Time Management: All You Can Eat

When I was a freshman in college, a nearby tavern offered a special deal every Sunday night: All-you-can-eat pizza for only $5.99.

My favorite was mushroom and pepperoni. The second it was under my nose, I'd wolf it down slice by slice until it was gone. Then I'd order another.

After a couple of weeks, I discovered a more satisfying strategy. Instead of eating the whole pizza, I'd scrape all the mushrooms and pepperoni onto one slice. After the super slice was finished, I'd order another pizza and repeat the process.

Since the all-you-can-eat price was the same no matter how many pizzas I ordered, I could load up on the tasty toppings and toss out the crust.

Years later, I discovered that time management works the same way: For best results, put your assets where they'll do the most good, and discard everything else.

What's an Asset?
I like business author Robert Kiyosaki's definition: An asset is something that makes you money; a liability is anything that doesn't.

As a recruiter, your assets are the intangibles that make you money. The greater the intangibles' value, the more each asset is worth. And the more assets you're able to leverage, the greater your cash flow.

Unfortunately, it's not always easy to tell the difference between an asset and a liability. For example, many recruiters look at the resumes in their database and assume they're all assets, when in fact, most of them are liabilities.

To make matters more complicated, each resume's value depends on the intangibles you add to the equation.

Think of each resume this way:

$By itself, the resume is virtually worthless.

$$But if the resume contains bullet points and keywords that match a job you're trying to fill, the value just went up.

$$$Let's say you've interviewed the candidate and you know everything about his work history, his strengths and what he's looking for in his next job. The value just went up again.

$$$$Add your knowledge of the job you're working on, how the candidate fits the job, the candidate's interest in the job and your strong belief that the candidate is perfect for the job. Add more value.

$$$$$Now, consider the employer's trust in your ability to refer the right person and not waste his time. More value.

$$$$$$You can call the employer, present the candidate and schedule an interview for next week. There's lots of value in that.

$$$$$$$For good measure, you decide to present additional candidates who also fit the job. You schedule their interviews within 24 hours of the first candidate. The value has multiplied.

$$$$$$$$Now take a look at the resume, and consider its value. Is it worth two sheets of copy paper or a $20,000 fee?

It's Just Like Pizza
Successful recruiters attach a value to their services, and spend their time placing their assets where they'll do the most good.

In contrast, inexperienced recruiters devalue their assets by spreading them too thinly, or by placing them where they have little chance of return. At worst, they get their assets and liabilities confused.

As you plan your day, think of whether each activity has an asset value, how much the asset is worth, and how you're using it. If the activity has no value, put it aside or figure out a way to add to its value.

Time management has more to do with organizing your assets than it does watching the clock. The more value you put on each slice of time, the more satisfying -- and profitable -- your business will be.

By Bill Radin
 BlackDog Recruiting Software Inc.
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