Work life balance in the recruitment world

Many people would scoff at the mere suggestion a balance was even possible. The old rule book dictates if you’re in recruitment, you should be working long hours and be comfortable with the commitment, in exchange for the high financial reward.

Recruitment isn’t an easy job to fit into a 9 to 5, the more available you are to candidates and clients, the higher the chance you’ll make more money.

The first barrier for ‘work life balance’ is that most candidates are more available to speak after working hours. Arrive early and stay late, and you can reach people more easily. That’s common sense. But if you assume work life balance just means working less, read on.


The Balancing Act

What does work-life actually balance look like for recruiters?

Rather than simply working less, work-life balance translates to having more control over your day and more flexibility to fit work around your life.

It might mean working 14-hours one day, but taking the afternoon off the next day.

It might mean starting work early, but taking a one and a half hour lunch and hitting the gym. Or it might mean remote working from home or a high profile serviced office.


A Case For the Defence

The culture of togetherness is an important part of a lot of recruitment companies, and a lot of recruiters thrive in that environment. Junior Recruiters specifically, benefit from exposure to those more experienced.

Allowing flexible working can mean less buzz and less collaboration in the office, which could have a negative impact on company culture and teamwork; and ultimately, results.

A recent statistic adjudged just under 3 hours productive working time from the average employee who spends 8 hours a day in an office.


Technology as a Means

Technology makes the balance possible. Advancements in technology have afforded flexible working opportunities that were not imaginable in the past.

Cloud technology means recruiters can work from anywhere. Everything from email to your CRM to candidate CVs can be accessed from the Cloud, so you don’t need to physically be in the office to work.

Video conferencing software dissolves distance – so it doesn’t matter if you’re in the office in Sydney or in the villa in Bali, mobile collaboration tools such as Slack allow instant communication from wherever you are.

In theory, technology allows you to run a recruitment business from your smart phone. With email, LinkedIn, CRM apps, Dropbox and other useful mobile tools, your office desktop is no longer a necessity.

Competition for recruitment talent

Flexible working has emerged in other industries, especially in the talent-short tech world, as a means to attract and retain talent. You only have to look at the plethora of benefits companies now offer, such as unlimited holiday.

In the recruitment industry, more so than in most other industries, the real asset in any business is its people. Which means attracting and retaining the best recruiters out there is imperative to business growth and success. Never before has there been such demand for talented Recruiters.

Equally, even a powerful company brand, traditionally a crucial tool in attracting clients and candidates, has become less important for experienced Recruiters. Now, with the help of social media, the creation of a personal brand is arguably more important.  

Competitive commission structures, large base salaries, great training, fast-track promotion schemes continue to be some of the most important selling points for attracting talent.

Today however, a flexible working structure is a welcomed addition to the talent attraction arsenal.

A benefits scheme that benefits your company

Most benefits are nice-to-haves, but for many people, typically parents, flexibility in the workplace is a necessity. For others, the flexibility to start late/finish late and miss the commute at either end can be the decisive factor in choosing where to work.

Research from Randstad Technologies found that 45% of candidates cite their commute as the single most important factor in considering a new role.  Robert Half have equally stated that a work-life balance is the number one reason for their consultants seeking a move away from their business.

Based on this, recruitment companies are becoming increasingly creative with the benefits they offer in order to attract and retain the best recruiters.

Assimilating with clients

People like working with similar people. As a result, many recruitment companies strive to create a culture reflective of their client base.

The obvious example is dress code. A shirt and tie clad recruiter meeting the jeans-and-tee creative agency; the recruiter in a t-shirt meeting the suited and booted corporate director – either way, a mismatched appearance sends the wrong impression.

It’s not only appearance though. Many recruitment companies are developing a working culture that mirrors the culture of their clients.

Offering flexible working in recruitment is a practical step. Recruiters often need to take late or early calls to fit in with their candidates’ schedules. Few other industries require this flexibility and as an industry, we should be encouraging it.

