How Resilience can Increase your Hiring Power

  • Focus your attention on things you can change
  • Accept that some things are out of your control
  • Look for the positives

According to a study, recruiters have the most stressful job in the world. Stringent deadlines, high expectations and a recruitment process that can be thrown off for any number of reasons. Recruiters have it tough and the risk of burnout within a few years is a very real possibility. The thrill of the chase is not enough – you need to be emotionally strong to make it long-term as a recruiter. Here’s how you can increase your emotional resilience to face all the challenges that the recruitment industry throws at you.

1) Focus your attention on things you can change

Resilient people are very clever at choosing how to focus their attention. By looking at the things they can change, rather than concentrating on the things they cannot, resilient people can shift a negative situation to one which suits their goals. As a recruiter, you may not be able to choose who applies for your role but you can rewrite a job ad if you aren’t getting the right candidates for the job. Use the Applicant Tracker System (ATS) to search for different keywords to search for different candidates if the hiring manager changes the requirements – roll with the punches and use AI to assist you in your search. Being open-minded to change can ultimately find you the right candidate which can save time and money long-term. Appraise, focus on what you can change and accept the things you can’t.

2) Accept that some things are out of your control

Acceptance is key to resilience. A recruiter can work extremely hard to market, interview and negotiate with candidates but there are multiple things that can derail the whole process. External issues such as a competitive market, world pandemics and candidates just simply not taking the job when it’s offered combined with internal issues such as job description changes and tricky inhouse politics – any one of these things can affect what looks like a very easy task on paper. The constant pressure to perform at a high level is exhausting but know that your efforts are not in vain. You can’t change what happens in life but you can change your response. Stop fighting and accept the outcomes especially if they don’t go in your favour. Resilience can be learnt and accepting failure, in all its forms, can help build character and emotional strength.

3) Look for the positives

Every cloud has a silver lining – corny but true. It’s so easy to slip into negativity and moan about the day to let off steam but try a new tactic and put a positive spin on any daily disasters. So your perfect candidate didn’t work out? Maybe they’ll be better for a different role down the line. The hiring manager changed the deadline? Well, you work better under pressure/have more time to find the perfect candidate. 

Why is resilience so important for recruiters?

Handling rejection is a key part of a recruiter’s lot. Explaining to candidates that they aren’t successful for a job and hearing why a job hasn’t been accepted can be emotionally draining and lead to career burnout. Interviewees can tell if a recruiter isn’t 100% engaged in the hiring process and this can be very damaging to the interview process. The recruiter is a representative of the company and if they are consumed by their failures then they won’t get the best out of the interview and a great hire might slip through the net. If you can process rejection quickly and move on then your positive attitude will shine through. Not everyone is naturally equipped with the ability of resilience but it is something that can be practised and honed. So, practise like your career depends on it and let resilience become your hiring superpower.


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