time management

Recruiting is a vital business function, whether in-house or outsourced, which means recruiters have a lot of trust put in them. An organization is its people and bringing in the right people is a process–one which requires industry understanding, forethought and a lot of planning. 

Getting the planning part right means incorporating good time management into everything a recruiter does. With that in mind, below are the top time management tips for recruiters to excel at the job. 

Work Towards Results, Not Output

The old adage that you should work smart not hard holds true in many industries, but it definitely makes sense as a recruiter. The 80/20 rule of time management dictates that you should spend 80 percent of your time on the highest impact tasks. This means sitting down at the end of every week and strategizing for the following one so that you know what these tasks are and how you are going to allocate your time accordingly.

Obviously, these tasks are not set and stone and may change as the week progresses, but if you are constantly working on the most meaningful and mission-critical tasks, you will ensure you are working towards results rather than simply trying to stuff as much into a workday as possible. 

Make Task Time Limits

If you find that procrastination is getting in the way of accomplishing things in a timely manner, a good way to force yourself to be productive is to set time limits for each task. They don’t have to be uniform time limits, as some tasks naturally take longer than others, but if you know that you have a deadline (even a self-imposed one) it can be a great source of motivation. 

You can sit down and decide on how much time you really need to complete each task that makes up your day as a recruiter–organizational research, shortlisting, contacting candidates–and then create a time budget that you endeavour to stick to throughout the week. You will be amazed at how much you can get done when you are working to a deadline. 

Use Your Mornings for MITs

MITs, or “most important tasks” are best handled in the morning for a number of reasons. The first is that our most important tasks during the day are often our most stressful ones, and studies have shown that people are better at handling and responding to stress first thing in the morning. Another important reason is that you are more likely to procrastinate and time-waste in the mid to late afternoon, during the post-lunch malaise. It is, therefore, wise to get the MITs done and dusted before your brain and body have the chance to start sabotaging your productivity. 

Automate Where Possible 

Much of a person’s workday, regardless of what they do for a living, contains a lot of tedium that they don’t necessarily have to be doing. This refers to the manual tasks that could be handled by automation, if only we knew where to look. There are a number of time-consuming manual tasks that recruiters should absolutely be automating or at least starting to think about doing so. These include candidate registration, candidate matching and candidate compliance. 

Candidate registration can be handled by any good recruitment software package, which will allow you to capture key candidate info digitally and then transfer it to your CRM automatically. Candidate matching can be better done by providing portals that place the onus on candidates to keep their information up-to-date, and candidate compliance, which includes things like pre-employment screening prior to placement and staying abreast of the expiration date of candidates’ documents, can also be automated for a tremendous amount of added convenience. 

Use a Task Management App

Even the most well-organized people could improve how they use their time if they integrated a task management app into their lives. There are many apps out there to help you put together an achievable and realistic to-do list every day, and most of them can be synced with your Google Calendar, which the majority of professional recruiters likely already use. 

Task management makes sure that you are always up-to-date on what you need to do next, which is a vital component of staying productive and well-organized throughout the day. 

Set Aside Time for Following Up

Another one of those recruitment tasks that can get away from a person is follow-ups. You can really only have a good idea of how much time you will need for this if you have a clear understanding of how many different candidates you are in contact with and managing at a given time, but allocating a certain amount of time each day to following up will ensure you aren’t left scrambling when corporate clients want to know where various candidates stand in the recruitment process. 


Recruitment has taken on an additional level of importance in the post-pandemic era, especially given the vast number of jobs that are never posted on large job aggregators. Both job seekers and employers are increasingly relying on recruiters, which means the time demands on recruitment professionals will only grow. As they do, keep the above time management tips in mind and make sure that you squeeze every last drop of productivity out of what will likely be, over the coming years, noticeably busier work days. 

Photo by Goran Ivos on Unsplash