks to my partner making me) everything changed when it came down to the lunch hour. So what are the benefits of taking a lunch break away from your desk?

Social interaction with colleagues build bonds that help in the day-to-day team working of the business. It de-stresses and gives perspective by getting your mind on other things. Allowing your subconscious to do the rest. It is suitable for health – getting out of the office or going for a walk instead of sitting is right for you and will promote well being.

It invigorates your working as you are fresher for the afternoon. No carb crash – as you are not checking in a Boots meal deal into you month as quickly as possible before getting back to the phone you will not get the mid-afternoon carb crash as you will have eaten mindfully, slowly and probably less. So when it is your next lunch break, take it.   

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The Book: Recruitment Hacks is now available on Amazon.   

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Three quick linked in super tips

 LinkedIn Video

LinkedIn Video is your newest and most exciting avenue to reach your followers and have a real impact on every recruiter’s favourite platform. A LinkedIn video is videos created using the LinkedIn app. The reason you should be using this is very straightforward, it is quick and easy to use.

It will get you in front of your audience, and LinkedIn favours it in their algorithms. So get creating videos: Below we have outlined five ideas that you use straight away:

1) Jobs update. Have a job that you are working on? Talk about it for a minute highlighting three positive points.

2) Friday industry news rounds up – a rundown of the 5 biggest stories that week.

3) Daily advice video for job hunters – short quick videos to help out.

4) Big breaking news in your industry –  when the news breaks put your comment and spin on it.

5) Videos with candidates you are representing exclusively.

Mindful Friday LinkedIn

LinkedIn is great. All those candidates just sitting there waiting to be headhunted. It is every recruiter’s dream. That is partly why it is so successful. However, when on LinkedIn you need to be mindful of why you are there. To help with this mindfulness, you should spend 90 minutes every Friday afternoon on LinkedIn focusing on a few simple but essential tasks.

These tasks are outlined below. You should send three prospects an exciting article via LinkedIn that may be helpful for them. Why? It shows you are thinking about them and adding value and not just asking for ££££.

Clear you LinkedIn notifications, say happy birthday and congratulate people on new jobs. It is beautiful, gets your name out there and makes you look active too Linked In. Connect with all the clients and candidates that you spoke with this week and add them into your network.

Comment on five new stories on your feed. Clear out all read messages as well. Do as much of the above every Friday and it will increase your presence on the site but will also show LinkedIn you are active. Being active means, you will place higher in the rankings which what we all want.

LinkedIn welcome messages

When you have a new connection on LinkedIn, you should welcome everyone. You should always say hello. It’s courteous. It’s polite. It’s a nice thing to do. What you shouldn’t do is sell, sell, sell at them.

The worst thing that you get is a message saying “Hello, I’m a recruitment consultant. Will you buy and spend £10,000 with me, please?” It’s awful. It doesn’t necessarily fit the purposes at the time of that person, and it makes you look bad. So what should you do? Mostly, you should do three things.

You should say hello. You should thank them for connecting. You should say, “These are my contact details should you need to get in contact with me off LinkedIn.” And then you should ask a question, like “Is there anything I could help you with today?”

And then just leave it at that. A week later, send them a piece of content they will find useful. That will have a more significant impact on people than a rush to sell, sell, sell.  

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Learning about this Japannese entrepreneur taught me about business

Hiroshi Mikitani is one of the biggest success stories you have never heard off. He is the founder of Rakuten and is the third richest person in Japan. Rakuten is a behemoth of Japanese business. It is so big that is it estimated that 90% of Japanese business users have an account with Rakuten.

To think about the Rakuten is to think about a combination of a Japanese Amazon and eBay in one place that also sells services on top of products. When you think about it from that perspective, it does make a lot more sense about how he has gone from start-up founder to third richest man in Japan.

Makitani also went against strong cultural and societal norms when he founded his own company. He did this after leaving a high-paying and well-respected job with Industrial Bank of Japan as what is known in Japan as a salary-man. Within Japanese society generally, once you become a salaryman with a company like Toyota or Mitsubishi,  Sony or Tepco you usually never leave.

So at the age of 31 going off and starting a business is really unheard of. So from the 1990’s to the present day, Rakuten has grown from a one-person operation to a 10,000 person operation with market penetration and dominance that even Amazon would be jealous of.

So learning about Makitani, there is a lot that can be learned about business from this somewhat obscure (on western standards) entrepreneur who has been so very successful. The primary and most important area that I am going to focus on is his ideas around business growth, 3, 10 and business systems.

Rules 3 and 10: Business and growth and systems

The provisions of 3 and 10 are focused on how the business is growing, milestones for growth, the impact that this growth has on operations within the industry. As a company produces, it will need a wide range of change in the way that it is run, the systems that are implemented and the operations that are used.

The milestone for the change are every time the business triples in size (based on the number of employees) and every time business his a 10, e.g. 10, 100, 1000 etc. So to put this into an example as a company starts with one person the systems for the business are kept in the head of one person when it grows to three people a new range of systems will have to start being put into place.

After this when the business hit 10 employees a new look at the systems that govern the company will need to be put into place. After this point, the industry would then have to triple in size before it then needs to relook at systems (30 employees). After this, the step is 100 employees and so on.

The 3 & 10 pattern: 1,3,10,20,100,300, 1,000, 3,000, 10,000 etc.

The aim of all entrepreneurs then is to build into the business the systems for growth that allow the company to reach the next milestone on the growth pattern before reviewing and changing the way the business systems are governed.

This is actually a straightforward and unique way of thinking because many firms, once they cross a certain size, can start to get captured by process of constant managerial and leadership tinkering that distracts from the core day job. This leads to employees wasting effort and time on systems that are already fully functioning.

What does this mean for my business

When I learned about Mikitani, I realised that actually, I had been engaged in change for change’s sake and that I was playing with many of process to either whittle away time or to make me feel like I was president business.

Whether it has been changing CRM systems or engaging in changes to the way I run social media, there was definitely busy work being made. When realising this, I made a few critical decisions. Firstly, I am going to stick with my website’s provider, my CRM, accounts system, and other systems.

They all work, they all do their job, and they all are staying until I reach my next milestone.

Secondly, the way that I am running my social media was not conducive to growth. The time that is invested in social media each week is not conducive to the growth of the business. This did lead to a change in the supplier to a system that focuses on social media automation rather than me managing the posting schedule.

Although this has meant a small price increase in the cost of the way I do social media, it has meant that I am at least 2 hours a week freer which will although me to focus on other more critical tasks.

Thirdly, it has made me realise that I need to build far more systems into my business at the process level of my company that supports growth.

How can you use this idea in your business?

The most important way is to use the rule to save time and effort. Build and test systems for growth, once they work do not review them until a milestone has been hit. The below examples are ideas that other recruiters can use when

  • Review your CRM and ATS only when you hit the milestones. Most of the systems produce marginal change when you move between systems, so it is best to change rarely.
  • Only ever change the commission and equity structure so that it supports the growth from each milestone. For example, during the early phases, more significant focus on individual billings but as the business grows to develop it in
  • Use each sign as a chance to review all your suppliers and renegotiate contracts based on the new size and growth path.

I am sure after reading this article you will have come up with many ideas of your own to improve the way that your business work or how you run your own desk on a daily basis.   

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

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