High productivity is a critical goal for recruiters. The more placements made, the better the revenue levels – it’s a simple equation. But productivity can be stifled by a number of factors which recruiters tend to believe they have no control over. The truth is that you can take steps to get control, and improve productivity by being purposeful and aware of the typical stumbling blocks of recruitment professionals. Here are four steps to take if you’re hoping to improve recruiting productivity as an individual recruiter or as a manager at a recruitment company.

1. The Subtle Art of Prioritization

 First and foremost, learn to prioritize. This deserves a whole blog post of it’s own, but it is critical to productivity. Deadlines pile up, emails pile up, inboxes overflow – always figure out the one task that needs to be done first and finish it, then move on to the next critical task. There’s nothing like a list of to-dos to make you feel overwhelmed. But if you write it all down, then rank everything in the order of which should be done first, you’ll start checking things off and feel great about it in no time.

2. Workflow Refined 

Does the way you interact with potential clients and candidates have a flow? There are always a set of tasks which need to be done for each client or candidate. They happen in a particular order. Make sure you’ve got a workflow that works well for each situation. When a new candidate pops up on your radar, how do you approach them, what materials do they need, how do you decide which positions to tell them about? Once they’re interested, how do you make an interview happen? Once you’ve got a workflow, a set of steps that has to be completed for each recruitment, you can easily go through those steps rapidly and know you’re not forgetting anything important.

3. Pay Attention to Timing 

People are always looking for jobs, right? And companies are always hiring! Actually, there are shifts that happen somewhat predictably, and it pays to be prepared. Nobody hires in December, they wait until January. Don’t wait until January – instead, make sure you’re prepared for the January rush and you can be ahead of the pack.

4. Use Technology as Intended 

If you don’t already have an applicant tracking system or some kind of database, you’re working in the dark ages. Yes, it maybe a bit pricey to implement new software, but one of the rewards is improved productivity. The right system can help improve workflow and prioritization, too. Just make sure you understand what the system is designed to do and use it the way it’s designed to be used.

Sometimes, productivity can be improved with a few little adjustments. Maybe you haven’t stopped to breathe and re-asses the way you work in a while. Take the time to do so, you’ll be glad you did and the results will pay off in the long run.