Avoiding the Burnout: Helping New Recruits Stay Enthusiastic

There's arguably nothing more rewarding as a recruiter than finding an employee that will be a perfect company fit. The energy and excitement that comes with a successful job offer and subsequent acceptance are thrilling, and the air is ripe with potential.

Unfortunately, it's all too common for that enthusiasm to quickly wane as the realities of the position set in. In fact, studies reveal that more than half of employees are burned out or feel overworked. Moreover, a staggering 70% of workers dream of taking on a different job or switching careers totally.

What does that mean for the recruiting department? How can we fill positions and keep them that way, full of engaged and satisfied team members? While it's impossible to guarantee that sort of longevity, there are a few steps we can put in place at the onset to reduce the potential of a setback.

Let's take a look.

1. Make sure the position requirements are clearly defined. Too often, employees begin a job thinking they're going to be responsible for a certain number or type of tasks, then are quickly overloaded with duties and expectations beyond their job description. A recent study by the Society for Human Resource Management found that six in 10 employees found their current job to be different from how it was laid out in the recruiting and interview process.

The main areas in which they felt they were misled? Employee morale, job responsibilities, and work hours.

As a recruiter, it's important to be as clear and transparent as possible during the interview and onboarding process. Even if it means letting an employee know that long hours will be expected during the annual busy season, or that the department he or she is entering has seen a lot of turnaround recently, these details must be discussed. It will save both you and the prospect time in the future if all red flags are mentioned up front and there are no big surprises.

2. Allow plenty of time for questions. Chances are, the prospect sitting across the conference table from you is full of questions. They might range from, "How much overtime will be required in this position?" to "Will I be able to take a lunch break?" and myriad inquiries in between. As a recruiter, it's helpful to make the interview process as conversational as possible. Rather than sit at the front and deliver a PowerPoint of what the job entails, then leaving only about a minute for outside discussion, be sure to integrate plenty of time in the review for the prospect to speak and clarify anything that needs to be discussed.

This is another way to make sure each person truly understands what the job entails and doesn't find him or herself sitting in the office a few months down the road, dumbfounded at the fact that their day-to-day duties are nothing like what was discussed during the "courting" period of recruitment.

3. Work closely with each department when filling a role. Sure, you can look at a job description on paper and read it aloud to a prospect. Yet, that person will be able to tell if you actually have no idea what the job will require. Before you hold any sort of recruitment activity, be sure to spend plenty of time speaking with the department you're hiring for. Learn as much as you can about the open position so you'll be well-equipped to speak on it and field any questions that might come your way.

It's also a good idea to have a few representatives from the department help create the job posting, participate in recruitment events, or even sit in on the initial interview. For instance, the Sales Manager should be as hands-on as possible in the recruitment process for a new sales hire. This way, there will always be a Subject Matter Expert (SME) on hand. This can prove especially helpful when a technical question arises, and this person will also be able to share with your prospect what the day-to-day environment and workload are really like.

A recent survey found that HR managers across the country blame employee burnout for up to half of their overall annual workforce turnover. Involving a departmental expert is one way to make sure that number is as low as possible.

Ultimately, it's our job to find and secure new talent for our companies. While this is an incredibly rewarding duty, it also comes with its fair share of challenges. Finding employees who are as passionate about their job in six months as they were when they first signed those contract papers is one of them. With a little forethought and planning, we can find those perfect fits and cultivate them across the board. Burnout is a very real and difficult issue to navigate, but it's not impossible to surpass. Let's work together to strengthen prospect/recruiter communication and make sure everyone who enters into a role is ready -- and happy -- to be there.

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Comment by Beth Hudson on December 27, 2017 at 10:04pm

So true - great hiring doesn't stop when you make the placement. Remote work also can help with burnout, providing a better work/life balance, but make sure you hire the right people that won't overwork! Here's a guideline for that: http://recruit.ee/bl-remote-hiring-eb-bh

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