Let’s be honest here, recruiter burnout is real. I’ll be the first to admit it.
And high-volume recruiting can be particularly draining. In my early career, I was tasked with hiring around 30 desktop engineers within a week. Booked for countless on-site interviews a day with just a 30-minute lunch, if that.
Needless to say, it was exhausting, but once the project was completed, I felt a huge sense of accomplishment. But even with its success, the model used was not sustainable.
Not every recruiting story ends in success. And with that, candidates, hiring managers and companies are going to have to change their plans, and it’s going to happen at the worst possible time. Hence the burnout.
So how the hell do you avoid recruiter burnout?
Accept What You Can Control And Influence
It’s completely normal to feel spread so thin. You could be or are likely wearing multiple hats, communication is probably all over the place and you may even need to scream into a nearby pillow. But before grabbing that pillow, take a pause.
Accept you’re not an all-powerful being, even if you’re tasked to be. And start to categorize what you can control and what you cannot. Things will start to become very clear as to who owns or should own what. And trust me, even though you may think it, it’s not all on you.
Start by creating a solid foundation with the hiring managers you support. Knowing what your manager needs and understanding what they need can be two different things. If the hiring manager knows you understand their needs, they will involve you earlier in conversations. Being involved earlier means getting ahead of changes that could be coming and being in control of the conversation. No need for the pillow.
It’s critical to have a relationship with every candidate you recruit, even with high-volume recruiting. You have to understand what motivates your candidates. Yes, money is a key component, but look past the money element (without completely dismissing it).
Think and ask the following:
- Why are you open to having this conversation with me today?
- What are you looking for in your next role?
- Are you looking to work in a specific vertical, team size, company size, etc.?
These questions may seem obvious but can influence the process, conversations and ultimately your relationships. Understanding what motivates your candidates can lead to more transparency and limit the chances of becoming blindsided by things that change for them throughout the recruiting and hiring process.
Focus On Your Professional Development
Another important tool to avoid burnout is to focus on your professional development. Aside from what many may think, professional development can be anything that makes you better at what you’re currently doing in your career. The best leaders I’ve worked for always made sure that I was focusing on my professional development. And the best leader for your life is you.
Set aside an hour or so a day to learn something new. Not sure where to begin? It helps to start somewhere you have a good foundation. For example, if you’ve done tech recruiting for your entire career and want to learn more about healthcare recruiting, that’s a manageable transition.
Personally, I love to look at Recruiting 101 videos. They’ll often give me a new perspective on how recruiting is changing or even remind me of basic things I haven’t thought about in a long time. Share the best videos you watch with your team or network, they’ll certainly appreciate it.
The Recruiting and Sourcing community has a ton of free events throughout the year and often they’re recorded in case you can’t attend them live.
Learn More About Your Company’s Products And Services
Dig deeper into your company’s products or services. Learning more about the company you work for is never a bad thing. It’s easy to assume you know all you need to after a couple of years working somewhere. But, things change quickly.
What products or services has your company added since you started? The last company I worked for had half a dozen or more product sets with many more features within those product sets.
Jump on Special Projects
Get involved with special projects. Look, I get it, who wants to volunteer for more work? You can either be part of creating something, or you can be part of adopting something later on.
When you’re involved on the ground floor, you can generate more influence on things at your organization in the future.
Fight for that seat at the table, and if you can’t get it, it might be time to look for a role where people appreciate your input more.
Dust Off Your Resume
Work on your resume. This may seem counterintuitive, but working on your resume will achieve a few things. It’ll show you how much you’ve learned or how little you’ve learned in your current role.
This task will help you reflect on how happy or unhappy you are and leave you better prepared in the event you’re laid off or decide that you’d like to look at other opportunities.
- Focus on the things you can control, and double down on offering value in your relationships.
- Make sure you’re doing something for your own professional development weekly.
- Dig deeper into your company’s products and services.
- Get involved with special projects at your company.
- Work on your resume.
- Bonus: Get more involved in the Recruiting and Sourcing community
You are not alone! And you’re definitely not the first to experience these challenges in recruiting. The best people in our industry are incredibly approachable and will happily connect with you, all you have to do is reach out. If anything, I love swapping recruiting war stories!
Dan Lockhart has over 15 years of experience in Talent Acquisition with an emphasis on technology and leadership. Dan has spent the last several years scaling hyper-growth pre-IPO companies.
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