ButterBeing a Recruiter is fairly straight forward.  It’s your job to go find the right person for the right role at the right time; cut and dry.  While those of us on the inside know how eminently difficult and complicated that can actually be, to the outsider, our job seems pretty clear and easy to define.  Defining a Recruiter’s role and responsibilities may be easy, but the reality of the day to day is another matter altogether.

Whether you’re a Corporate Recruiter or an Agency Headhunter, your end goal is always the same, finding and hiring talent.  While Corporate Recruiters may have a secured salary and Agency folks a lucrative commission plan, at the end of the day, if we don’t produce we don’t keep our job. Avoiding time drains and taking on responsibilities that are not our own are key to keeping a Recruiter productive and successful.  Keeping your guard up against unwanted time drains and soul sappers is a must.  Here are some of the more insidious threats to your time:

  1. Administrative Tasks: Let’s face it; whether you’re spending your time in the corporate world or Agency world, there are some administrative tasks that come along with the job.  Unfortunately, sometimes the line begins to blur and a Recruiter begins to either take on too many admin tasks or the process becomes increasingly difficult and laborious.  In no time at all, you find yourself spending a chunk or your morning or afternoon wrapping up administrative tasks; contracts, onboarding paperwork and benefits issues are just some of the chores that can land on a recruiter’s desk.  The day you find yourself loaded down with more paperwork than job orders is the day you need to draw the line.  Taking some steps to correct issues on your own is fine…defining what really your responsibility is and how you can streamline those processes is a major step in the right direction.  But in addition to that, you need to make some noise.  As a Recruiter, your time and expertise is valuable not only to you, but to the Managers you’re working with.  If you’re spending a good deal of time working administrative tasks then guess what?  You’re not happy, your Manager isn’t getting results and its make a change or move on.
  2. Employee Hand-holding:  As Recruiters we have a vested interest in our hires’ working out.  Whether we have commissions or professional reputation wrapped up in their success, the bottom line is that we want our people to stick.  So often when a Hire reaches out to their old Recruiter because they’re having an issue…either with their Boss, their pay, their benefits, a paperwork issues…Recruiters have a tendency to jump in and want to get the issue taken care of.  Unfortunately there are two common results: On the one hand, you really don’t have time to do that and it gets pushed off until the Hire eventually gets mad and complains (either to you or someone else).  And on the other hand, you really don’t have time to do that, but you do anyway.  And just like that you’re spending a chunk of your time dealing with issues that you don’t have expertise in and that take you away from your real job.  Holding the hands of your Hires is something that should be avoided from the get go.  While a Recruiter’s initial reaction is (believe it or not) to help, it’s really best to let the person figure it out on their own.  More than likely there is someone else for them to go to, someone else they’re supposed to go to.  So be honest; let the person know you’d like to help but it’s not your area of expertise and then see if they know who else they might be able to talk to.
  3. Meetings, Meetings and More Meetings: People really like to have meetings.  I mean, clearly they must or they wouldn’t keep having them right?  Well, maybe they don’t like having them, but they must get a lot done in those meetings.  Otherwise, they’d stop having all those meetings day after day after day.  As a Recruiter you’ve probably noticed a tendency for Managers, Middle Managers and Executives to schedule meetings…lots and lots of meetings.  But for you as a Recruiter, there are very few useful purposes to repeated meetings.  Sure having an informal meeting to go over job priorities, job changes and status updates is necessary…but do you need to sit in on another meeting a couple hours later to see what’s changed? Meetings are anathema to Recruiters.  Why? Because once you have your updates you’re good to go and ready to take on the day.  Having to stop your recruiting progress repeatedly to prep for meetings and sit through meetings will do nothing but kill focus, deplete your time and leave you frustrated.  So bite your tongue when you must, but try to limit your participation in meaningless meetings as much as you can.  We all like to feel important, but when all is said and done, your job is what makes you valuable.
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