Where traditionally recruitment hasn’t been the most flexible of industries, it’s also traditionally been a sector with a high rate of staff turnover or burnout. Unlike other sectors, recruitment is completely meritocratic, so the motivation is the reward at the end and recruiters who feel appreciated, fairly treated, and know they can have a lie-in when they need one may be more productive workers.


Weigh up the balance for yourself

Flexible working does not mean working less if it’s managed effectively.

Flexible working can put even more pressure on the Recruiter to get results. If the manager can’t tangibly see activity levels or commitment, results are all that matter.

Still, flexible working may not be feasible for a lot of companies and it may be a difficult transition for others. Those companies who can offer a better work-life balance through flexible working and can ensure their performance is not negatively impacted will end up with a bigger pool of recruitment talent.

Critically and most importantly, those who can strike a great balance and offer creative employment benefits may find a happier workforce and see the industry hang on to more of its best assets.

Five counterintuitive steps for a more productive workplace culture

Talk of workplace culture is everywhere. Every manager has an idea of the kind of attitude in the office that they would like to develop, but the path toward achieving that goal can be hard to find. An effective feedback loop can help by revealing what employees value and feel, but there’s more to it than just open communication.

In some cases, the steps toward building a healthy workplace culture will seem counterintuitive. Many of the things that seem like a good idea can be counterproductive – it isn’t really something that you can force. Culture develops by the nature of the people in the environment, and it grows out of the values and traits that are reinforced and celebrated by the company.

You can’t change your workplace culture overnight. It is a process that takes time, and you need to be committed to the change.
Whether you are trying to develop an organisational culture from scratch, or just looking to create a more positive attitude, here are five steps that can help to build a more productive workplace culture:

 

Promote self-care
Healthier employees are going to be happier and more productive. You might not be able to force good health on your staff, but you can do things to promote it. To start, you should live the ideals of a healthier life yourself. You could support gym memberships for employees that want them, and you should try to make healthier snacks and meals more available.

Lose the focus on work/life balance
For many people, the idea of maintaining a work/life balance is overrated. Some people are happy to dedicate much of their time to work, and this brings them the most satisfaction. If you love what you do and feel that your life is fulfilling, there is no need to force an artificial balance.

Let your drive take you to new places in your career, and develop a personal life that is more suited to your goals.

Mindfulness at meetings
The purpose of meetings is to make sure everyone is on the same page, and to ensure that team members understand their obligations. However, a lot of people show up to meetings physically, but they are somewhere else mentally.

Instead of jumping right into the agenda, start your meetings by going around the room and asking people about how they are feeling. This gives people a few seconds to become present and it will ensure that everyone is engaged and involved from the beginning.

Encourage the intuitive
You don’t want to downplay the importance of analytical thinking, but there is also something to be said for the intuitive side of thinking. Careful analysis is a great way to solve problems, but there are situations where it can take us only so far. Encourage your employees to embrace the intuitive parts of their minds.

Many of the best and most innovative solutions will come from intuition.

Manage autonomy
It’s great when we can trust our employees to do more on their own. The more autonomy your employees have, the less you have to worry about on a day-to-day basis. However, you don’t want to introduce too much autonomy to your employees too quickly.

Let people grow into new responsibilities, and give people the support and guidance that they will need to succeed as you allow for greater freedom.

You can’t change your workplace culture overnight. It is a process that takes time, and you need to be committed to the change. You need to have a vision of the organisational culture you want, and you need to promote the values and traits that will make that vision a reality.

5 ways to ensure your recruitment agency will be a success

Thinking about starting a recruitment company? Here are 5 ways to ensure your recruitment agency will be a success!


1. Start with a Niche


Picking a specialty recruitment field could help your agency be more successful. By concentrating on one designated area, you can build a strong staff that fits a niche and will lead companies in that industry to turn to your business for their recruitment needs. By building a skilled staff in, for example, the IT field, your customers are then guaranteed an experienced employee in computer science, no matter whom they hire from your company. Focusing on one area when in the beginning and then branching out to include other areas of expertise is a smart growth tactic.

