The 5 Key Mindsets of The Most Productive Recruiters

recruiting recruitment staffing Apr 17, 2024

As a recruiting industry coach and advisor, I see how our mindsets lead us to success or failure in anything we do. Mindsets are simply attitudes or inclinations that guide our behaviors. For example, if your mindset is “I just can’t sit down and focus", you’ll tend to avoid sitting down and focusing. And when you do attempt to sit down and focus, you’re likely to give up at the first sign of struggle!

Why is this important? Because people often think they can solve productivity problems via better tools and technologies alone (e.g., to-do lists, ATSs, automation, etc). These resources are important and helpful. However, none force you to stay focused on accomplishing what matters most.  

We’re usually unaware of our mindsets and thus don’t challenge the beliefs that create them. For example, if your mindset is that more hours worked equals higher productivity, you’ll try to solve productivity problems by working more hours. When this doesn’t work as well as you hoped, you’ll probably come up with some rationalization rather than challenging your mindset about hours worked. 

Many of our mindsets were created by inaccurate beliefs. Adopting more accurate beliefs provides great opportunities to boost your productivity and success. So, how do you know what these beliefs are? After all, they aren’t sitting in your mind with big red signs labeled “bullshit.” 

 There are two keys to identifying inaccurate beliefs that fuel ineffective mindsets:

  1. When you’re not achieving your desired results, challenge the underlying beliefs and assumptions that created your current approach.
  2. Avoid your natural urge to be right in favor of your desire to improve. Human beings tend to automatically justify and defend what we’re doing. This tendency can hold you back from the success you desire.

 The Mindsets And Beliefs of Highly Productive Recruiters:

Not surprisingly, the most productive recruiters have different mindsets than their less productive peers. Below is a list of the 5 Key Mindsets of The Most Productive Recruiters.

Mindset 1: A Growth Mindset: There are two mindsets related to intelligence and the ability to learn and improve: 

  • A growth mindset and 
  • A fixed mindset.

A growth mindset is based on the belief that even though you possess certain predispositions or aptitudes, you can develop greater intelligence and abilities through your efforts over time. With a growth mindset, you don’t get discouraged when something doesn’t seem easy or natural. You know that, with consistent effort over time, you’ll become proficient even if you don’t excel.

A “Fixed Mindset is based on the belief that we inherit our intelligence and abilities. With this mindset, when you struggle to learn something new, you assume you lack the ability and stop trying. The danger of this mindset is that you’ll quit when things get tough and will avoid challenges. It’s easy to see how a fixed mindset leads to low recruiter productivity and development.

Brain science has demonstrated the validity of the growth mindset. Our brains are malleable and designed to continue learning throughout our lifetimes. The beauty of this mindset is that you don’t need to feel stupid or incompetent when you tackle something difficult since you know your efforts will result in positive outcomes. 

Mindset 2: A productive day is a day you made progress on one or more of your most important tasks.

Recruiters often equate productivity with busyness. But there’s usually a vast difference in value among the different tasks you can perform. For example, interviewing and submitting candidates is far more valuable than checking your inbox and cell phone. 

There is never enough time to do everything, but there is always enough time to take action on what’s most important. Have you ever been extremely busy, yet your to-do list continues growing? To be a productive recruiter, you must prioritize and block out time for your most important tasks, or else the least important ones will take over.

Mindset 3: Conserve your cognitive fuel. Anything that demands significant focused effort drains precious cognitive fuel or mental energy. Studies show that we have a limited supply of cognitive fuel that roughly equates to about four hours of intensely focused daily work. When you spend it on less important activities, there’s less available for the more important ones. Activities that require less mental effort are best done later in the day when your cognitive fuel is lower.

Cognitive fuel is derived from brain chemicals called neurotransmitters produced while you’re sleeping. That’s why most people find their minds work best in the morning. Below are some of the biggest consumers of your cognitive fuel. It’s best to avoid doing an excessive amount of these fuel-draining activities, so you have the resources needed to execute your most productive tasks.

Making decisions and solving problems. Anyone who’s experienced a day filled with making decisions and solving problems knows how exhausting this can be. Having a clearly prioritized, concise daily plan and preventing problems before they occur can help you reduce the drain of these activities.

Mindset 4: Use willpower wisely. Willpower is critical to productivity and success because it allows you to do things you don’t want to do while avoiding harmful temptations and urges.  Willpower is like a muscle you want to train without overdoing it, and cognitive fuel used by willpower is not available for productive tasks that require focused attention and effort. 

The best ways to reduce your overreliance on willpower is to:

  • Develop habits that make executing your most productive tasks automatic and on executing your most prod
  • Remove these temptations from your awareness rather than trying to resist them. 

Mindset 5: Avoid overwhelm at all costs. Overwhelm is a very common roadblock to recruiter productivity. How frequently do you feel overwhelmed? How does it impact your productivity? How about your job satisfaction and stress level? Overwhelm combines cognitive fuel drain, stress, frustration, lack of confidence, and distraction. When you’re in the throes of overwhelm, you’d be just as productive binge-watching Netflix!

 Below is a three-step process to prevent overwhelm 

Step 1: Have a clear, actionable, and small to-do list focused on your most important priorities

Step 2: Calmly focus your full attention on the current priority you’re working on instead of everything else. Your current priority is what matters most, not some “scary monster ahead.”

Step 3. When you get off track, smile and get back on track without making it a big deal.

 In summary, if you want to be a highly productive recruiter, it’s crucial to replace the mindsets that hamper your productivity with ones that boost it. The good news is that you have the power to choose your mindsets by choosing and reinforcing more accurate and empowering beliefs.

If you’re interested in practical tips to increase your productivity now, Click here for your free guide 15 Fast Hacks To Be A Highly Productive Recruiter

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