The global pandemic and resulting economic disruption have had an unprecedented impact on the talent market. Individuals around the world are reevaluating what work means to them, why wellbeing matters, and how they can create a career they’re fulfilled by. As a result, there's been a 20% rise in average resignation rates among employees aged 30 to 45—and it’s left recruiters scrambling to fill open roles.
This increase in employee turnover and the demand from organizations who still have business objectives to deliver is adding significant pressure to recruiters. According to SHRM, 61% of recruiters reported higher stress levels onset by the pandemic. And as the Great Resignation continues to stretch on, recruiters face growing demands to source new talent and create positive work environments—a perfect storm for recruiter burnout.
What is Recruiter Burnout?
Burnout is one of the most common challenges in the workplace today, with over 77% of individuals recently surveyed in the US experiencing burnout in their current job.
Recruiter burnout is a term used to describe the mental and physical impact recruiters and talent acquisition professionals experience as a result of unsustainable levels of pressure and demand to fill open roles in an organization. It follows the form of typical employee burnout, which can be defined as a psychological state where an employee feels completely overwhelmed due to prolonged periods of workplace stress.
Symptoms of recruiter burnout can include depression, stress, fatigue, and disinterest in work. It was previously assumed that if someone loved their job, they would be less likely to experience burnout. However, even recruiters who are passionate about their work are finding that the pressure placed upon them is having an adverse effect.
What is Causing Recruiter Burnout?
There are many factors that are contributing to recruiter burnout. One of the most significant is the issue of employee turnover, and the volume of candidates that recruiters are having to sift through.
Depending on the type of role and organization, it's not uncommon for over 250 applicants to apply for the same job opening. Recruiters are dealing with information overload and the pressure to keep track of all applicants as they progress through the pipeline.
Despite the volume of potential candidates, sourcing qualified talent is a top challenge for recruiters and organizations. In fact, 92% of UK firms surveyed by Remote reported they’ve struggled to fill job roles. It's critical that organizations select employees who are closely aligned with their goals and values in order to maintain high levels of performance and retention.
Today’s recruiter needs to be able to quickly evaluate applicants and select those who have the right skills, characteristics, and motivators to become not only good team members, but possible future leaders.
A Quickly Shifting Skills Economy Makes the Recruiter Role More Challenging
Recruiters are expected to be experts on the skills and traits that should be prioritized for every open position. This is especially challenging as the rapid pace of technology is shifting the skills economy. Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends Report reveals 53% of respondents think that 50-100% of employees will need to change their skills and capabilities in the next three years.
Organizations are struggling to identify, map, and bridge the skills gap. Meanwhile, recruiters are tasked with the enormous responsibility of finding candidates with the right skills to lead their organizations into the future.
This requires recruiters to be effective communicators who can collaborate with hiring managers and juggle multiple priorities at the same time. There’s constant pressure for recruiters to be ‘always on’ and able to demonstrate a sound knowledge of the market and the roles they’re looking to fill.
Another demand on overstretched recruiters is the need to answer candidates' questions and ensure they have an overall positive experience. With a survey from Sterling revealing that 78% of applicants would drop out of the recruitment process if it was too long or complicated, there’s a pressure to maintain quality applicant screening while keeping the process streamlined.
4 Future-Forward Hiring Tactics to Prevent Recruiter Burnout
All of the above along with a backdrop of remote working and a blurring of home-work-life boundaries means recruiter burnout is a very realistic outcome. But there are positive steps that can be implemented to help prevent burnout and ensure your recruiters have the resources and support they need.
1. Make the switch to skills-based hiring
An increasing number of organizations are adopting the practice of skills-based hiring, placing an emphasis on verified skills and competencies, rather than education requirements or previous work experience. The move echoes the increased demand for employers to focus on upskilling and reskilling employees to keep pace with an evolving future.
Research has shown that skills-based organizations are 107% more likely to place talent effectively—because candidates are selected based on their actual skills and potential rather than previous experience alone. Skills-based hiring also enables you to reduce bias in the hiring process by creating a more diverse candidate pool and removing barriers—improving DEI initiatives and overall business outcomes.
2. Improve efficiency by writing skills-based job descriptions
Today, recruiters can’t afford to waste any time attracting candidates who aren’t qualified for the positions they’re looking to fill. Recruiters should work with hiring managers and other stakeholders to gain a clear picture of the skills necessary for high performance in a particular role, and use that information to write skills-based job descriptions.
It’s also helpful for recruiters to talk to top performers and managers for their insight into what an ideal candidate profile should include. By focusing upfront on the hard and soft skills a candidate will need to succeed, recruiters can save time in the initial hiring process by only moving the best-matched applicants forward. And they will also save time in the longer term, by making stronger hires and avoiding the need to constantly refill positions.
3. Leverage compliant AI hiring technology
Future-proofing your recruitment process by leveraging a range of technology-based tools can help protect recruiters from ‘information overload’. Sourcing and sifting through a large volume of candidates takes time and resources, but by using tech tools such as Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) you can streamline your recruitment process. Most companies are aware that HR tech tools make hiring faster and easier, with 99% of the Fortune 500 using ATS to filter resumes.
It’s critical, however, that your organization is aware of the technology that powers your HR tech tools, from both an ethics and compliance perspective. Do your hiring tools use transparent AI? Can your recruiters explain how your algorithms came to their decisions?
In order for hiring technology to make your recruiting process more effective and efficient—instead of adding additional stress to recruiters—be sure the tools are compliant with all regulations.
AI powered hiring tools such as Talent Match use explainable algorithms to put skills and verifiable credentials at the forefront of sourcing candidates—instead of outdated proxies—to adhere to regulations, reduce bias, and help you make the best hiring decisions for your organization.
4. Use scientifically validated assessments to predict performance
Recruiters are acutely aware of how much the cost of a bad hire can be—not only in monetary terms, but also in wasted time and effort. Doing everything possible to assess candidates and avoid hiring mistakes is important in preventing recruiter burnout.
By using pre-hire assessments, recruiters can strengthen their decision-making process by objectively measuring candidates’ aptitude and suitability for a job role, as well as providing an indication of their general ability.
Research shows that organizations can predict over 70% of performance by using the right psychometric pre-hire assessments. TalentLens offers an easy-to-use platform built on a robust library of scientifically validated hiring assessments, such as the Watson Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal, Differential Aptitude Test—Next Generation, Work Style Lens, and many others.
By using pre-hire assessments in the hiring process, recruiters can gain insights into aptitude, skills, personality, and motivation of candidates to get the clearest possible picture of a person’s current and future potential.
Put Future-Forward Hiring Tactics in Place with Intelligent Recruiting Solutions
With a fast-changing workforce and economic climate, recruiter burnout can be a challenge for many organizations. But by utilizing a range of hiring techniques and technology, it’s possible to put steps in place to reduce pressure and protect your recruitment teams—all while improving your overall hiring success.
Schedule a demo to learn more about Talent Match and TalentLens and see the power of hiring technology in action.