2. Build Your Candidate Database


As your recruitment agency grows so will the talent in your employee database. Looking for candidates by posting jobs online to websites like SEEK or LinkedIn can help your business, but taking advantage of networking possibilities through LinkedIn and social media sites can be just as effective and less costly. Joining recruitment associations like Recruitment Consultant Services Association, local recruitment associations, or going to industry events and recruitment seminars can give your agency credibility and offer valuable networking opportunities.

3. Be Tech Savvy


Simply posting a help wanted ad and waiting for candidates to apply so you can build your employee database isn’t enough; your recruitment agency should also be utilizing other methods to grow your workforce and be well versed in the latest tech trends. Staying current with tech trends will help you track and pull candidates from different places, discover new candidates and could also save your agency time and money. Understand where to find job candidates online and how to use social media and other means to attract top talent.

4. Understand Your Clients


Listening to your clients and learning to be flexible will ensure your company is hired because you’re willing to meet your customers’ needs. Efficiency is crucial and will go a long way with the businesses looking to use your recruitment agency. Knowing your clients will also guarantee that you can provide the best recruitment fit for them and what they need. By doing a little homework, you’ll be able to provide them an employee that is an excellent candidate for the position.

5. Advertise

 

Publicizing what your agency does and marketing to those who would fit your clientele will help your draw in customers and get your name out there. Using websites like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn are great ways to advertise your agency and potentially pick up new clients, make important connections to spread the word about your recruitment company and gain referrals. Networking can make or break your business – so start early and establish good relationships that will help you make your business a success.

Important Considerations When Starting a Recruitment Agency

If you’ve been thinking of starting a recruitment agency of your own, you’re probably already aware of the importance of developing both a good business plan and a good marketing plan.

 

Here are three other important considerations:

1. Have enough money.

Conventional wisdom states that you will need to have enough cash reserves to support your new business for 18 months with no revenue. Historically, half of new business start-ups fail within the first five years, and a significant portion of those failures are due to being undercapitalized. Before starting a recruitment agency, figure out where the money will come from – personal savings, loans from family or a business partner, conventional financing, etc. Trim your personal overhead as much as possible so that you can still pay your household bills on a greatly reduced – or nonexistent – income.

2. Have a plan to run a business, not just a desk.

If you’ve been a successful recruiter working for someone else, it’s easy to think that starting a recruitment agency of your own will increase your personal income. That’s not necessarily true. When you’re working for someone else, you’re responsible for your personal production. You may have help in the form of administrative or research support, or even business development, which allows you to spend your time on what you are good at — making placements. When you go out on your own, your budget may not allow for administrative or research support. You’ll be responsible for business development (which does not include the clients and candidates belonging to your former employer, right?). And you’ll have to do all the other things that come with running a business like bookkeeping, paying taxes, and dealing with service providers (website developer, telephone provider, ISPs, etc.). All of those things leave less time for making placements, which probably means less money.

3. Decide if you want to go it alone, purchase a franchise, or join a recruiting network.

Starting a recruitment agency is a risky venture, just like any other start-up. There are different business models to consider, which can impact the risk:

 

  • Go it alone. Use your own knowledge and a “bare-bones” style such as a laptop and Skype from your home when starting a recruitment agency. This option allows you to be completely entrepreneurial and requires the least amount of upfront cash. It’s also the riskiest option, because you won’t have any support to keep your fledgling business moving. What if it takes 6 months to land your first client? A year to make a placement? Can you survive that long?
    Purchase a franchise. A recruiting franchise provides you with infrastructure for your business, training, possibly software, advertising, market penetration, and other support. However, there is a very high cost of entry — anywhere from $25,000 to $200,000 — and you’ll be paying franchise fees (typically 5% – 9% of your gross revenue) every month. It can be difficult and expensive to leave the franchise if it’s not working out for you. It can also limit your autonomy as a business owner. If you like a corporate model with lots of training, a franchise can be a great option. 
  • Join a recruiting network. There are formal and informal networks, free and paid. A recruiting network provides you access to candidates, jobs, trading partners, and peer support. All of these can make starting a recruitment agency a little easier. You can provide candidates for your trading partners’ jobs, or rely on partners to source candidates for your jobs. And it’s invaluable to be able to call up another recruitment agency owner for advice. Your partners will lift you up when you struggle and celebrate your successes.

