A Recruiter’s Stress Reduction Program

Got stress?

Just before we head out for the long Memorial Day weekend, let’s review how stress can be the silent killer of retention in your recruiting department.

Think “silent killer” is being a bit dramatic?

Recruitment analyst Peter Weddle doesn’t think so, coining stress “the silent killer” because he thinks no one is paying much attention to how stress breaks down an otherwise healthy staff.

In Watson Wyatt’s 2007/2008 Global Strategic Rewards report, 40% of employees cited stress as the number-one reason for leaving their last employer. But when asked why their employees jumped ship, the bosses ranked stress at number five.

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Be Resilient

Weddle encourages adopting a slower pace to embark on a recruiter’s stress reduction program:

  • Step 1: Conduct a test among your recruiting team. This blind survey can pinpoint what’s currently causing any pressure or anxiety, and nothing should be off limits. Weddle says the goal is to identify the fixable sources of stress within your organization. Weddle acknowledges that the team will likely complain about leadership, culture, or compensation policies, but you should really determine the growing irritants that collectively shadow a recruiter’s perceived ability to succeed on-the-job. Some worries, for example, are unrealistic workloads, insufficient training, unpleasant work environment, or unrealistic schedules.
  • Step: 2: Identify any “stress-reduction resources” you could use. For example, a nonconventional resource might be found within your own staffing group. During a budget crunch, it might leave some open time on someone else’s schedule. Voila! That’s recruiter talent that’s normally committed elsewhere. Also look for things outside of the staffing group. For example, Weddle suggests that a reduction in workload in the finance department may enable someone on that staff to invest some time in tutoring recruiters on building the business case for corporate investments.
  • Step 3: Allocate the resources you have to address the sources of stress that you’ve identified. After you’ve determined what stresses you out and what resources, if any, could help, build and prioritize a list of specific stress-reduction actions. Then brief the entire recruiting team on your plan, and finally, execute the steps to help lower stress for you and your team.

Stress is a state of mind, sure, but these tips can help you keep the right frame of mind all year long. At the very least, maybe these tips will help you rest better this long holiday weekend and return to work on Tuesday significantly refreshed!

Elaine Rigoli has nearly 15 years of experience managing content and community for various B2B and consumer websites. Elaine has written thousands of business and technology articles and has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal and eWeek, among other publications.


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