Time Management for Sourcers and Recruiters – Schedule Building

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Oct 20, 2016
This article is part of a series called Editor's Pick.

In our business, the number one aspect of sourcing and recruiting that is overlooked is time. It is one of the variables, in the long run, we cannot control it, however, we can influence it. Let’s take a look into a typical work day:

  • 8:00am – 8:30am
    • Check email, grab some coffee, and if we’re lucky maybe even a donut
  • 8:30am – 9:00am
    • Morning meeting
  • 9:00am – 10:00am
    • “Sourcing” time
  • 10:00am – 12:00pm
    • Hit the phones/send emails
  • 12:00pm – 1:00pm
    • Lunch
  • 1:00pm – 4:30pm
    • Hit the phones/send emails
  • 4:30pm – 5:00pm
    • Wrap up your day, get together any last minute emails for follow ups

This day changes depending on your role as a sourcer, recruiter, manager, or even if you’re corporate or agency staffing. This daily routine is a good beginning stage to dive deep into our time management and how we can influence the time we have a lot better. First off, I am sure you have noticed only two slots for calls/emails. Two hours in the morning and three and a half hours in the afternoon for a total of five and a half hours daily. I have spoken to a few industry professionals who would say that is plenty of time to get the daily tasks accomplished and others who said that it is a complete waste of time.

A good saying for our industry which I believe is underestimated is, “To truly work effectively, you need to work efficiently.” –Many of us

I am going to take that daily schedule and show you how you can implement something similar in order for you to work effectively and efficiently. This starts off with schedule building. I have used this format of schedule building to management and influence my time for the last two years. This allows me to stay focused and on track while not getting sucked into the pitfalls.

Scheduling Builder Example:

Job ID #:           –            –           


Focus Time:                               







This is the same scheduling builder I use. This allows you to track candidates manually as well as manage your time in doing so. This allows you to customize depending on the needs of the management team or client skill set your working on that given day. I recommend breaking it up by time. So for an example, I don’t spend more than two hours for a given role. This allows me to continue to be sharp and focused on that given skill set and I have noticed if I break over the two-hour limit my productivity decreases.

The other way you can break this up is by candidates. There are 15 open slots so if you source 15 strong candidates and call/email them all move on to the next. You can easily find yourself saying one more, one more, and then you realize its 4pm on a Friday and you spent all day looking for that Java W2 candidate with nothing to show for it.

That feeling I’m sure has hit us all. We get lost in the moment, no one is answering the phone and we just want to speak with someone. So we continue to push and get trapped in the pitfall. We lose focus, we lose energy, but most of all we lose time. With the schedule builder if you are allowed I recommend printing it off double sided. When spaced out the right way on a word document you are able to get in four schedule builders. This is also an effective and efficient use of time management.

We all have dashboards that go on like a grocery list and it can be overwhelming. To dedicate the adequate time, energy, and effort into filling a requisition industry experts say to focus on three to four “skill sets” a day rather than try to cover 15 jobs at once. This is an easy way to burn yourself out. I have always focused heavily on three reqs. with a fourth req. being my fall back. This is crucial as if you are having one of those days where you’re not getting any traction on one of your main three requisitions, you have a fourth to fall back on. This also aligns with the five and a half hours daily provided from the “typical daily schedule” listed above.

This also helps where you can keep track on candidates manually as well with having the sheet printed out, mark the first and last name of the candidate. After you’re done you can mark next to the name when you send a follow-up email. When the candidate calls you back and you’re unable to locate them in the system and unsure what req. it was, refer back to your schedule builder. Find the name and look at the req. It is like magic, you will save so much time over the course of a week doing this.

Lastly, one other trick this allows you to do is to follow up on the candidates. On Wednesday, take out your sheet from Monday and send a quick follow up email to the list if you haven’t heard back and for those “all-star” candidates give them another phone call follow up. You will find yourself seeing a higher response rate as well as not getting so lost in the time.

This article is part of a series called Editor's Pick.
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