Starting a recruitment agency is an exciting prospect with a high income potential. Do your homework, develop a great plan, and look for options that provide affordable support to increase your odds of success!

Recruiting with Instagram

There is no denying the popularity of Instagram. The statistics speak for themselves – 600 million monthly active users and 400 million daily active users. Instagram usage is now outpacing both LinkedIn and Pinterest.

It is common knowledge that your company’s image is important for sales, but it is equally important in order to recruit quality employees. Learning about the potential of Instagram and putting it to work for you will bring in talented and qualified people.

The Potential of Instagram

Reaching qualified people takes the same targeted focus needed in marketing to customers. If you want to reach the creative, tech-savvy demographic, recruiting on Instagram is the answer. A Pew Research Center (USA) survey provides plenty of insight into who is using Instagram. Results showed 59% of those aged 18 to 29 and 31% of those 30 to 49 are using it. In addition, 32% are college graduates, and 35% have some college experience under their belt.

How to do Recruiting on Instagram

Finding people through Instagram won’t be difficult given the sheer volume of users. Quantity helps, but what you really want is quality. Develop an outline of who your ideal candidate is and determine which of the following methods will work best to reach them.

Method #1 – Position Notifications

One method for recruiting on Instagram is to advertise your job openings visually. It is best not to constantly post about vacancies, however. Make sure your image depicts the opportunity without getting too involved. Let viewers know how to get more information and apply. This method shouldn’t come into play until after you’ve used enough posts to establish your company as a great one to work for or a great agency to place candidates.


Method #2 – Share with Candidates

Many of your followers know you’re a recruiter and can help them with their career. Include images that show you recruiting; e.g. client meetings, candidate appreciation gifts and they’ll soon be interested in working with you, too. Include a system for responding to their interest and you’ll have some very delighted applicants.

Method #3 Putting it All Together

Each post on Instagram should get the same careful attention you give all marketing. Each post should relate to your brand and share about the positive work environment and other appealing attributes you have to offer. Behind the scenes pictures are often ideal for enticing viewers by getting them to envision themselves working for you or one of your clients.

The posts do not need to be top-end quality, but they shouldn’t be a poor reflection on your company, either. A natural rather than staged post is more effective, as a “sneak peek” is more enticing. Don’t overlook your employees as a source for content, as they’re often proud to share.

Recruiting on Instagram is as useful for filling a client position as well as finding great consultants to join your team. The positive vibe you portray on Instagram is a powerful recruitment tool for reaching a large audience and the best candidates.

How to nurture the recruiter/candidate relationship

The most valuable resource you have is your talent pool. Your collection of candidates is essential to the success of your career and business. While it is important for you as a staffing or recruiting company to attract the top candidates, it is equally as important that you frequently and effectively communicate with your talent pool.

“Candidate communication plays a critical role in identifying, developing, and sustaining long-term relationships with your candidates. Establishing a candidate communication process makes it easier for you to interact with candidates, whether or not they are actively looking to make a career move.”

Candidate communication plays a critical role in identifying, developing, and sustaining long-term relationships with your candidates. Establishing a candidate communication process makes it easier for you to interact with candidates, whether or not they are actively looking to make a career move. However, the ultimate goal of candidate communication is to stop your top talent from leaving your staffing and recruiting company and moving elsewhere; it helps you improve candidate retention so you know you have a candidate to recommend when a client needs one.

