What changes do recruiters want: analyzing the research results

It turns out that more than 36% of recruiters experience stress at work. Approximately the same number is thinking about changing their jobs. This data is contained in the study “Mental Health of Ukrainian Recruiters 2023” conducted by the CleverStaff team. The research results were analyzed by the Human resources specialists. What conclusions did they make and how can they be used today?

The research (May-June 2023) involved 272 specialists. The vast majority (91%) were women aged 25-50+ years. The specialists were distributed in the following areas of activity:

  • 58% – line recruiters, sourcers;
  • 18% – HR specialists;
  • 24% – Recruiting Team Lead, HRD, Heads of HR departments and others.

What facts were established?

Work in figures

The survey established that 51% of recruiters and HR managers work in a standard format – 40 hours, 5 days a week. 28% work overtime on a regular basis.

More than half of the specialists – 53% – manage to fill up to 3 vacancies per month, the rest are divided as follows: 19% – from 3 to 5 vacancies; 13% – from 5 to 10; 6.5% – more than 10 vacancies per month; 8.5% – are not engaged in hiring.

How many hours per week do you spend on average at work? [/caption]

And now, let’s discuss the maximum workload on the example of interviews. For 37% of respondents, this is a total of 5 interviews with candidates per day. For 19% – 8 interviews, for 17.5% – a maximum of 3; for 12.5% – more than 10 and for 4% – a maximum of 10 interviews. 10% of respondents do not conduct interviews with candidates.

When structuring a workflow, 60% of respondents said they use professional ATS and other tools that help optimize the recruitment process. The minority – 40% – have not done that yet.

Stress & satisfaction

Please rate on a scale from 1 to 5 how often you feel stressed at work [/caption]

It turned out that 36.4% of respondents regularly experience stress during the working day.

They are most upset because there is no positive feedback, responsibilities are unclear and confusing, the company is not developing technologically, and the recruitment process itself is extremely poorly organized.

But the most tangible pleasure is provided by the quick and high-quality filling of a vacancy, good feedback from management and colleagues, personal achievements and victories.

What is efficiency based on?

What helps you work more efficiently? [/caption]

All survey participants are convinced that team support is the key to their own effectiveness. An interesting fact: those who work with ATS put it in the 1st place, and the systematic organization of the process – on the 2nd place.

On the other hand, those who do not have professional automation systems put the systematic and orderly approaches at the top, and only then do they seek support and feedback from colleagues.

It is also worth mentioning the importance of qualitative recognition of personal achievements by the team. In this context, the survey showed that achievements and successes are most often recognized in teams working with ATS. Why does this happen? Because recruiting software digitizes the necessary data, and in this way, collective or personal successes become more obvious.

To stay or… to quit?

Do you plan to change your job? [/caption]

The overwhelming majority of respondents (56.6%) do not want to leave their job in Human Resources or the field in general. However, the number of those who assume such a development and those who have already made a decision to quit is 35.7% and 7.7%, respectively. And these are quite serious figures.

Many facts of this study confirm the mood and psychological “weather” in the market, says Mykola Kliestov of ITExpert.

“While analyzing, we see that more than a third of specialists in our field are thinking about changing their profession. I explain this phenomenon in a certain sense by market self-regulation. The fact is that in 2021, hiring in companies was at its peak, and there were many vacancies. Accordingly, there was a high demand for recruitment specialists. Now there are significantly fewer vacancies, and the demand for recruiters has decreased. Some people are unlucky with the number of vacancies they have to work with and other current tasks. And this causes frustration. But we need to understand that this is happening in many countries, and Ukraine is no exception”.

So, how can we influence this situation today to make the work of a recruiter more motivating and comfortable?

Adequate workload and automation

Tatiana Bykova, Founder of Bykova Recruitment Agency

The psychological state of a recruiter is especially important now, because the market is turbulent, there are many layoffs, and there is a certain crisis, in IT as well. Therefore, managers in our field should work to improve working conditions. For example, it is important to analyze the daily workload fairly, not to give 5-10 vacancies to juniors or middles for processing at the same time.

I also recommend praising your subordinates more often for their work, and creating a friendly, comfortable, rather than competitive, atmosphere. At the same time, those who have not yet done so should consider transferring their work to ATS.

Regarding the latter, I was sincerely surprised that as many as 40% of survey participants still work without professional recruiting software. I am convinced that the entire routine should be automated as much as possible, because it often provokes professional burnout.

