September 8, 2020

How to Avoid Recruiter Burnout

Recruiting—a job with so much reward, but with much potential for stress.

Recruiting—a job with so much reward, but with much potential for stress.  Most recruiters I know, including myself, have a very hard time “turning work off” and creating true, work-life balance.  When your income is driven by commissions and/or your time is managed by clients and candidates, it can become very challenging to set boundaries for yourself, but you must!  If you don’t, you’ll burn out fast.  Here are my strategies for avoiding recruiter burnout:


1. Pretend the office door is a car wash.

One of the best things my manager ever told me was to pretend the office door was a car wash. It may sound silly, but when you envision the stresses and problems of the day being washed away as you walk away from your computer or walk out of the office, it can be refreshing!  Putting this way of thinking into practice allows you to focus on the other areas of your life—the areas I believe, are more important than your work.  Giving yourself the time and energy to focus on your health and well-being, your relationships and the hobbies you enjoy, will give you the energy you need to come back the next day ready to tackle the problems and stress you left behind.


2. Mix it up, and make it fun!

Some of the most memorable and fun moments I’ve had in my 11 years as a recruiter have been when I take time to walk away from my required tasks and find something else to focus on.

Pre-COVID, I enjoyed walking over to a co-worker just to chat and see how they were doing or taking walks around the building with co-workers to stretch my legs and talk.  Often, I’ve enjoyed focusing time on other activities such as planning team events or contests.  In our current COVID environment, it’s been fun to video chat with co-workers just to catch up, to take walks around the neighborhood, or to take short breaks to play with my kids.  If you work independently, I recommend calling a friend or family member, or taking a walk around the neighborhood.

It’s so important to break up your day and find things you enjoy outside of recruiting to give your mind a break, especially when we have those frustrating moments when a candidate cancels their interview or turns down a job.  Walking away from taxing situations for a while not only allows you to lower your stress levels, which we all know is beneficial for our health, but engaging with others as a way to decompress can also give you an opportunity to make lasting friendships and to make use of other talents you have to offer. 


3. Take Time Off.

With a high-stress, time-sensitive job like recruiting, taking time off can be difficult to justify. However, research shows productivity improves when you take time to recharge.  Furthermore, 75 percent of HR professionals report employees who take most or all of their PTO time, tend to perform at a higher rate than those who don’t, according to a SHRM study.

Schedule vacations.  When you have them on the calendar, you have something to look forward to, and it forces you to get away. When you take a vacation, actually take the vacation! Do not bring work with you.  It will all be there when you get back.  Give your mind and body time to unwind so you can get back to work refreshed.  It will be well worth it!

I hope you found some of my tips useful!  What are some things you do to avoid recruiter burnout? 

Tags: recruiting, recruitment, culture

Kat Hudson

Kat Hudson is a recruiter with Taylor Strategy Partners on the Clinical Search team.

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