If you're a recruiter, chances are you're a people person. You love meeting new people and getting to know them. Working with others to help them find career or hiring success is what gets you out of bed every morning.
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But then there are those days when you can't even. Those days when every client is particularly needy and every candidate is seriously flaky can make even the best recruiters momentarily rethink their career choices. While it might not seem like it at the time, there are ways to survive these days.
Here are four recruiting tips to help you out on days when the stress is getting to be too much:
1. Go to Your Happy Place
Unexpected stress becomes exponentially worse when you're already burnt out. Being tired or stretched thin means even the littlest things get on your nerves. A major cause of burnout for employees – including recruiters – is not taking time to recharge. A 2016 study by Staples Business Advantage found that 28 percent of employees feel stressed because they don't take breaks throughout the day.
Find a place you can go whenever you're feeling particularly stressed out. It can be a nice shady tree outside the office, a coffee shop down the block, or even a quiet corner of the supply room. Just pick a place that makes you feel more relaxed and where you can spend a few moments without being interrupted by work.
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When you go to your happy place, push whatever is bothering you out of your mind. Instead, clear your mind in a way that feels natural to you. You can call a friend, count to 100, or watch cute puppy videos. Just find a distraction that will give your brain a few moments of non-work-related peace.
2. Remind Yourself of Your Successes
When things get tough, it's easy to forget about all the times in your career when you loved your job – but those moments can be powerful weapons to combat stress. Find ways to remind yourself of the good moments so they can keep you going when you feel like giving up.
Consider keeping thank-you notes from job seekers you've helped within eyesight of your desk. Another option is to print out job descriptions that were particularly hard to fill. Those reminders of your achievements can help you remember how great a job well done feels.
3. Find Ways to Laugh
Research suggests that laughter therapy can improve depression, anxiety, and stress in cancer patients. Imagine what a few belly laughs could do for you on a bad recruiting day!
For example, if an interview is feeling more like dental surgery than a conversation with a candidate, ease the tension with some humor. While it's never acceptable to laugh at a candidate, it's alright to laugh with them. Plus, it can greatly improve the overall candidate experience.
Try to keep a few jokes in the back of your mind. If you need to change the pace or tone of an interview, take a moment and say, "I can tell that you're nervous and this interview isn't as enjoyable as I like them to be for my candidates. How about we stop for a second so I can share this great joke I know?" After a good laugh, both you and the candidate will feel better.
4. Make Work-Life Balance a Priority
Nowadays, there are dozens of communication methods that connect employees to work. In some ways, that makes things easier, but in others, it makes it hard to separate work and play. In fact, a 2014 survey from Cornerstone OnDemand found that 26 percent of employees feel pressure to continue working outside of normal hours.
This is especially true for recruiters. Communicating with clients and candidates is a key part of the job. You need to be there to answer their questions or concerns – and many times their calls and emails won't stop at 5 PM. However, if you don't maintain some sense of work-life balance, it becomes impossible to escape the stress of a bad day.
Establish a set of rules for yourself that creates a boundary between your professional and personal lives. You might need to limit yourself to two email checks a night after clocking out or set aside one day a week when clients and candidates know not to expect a response from you. Go with what works for you and helps you manage stress.
Recruiting can be an exciting and rewarding career, but that doesn't mean every day is perfect. Hopefully these recruiting tips will help get you through the hard times!
How do you deal with stress? Share in the comments below!