Human Resources Blog - Spark Hire

5 Tips on How to Beat the Never-Ending To-Do List

Your to-do list started out as a short and sweet document, but now it looks more like a novel. It’s easy for a busy hiring manager’s list to go from manageable to never-ending in a heartbeat. With 8.2 percent unemployment and more video resumes flooding in for every open position, how do you keep on top of what you need to do?

Here are some quick tips for cutting down your never-ending list and still hiring the best candidates:

The typical hiring manager or recruiter has a lot on their plate. There’s the larger picture HR efforts to consider and then the smaller day-to-day tasks to keep a recruiting team running smoothly. You need to be thinking about how to brand your company to attract top talent while also weeding through all the applicants for your open positions. It can be a tough juggling act, and this is where your to-do list can actually help if used correctly.

Make sure to put only the most important tasks on your to-do list. Don’t clutter it up with smaller day-to-day items you know you need to get done. Instead, populate the list with only your most essential tasks and you’ll be able to more clearly see the recruiting roadmap for your company.

Delete items once completed
It’s easy to feel bogged down if you’re not regularly updating your to-do list. Give yourself a little credit for all the good work you’ve accomplished! If you don’t keep your to-do list updated, you’ll waste time trying to figure out what needs to get done. This is time better spent sourcing candidates or conducting online video interviews. Besides, there’s nothing more satisfying than checking off a big project.

Streamline recruiting processes
Streamlining the recruitment process is one of the best ways to check items off your to-do list without actually doing them. If you can figure out a way to make your company’s hiring efforts faster and more efficient, you’ll be doing the company a huge favor. More importantly, you’ll be doing yourself a huge favor by taking time-consuming yet nonessential tasks off your plate.

Whether this means using online video to cut down on the hiring process or working on communication between departments, figure out what’s holding back your hiring efforts. Your to-do list will thank you.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Sometimes what you need to get accomplished is just too much for one person to handle. Instead of looking into ways of cloning yourself or inventing a time-turner, just ask for help. It can sometimes be scary to admit you can’t do it all, but the rest of your team is there for just these situations. As an added bonus, teamwork also leads to better hiring practices. Getting the whole team involved will give you a better idea of how a potential candidate will fit into your company’s culture.

Identify distractions and then get rid of them
Distractions are probably not something you’d like to check off your to-do list, yet they are fairly hard to avoid. Workplace distractions are everywhere and even the best hiring manager isn’t immune to the siren lure of Facebook or funny YouTube videos.

In fact, the Internet can be a huge help in the recruitment space, but it can also be a huge time waster. You might have waded into cyberspace to use social media to get the word out about an open position, but now you’re watching the latest viral video.

There’s nothing you can do about the internet, especially in today’s increasingly virtual world. In 2012 90 percent of recruiters will use social media in their recruitment efforts. Knowing how easy it is to fall down an Internet rabbit hole, however, make sure you’re vigilant about your time spent online. Perhaps choose a dedicated time every day to carve out ten minutes to give into distractions–and then get back to work!

What are some ways you can beat your never-ending to-do list? Share them in the comments!

Image Courtesy of Flickr.

Heather Huhman

Heather R. Huhman is the Career & Recruiting Advisor for Spark Hire. She writes career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets, and is the author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships: The Truth About Getting from Classroom to Cubicle (2011), and #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010).