Everything You Need to Know About Recruiter Burnout

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The stress of recruiting talent amidst the current pandemic and a highly competitive talent market continues to take its toll and has resulted in mass burnout amongst recruiters. 

Recruiter burnout, as it has been labeled, describes the exhaustion affecting recruiters because of many difficulties they face in the workplace and is only intensified when you feel unsuccessful with your work. There are many reasons for it which have been exacerbated by the effects of covid. These include the isolation caused by WFH policies, the stresses from the Great Resignation, pandemic-related layoffs, the Great Rehire, and intense demands from hiring teams. 

Burnout can be further intensified by organizational problems within the business, such as broken recruitment practices (89% of businesses lose the best talent due to disordered processes), analysis paralysis (not having enough of the correct data), or lacking hiring resources. 

There are many symptoms of recruiter burnout, including some invisible ones which make them easy to ignore; however, they can often be recognised in a recruiter’s work. They include mental, emotional, and physical exhaustion, a pessimistic attitude to the work at hand, and a decrease in motivation to achieve goals and focus on tasks. As a hiring manager, it is therefore important to focus on your recruiters’ work ethic, attitude, and how productive they are at their job, which could aid you in recognizing the struggles of burnout. 

The visible symptoms, however, are easier to spot, especially regarding a recruiter’s work performance- absenteeism is one very visible sign. This can be provoked by some other symptoms, including mood swings, hypertension, a lack of exercise, and health issues such as headaches and insomnia. These should be easier symptoms to spot through employees’ unusually high number of sick days or by the admittance of their physical symptoms. 

Burnout comes in many forms; thus, the same signs may not be found in different recruiters. In fact, there are three different forms of burnout to look out for: 

  1. Frenetic burnout — happens when the rewards of a job are outweighed by the energy and time put in. 
  2. Under-challenged burnout — happens when the role is repetitive or unchallenging and leads to lower motivation, productivity, and mood. 
  3. Worn-out burnout — happens if one gives up when their work environment is constantly taxing. This, along with frenetic burnout, is the most common amongst recruiters. 

Reducing burnout improves the wellbeing of employees, and there are many ways it can be reduced: 

– 45% of recruiters believe automation would improve their jobs, as well as up-to-date ATS, and therefore condense burnout. 

– Focusing on setting SMART goals for recruiters would make the job always feel within reach, instead of getting exhausted by impossible goals. SMART goals stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound; thus, they concentrate on what is realistically achievable on the job. 

– For hiring managers, encouraging a work-life balance is vital to ensure recruiters look after themselves, their wellbeing is prioritized, and they feel comfortable setting boundaries. 

– Providing a tech stack that gives recruiters the resources needed can help reduce burnout; for example, if there is a struggle to recruit diversely, a DEI tech stack could be the answer. 

– Having a development plan there could actively engage recruiters and make them feel motivated to succeed. 

– Give the option of hybrid working; if a recruiter is experiencing burnout, a change of pace can help alleviate stress or a lack of productivity at work. 

Therefore, knowing both the signs of burnout and how to help recruiters overcome it would lead to a healthier workplace.