I cannot but notice that many specialists in my field are seriously considering changing not only their jobs but also their profession in general. These sentiments are fueled by layoffs, instability, and reduced income. And this is quite a shame.

New bonus systems are the first step to change

Mykola Kliestov, CTO and co-founder of ITExpert

Today, the issue of a healthy psycho-emotional state is especially relevant for human resources professionals. After all, the recruiter’s daily work is often based on the dopamine cycle and a certain excitement: the recruiter always worries about closing a vacancy, fights for the interest of valuable candidates, tries to win the “race” by making a high-quality counteroffer. And the expected reward is bonuses for fulfilling the key performance indicators. This has been the case for a long time. But now the very structure of the hiring market is changing – due to a decrease in hiring, the complexity of vacancies, etc.

The incentive system is also changing, and the question is increasingly being asked: does it really affect motivation? All these “systemic adjustments” that you cannot personally influence are not always easy to overcome and stay in the profession.

And this, in my opinion, will be a rather serious problem for recruitment specialists, because it is difficult to work long and efficiently if there is no positive motivation. Therefore, in order to retain interest in work, managers are advised to work on additional incentives. These can be completely new bonus systems that relate not only to final offers to candidates, but also to non-standard, interesting tasks related to the needs of the company in a particular period of time and, of course, to the personal interests of each individual recruiter. It can be mentoring, active participation in onboarding of future colleagues, and many other non-trivial things.

Overtime has traditionally been a rather sensitive issue. The study says that almost a third of recruiters work overtime. This fact also has a negative impact on psycho-emotional health, and requires attention and revision of the workload.

Everyone should know about the achievements

Nadiia Savchenko, CEO of HR Agency Key People

The study says that HR professionals want the team to recognize their personal contribution, and the management to thank them at least sometimes. And it is normal! Healthy, balanced relationship and communication with colleagues have a positive impact on our mental health. Therefore, I recommend that department heads and team leaders start paying attention to and showing appreciation to their subordinates for their hard work today. After all, they are all trying to succeed in the extremely complex market realities and the constant “hunt” for talented people.

Modern managers shall learn to congratulate on the big and small achievements of the team. Especially considering that as many as 86% of our recruiters enjoy filling vacancies! So, they are motivated, and this is a very positive indicator.

Yes, some are thinking about changing careers, but the vast majority want to stay and work. And if a manager takes the time to give a kind word, reasoned feedback, and a well-formulated task, it will definitely reduce tension and stress at work, for everyone.

We also should not forget about work automation, but we see progress here as well – 60% of respondents use ATS, and that is great! The rest will catch up, because they still understand that the recruiter’s area of responsibility is multitasking, and therefore a notebook and Excel are no longer a tool. Especially in the face of constant deadlines and key performance indicators, manual routine leads to burnout.

Nadiia’s opinion is shared by Mykola and Tetiana, who emphasize that without recruiting software, it is almost impossible to scale hiring and adapt to the requirements of employers or customers. At the same time, this is why recruiters are often stressed, realizing that they have to keep everything in their heads. This leads to chaos, fear of forgetting or losing some important information. This affects not only productivity but also the mental health of the recruiter. It is really easier to work with software that takes away the routine and frees up time for really important tasks.

Working with personalities: a quick experiment

Daria Selivanova, Psychological Center “Don’t Panic”

Studying such research is both useful and enjoyable. After all, caring for the mental health of the team is not only about preventing burnout, but also about a truly caring attitude towards colleagues; when the manager perceives them not as cogs that shall work well, but looks at them as independent individuals with their own needs and peculiarities.

What interested me in the study was the fact that positive feedback is important. If the management does not provide it, there is a risk of demotivation, anxiety, and worry.

I remember well the moment when my team gave me such feedback. I was genuinely surprised, because I thought that my satisfaction with the quality of their work was quite obvious. My team is powerful and professional, and there are no complaints, misunderstandings or problems. Why do I raise such issues? It turned out that it was simply necessary, and the survey participants confirm this.

But there is something else. It seems that it is easy to praise your colleagues well and sincerely. At the same time, our cultural code in business communication requires us to focus on suffering and problems, and not on how to prevent and avoid them through quality communication.

Let’s conduct an experiment! Right now. Sit down, think back and write down 10 items that your colleagues have done well, efficiently, on time, and in the best possible way during the day. And what did you notice from this list even before you started writing down these achievements? And which of your colleagues did you tell about it sincerely and kindly? Remember that it is very important to be able to concentrate on everything that your people do well, and to express your satisfaction as often as possible, always tell them about it.