I often get asked why recruiting leaders have the most stressful job. Businesses have become acutely aware of the importance of talent acquisition and retention since the pandemic and its friends inflation, talent shortage and the Great Reshuffle. While the attention has been great for the function, I talk a number of fellow talent leaders who reached the fever pitch level of stress about 18 months ago. I wish I could say it’s leveled out but it seems this has become the new normal for those of us in Talent Leadership.
Why is the job so much more stressful? Here are four insights driving the stress and blood pressure level of your Talent Director.
Todays skills gap is now estimated at 40 million qualified workers, according to US labor statistics, projected to be more than 85 million by 2030, if trends hold. According to the McKinsey & Company survey, more than 44% of high-profile organizations expect significant talent gaps over the next five years. The vast majority of companies globally (87%) are aware they have either an existing skills gap or one will develop within the next several years, according to McKinsey & Company.
Not only are recruiting leaders trying to keep up with the rising demand for talent and surging number of requisitions, they are also facing more competition in the market for the limited talent interested in making a move at the moment. While the labor force seems to show signs of becoming more engaged and actively looking, rumors of a pending recession has begun to chip away at this confidence and causing many to choose staying put versus taking on a new role.
If you wonder why recruiting leaders have the most stressful job, think about how hard it is to keep recruiters!
At one point late 2021, there were 13 recruiter openings for each 1 recruiter in the United States. Recruiters who once were forced to “grin and bear” frustrations now have more options to consider which usually include a sizable increase in total compensation. Recruiting Leaders have been forced to stay closer to their recruiting teams to maintain retention in the midst of fighting a major battle for talent externally.
One organization lost 11 recruiters out of their 20 member team in less than six months. Most recruiters sought new opportunities to not only increase pay but find a more inclusive and productive environment. Organizations and Talent Leaders who do not recognize the importance of providing the needed support for their talent team will continue to struggle with recruiter retention.
Lack of Technology
Most Talent Organizations view technology as a spend versus an investment. The rate of advances in recruiting technology over the last four years is just short of mind-blowing but unfortunately, only the top 10% of talent organizations embrace and spend on such solutions. If you really want to drive efficiency, why wouldn’t you want to have AI or other tech to handle some of the mundane processes so your recruiters can focus more on the human elements of the process?
When exploring possible tech solutions, I always look for and stress the efficiencies gained by such a solution. If I want to implement an AI to help engage candidates and move them through the process, I need to measure the amount of time recruiters would have back to dedicate to engaging hiring managers or further evaluating top talent in the industry. This is a soft costs but if unmeasured, will further the notion that you’re “spending” money versus “investing” in your talent process.
I can’t think of any organization that has the spending capacity of Tesla in the recruiting space but we all can take small steps to update our processes from the early 2000s with the right investment in technology.
Lack of Focus
When working through the Sprint Recruiting methodology, the one benefit I kept noticing was the added focus the team and I had on key roles. Rather than simply chasing fires, we began evolving to become more deliberate and tactical in our recruiting efforts. Our time to fill decreased as we began focusing on a limited number of key roles to “move the needle”.
I began taking this notion of focus into my personal life as well. I have been using the time blocking method discussed in numerous books to chart my week. I’ve reintroduced ToDoist in my routine to help dump those pesky items that come to mind so I can keep my focus and still remain productive. At the end of the week, I’ve begun leveraging a weekly review to help me do a brain dump of everything that went well that week so I can find ways to scale these practices going forward. I also spend some time identifying what didn’t work so I can create a plan to avoid these pitfalls the following week.
With only a minor tweak or two, I have been able to cut down on the noise of life and focus. Not only have I seen an increase in productivity but I have also experienced a decline in mental exhaustion at the end of the day.
These are just a few reasons why recruiting leaders have the most stressful job. Be sure to give your Talent Leaders a little bit of love right now. Take some time to explore each of these topics with your Talent team to better understand how you can support them during this turbulent talent market.
If you would like to learn how I overcome these dysfunction and keep my sanity as a recruiting leader, check out my Leaders Playbook. It’ll provide you tips, tricks, advice and templates. Click here to get started.
and Sprint Recruiting
I joined the HR industry in 2004 after working as a sales leader in the Financial Services Industry for eight years. After spending his first couple of years in HR trying to fit in, I found my voice. Now I leverage all of the things I once hated about HR to become a consultant and invaluable partner to the businesses I support. I contribute to the HRGazzette and to DataDrivenInvestor on Medium. WARNING: my writing style is raw and in your face, not what you would expect from an HR executive.
If you would like to learn more about Sprint Recruiting, Click here to join our mailing list.
I also have a resource center providing helpful templates, dashboards and other material related to Sprint Recruiting.