The middle of a calendar year is a time for reflection and self-improvement. We all ask ourselves how we can make ourselves better in our personal and professional lives. All too often, our grandiose plans for self-improvement fall by the wayside with seemingly more pressing life tasks, but here are a few ideas to get back on track that can be accomplished whenever you have a few minutes to spare.
HONE YOUR WRITING SKILLS
Too often, Recruiters grossly underestimate the need to write well. Clear, concise writing is an integral skill to recruiting and often determines whether one can get the candidate (and their respect) or not. A focused job description will help to ensure that your post will generate quality candidates, and well-written office memos will clarify your policies and eliminate unnecessary confusion among your colleagues. The key to writing well is writing often. Try to make time to write something every day. The subject is irrelevant. Even taking ten minutes to compose a descriptive paragraph about the view from your window or your impressions of last night’s dinner will keep you in practice. Simple exercises like this will turn the mechanics of writing into second nature, and the next time you have to write a proposal, the words will flow easier. If you need inspiration and/or assistance writing about unfamiliar topics, pick up a copy of William Zinsser’s superb book “On Writing Well”; it has discussions and examples of a variety of topics, and Zinsser’s writing style is perfect for a quick read when you have a few moments between appointments.
Just like improving our writing skills, asking our clients and candidates for referrals is something we know we should do, but we seem to overlook it. Remember that referrals can expand your business exponentially, so it’s important to ask on every call. Sometimes a reminder is all you need, so write yourself one, on as big or as small of a piece of paper as necessary. Now think about the places your eyes travel when you’re on a call. Find the place where you always look (computer, office wall, calendar, desk) and place your reminder where you will always see it. Need something more substantial? Try outlining your basic calls from opening to close (with referrals tucked in near the end of the call), then follow it until asking for referrals becomes a natural part of the call.
As everyone in recruiting knows, social media networks like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn have revolutionized the business. It is still a fairly new phenomenon, so there’s always room for improvement and reconsiderations. Be sure that your company has an effective presence on all of the major platforms, and don’t stop working on it after you’ve done the initial setup. Take a few minutes to read over the pages—even if you wrote the original yourself. Are there ways to improve the grammar or to sharpen a point? Can you find ways to engage your audience by posting questions on your wall? (Facebook’s “talking about this” statistic continues to carry more importance than the simple “like”.) Write up your suggestions and encourage your fellow employees to follow suit. It truly takes a village to proofread and define a website, and with the importance of social media in recruiting, it is a necessary effort.
None of these techniques will take up much of your time (much less than the frequently procrastinated trip to the gym!), but with a concerted effort, you can make these small changes a permanent—and pleasurable—part of your daily routine.