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Top Tips for Managing Stress in Recruitment



Download our infographic on how to manage stress here

We all suffer from stress on some level, but how you cope, the tools you use and how you bounce back from a stress trigger can make all the difference.

Stress impacts you, your colleagues and more importantly those you love.

We owe it to ourselves, to those we love and to our pocket to reduce stress.

How do you manage stress in the recruiter workplace?

Some say that to be a great recruiter you’ll need all the skills of a Social Worker, Forensic Detective, Lawyer, Sales Guru, Mentor, Finance God, Copywriter, Administrator and the ability to wrap those skills up in smart attire and a ‘nice person’ outer layer. It’s a tough job, and recruiters are not given the credit they deserve (see my ‘recruiter bashing’ post).

Add the ‘No win, no fee’ business model to the mix and it’s no surprise that recruitment can be stressful at times – and so managing stress is a skill worth acquiring.

Maybe you’re a:

• Screamer and shouter?
• Pretender – “No, I’m fine, honestly”
• Gym Rat/Punchbag hater? – “That punchbag is gunna get it!”
• Drinker?
• Smoker or vaper?
• Blamer – ‘It’s not my fault!’
• Sickie Master/Jeremy Kyle lover?

Maybe all the above?

These are not symptoms of being a recruiter. They’re symptoms of stress!

 How you may feel emotionally:

• overwhelmed
• irritable and “wound up”
• anxious or fearful
• lacking in self-esteem

How you may feel mentally:

• racing thoughts
• constant worrying
• difficulty concentrating
• difficulty making decisions

How you may feel physically:

• headaches
• muscle tension or pain
• dizziness
• sleep problems
• feeling tired all the time
• eating too much or too little

How you may behave:

• drinking or smoking more
• snapping at people
• avoiding things or people you are having problems with

Even dermatological disorders can often be traced back to stress…

Crikey! Recruitment can be hard enough without adding any of the above to your day.

Why not try and implement some of the below in to your recruiter day?

Relax (don’t laugh!):

• Try meditation (my favourite)
• Try deep breathing (not down the phone!)
• Stretch it out – whilst making the tea even?
• Do you have a workplace shower? – use it!
• Get a massage!

Slow down (or do it right first time):

• Prepare for big events
• Take time off
• Take a step back to plan the bigger tasks
• Don’t rush – give yourself a chance

Take control:

• Plan your calls, meetings and travel properly – (Get a decent CRM?)
• Automate the mundane tasks, so they can be done with minimal effort
• Document your work processes so you can delegate them to colleagues

Celebrate your successes:

• Don’t just focus on what goes wrong – celebrate the small things!
• Find a positive in every situation
• Visualise what you’re good at – implement a visual analytics tool like Microsofts PowerBI – it’s free with Office 365!
• Let people see what success looks like – Ring a Deal Bell, do a round of High-5’s – LET’S SEE THOSE SMILES!
• Arrange regular work socials – It shouldn’t all be work, work work!

Plan your downtime:

• You should be able to step away occasionally and relax fully
• Learn to let go – ‘You can’t be an expert in everything’

Regular breaks:

• Take a lunch everyday – people will respect you for it
• Move near a window if you can
• Get a pot plant – and look after it!
• Office dog a step too far?
• Get into nature at lunchtime – a walk can work wonders!

Technical solutions to reducing stress:

• Disconnect from Outlook during key sales times – you don’t need the distractions
• Use Outlook and Meeting invites to streamline your day
• Confirm all face to face meetings the day before (your CRM should allow this)
• Avoid duplication – get a recruitment ‘platform’, not another database

Ask for help:

• Talk about your problems
• Recognise that asking for help is not a weakness – it’s a strength.

Get healthy on a personal level:

• Eat well
• Sleep well
• Get fit

And finally,

Go easy on yourself.

Despite the proximity to potentially stressful situations, recruitment can be a hugely rewarding career.

Addressing how you react to stress triggers in the office will make all the difference.

You don’t just owe it to your boss to help reduce stress in the office, but to yourself and your family too.

Paul Thompson supports recruiters in the UK and overseas by helping them get the most from their time and effort, and occasionally this includes his tips on how to reduce stress in the recruiter office. Paul works for









Voyager Infinity and Voyager Mid-Office are software solutions that make Recruiters’ lives easier. Voyager Infinity is a CRM used by thousands of recruiters globally to source, nurture and maintain the relationships with their clients and candidates, and Mid-Office manages the entire Pay and Bill process (IR35 ready).