How to recruit when there just isn’t enough time… It’s an enormous subject in the recruiting game (since there never seems to be enough time). Can any recruitment strategy really work inside a business that’s built on pressing deadlines and requests that need to be completed yesterday? Whether you’re working at an office, remotely or from your home, a better recruitment strategy based around maximizing your time will be solid start to improving your recruiting results.

Our last two posts on independent recruiting deal with easing financial instability and quickly sourcing the best people. In this post we’ll focus on making the most of your day by finding ways to ease many of your administrative woes.

Create a schedule in your recruitment strategy

It’s estimated that over 3 million Americans work from home. If you’re one of them, it’s easy to lose a sense of routine when working from home. Distractions and deadlines can become blurred or pushed back if you don’t monitor yourself. Establishing a routine can be a simple way to keep you on track to fulfill your goals and deadlines. Monitor your energy levels throughout the day to help you determine the optimal times for certain tasks.

Schedule difficult or tedious tasks; the ones that you try to shrug off until last minute, first.

Studies by Roy Baumeister have shown that self-control depletes with subsequent use. Baumeister describes it as being similar to exercise – the first mile of a jog may be easy but they become more difficult as you continue to make your way around the track. It may be beneficial for you to keep this in mind as you plan out your day, knocking out the more strenuous chores in the morning and moving to easier tasks throughout the course of your day.

When creating your schedule, keep in mind how long you will actually be able to stay focused and productive while working. If you prefer short bursts of intense productivity, look into the Pomodoro Technique. At a basic level, the technique urges you to break up your time into 25-minute intervals with short breaks in between. If allowing yourself to take that many breaks seems too tempting, try working in 90-minute intervals which is said to be about how long most people can remain focused.

To me, the real trick with either of these productivity techniques is taking short, productive breaks. To keep yourself from reaching for your phone during these breaks, consider using apps like RescueTime to help you identify the sites that tempt you the most.

Work smarter, not harder when finishing tasks

Taking the time to evaluate your process early on can save you time in the future and help you streamline any pain points before they become overwhelming. Take a look at some of the time-consuming tasks that solo recruiters face and see if any of them resonate with you. If there are some that we’ve left out, please share them along with your solutions in the comments section.

Take a look at this list of possible recruiting steps that might give you trouble (and how to solve those problems efficiently).

1) Scheduling

Scheduling meetings is never easy, especially when you’re trying to relay information between hiring managers and candidates. The best way to remedy scheduling confusion is to utilize integrated tools that will allow you to quickly send scheduling invites to both parties.

2) Filling pipelines

Freelance recruiters have to be a bit more creative than those with the budget to post to job boards. To cast a broad net without breaking the budget, social media is still your best bet. Relevant hashtags on your job posts will reach those in your location and industry.

You can try tweeting something like:

“Great position open for a #marketing manager with 3-4 yrs experience in #digital. Message me if interested! #NYC #referralswelcome”

Audra Knight, social recruiter and co-host of #SocialRecruiting Show on Blab, recommends creating hashtag lists which include hashtags for local colleges, recruitment events, active candidates, and passive candidates.

If you’re not keen on Twitter or are looking to branch out, try using messaging tools like Slack. To avoid becoming overwhelmed by Slack channels Angela Bortolussi, CSMR, Recruiting Manager at Recruiting Social, has some advice.


“Pick 1-3 channels (with the most relevant members) to focus your efforts.”

-Angela Bortolussi

CSMR, Recruiting Manager at Recruiting Social


If you find yourself struggling to find new candidates, the fastest and most cost-effective way can often be social recruiting. Your connections have connections, who also have connections. Experiment to learn what messages and incentives work to return interested candidates and messages.

3) Spending too much time on the phone

Phone calls can be time-consuming and tedious. Leaving voicemail after voicemail can get discouraging and leave you feeling as though your efforts have gone unnoticed. If you find that cold calls are eating away at your day, try cold texting.


“You can use text messaging to text directly to candidates you don’t have a relationship with. It’s quick and easy to determine their interest in a role.”

Jessica Miller-Merrell

Founder of Blogging4Jobs.com & VP of Talent Strategies at the Advanced Group


Establishing texting templates, which can be sent to multiple candidates at once, can save you time and increase your response rates by approaching candidates using a medium that’s almost always within arm’s reach.

4) Screening candidates

Screening candidates is as time consuming as it is necessary. Candidates will always be seen as a reflection of the recruiter and his/her abilities.

Ensuring that candidates are both well qualified and a good culture fit involves a great deal of research, which can cut into your day. You can avoid time-consuming multi-stage interviews by checking out candidates’ social profiles to see if their values and passions align with those of the hiring companies. More likely though, you’ll simply be looking for red flags of obvious bad fits.

TIP: To avoid a commute and scheduling conflicts, work Skype interviews into your early screening steps. Over 60% of companies conduct video interviews these days.

5) Losing time to organizational and administrative chores

The title “independent recruiter” isn’t 100% correct. A more accurate term would be independent recruiter/ sourcer/accountant/ collections specialist/ career coach – you get the picture. To save yourself the time, and the hassle that often comes with trying to juggle all of these tasks, figure out which ones require your attention, which ones can be delegated, and what technologies are out there to assist you along the way.

A new accounting software may be worth the additional cost by freeing up your time. Depending on the size of your independent biz, it might be worth it to hire a virtual assistant to assist you with administrative or payroll tasks. If you find that you have trouble keeping track of candidates, test out a new ATS, one that allows you to store notes and documents in intuitive pipelines.

Conclusion

“Freelance recruiting,” “solo recruiting,” “independent recruiting” or whatever you choose to call it – it requires a great deal of time, effort, and perseverance. There will be times when your work-life balance suffers, but those times are crucial to building your reputation and pipelines. Don’t wait until you’re feeling completely overwhelmed to decide that you need a new workflow. Addressing some of your recruiting pain points early on will save you time and headaches in the future.