A Self-care Guide for Hiring Managers in Trying Times

Andy Agouridis News & updates Stories & insights

As a hiring manager, you (hopefully!) know that your role is incredibly important for shaping the workforce of an organization. However, times like a global pandemic, recession, economic downturn, or the never-ending war for talent can make the job a lot more difficult. Not to mention, it can be physically, mentally, and emotionally taxing and can even lead to burnout and self-doubt. In fact, a report revealed that an incredible 84% of hiring managers suffer from high burnout levels due to the tight job market. But don't worry! 

During these challenging times, it’s even more crucial to retain a healthy work-life-balance in order to perform your duties effectively. To help you do this, here are some tips so you can make sure to keep your mental, physical, and emotional health in check while also maintaining a successful work-life balance.

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1. Set limits for yourself and stick to them

Hiring managers often have a lot of responsibilities, and it can be easy to become overwhelmed. From sourcing and screening candidates to coordinating interviews and onboarding, there’s never a shortage of things that need to get done. And the pressure can be even greater during difficult times when companies may be more focused on cost-cutting measures, which can result in fewer resources being available for the hiring process. As a result, hiring managers may tend to put their work ahead of everything else and work extra hours to meet hiring needs. This can lead to unnecessary stress and may even cause a negative domino effect among team members and the rest of the organization.

Instead of taking on more tasks than what you can handle, it’s important to set boundaries for yourself and establish reasonable expectations regarding your workload. For example, you can set specific times of the day for checking emails, reviewing resumes, or getting back to potential candidates, then make sure to stick to them. In addition, learn to say no when you feel you’re being asked to do something beyond your capacity. Doing so will help you prioritize your time more effectively, giving you better control over your work. 

2. Prioritizing work is key to a stress-free work day

With the added stress and uncertainty of difficult times, it can become harder for hiring managers to know where to focus their efforts. As a result, they may end up spreading themselves too thin and focusing on things that don’t really matter. This can further lead to frustration and higher stress levels because you may find yourself doing the same amount of work over and over again without getting anything meaningful done. 

To prevent this from happening, we suggest setting work priorities as part of your self-care practice. This means having a deep understanding of the immediate and long-term hiring needs of your organization so you can prioritize accordingly. This will help you stay focused on the most important tasks and avoid getting bogged down in unnecessary details. Therefore, allowing you to achieve better hiring outcomes for the organization. 

3. Master the art of taking breaks to reset

The hiring process is a demanding and time-consuming task that many hiring managers are finding it hard to take breaks to recharge. However, doing so is a critical piece of self-care. While it may be impossible to reduce the stress or amount of work involved, more specifically during challenging times in the employment market, unplugging from work can help you keep your stress levels in check, make your job more manageable, and, most importantly, maintain a healthy work-life balance.

One of the key signs that you need a break is when you begin to feel overwhelmed. This can manifest in a variety of ways, such as having difficulty concentrating or experiencing physical symptoms like headaches or fatigue. In addition, if you’re starting to make mistakes in the hiring process or having a hard time making decisions, you need to take a step back and take a break. It doesn’t have to be a long vacation. Sometimes a short break can be enough. A few minutes here and there to clear your head, take a walk, or meditate can help you refocus and return to your work with renewed energy. Don’t wait until the weekend or until you are fully burned out before taking some time off. Take advantage of your vacation time, recharge, and come back with a fresh perspective.

4. Make sure to set aside some time for your hobbies and personal leisure

Self-care is not always about taking a day off to simply do nothing or getting a full eight hours of shut-eye every night. It can also mean spending some time doing things that you love, whether alone or with others. This can be anything from reading a good book or creating a new recipe to gardening, hiking, or simply shopping with an old friend. Engaging in hobbies that you enjoy can provide a much-needed break from the demands of your job and help you relax and de-stress. 

Research showed that people with hobbies or leisure-time activities are less likely to suffer from stress and negative emotions. In addition, it can help boost creativity and problem-solving skills. Hobbies that challenge or focus your mind, such as painting, writing, or playing an instrument, can stimulate the brain and help to generate new ideas. This can be beneficial when it comes to making important hiring-related decisions, including selecting the best candidates for open positions. Remember, you are people outside of work, and when you are at full capacity, the first thing that slips is your personal life. Don’t let your work time take over your personal life – do more of your hobbies and other things that make you happy.


5. Take advantage of your employee health and wellness benefits

Companies offer a variety of health and wellness benefits, including health insurance, mental health resources, gym memberships, and an employee assistance program (EAP), among others. These benefits can be valuable tools for practicing self-care as they are designed to help employees boost their mental, physical, and emotional well-being. For example, suppose you feel fully burnt out due to the pressure to fill vacancies quickly. In that case, you can take advantage of the EAP and related resources, as they can provide a confidential and safe space to talk about your concerns and get the proper support you need. Also, having access to health insurance, which can include things like regular check-ups and screenings, can help you stay healthy and well no matter how challenging the employment market may be.

6. Add some physical activities to your daily routine

Getting your body moving is a key part of self-care. You may feel like you don't have time because of the hectic nature of your job, but exercise can really pay off in the long run! Exercise helps reduce stress, lift your mood, give you energy, and promote overall wellness. Plus, you can make more solid decisions, focus better, and tackle high-pressure situations with ease. There are tons of ways to get your daily dose of physical activity without it turning into that dreadful activity of the week. 

It's all about finding something you actually enjoy and can commit to. You can take a yoga class, lift weights, join a sports league, or even take a stroll around the office and add some stretches during your lunch hour. You could also go for a bike ride after work. Once you have your go-to exercise, make it part of your routine and set aside specific times for it. This will help to make it a habit and you'll be less likely to skip it.

7. Find comfort from loved ones and the community

Tired of feeling like a total rockstar one day and a total failure the next? Managing talent in a difficult market can take its toll on your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Take a break, do something that you love, and exercise - but don't forget to reach out for help when needed. Find comfort from your closest family and friends, or even your manager. They will be your biggest cheerleaders during those tough times. But if you feel like you need an extra boost, don't be afraid to seek professional help. Remember, it's important to know who to turn to for support when things get rough. Listen to your body and take care of yourself.

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Andy Agouridis

Andy helps candidates and employers connect faster and better. Apart from being a Jobylon contributing writer and a Careers content creator. He has a background in HR with Fortune 100 businesses, holds an MSc in HRM, and is a Chartered member of the CIPD.

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