Improving relationships with candidates will benefit your company in many ways. First, by keeping candidates up-to-date on what positions you are receiving, what current opportunities you have available, and what training or certification courses they may be eligible to attend, you are more likely to retain more loyal candidates and thus make more placements. The stronger the bond you develop with your candidates, the less likely they will be to consider working with another staffing company. Another benefit to maintaining open communication with candidates is that they are a wonderful source of industry information. The better a recruiter’s bond with a candidate, the more likely he or she will be able to get quality candidate references, client leads, and industry knowledge.

How to Keep in Touch with Candidates

While finding an innovative means for maintaining candidate communication is always recommended, there are several time-tested methods you can implement to keep in touch with your talent pool.

The most common and cost-effective way to keep in touch with candidates is to send a weekly or monthly email newsletter This newsletter should contain any upcoming training or certification courses of interest to candidates, success stories, industry employment breakdowns and trends, job forecasts, resume tips, and information pertinent to finding a job. Keeping the newsletter short, informative, and relative gives your candidates something to look forward to reading, and thus establishes your company as a valuable resource of information. It also helps to show candidates that you are interested in not only your clients’ success but also your placements’ success.

Another candidate communication method staffing is “buddy” assignment. This is when each candidate receives a designated recruiter to contact. The role of the contact person is to call or email their assigned candidates, even the ones already placed by your company, on a weekly or monthly basis.

Another candidate communication method staffing is “buddy” assignment. This is when each candidate receives a designated recruiter to contact. The role of the contact person is to call or email their assigned candidates, even the ones already placed by your company, on a weekly or monthly basis.

Doing this effectively serves two purposes. The first purpose is to establish a form of open and direct communication with your candidates, one that may have been lacking prior. The second is to gauge your candidates’ needs, concerns, and current career situation. It essentially give the candidate a personal contact at your firm so he or she feels more connected to the entire recruitment process. This not only shows you care about finding them a good temporary or permanent fit but also it provides you with feedback on how to improve as a recruiter.

In addition, it gives recruiters an opportunity to become specialists in staffing certain position types or within certain industries because it allows them to get more deeply involved within certain segments.

Some staffing and recruiting companies set up phone numbers candidates can call for weekly or daily job opportunities. Some even email opportunities to interested candidates. When sending email or snail mail job opportunities to candidates, it is important to segment the opportunities by industry, location, or job type so candidates don’t have to wade through all of your company’s open positions.

For example, if a candidate is a graphic designer, he or she is sent an email when you need to make placements for either graphic designers or in certain industries such as advertising and publishing. When sending these emails, you can even include an incentive to get candidates to refer other candidates with whom they have worked. This is a great way to increase your talent pool of quality, relevant candidates. If it is easier or more practical for your company, you can send this email out on a weekly basis with all new and currently open job opportunities listed for your candidates’ convenience—just make sure they email is segmented by industry or position type so the candidates can get right to the openings that are relevant to them.

Practicing effective candidate communication is the key for sustaining long-term relationships with your candidates. Those companies who can create a reputation for treating their candidates well via simple communication will have an easier time placing qualified candidates in the right positions in the future.

How to structure your perfect workday

With looming end-of-financial-year deadlines imminent, it’s one of the most stressful times of the year. Are you maximizing your work days to the fullest?

Many recruiters make the mistake of wasting precious minutes and hours by tackling too much work without a solid game plan. We look at what several productivity experts say on how to effectively structure an ideal work day.

Also read: Things successful people do when working from home

From the time you sit down at your desk to the moment you grab your keys to head home, make each moment work in your favor with these five tips.

1. Get a head start: Plan the night before.

Your ideal work day should actually start percolating the night before. Your ideal work day should actually start percolating the night before. “Decision-making is a big willpower drain,” says Dr. Alice Boyes, author of the upcoming book The Anxiety Toolkit and writer at Psychology Today.

