Anyone who works in the HR space is likely aware of burnout and the effect it can have on productivity. The condition has been well documented for years and has recently seen a resurgence with both the pandemic and the Great Resignation. The increase in resignations, smaller talent pool, larger volume of open roles, navigating a new hybrid working environment, and the pressure from hiring managers and executives all add to the challenge.
The past year has been more stressful than ever for many employers and recruiting teams. While you may know how to spot the signs of burnout in others, recognising the symptoms in yourself can be another story.
Members of the Talent Acquisition team are just as susceptible to burnout as people in other areas of the organisation. The passion and thoroughness needed to excel at your job can also make you vulnerable to this, while the demands of recruitment are greater than ever for many.
This article goes into how you can identify if you’re suffering from burnout, and how to prevent the condition from arising in the first place.
Why is it Important to Address HR Burnout?
In addition to the standard impact of burnout on productivity, engagement and overall performance, those in TA and HR have the added responsibility of hiring and managing the rest of the workforce.
If the team members who are relied upon to provide vital support to the rest of the employees aren’t able to work effectively, they can contribute to even greater disengagement among those who they look after. Job applicants and candidates will also pick up on the energy, or lack thereof, from the TA team. If the people representing your team are burnt out or have low energy, it reflects negatively on the workload and culture of the organisation. This can lead to new hires being reluctant to join, further contributing to the issue.
Managing the issue of TA and HR burnout is an essential task for any organisation, as it can affect every other team member if not properly addressed. Having an efficient team is key to building a strong culture, managing employee wellness, staff retention, and recruiting new people.
Signs That You Are Suffering from Burnout
Identifying burnout in yourself is not so different to identifying it in others, but you’ll need to do a bit of self-reflection. Some telltale signs to look for include:
- Working more overtime hours than usual
- Working over the weekends
- Mood swings
- Reduced quality of work
- Feeling less social and more isolated
- Increase in sick/personal days
- Feeling unusually sensitive
- Being easily upset or angered
- Reduced efficiency
- Lower energy levels
- Decreased motivation
In the HR sector, some other signs that you are experiencing burnout can also include a fixation on task details (rather than the big picture), excessive focus on efficiency above all other key performance indicators, and feelings of helplessness.
How to Manage and Avoid HR Burnout
To mitigate burnout, taking an honest look at the workload assigned to yourself and others in the team is a vital first step. With all that is happening, it is likely you’ve got more to do than normal, but think about whether you are genuinely overloaded. Are there any tasks that you could ask for help with?
Managing work-life balance is another important consideration. While the rise of hybrid working means more flexibility, it also means that the line between home and work gets a bit more blurry. To combat this, some organisations encourage team members to turn off message notifications after 6 pm. In France, they’ve gone a step further by banning after-hours work emails altogether. Not having an opportunity to take a step back from the workplace takes its toll and increases the likelihood of burnout. Organisations and governments are starting to realise this. You want to establish healthy boundaries between your work and home life, whether you’re in the office, working from home, or in a hybrid arrangement. You don’t want team members to feel like they need to be always on, and likewise, you shouldn’t be expected to either.
In any case, people in TA and HR should be practising what they preach, taking advantage of all the wellness initiatives available and asking for help when it’s needed. How can new hires and team members feel encouraged to take paid time off, speak to someone when they feel overworked, or request personal days when others don’t? The less stressed and burnt out the HR team is, the less stressed and burnt out the rest of the organisation will be.
Whether you’re recruiting, onboarding, providing counselling, settling complaints, interviewing, or anything else, the life of TA and HR is centred around looking after others. It can be easy to neglect the needs of the most important person, yourself. Knowing how to identify and prevent burnout in yourself is vital to your own wellbeing, not to mention that of the organisation itself.
The entire recruitment industry is feeling the squeeze right now, and with a higher workload comes the possibility of burnout. Keep in mind that there is always support available, both within your organization and outside. TalentVine can help assist with your hiring needs, putting you in touch with some of the best recruiters available in any industry. Simply post a role, select your recruiters, and be presented with top candidates!