How to Beat Recruiter Burnout
Author: Tess Joosse
Recruiter burnout – ways to enjoy your job and protect your health. The last few years have been hard on recruiters. The COVID-19 pandemic created a hiring whiplash and changed so much about life and work, and as a result, some recruiters have found themselves chronically stretched thin, exhausted, and unproductive: in other words, burned-out.
The World Health Organization defines burnout as a syndrome involving feeling depleted or exhausted, feeling distant from or negative about your job, and being less efficient or productive at work. While stress at work is unavoidable, chronic and prolonged stress can do damage to your health, happiness, and ability to be a great recruiter.
There’s some good news: if you’re feeling this way, you’re not alone, and there are ways to beat it. Here, we’ll dive into some ideas for combating and avoiding burnout as a recruiter.
Top Ways to Beat Recruiter Burnout
1. Evaluate your situation and set realistic goals and to-dos.
Think about what’s working about your situation, what isn’t, and what you can change. Do you feel like you can’t leave work at work? Does every day feel the same? Is your physical health suffering? Do you have too much to do each day? By taking stock and taking charge of what you can control, the stresses at work that are truly unavoidable and immovable will pack less of a punch on your wellbeing.
Set a daily work schedule and stick to it. Be candid with yourself and the companies and hiring managers you work with about what is a priority about how much you can fit into the day. Set goals that are specific, time-bound, and measurable. Communicate with your team about your situation and about what roles and projects are a priority.
2. Reduce exposure to stressors and set work boundaries.
Again, some stresses at work are unavoidable. But there are ways to mitigate, manage, and reduce your exposure to them. Consider setting brief breaks throughout the day to get up, walk around, drink a glass of water, and look away from screens for a few minutes at a time (cognitive studies have found that quick breaks like this actually boost focus). If you’re battling Zoom fatigue from endless days of interviews, consider setting a weekly “no meetings” block (for example, not scheduling Zoom calls on Wednesday afternoons).
Outside of the workday, can you set boundaries that help you disconnect? For example, commit to only answering emails between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Set notifications on your devices to not ping you when you’re off the clock. And if you have to work late one day, can you block out an extra hour the next morning for yourself?
Finally, consider taking time off. This might be hard due to the fast-moving demands of recruiting, but even a day or two spent away from work and with friends, family, or just with yourself can help you feel reenergized and refreshed.
3. Prioritize self-care.
Depending on who’s talking, the phrase “self-care” can mean anything from training for a marathon to binge-watching hours of TV. But truly taking care of yourself – getting good sleep, eating nutritious and filling meals, making time for activities and hobbies, and enjoying healthy social connections – is the key to staying well and maintaining resilience and energy.
What areas of your non-work life have you been neglecting, and what can you do to address them? It might help to start small and commit to incremental habitual actions, like being in bed at the same time every night, cooking a healthy meal every Sunday, or picking one day a week to go on a bike ride with a friend. Building yourself up on your off hours will help you regain energy for your work.
4. Focus on professional development and building your network.
Does your career feel stagnant, or does it feel like every workday is the same? Fresh new challenges and opportunities for professional growth can help you get back into the groove. Subscribe to industry publications, read blogs, listen to podcasts, watch videos, or take courses to build your skills.
Focus on expanding your network — it will get you in touch with new and interesting people and will make your job easier down the line. And if you have room on your plate, ask your manager for a short “stretch project” that gives you something new to do.
- 5 Ways to Avoid Recruiter Burnout
- Beating Burnout
- Many Recruiters Are on a Path to Burnout
- How Talent Leaders Can Address Recruiter Burnout
- Brief and rare mental “breaks” keep you focused: Deactivation and reactivation of task goals preempt vigilance decrements
- Burn-out an “occupational phenomenon”: International Classification of Diseases