The demanding and competitive nature of a sales-driven environment like recruitment, coupled with KPIs and unpredictable outcomes, often paves the way for burnout, self-doubt, and stress.

Every year, one in four adults in the UK experiences at least one mental health issue, often linked to work. Although work may not always be enjoyable, it should never jeopardise your well-being—whether physical or mental.

Your ‘best’ looks different every day

Every day won’t be a high-performing day, and that’s okay. Define “giving your best” based on the unique challenges each day brings. Extend this understanding not only to your colleagues and managers but also to your clients and candidates. Show empathy, treat people with respect, and recognise that we all have good and bad days.

Tailor your environment

Find out under what circumstance you feel most productive: Perhaps you need the buzz of the office when hunting for new business, or you may need the peace and quiet of your home when making candidate calls. Everyone has their own environment they thrive in.

Ensure that you express your requirements regarding feedback and working conditions to your team and manager, as unless you communicate these needs, they may not be aware of them.

Get away from your desk

Step away from your desk for a breather! Taking a walk, even if it’s just for 10 minutes, can do wonders for your brain productivity and creativity—studies even back that up!

Recognising that time is valuable, it might seem like staying glued to your desk is the best option, but without the right mindset, you won’t be able to achieve anything on your mile-long to-do list. If a walk isn’t feasible, at least distance yourself from the desk. Put away the laptop, have a chat with a friend, or dive into a good book—give your brain the distraction it deserves.

Recruiters often find themselves working long hours across various time zones, occasionally requiring that extra effort beyond the 9-5. While it can be worthwhile, you still need to be able to maintain a healthy work-life balance.

It is also important to remember to ensure your job doesn’t impact your friends and family, as that ultimately affects you too. So, prioritise enjoyable activities and quality time with loved ones over the weekend to recharge before diving back into the workweek on Monday.

Communicate openly

If things at work aren’t going your way, talk about it! Talk about it to your manager and your team. They will be able to support you, lead you in the right direction, give advice of where you could do better, or just let you know that they’re sat in the same boat, coming across the same issue you’re having.

Whether you’re seeking advice or just need to have a rant, knowing that you’re not in this alone can make a big difference.

Celebrate every win – whether big or small!

Set achievable goals and celebrate wins, no matter how small. These victories could be finding excellent profiles, successful interviews, positive candidate interactions, or simply having a productive, distraction-free work period.

Build resilience

In recruitment, resilience is crucial. Maintaining resilience involves considering the bigger picture, which can be a challenge for detailed-oriented people in recruitment.

It’s essential to remember that a lost deal or a tough client conversation doesn’t define your overall performance. If you consistently put in effort, follow the process, and strive for improvement, success will come. Don’t overly stress about the ups and downs; they’re part of the journey and everyone, not matter how successful, experiences them. Regular catchups with your manager will help gauge whether you are on the right track or need redirection.

As long as they’re happy with your performance, you should be too!

Incorporate fun

Recruiters are known to have a ‘work hard play hard’ mentality, so it’s important to not forget the fun. While activity and trip incentives can be rewarding, they are performance-related and may contribute to heightened stress levels.

It’s important to spend a little time with your team outside of a work context, whether that’s going for a drink after work, have a monthly team social, or a coffee break to chat about your weekend.

Raise awareness

Promote mental health awareness within your team. Conduct regular training sessions and foster an open, transparent, and supportive environment where everyone feels comfortable speaking up about work or personal challenges.

If you have workplace-provided private health care, you may be entitled to confidential mental health support, something that recruitment specialists ITR Partners and many other small-medium recruitment businesses in the UK offer employees. Sometimes, mental health can become an afterthought over physical health, and this can have a negative effect on individuals that are struggling.

Making a change

It’s up to you to put your mental well-being first. Build a work environment that supports mental health, recognise your needs, and aim for balance and productivity. When you take care of yourself, you’ll not only perform well in your role but also bring positive contributions to your team. Keep in mind, being mentally and physically well is when you’re at your best.

Agnes Hammer headshot
Agnes Hammer
Senior Recruitment Consultant at ITR Partners

Agnes is a Senior Recruitment Consultant who focuses on the German market, leveraging her proficiency as a native German speaker. With more than 4 years of recruitment experience, Agnes is dedicated to cultivating her personal brand and champions employee wellness within the recruitment workspace.