Ian Millman | Burnout Blog

Recruitment is a special kind of career. You find yourself between a lot of places – between the teams and the talent, between home and away, or between two candidates. It’s a role that can provide a lot of second-hand stress in addition to the first hand experience of high expectations for your own work. This career is incredibly rewarding, but it is also uniquely susceptible to burnout.

The recruiting process is extremely repetitive. You have many of the same conversations every day, working with the same people, often in the same places you’ve been to before – even multiple times a year. 

Burnout is more than just a feeling – it’s a state of fatigue, boredom, and dissatisfaction. Psychology Today describes it as a “state of emotional, mental, and often physical exhaustion brought on by prolonged or repeated stress.” Burnout is especially difficult to deal with in cases where you aren’t in control of your outcomes – and recruiters understand this feeling more than most. We have no guarantee that we can find a talent, and no guarantee that any talent we do find will want to fill a role, and no guarantee that they will stay in that role – it’s exhausting to worry about the what-ifs that go alongside this job.

And as many recruitment experts are independent, it’s not uncommon for us to lack the support that could otherwise help stave off these feelings of hopelessness. But burnout is easier to prevent than it is to recover from – try these tips out to keep from falling too deeply into it.

  • Draw Work-Life Boundaries – When you’re at home, be at home. Don’t take work home with you. It’s easy to think “Oh, I’ll just bring a few files home and prepare for tomorrow” and then suddenly have a home office that spreads throughout the house.
  • Take Breaks – If you’re working all day at a hiring fair, or on-site talking with perspectives, it can be hard to cut away and take a breather, but even just  a simple 5-minute break can help prevent completely draining yourself.
  • Take On a New Hobby – Self-care is at the heart of preventing burnout, and a big part of self-care is finding the time for things that you enjoy. This goes along with the work-life balance, but make sure it’s a time where you can forget work exists and be there for yourself.
  • Don’t Overwork Yourself – Recruiting often finds itself as a role where you’ll be working 12-hour days one week, then half as much the next. Make the most of those off-season days and make sure you don’t overwhelm yourself at the peak of your cycles.

Ultimately, you need to be in touch with your emotional state as you progress throughout your day and understand that the issues you face aren’t unique. You’re not alone in these feelings of hopelessness.