Search Consultants Identify Biggest Causes of Recruiter Burnout

Being a recruiter is not an easy job. It doesn’t matter if you’re an internal recruiter or corporate recruiter or a third-party search consultant. (Although for the purposes of this blog post, we’re going to focus on third-party agency recruiters. They do constitute the majority of our customers, after all.)

Anybody who has been a recruiter for a considerable length of time knows that although the profession can be quite rewarding in a number of different ways, it also contains plenty of complaints, problems, and pain. (Not physical pain, mind you, but there are probably more than a few recruiters in the world who would rather be punched in the face once than experience a fall-off.)

Problems + challenges = recruiter burnout

There are recruitment problems and recruitment challenges everywhere you look. And you usually don’t have to look very far. When those problems and challenges pile up over an extended period of time, you’re more susceptible to the effects of recruiter burnout.

Now, don’t get us wrong. Just because you’re exposed to the effects of recruiter burnout does NOT necessary mean that you are going to burn out. Many recruiters solve the problems and overcome the challenges that they’re presented with on a daily basis. They’re persistent. They persevere. However, that doesn’t mean it’s all sunshine and rainbows.

Also, it doesn’t matter the state of the economy and the employment marketplace. It could be a recovering economy or it could be a recessionary one. It could be a candidate-driven market or it could be an employer-driven market. Causes of recruiter stress and recruiter burnout exist in each economy and each market. Those causes are simply different, that’s all. And since the current economy is a good one and the current market is driven by candidates, we’re going to explore the causes associated with this economy and corresponding market.

With all of that in mind, we at Top Echelon recently conducted a survey of more than 20,000 recruitment professionals in the United States and Canada. We designed this survey to gauge the professionals’ opinions regarding a wide range of recruiting and hiring topics.

Pain + stress = recruiter burnout

One of those topics was that of pain and/or stress. In fact, we asked the following question in our survey (although it was more of a polite request than it was a question):

Please identify the three biggest pain points or sources of stress on your recruiting desk as you head into 2019.

As a general rule, our open-ended questions (or polite requests) usually elicit the most interesting responses. And as you can see below, we had plenty of interesting responses:

“There’s never enough time, candidates expect me to proactively market them, and clients ‘pausing’ search assignments.”

“Clients have absolutely no respect for a recruiter’s time. They call us or email us job openings and they say, ‘We have to hire yesterday.’ So you send them qualified candidates, and they take their sweet time getting back to you.”

“I am tired of companies with their own recruiters that have no interest in hearing about your candidate who would be a wonderful match and addition to their organization. They have no interest in building relationships with recruiters and have no sense of urgency to fill positions. I don’t understand how corporations allow these positions to go unfilled and give these HR people the power to enable this process to go on.”

“It’s harder to find enough quality candidates for marketing campaigns. Trying to choose which job orders to work on because everyone is looking and saying ‘No’ to good clients. And clients are not being realistic now that compensation is higher!”

Some survey participants felt compelled to leap right over their pain points and describe the steps they’re taking to address their pain.

“I am focusing on companies that align with my values and practice a sound hiring process. My goal is to decrease the number of clients, but increase placements based on a stronger relationship with each client.”

Lack of quality candidates, slow-moving clients, obstinate HR departments . . . there’s plenty of pain from which to choose for recruiters. Which means that there are plenty of causes of recruiter burnout to go around. Enough for everybody!

What’s readily apparent, though, is that recruiters are more than aware of what ails them. As a result, they’ve already taken steps to address these issues . . . or are in the process of addressing them. And of course, as everybody knows, “All growth is painful.” Or some such thing. It’s good for you, is what we’re trying to say.

Our State of the Recruiting Industry Report

As mentioned at the beginning of this blog post, we conduct a survey of more than 20,000 recruitment professionals in the United States and Canada. We turn the results of this survey into what we call The State of the Recruiting Industry Report. We’ve conducted this survey and published this report in each of the past four years.

Search consultants’ greatest sources of pain and biggest causes of recruiter burnout are just one part of Top Echelon’s 2019 State of the Recruiting Industry Report. This special report contains much more, including the following:

  • Recruiters’ top priorities for 2019
  • Most popular recruitment marketing strategies for search consultants
  • Recruiters’ biggest problems with clients
  • The top complaints clients have about candidates
  • Recruiters’ biggest problems with candidates
  • Where to advertise your jobs to reach the most candidates
  • What recruiters think about the future of the profession

Download the 2019 State of the Recruiting Industry Report!

And don’t forget, Top Echelon also offers one of the most affordable recruiting software packages on the market. The price is just $59.50 per user per month under the annual plan. Click here for a FREE 15-day trial of the software.

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