Plan your day the night before as part of a “wind-down routine,” Boyes suggests. Having a plan before you sit down at your desk allows you to dive in without having to make decisions on what to start first.

 

“When you start feeling overcome with feelings of ‘listlessness, step away from all screens.”

 

Tamara Myles, author of The Secret to Peak Productivity and productivity consultant for notable clients including Best Buy, says to take just five minutes to plan out your top three priorities for the day ahead. This way, you can get a head start and ensure that the important things are in the queue, she says.

And if planning takes more than five minutes, it sounds like you have bigger problems than structuring your ideal work day — priorities and vision of your goals should be clear as day.

Knock out the hardest project in the morning: This is a time-tested piece of advice. Boyes explains that tackling your toughest assignment first is the most effective strategy because you have the most energy and motivation in the morning.

 

“Reflection is a brief but essential portion of an ideal work day”

 

2. Choosing what to work on can be half the battle.

“So often, I see clients spending their time going from inbox to meetings and back to emails,” Myles says. “What differentiates ultra-productive people from those who struggle is choosing the right things to spend their time on.”

Take roughly 17-minute breaks for every 52 minutes of uninterrupted work: When you start feeling overcome with feelings of “meh” and listlessness, step away from all screens. When you start feeling overcome with feelings of “meh” and listlessness, step away from all screens.

Screens usurp your energy. Instead, going for a walk or practicing a little yoga will restore your drive and make the next leg of your work day substantially more productive than powering through the fatigue.

The Draugiem Group conducted an experiment using the productivity tracking app DeskTime that found that hours chained to your desk don’t equate to more productivity.

“Turns out, what the most productive 10% of our users have in common is their ability to take effective breaks,” Julija Gifford of The Draugiem Group writes in a recent article. “Specifically, the most productive people work for 52 minutes at a time, then break for 17 minutes before getting back to it.” Use a timer and test this yourself.

Integrate feedback into your schedule: Even with the perfectly scheduled work day, you aren’t productive unless you’re actually making progress in your goals. There’s no point in trudging along and making a huge dent in your workload only to realize that you missed the target completely.

Reflection is a brief but essential portion of an ideal work day Reflection is a brief but essential portion of an ideal work day, and one that’s key to actually turning your day-to-day work into advances of your goals. So schedule in some “touch-base” time regularly (one or two times per month) to get feedback on your work to make sure your efforts are fruitful.

3. Set a firm knockoff time daily.

Traditionally, there used to be sort of a quasi badge of honor for burning the midnight oil. The guy next to you might brag about how he worked a 14-hour day, but you know better. Again, hours on the job doesn’t automatically equate results when you’re working smart.

Ending your work day at the same time daily gets you in the habit of being incredibly productive in the morning rather than opening up a floodgate of procrastination in the evening.

Sticking to a firm knockoff time at the end of the day (such as 6 p.m.) forces you to prioritize and get your most important stuff out of the way first.

“Productivity is not about being able to do more or to get through your entire to-do list, but instead it’s about being focused and able to get through the most important items, the things that are going to move your company or career forward,” Myles says.

Will Robots take over from Recruiters?

A.I.  These two letters have been causing quite a stir in the recruiting space over the last 2 years or so.


Every day we see at least one or two articles discussing artificial intelligence in recruiting—how it’s going be the next big “thing” in recruiting, how it’s going to change recruiting, how it’s not going to change recruiting, why it is or isn’t going to take all of our jobs.

It’s creating so much noise that A.I. in recruiting has started to feel more like a black cloud (silver lining percentage dependent on your opinion of the matter) than something recruiters will actually put into everyday practice. By discussing the theory of it with such fervor, A.I. is slowly turning into a concept rather than a gameplan before our eyes—another pattern that seems hopelessly similar to the social media boom.

Moving past the vague discussions of how A.I. may or may not change the recruiting industry, let’s take a realistic look at the way it’s already affected recruiting and the new developments that are out there.

