5 steps to avoid recruiter burnout during the Great Resignation

Last updated:
May 3, 2022
May 6, 2022
min read
Jori Hamilton
recruiters and HR professionals burnout
Table of contents

The Great Resignation is in full swing. This is an era in which HR teams have to be uniquely committed to employee retention to avoid massive costs and workflow disruptions for your business. This often means working harder as a recruiter or HR professional.

However, denser workloads are one of the prominent contributing factors to burnout for 67% of business development workers. Recruiters and hiring managers aren’t exempt from experiencing this burnout themselves.

Facing high rates of employee turnover, recruiters are often finding themselves in tricky positions. In turn, the threat of recruiter burnout increases. Fortunately, you can avoid burnout and create a better working environment for your team with a greater understanding of the situation.

What is the Great Resignation?

The Great Resignation has been defined by the rising rates of workers leaving their jobs. Occurring in tandem with the COVID-19 pandemic, this era has seen a 20% rise in average resignation rates among employees aged 30 to 45. Mid-level employees in particular are seeking greater respect and better opportunities, leaving 10.9 million jobs unfilled at the peak of these resignation trends. 

No longer will overwork or unethical practices be tolerated by employees to any degree. Companies have to ensure that they are creating positive working environments if they hope to retain talent.

As a result, recruiters have to work harder to cultivate scenarios that will attract talent, and ensure a great candidate experience while meeting business needs.

How is the Great Resignation affecting recruiters?

Hiring managers are finding circumstances difficult during the Great Resignation. Companies have cut costs, shifted practices, and struggled with both inflation and supply chain challenges. As a result, more pressure gets put on recruiters without the corresponding resources to meet business goals. 

During the height of the pandemic and Great Resignation, 61% of recruiters reported higher stress levels, and 19% reported drastic increases in stress. These high levels of stress can lead to employee burnout, which, in turn, leads to higher levels of employee turnover. 

As employees, recruiters face the same challenges and more. Since every resignation becomes another job to fill, the workload can stack up. Burnout can affect your health, showing up as chronic symptoms like:

  • Headaches 
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Hypertension
  • Low energy
  • Mood swings

These symptoms then factor into higher rates of absenteeism, impacted productivity, and lost business revenue. This makes avoiding burnout essential.

How to avoid burnout as a recruiter

Unfortunately, you may have a hard time avoiding burnout as a recruiter. After all, you’ll have to make hiring attractive again at a time when workers are seeking out more flexible and independent jobs. Even going away on a vacation might not solve your problems, with post-vacation blues potentially playing into existing burnout conditions. 

Instead, recruiters need to follow a set of best practices for managing work with physical and mental health. The following are tips for doing just that as you avoid burnout.

1. Define clear, workable goals.

Avoiding burnout starts with setting measurable and achievable goals for yourself. Often, this will require communicating with management about the realities of the situation.

As Maciek Kubiak, the Head of People at PhotoAiD states:

Our top priority during the Great Resignation was to make sure our employees felt well and had everything they could need. What I needed from my bosses was to share my enthusiasm for building the best possible work environment. Building a work environment starts from the top down, so the openness to the needs of employees has to come from our leaders. 
Maciek Kubiak
Head of People | PhotoAID

With seven in ten HR professionals citing recent years as some of the most difficult in their career, there needs to be a reassessment of workloads and functionality.

Start with goals that are obtainable according to your hiring data and budget. This will vary depending on your company and unique circumstances, but each goal should focus on time-sensitive objectives with results you can measure. 

2. Assemble helpful tools and technologies.

Fortunately, technology is here to help as recruiters might sometimes deal with a lack of resources. From workflows to office conditions, you can support your own comfort as a hiring manager with the help of tools and software. For instance, 78% of companies say that using an Application Tracking System (ATS) makes hiring easier. 

Then, there are the little things you can do to enhance your comfort on the job and decrease stress. Poor air quality, for example, can contribute to burnout symptoms like headaches and fatigue. Whether you work in-office or from home, devices like air purifiers are means to improve your health and well-being. 

3. Communicate the importance of work-life balance. 

Work-life balance is another essential part of avoiding burnout. Not only should it be considered in post-pandemic recruiting practices but in your role as a recruiter as well. To achieve this, the importance of this balance must be communicated company-wide.

Recruiters can play a unique role in facilitating work policies, benefits, and employee programs that lend to a well-balanced life. This means spreading the data and messaging regarding the benefits of a healthy workflow throughout your organization.

4. Support remote and hybrid work options.

Flexible work options are part of a healthy balance. The pandemic changed circumstances for many of us, forcing us to adapt how we manage childcare, working hours, commutes, and more. Remote and hybrid work for recruiters, as well as new hires, help us fulfill our needs in the Great Resignation era. 

To secure these flexible policies for yourself, highlight the benefits to management and build actionable plans for maintaining these policies. 

5. Prioritize your physical and mental health.

Finally, don’t neglect your physical and mental health. Recruiting positions can be highly stressful, making it especially important that you eat a healthy diet and get a good night’s sleep. When we fail to do these things, we have less energy and mental capacity to manage the work we need to do. 

Start by striving for a balanced diet, consisting of all five food groups in healthy serving sizes. Then prioritize physical exercise and a good night’s sleep. If you’re having trouble sleeping, you’re not alone. 35% of Americans have difficulty sleeping, but with a few helpful strategies, you can get your much-needed 7-9 hours a night.

These tips and strategies are just a starting point for avoiding burnout and won’t help if on-the-job circumstances are creating overwhelming stressors. If you’re working in a toxic environment, for instance, you may need to seek out a better working environment yourself. 

That said, you can make a real difference in workplace conditions as a recruitment professional.

Employee retention starts with you

Set a precedent for healthy working environments by supporting all the features employees need to avoid burnout. From flexible work policies to healthy dieting information, HR teams should acquire and promote resources to support workers. Then, you too can partake in a more comfortable, stress-free environment. 

Explore the role of recruiter burnout during the Great Resignation, then take the steps to make a difference. Employee retention starts with you, so make a difference with these actionable strategies for avoiding burnout in the workplace.

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