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The Coronavirus pandemic has been a major disruptor for businesses, negatively impacting how most organizations operate. With nationwide shutdowns, businesses were forced to change their approach to fight this crisis and remain relevant. Work from home became the next best thing in order to make the most out of the current situation without jeopardizing operations.

It was supposed to be a temporary solution. However, it's hard to tell for how long companies will continue to follow this remote work approach or if they'll opt for a hybrid solution.

Since the pandemic started, 61% of recruiters have reported an increased stress level at work, with 19% of them signaling a drastic stress increase.

When we think of recruiter burnouts, so many factors are at play. We'll share some below:

  • the stress caused by the pandemic
  • the need to quickly adapt to working from home
  • the blurring lines between professional and personal life caused by the shift to remote work
  • the prolonged social isolation
  • the intensity of recruiting jobs, including potentially difficult partnerships with hiring managers
  • the threat of cuts to recruiting staff during the earlier stages of the Coronavirus crisis
  • the pressure the Great Rehire would put on Talent Acquisition professionals

With that being said, it isn't hard to imagine why recruiters burn out.

Understanding Recruiter Burnout and its Primary Triggers

Has your job started to feel mundane? See, burnout can be explained as a state of physical or emotional exhaustion that includes a loss of personal identity and involves a sense of reduced accomplishments. It's not comparable to the usual fatigue due to everyday workload; it goes well beyond your day-to-day work challenges, and it is amplified by a lack of work-life balance.

Recruiter burnout is a term used to define the state of exhaustion affecting recruiters and talent acquisition professionals. Numerous work-related challenges can cause recruiter burnout. It can also be induced when people feel that success is unattainable with the work they have been doing. We'll mention some of the primary causes of recruiter burnout below.

  • Lack of Resources

Most of the time, recruiters are overwhelmed with applicants and referrals. They don’t have adequate resources to respond to each one of them. Having minimal resources to do the job widens the gap between what one wants to do and what one can do when it comes to a Human Resources job.

  • Recruitment Process

Hiring fresh talent can be challenging and takes a relatively long time to evaluate a pool of candidates and find the best fit for the organization. As per research data, organizations lose 89% of potential candidates due to an extensive screening process.

  • Analysis Paralysis

When it comes to hiring a candidate, numerous data points are to be evaluated. A wide range of variables might influence the hiring decision based on the screening criteria. It gets quite difficult to find data from multiple sources and then make an analysis. Also, deciding after factoring in numerous metrics can be very tiring and might lead to wrong or confusing conclusions. This can lead to mental burnout.

Mainstream Burnout Symptoms

Some of the commonly observed recruiter burnout symptoms are as follows.

  • Exhaustion

 Exhaustion from work is one of the earliest signs of burnout for many recruiters. If you are frequently feeling emotional, mentally, and physically tired, the chances are that this is due to work-related burnout. Burnout at work statistics shows that 77% of employees have faced burnout at their current job. 

  • Cynicism and Pessimism

If you constantly feel demotivated and experiencing a sense of conflict at both work and home, it might be early signs of burnout. A negative outlook towards your career prospects and lack of patience might indicate burnout as well.

  • Reduced Productivity

Has it been challenging to accomplish the same task that was a piece of cake for you earlier? Are you not able to remain productive or focused at work for long? If you answered with a resounding yes, chances are that you are experiencing work-related burnout.

  • Feeling of Stagnation

How enthusiastic were you about your job when you first joined? Has that drastically changed, and now it feels mundane? Burnout can induce a feeling of stagnation at work. You might feel like your career is not that rewarding, and that you’re stuck.

Overcoming Recruiter Burnout

Tackling the feeling of burnout demands deep introspection into what exactly is inducing the burnout. You need to find your triggers, which are subjective and depend on multiple factors surrounding your job.

You need to leverage technology to reduce your work pressure and focus on crucial tasks at hand that need interference. You might be surprised to learn the findings of a recent study. It concluded that almost 45% of recruiters believe that AI and automation will improve their job roles. In fact, it will be a huge relief for recruiters to have the weight of manual work lifted and to see their job become more centered around intelligent decision-making instead. Let’s delve deeper to find out how to recover from burnout.

  • Setting Attainable Goals

It is good to be ambitious when it comes to your career, but one should always set attainable goals. Setting achievable goals boosts your confidence as you keep on achieving them. It also increases your enthusiasm, and you are more hopeful about your prospects.

  • Maintaining Work-life Balance

Work-life balance can feel like a myth to many people who usually face burnout. However, it is important to set boundaries for everything. You need to have a designated time for relaxation and cultivate a hobby outside your job.

  • Getting Adequate Sleep

The importance of getting adequate sleep is often underrated. As we expressed before, experiencing burnout leads to mental exhaustion. Sadly, as that happens, revenge bedtime procrastination comes into play. When people feel deprived of their personal life, a psychological mechanism takes place. It sees people steal back the time that was taken by their jobs. Naturally, this can make it harder to get the much-needed rest. It's something we should all pay attention to.


Burnout at work is a common phenomenon and people are so absorbed by their work that they don't take out the necessary time for introspection.

Exhaustion, cynicism, decrease in productivity, feeling of stagnation, and more, are commonly observed symptoms of burnout. Preventing recruiter burnout requires regular deep introspection and maintaining a healthy work-life balance.

To wrap it up, here's what Greg Savage's book The Savage Truth advises recruiters do to handle their stress and prevent burnouts: having a good cry, getting perspective to maintain a positive mental attitude, recognizing the warning signs, setting achievable goals, and making time for physical exercise.

Burnout's on your mind? We wrote an article on how you can prevent your future talent's remote work burnout 5 ways.

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