It’s easy to hear A.I. and immediately picture a robot sitting in your desk chair and you sitting in an unemployment line. Not quite. To put all the fears at ease, like most new technological developments, A.I. is going to enhance many aspects of recruiting and make our lives easier, rather than replace us. Take a look at one of the biggest pieces of A.I. that’s already out there for recruiting: resume scanners. These systems run over resumes and make intelligent decisions based on the content of resumes as to whether or not they should be viewed by a recruiter. Now think about this technology has changed the recruiting industry—it’s made life just a little bit easier, right?

Despite this presence of A.I. already, it’s become such a hot topic because many companies are now looking at how they can go a step further and really increase the amount of decisions made by technology. Here are some on the frontier:

Recruitz.io

 

This is a programmatic advertising company that focuses solely on the recruitment marketing space. Essentially, you tell the program what candidates you’re looking for and using the information you give, they create highly targeted campaigns across everything from Google to Twitter to Indeed in one fell swoop.

MosaicTrack

 

This program works very similarly to a resume scanner, but takes the process a step further by simulating how a hiring team reads a resume and makes a Y/N decision. It can also read resumes you’ve picked based on certain job descriptions and learn how to match certain resumes to certain jobs, giving you better recommendations.

Arya

 

Arya, claiming to be the world’s first A.I. recruiting platform, goes from sourcing to selecting resumes for further review by a recruiter. The automated sourcing uses data collected from your past recruiting efforts and impresses those same patterns when finding new candidates for your funnel, followed by a similar learning resume scanner to what MosaicTrack has developed.

Mya

 

Mya separates itself from Arya by being the world’s first A.I. recruiting assistant. But this is the big one that most articles are hailing as the recruiting A.I. frontrunner. It works with a handful of the big name ATSs and essentially does all of the jobs that need to happen throughout the interview process—prescreening, answers FAQs candidates might have for you, provides application tips, and so on.

All of these are impressive technologies are also very dependent on one thing: flesh & blood recruiters.

Programs still need data and they still need someone to at one point actually talk to the candidates. Rather than fearing the robot takeover as A.I. develops and discussing the pros/cons, take a chance on diving into a program that works for your team and see how it can make your life easier. Use it to cut the mundane tasks out of your workday and spend more time what you do best: building and maintaining relationships with hiring managers and candidates.

Things Successful People Do When Working From Home

1. Reclaim your commuting time.

Commuting sucks, and one big advantage of working from home is that you no longer have to deal with it regularly. But it’s crucial to reclaim the time you used to devote to travel for something productive. For example, maybe use the first 30 minutes of your day to answer emails you didn’t get to the day before and the last half hour to set long-term strategic goals and specific objectives for the next day.

2. Design your space.

You’ve heard this one before, but it’s crucial. Carve out a dedicated space that you only use for work. Preferably, you need natural light and a door, so that you can separate your work from your home life when the workday is done. (Moreover, creating a separate and exclusive space can be necessary if you want to take a tax deduction for a home office.)

3. Project professionalism.

Some people advise dressing as if you were still working in someone else’s office. That’s unnecessary, and maybe even a bit crazy, but you do need to come across as professional and reliable when dealing with clients. Here’s an example: If you’re doing video calls, consider having a clean dedicated area for them, or at least hanging a backdrop so people aren’t distracted by home-office clutter.

4. Track your savings.

Following on the first three items, it helps to track how much you save as a result of working from home. Commuting costs alone can be substantial. Then consider the reduced costs of meals, now that you don’t have to rely on take-out lunches and $4.50 cups of coffee, throw in your lower dry-cleaning bills, and the savings add up quickly.

5. Expand your circle.

Working at home can become isolating, unless you make an effort to build your network and maintain relationships. This might be easier in a major metropolitan area with lots of networking opportunities and industry meetings. However even if you have to travel and use lots of virtual tools–LinkedIn is a great place to start–maintaining your network should be on your to-do list every day.

