Efficiently dealing with a high volume of recruitment consultant emails using OSX, Text Expander and Services

As a consultant who does a lot of contracting, I deal with recruitment consultants daily. They get a lot of stick, but they seem to be doing a high pressure job in a very competitive market. It’s symbiotic, I need them, they need me.

I average 5-10 recruitment emails a day. As recruiters will probably get me my next job I need to be polite & timely, but I can’t spend half an hour a day replying.

If I’m looking for a role I need to do one of the following:

  • Reply and say the job isn’t suitable, or
  • Reply and ask for more info (pertinent info like location, salary, contract/perm, length is often missing)

If I’m not looking I need to:

  • Reply, saying I’m not looking
  • Capture the recruiters email address for later use
  • Delete the email

How can I do all these things, every day?

Automate the process.

These rules are written for Mac but I’m sure you can do the same thing with a PC using different software.

Step 1

  1. Buy TextExpander
  2. Create 3 snippets called “gotjob”, “notsuitable” & “moreinfo”
  3. Populate those snippets with the email copy you think you need. You can’t include files so I suggest you include links to your CV hosted online. I also include my LinkedIn URL and encourage recruiters to connect. Here’s my ‘moreinfo’ rule for you to look at.

Now, as soon as an email comes in you can hit Cmd-R to reply, type “moreinfo” (or the most suitable abreviation) to expand the snippet, hit Cmd-D to send and... well that’s it you’re done.

Step 2 - the next level.

These steps add a whole new level onto the workflow, I went to the hassle of setting this up because, as I’m in a 6 month contract, I’ll probably run the process 500 times.

As it includes a delete command, it’s built to deal with the ‘not looking’ scenario. If you need something similar but not quite as brutal, feel free to adjust things. Better, leave me a comment and tell me what you do.

  1. Open Automator
  2. Hit “New”, pick “service”
  3. Record the actions you need to take - they are: click into email, hit Cmd-Shift-Y to add the contact to your address book, Cmd-R to open the reply window, type “gotjob” or whatever your trigger is, hit Cmd-D to send the email, finally hit “Delete” to delete the email. You’ll need to delete the “click into email” step created in the recorder, you’ll also need to delete the keyboard strokes that Text Expander performed when you triggered the snippet. Important, leave in the actual snippet trigger!
  4. Or, just download the service from me here.
  5. Adjust playback speed to about 5X. Any faster and the final delete command fires too early.
  6. Save your service.
  7. Open Preferences / Keyboard / Keyboard Shortcuts
  8. Select “Services”
  9. Find your shortcut, give it a nifty shortcut. I settled for Cmd-Shift-FullStop
  10. Find your zen like calm.

All things being well, when an email comes in that you need to deal with, the entire process should take no longer than 3 seconds.

A small note about contacts and groups

I periodically nip into “Contacts” to check up on email addresses added using the above method. I have an existing smart group that filters all contacts that aren’t already in a group, I then drag those contacts into a group called “Recruiters”. Whenever I need a job I bulk email all these contacts with a cheery email, a copy of my CV and an invitation to find me a good job.

Everyone is a winner, the recruiter gets what they need, I get what I need, nobody wastes any more time than they need to.

Thoughts? Improvements? Problems?

Let me know in the comments section below!