Welcome to The Fordyce Letter:

The Fordyce Letter

Straight Talk for the Recruiting Profession

Articles tagged 'timemanagement'

Business, How-To

Be Positive and Outsource the Busy Work

2 minute recruiting new

This regularly appearing column gives you quick, easy-to-implement ideas on various subjects. Today’s topics have to do with hiring virtual assistants and the power of questions.

Hire a Personal Assistant

I conducted an experiment recently to see how much it would cost to hire people for various tasks in my business via Elance versus what I was actually paying my staff of contractors.

For Managers

Get Rid of These 10 Undercover Time-Wasting Over-Workers

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Recruiters are always wondering how we’re able to respond so quickly on a national basis. Believe it or not, we work regular hours. I learned the techniques when I was managing a recruiting office.

You can too, if you:

  • Understand where your non-productive time is spent and;
  • Overhaul your procedures.

All the time-management seminars, workshops, books, calendars, timers, alarms, buzzers and electronic voices in the world won’t help you. They’re just pea-shooters in the war against time. Your problem isn’t on the battlefield, it’s in the war room — right there in your office.

Here are the 10 biggest undercover over-workers:


Workplace Mindfulness: A Way to Be More Productive With Less Stress


Google, eBay, Intel and General Mills offer classes on it. So do Harvard Business School, Ross School of Business and Claremont Graduate University, among other campuses. Mindfulness is not just a corporate trend, but a proven method for success.

Mindfulness – being focused and fully present in the here and now – is good for individuals and good for a business’s bottom line.

How can people practice it in a workplace where multitasking is the norm, and concerns for future profits can add to workplace stress?

Even if a company doesn’t make it part of the culture, employees and managers can substitute their multitasking habits with mindfulness in order to reduce stress and increase productivity.


How to Say No When They Ask “Got a Minute”


Got a minute?

The fact is, unless you are a great rarity today, you not only don’t have a minute, you have a yawning deficit of minutes. There is work unfinished on your desk. You have personal aspirations of all kinds that you never find time for and obligations you barely find time for. You’re already stretched for time, so no, you don’t have a minute.

Yet when almost anybody asks, “Got a minute?” you automatically answer, “Sure, how can I help?”

How do you stop doing that?

Ask Barb, How-To

Too Much Email and Not Enough Phone. What Do I Do?

Ask Barb

Dear Barb:

I know technology is supposed to help me be more efficient, but I’m buried under hundreds of emails. All technology has done is have me working 24 hours a day 7 days a week and I’m not as efficient as I was years ago without all of this technology. How can I explain to people that I would rather talk on the phone, than only be contacted by email?

Carolyn M., Seattle, WA

Dear Carolyn:

Technology can make you more efficient if utilized properly. Answer emails three

Ask Barb

You Manage Email, Not the Other Way Around

Ask Barb

Dear Barb:

I receive over 200 emails a day and feel I spend my entire day answering email. How can I manage this and still have time for calls and everything else I need to complete in a day. Emails have become my time management nightmare.

George Z.

Palos Park, IL

Dear George:

Ask Barb, Motivation

Six Steps to Get You Out of Your Rut

Ask Barb

Dear Barb:

I have owned my firm for over 15 years. I have had as many as eight recruiters, and now I’m a sole proprietor working from home after downsizing in 2011. How can I tell if I’m in a slump because of my niche or if it’s something I’m doing wrong? I specialize in Accounting/Finance in the Atlanta market and have blanked for three months. I hate to walk away from what I’ve done for so many years, but I’m wondering if that would turn this around. I have never blanked for three consecutive months in my entire career and can’t afford to continue this downward spiral.

Tony G., Marietta, GA

Barb Responds

Dear Tony:

You have made a dramatic change in your business model, going from a team of eight and office environment to working alone from home. Obviously, this has greatly reduced your overhead, but it has also eliminated other individuals who were generating clients and candidates. I believe your niche is strong and you need to take a hard look at your current work habits, minimum standards you’ve set, and the daily results you achieve.

Ask Barb

Become A Champion Planner In Three Easy Steps

Ask Barb

Dear Barb:

I met you at a recent conference. You advised me to get two to three candidates on the final interview on every order I work. As a result, I’ve just had the best quarter of my five years in this business.

My greatest challenge is time management. The day just slips away from me and I constantly find myself switching gears. How can I manage time better when every phone call sees to change my priorities throughout the day?

Amanda H,

Alpharetta, GA


What You Should Never Do On A Friday. (And A Few Things You Should)

Friday illustration

What’s the best day of the week?

Friday of course. Everyone knows that.

From my perspective though, it’s not about it being the last day of work for the week. I assure you, I work almost just as much on the weekends as do during the week. To me, Fridays are just fun. People are energetic and excited about the weekend. They’re feeling good about the work they’ve done for the week and they’re in a more relaxed mood. This is a good feeling and should be encouraged throughout your entire company.

That all said, over the years I’ve also ruined many Fridays. How? By doing things on Friday I’ve learned never to do. Learn from my mistakes and keep Friday’s fun by not doing any of the following at your firm.

How-To, The Business of Recruiting

Get Control Of Your Time, Your Phone, Your Mail

2 minute coaching logo

This monthly article gives you quick, easy-to-implement ideas on various subjects. This month’s topics have to do with taming your phone and email inbox and outsourcing your admin tasks.

Topic #1: Get Control of Your Phone

The phone may be the best money making tool in a recruiter’s tool box but it still must be used intelligently so that it doesn’t become a time sink. In terms of who has access to me via phone, I have a simple guideline — the more you pay the more access you receive. That is just economics 101.

So if a client has just paid me a $30,000 retainer, of course they have access to me. But, if a candidate is calling who I’ve never spoken to, who hasn’t submitted a resume, and who is not in my primary area of focus, that call will likely go straight to voicemail if I’m busy. You have to remember that 85% (or more) of the candidates you talk to are people you are never going to be able to place.