6. Delegate all that you can.

This is crucial, especially if you work from home, because it’s easy to fall prey to the illusion that you have unlimited time, and can now do everything yourself. However, if you have a business worth doing, you can–and should–delegate things like managing your calendar, doing initial research, and handling household chores. (Yes, this can apply to child care, as well.)

7. Manage your distractions

Talk about easier said than done, but another danger in working from home is that it’s so easy not to work. One winning strategy is simply to accept that you’ll never be 100 percent productive. That makes it easier to be in control of your “mind-wandering” time at work, and keep it under control.

8. Own your day.

If you find yourself working earlier, take time for yourself and your family later. At the same time, it’s great to do errands during low-demand hours. Don’t fight the crowds at the mall on a Saturday. Instead, discover the tranquility of 10:30 a.m. on a Tuesday.

9. Own your week.

If you liked the idea of owning your day, just wait until you own your week. If you’ve wondered how many more runs you could get in on the ski slopes on a Wednesday (or whatever it is you like to do for fun), or how much easier and cheaper it would be to travel during times when fewer people are able, the answer is: a lot. In fact, the only drawback is that friends and family probably don’t have the same flexibility.

Once you get to the point where you own the week, however, you’ll find yourself longing a lot less for the weekend.

Have you read our recent blog on what NatRec Recruitment Associates get up into their first year with us…? It’s a great read!

3 LinkedIn Updates Recruiters Need to Know About for 2017

3 LinkedIn Updates Recruiters Need to Know About for 2017

Recruiters know the power of LinkedIn—running searches, sending InMails and building your network is your bread and butter—so you’ve probably noticed it’s undergone a makeover. But there’s more to it than a cleaner look. The site’s rolled out new features to make growing your network and job hunting even easier.

Whether you’ve clicked around, but aren’t quite sure what the changes mean for you—or if the rollout is yet to come to your profile and you’d like to know what to expect—here’s how to make the most of the updates.

 

1. New Messaging Features

As always, the platform wants you to use it to build your network and stay in touch with people you know.   

One new feature is suggested responses to InMail (pictured above). Translation: If someone contacts you, you can instantly respond whether or not you’re interested. This makes getting back to them—even if the answer is “no”—so much simpler, so you don’t have to worry about gaining a reputation as non-responder.

On the other side of things, you can only reach out to a stranger for free by sending an invite. As always, it’s still free to send a message to your contacts. If you’d like to reconnect with someone, it’s as easy as picking out one thing you see from their profile and using a well crafted message…

Hi Garrett,

I see from LinkedIn you’re currently working at an engineering firm. That’s awesome. I’m actually recruiting for a similar role with increased responsibilities and salary. Would you have time for a cup of coffee, a brief phone call, or for me to send over a few questions by email?

Sincerely,

Diane

 

2. New Profile Design

The new profile design is meant to be easier to navigate. And because there’s an emphasis on making pages more attractive, there’s even more reason to pay attention to how yours looks.

If you don’t already have one, add a cover photo. Then, make the whole page more interesting by adding media to your experience section.

The new profiles also highlight recent posts and activity more prominently. That means, by spending less than 15 minutes a week liking and sharing content, you can keep your profile looking fresh and updated. For bonus points, consider posting more regularly, as the date of your last post shows up as well.

 

3. The New Way Candidates are Reaching Recruiters

 

Candidates can now go to the LinkedIn jobs page and look for “Update preferences” in purple near the top of the page. Along with selecting the field they’re interested in, experience level and size of company they prefer, toggle “Let recruiters know you’re open” from off to on.

From there, they’ll get an email confirmation that they’re “sharing your career interests”—and if they would like to shut it off after they land a new job, they’ll get a second email that they’re “no longer sharing” them.

 

It’s true that it is slightly annoying every time a site changes up how it looks. But if you can put aside that frustration at having to re-learn how to navigate it, you’ll find a bunch of features there to make your profile stand out and help you on your job search. And if you’re looking to move companies this year, that’s pretty exciting.

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